How do you make bolds?

Still new to type design. I have my regular glyphs made and I’m ready to move on to bold. What are your techniques for making bold?

You should go to the user manual.

read about masters

you need a bold master

you can set the master up in Font Info, which is under “File” in the top menu

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There was some discussion about this: Make font bolder

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Take a look at the video courses on the Get Started page. E.g., video number 5 in Kevin King’s YouTube channel shows how he makes letters bolder.

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Good links, but I’m more interested in personal approach. What letters do you start with? How do you determine thickness? Where do you begin? Or does everyone just hit the Offset button? :grinning:

I think it’s no different from designing Regular. If design is simple, you can just go from simple to more complex letters — just start with n, o. If design is experimental at least to some degree, start with the most questionable letters, which will set you limits for the rest of the glyph set. Like “how bold can I make this ‘g’?” And then extend that design to the rest. Testing in words or fake paragraphs along the way really helps

If you are looking for a perfect formula, you won’t find it. Just put your normal weight in the background as a reference and redraw it as bold. The bold will give you greater challenges in g and W, and other busy glyphs. The drawing is the fun part :wink: Bold is not like tire inflation.


Personally, an approach that I have used in the past is to start with a hairline, in order to get the skeleton and structural intention of a typeface down. After that, I would flesh it out into a Black – there’s no formula here, the only thing I can really recommend is to look at fonts as much as you can. Follow type designers and lettering artists on Instagram, study font libraries, get acquainted with a wide range of styles. You’ll develop a natural feeling for what looks good and what works over time. If you have a Black and a Hairline (or something much lighter than the Black) you can interpolate it with the Black and get your Regular, Bold etc. I would personally not recommend to start with a Regular, as there are too many things that one might overlook stylistically that don’t translate well into lighter or bolder styles. Hence, approaching a design from its extremes can be very useful, as you will automatically find solutions that translate well between the styles. Of course, once you have completed the extreme masters of your design, it can be helpful to add a master in between in order to fine-tune things. Be sure to utilise the stem table in the top right of your Glyphs in order to have consistent stem weights across your glyphs. In regards to what letters to start with, that’s also personal preference, but I love starting with a double-story a. From there, I can get my n (h, m, u), which I use to get my b (d, p, q). The crown jewels is the g, of course.

tl;dr: no formula, just study a lot of fonts as much as you can. Maybe try designing a really light and a really bold master, then interpolate and clean up.


Ah! Interpolating between hairline and black to get regular is VERY interesting. Never would have thought of that. I will definitely try that next time. Thanks!

I’m designing a typeface to help very young children recognize basic letters (sort of like Futura rounded), but I’m only making regular and bold. Always looking for tips for the next project :+1:

Adobe’s PDF on Multiple Masters:
Also tutorials here:

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