How can I learn this?

How do I go about learning this?

Is there a tutorial or guide in just starting a new font or letter? Or about what I’m actually seeing when I open the program for the first time?

I honestly have no idea where and how to begin and no resources seem to tell me.

Have you tried this:

Yep. But it just has tutorials for various tools and techniques, not anything for the fundamentals. How to actually get started.

Edit: Really, just a five minute video of someone starting Glyphs, creating a new font, creating one new glyph, saving it, and exporting it. That would be more useful to me than every single video in Getting Started.

  1. Open Glyphs
  2. File > New
  3. Double click “I”
  4. Draw a rectangle
  5. Hit Cmd+E

There You go. No need for a video.


You didn’t say how much experience you have with vector art programs so I’m assuming you don’t have much. While I’m not trying to discourage you from making a font, you should be aware that it can be a very complex undertaking often requiring knowledge you don’t learn overnight or from a single video.

Google “how to make a font” which will return quite a few resources, including this one:

Have you read the Glyphs manual? It is a good place to start. Or download (free) the FontLab manual from their website and read the chapter “Editing Fonts”. While you are not using FontLab, it’s good information about the basics. Read it, then open an already existing font using Glyphs and play around with it to get an idea of how to do things.

If you want to get more in-depth, get a copy of “Fontographer: Type by Design” by Stephen Moye, ISBN 1-55828-447-8 and study it. While it was written for the Fontographer user, it goes into great detail about most aspects of the type design process and is a much better “Fonts 101” resource than any video or forum could be.

Nathanael Martin
I am not sure I understand. Everything you mention except for the saving and exporting is covered in the videos. Did you watch the Pixelfont video?

Not sure exactly if this helps your question, but I have found 2 books to be very handy in terms of planning / drafting a font from start to finish.

Designing Type by Karen Cheng: =1376456274&sr=8-1&keywords=type+design

FontFace by Alec Julien:

Both books are excellent reference manuals on crafting initial letterforms and they cover lots of information about the various nuances between various serif / sans-serif typefaces. I like to use Karen’s book as a starting point to get ideas for a new design, and though Alec’s book is more focused on “how-to’s” in FontLab, I have applied his techniques & principles pretty successfully to Glyphs.

Of course, the best starting point is a pen/pencil and a sheet of graph paper. Sketch out basic letterforms, components of letters, etc. and build from there.

My workflow is often about designing “components” of letters that I can re-use in other letters. For example, an E can form a pretty good starting point for an F, or a V can be inverted to form an A, etc. This isn’t so handy for fonts with wild variances, eg display-like fonts, but if you’re doing a basic serif or sans-serif, it’s a great way to work.

Though I’ve been passionate about typefaces all my life, I’m a relative newcomer to designing them and I have had zero experience in FontLab, choosing to get my hands dirty with Glyphs, and it’s paid off. You really just have to experiment, play around, make errors, read the manual inside out, and discover things.