The Process of Creating a Font

We are super pumped about the new blog layout and our new, hand-lettered logo. We hope you love it as much as we do because it was a labor of love for two amazing Hallmark artists: lettering guru Lynn G. and font guru Lila S. Today, they’re walking us through the process of creating a font, from ink on paper to computer screen.

First, we’ll hear from from Lynn G.:

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Hi all! I’m Lynn. I work as a lettering artist here at Hallmark. Designing a logo is one of the most fun projects a lettering artist can take on, so when the ThinkMakeShare team asked for help with a new logo for their blog, I jumped at the chance.

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

My first step was to letter out a lot of variations. Then the Think.Make.Share team selected a style they liked—brushed lettering on rough watercolor paper.

As their website redesign got into full swing, they needed headers and banners in the same style. Somewhere along the way it started to make sense to turn my lettering into a font.

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Our lettering team at Hallmark has 2 awesome font designers. I worked with Lila, who started me off with a list of words, letter combinations, symbols, and several sentences that use all 26 letters of the alphabet. I lettered everything, then handed it off for her to work her magic. Since this is her area of expertise, I’ll let her tell you about the process from there.

—Lynn

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Hi! I’m Lila. I work as a font designer here at Hallmark. I love Lynn’s lettering, so this was great project to work on.

My first step (as Lynn already mentioned) was to have her letter a series of words and sentences that use all 26 letters of the alphabet. That way I have reference for how different letters interact and connect with each other. (These are some of the words I like to see lettered: adhesion, doesn’t, shortage, echo, madam, noun, fluff, quickly, noon.)

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Then I scanned Lynn’s lettering into the computer and started to create the font in Glyphs (the font editing software we use here at Hallmark). With fonts that are cursive or have letters that connect, I start with the most symmetrical lowercase letters (n and o) as well as those with the hardest letters to connect (usually r and s). Once those four letters are in a decent place, I start adding the rest of the alphabet.

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

As I add letters to the font, I make subtle adjustments to the other letters so everything connects well. I also draw any additional characters, punctuation, and diacritics the font requires.

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

Usually a lettering artist already has a name for the font picked out, but this time Lynn let me name it. I decided to call the font Maker because Lynn thinks of herself as a “maker,” and making is such a huge part of our creative culture here at Hallmark.

Maker Font | thinkmakeshareblog.com

We hope you enjoyed learning about our lettering and font-making process. For more behind the scenes stories, check out these posts.

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Comments

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  1. 6.6.16 | Reply
    Mary wrote:

    I love the lettering. I think the font speaks as much as what you actually say

  2. 6.7.16 | Reply
    Anne wrote:

    Cool article! Neat to see a piece about the collaboration between the lettering artist and the font designer behind the scenes. Lila and Lynn are amazing!

  3. 6.10.16 | Reply
    Ellen Brenneman wrote:

    Thanks! I really enjoyed learning about how a font is made. Hats off to both of you!

  4. 6.10.16 | Reply
    Pippa wrote:

    Very cool! Thanks for sharing – I always wondered how fonts were made

  5. 6.10.16 | Reply
    Victoria wrote:

    This was SO cool to read. It was such a privilege to work on this project with TMS, and I love being able to see all the teamwork that played a part in it! Yay!

  6. 5.11.17 | Reply
    Jess wrote:

    So wonderful seeing a behind the scenes pairing of analog lettering & digital type! It’s gorgeous lettering and looks/functions beautifully on the web which is no small thing. Thanks for letting us peek!