Workflow using Figma or illustrator?

I am getting started with this software, I presume its better to start out the font design in something like Adobe illustrator as I see most tutorials do, but I only use Figma, so would this be ok to use in that respect do you reckon like a work flow of Figma to —> Glyphs? Is it feasible to even design the fonts fully in Glyphs? E.g. using a pen tablet to draw in it and such?

It’s far better to do it in Glyphs rather than other programs. The tools are superior.

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I still gotta learn how to use glyphs but I thought about using Figma first to get the rough outlines in vector or something, more like a sketch.

Those tutorials are nonsense. Just draw in Glyphs. If you need to sketch use a pencil.


There are also useful tutorials in the Glyphs website. The Glyphs features section shows some detail in addition to links to related tutorials in the learn section. The Essentials and Getting Started sections also include details on Drawing Paths (video) which also links to Drawing Good Paths and Sketching tutorials. Some tutorials/videos may be for Glyphs 2, but they should mostly still apply to Glyphs 3.

Glyphs is built to be able to fully design and produce fonts from start to finish. The drawing tools are intended for designing type; some folk have even moved to designing logotype in Glyphs because of those tools.

If you really must draw in another program, perhaps the Importing from Illustrator tutorial will be useful; some of the things may apply for Figma. Really, though, it’s better to start in Glyphs. And a good way to learn something is by doing, using it.

Hope that helps.

I’d be curious to know if people use a Glyphs → Figma workflow for testing and collaborating.

Is there a way to use custom fonts in a Figma doc?

I see there is a “Shared Fonts” for Organizations but don’t have experience using it.

yup. with an organization account you can upload an arbitrary font to figma, and everyone in the organization will have access to it. with an individual account, you’d need to have it installed locally.

RE: JamieCropley’s initital post about drawing type in figma: don’t do it. figma’s vector tools are not great, no matter how much marketing is out there to tell you otherwise. even the figma team will note that glyphs and robofont are better tools

I’ll give it a try with installing locally. Do you run into caching issues? Will Figma automatically update the font file if there is a newly installed font that replaces an old one?

I find with this I sometimes have to refresh Figma in the browser to pick it up correctly and quickly but if you use the official app should update quicker

Just want to say thanks overall to everyone for your responses. Especially this: I wanted to avoid paying for an illustrator subscription again if I could as I am happy with figma and affinity designer, in figma you can get most the tools you can in illustrator in figma anyway as plugins, just this bezier curve thing got me interested.

A follow up question though respective of all this, better use a drawing tablet in glyphs app or not?

Overall if I wanted to convert my handwriting into a font whats the best way of getting it into glyphs 3 even to trace it somewhat?

Glyphs supports multiple input methods. Use whatever fits you best. I like to click click click and then move the nodes and handles with the keyboard only. Some prefer a mouse, others a drawing tablet.

I like the precision dynamics of typography, and I am liking the in depth details you go to, like the paper posted above was very interesting on bezier curve. You can’t get this detailed I find with other design stuff (note I am not a professional designer, more a programmer who has just been using stuff like photoshop for many years, and more recently UX designing all self taught in figma and such.)

I don’t fuck with drawing tablets. They’re too wobbly for precise vector work where you need to grab nodes or handles and move them one point at a time. Leave tablets for what they’re for—illustration and calligraphy. I use Kensington Expert Mouse, which is actually a massive trackball. It’s great for vector work because as soon as you stop moving the ball it just stops—no accidentally jumping a node here or there because a little twitch can make it move. To me precision on the tiny level of fonts is just as important as precision in the parts of a Lamborghini. Anything but total precision is just wrong.

I use a gaming mouse as well, you can configure it to that high kinda of thing. A trackball mouse sounds better though.

For latins, it might be so. For other lanuages, it’s definitely No for now. Some useful and must-have functions are not designed in Glyphs now.

Ah for latins of course should have put that from the start lol

@frankleng Can you explain what you are missing? (maybe in another thread)

Already told in another thread about svg importing, i was told to see a new function in the upcoming release. I’m still waiting. As for centering, there is no satisfying solution right now. Glyphs (and scripts) can not center the whole shape right in the center (both horizontally and vertially).

Nearly all high quality fonts are made by drawing the contours with the minimum amount of carefully placed points. The precision is easier to achieve from the keyboard, and the cursor ( mouse/tablet/trackpad or whatever) is probably just how you select stuff.
Things like auto tracing, tablets, various “brushes” and other tricks in amateur hands are not really helpful for learning.

No ad intended, but here’s a video that can give an impression of the design process (not explained though).