Paper to Screen and Font weights

Hi, I purchased Glyphs and have a few basic questions about how to get started.

I would like to draw fonts on Paper and then copy them to Glyphs. How can i decide the width and height to work with on paper? like I want to work with 200pt or 500pt as glyphs then how can i draw grid or lines(base, ascender, descender) on paper to match with glyphs reference. Is there some standard height in cm or inch to create those lines? Sorry if I sound stupid.

I want to have three weight, Light 300, Regular 400 and Bold 700. What is the recommended way to achieve that? Should i create the main letters separately for each weight?

I think these two questions will help me to clear the road. Any input will be really appreciated. :slight_smile:

Thank you.

In most cases, drawing on paper is a good idea to find you shapes and the general design. But it is not precise enough, so you usually need to do correction on the proportions and weight.

The absolute size you draw on paper is not important. Only that the size is consistent.

this might help:

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Thank you. Could you recommend something for multiple weights? Should I create them from scratch? Should i take a look at Setting up Masters tutorial series?


You can create the lightest and boldest weights, then interpolate the regular weight from those. Glyphs’ Multiple Master tutorial is excellent to help you with that. Adobe’s original Multiple Master documentation which will also help: Adobe’s PDF on Multiple Masters:

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I would start with a square on paper. Maybe 15x15 or 20x20 cm would be a good start. From there determine what percentage of your x-height you want the ascenders and descender. I found it useful to find an example of a similar typeface, enlarge and print a few letters, and trace their outlines for height determinations. Will your typeface be similar to Helvetica or Baskerville? Then sketch just a few letters to see how things look – o, x, n, h, p, O, X, N, M. There will always be a lot of experimenting, back-and-forth, erasing, re-doing – especially in the beginning.

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Thank you. Could you explain a bit about 20x20cm square? Is it for a single letter? I thought to work on A4 paper, landscape mode. What i think is to use 5x5cm grid and create x-height under 3-3.5cm.

Any input will be really appreciated. I am ready to try and learn it. :slight_smile:

You need to find a size that fits your hand and the tool you are using.

Will your typeface be serif, sans serif, decorative? Designing one letter like an “m” at a larger size will help you refine subtleties you may not see at smaller scales. If it’s a strictly geometric font, then it may not matter much. But if it’s curvy like Baskerville or Goudy, then it will help a lot. :grinning: