In my ignorance, I was unfamiliar with Canadian designer Ian Brignell, even though I’ve been looking at his custom lettering work for years.
The “Share a Coke” typeface took one week to create
An interview with Ian on HeyThere.
HeyThere: What is your process for designing a font from start to finish?
“I begin by designing lower case because these are the more complicated letters and they allow for a lot of design expression. Next, I draw the capitals, numerals, punctuation, accented characters then the extended character set (which means all the accented characters that apply to languages outside of Western Europe). I like to start with the lightest weight and work until I’m relatively happy with the basic set before turning to the boldest weight.
“Once these two weights are finished, I put the fonts through a bunch of technical stuff that interpolates the in-between weights. This phase has many design hazards because interpolation doesn’t spit out cleanly drawn characters, it merely gives me a starting point from which I then refine all the characters in the family.
“Once the roman weights are finished, I do the italic versions.
“There’s a lot of latitude when drawing the italic version of a typeface. If it’s a simple sans serif, you start by slanting it and then you have to fix all kinds of geometry that gets messed up with the slanting. Depending on the type of italic, you might have to completely redesign four or five characters because different italic styles are completely different from their Roman forms. Italic is like a completely separate font design, but of course it has to work seamlessly with the roman in terms of weight and spacing.”
Via Brand New.