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Designer Creates Font From Scratch And Submits It To Google Within 24 Hours
By Yoon Sann Wong, 24 Jan 2018
Inspired by Adam Savage’s One Day Builds, London-based freelance designer James Barnard decided to challenge himself in a similar way:
“Create an entirely new font, from scratch, and submit it to Google Fonts in under 24 hours.”
Beginning at 1pm on a Wednesday, Barnard took to Adobe Illustrator with two to three letter styles that he’d already sketched out and eventually churned out the free-to-download ‘Odibee Sans’—pronounced “oh-dee-bee”, representing his very own ‘One Day Build’ (ODB).
In an recent article on Medium, Barnard reveals the creative process through a six-minute read that charts his journey from researching letter proportions and ratios, to creating the font file—which was entirely new territory—with the help of the app ‘Glyphs’, and the time-consuming process of spacing plus kerning the letters.
“With my characters in place, I went about spacing and kerning the letters. This part was incredibly time consuming. There are a series of keyboard shortcuts in this app, which you absolutely must master before setting out on this. And before starting the kerning process, you have to get your letter spacing as close as possible to how you want the file to look,” writes Barnard on Medium.
“Apparently as a rule of thumb, measure the width of the counter of the letter O (the hole in the middle) and divide that by three. That is the spacing distance you should start with on the left and right side of your letters.”
Barnard shares that he’d submitted ‘Odibee Sans’ to the Google Fonts team in May 2017, and is currently still in the pipeline to be added to its platform. After the Google team advised Barnard to refine the font, the designer went on to add all the extra glyphs needed for extended Latin support, as well as other style updates.
Find out how he did it via his article on Medium and get the free-to-download font here.
[via Medium, images via James Barnard]
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