• Typeform Invention • Adobe Illustrator • Teacher’s Printable Notes

T y P o G r @ P h Y
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* N O T E S : Typeface Generation in Adobe Illustrator (Step-by-Step) >

*These notes are demonstrated in the ‘Digital Font Drafts • Teacher’s Demo’ (within the next submenu item for ‘Project I – Typeface’) 

Finishing up your original font/typeface (alphabet + numbers + characters)?

Preparing to post your final-digital-drafts (from Adobe Illustrator) to your WordPress e-Portfolio Site (using the ‘Twenty Eleven Theme’)? Go to FILE > Export > .jpeg … and keep SAVING!

Need a few more step-by-step instructions to walk you through the process (outside of class)?

Look no further…

KEY:  (1) If working from ‘hand-drawn drafts’  (2) if working from ‘live type’

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(1) Beginning with hand-drawn drafts to become: digitally rendered – final drafts:

Uploading Drafts >

– Scan your drawings, first save as .tiffs and then save them/save as/export them as .jpegs

– Open Illustrator CC –

– Go to: FILE > New > width: 8 ½ inches (“) , height: 11 inches (Check: Preferences > Units: Inches)

– On the new ‘Artboard’/Page = Go to FILE > Place

– Place the first .tiff or . jpeg scan of your draft

– Center the draft on the page (fit to 11 x 8 ½” letter page) with selection tool, sizing the image (bounding box) corners

– Go to VIEW > Show Grid (or not… + adjust… only if this is helpful to your typeface design)

Creating and Organizing Layers >

– Go to WINDOW > Layers and title this layer (with artwork): “Template”, “First Draft…”

– Go to the Layers Panel (Palette) again > Create New Layer (using create new layer icon, or the upper right corner ‘pop-up’ menu on this Layer panel)

– For each scan that you want to place… create another Layer and re-name the Layer…

– Title another top/uppermost layer “Letters Numbers Characters” (or perhaps ‘font’ or ‘alphabet’ or ‘typeface’…) – this is your “working layer” to start…

– Create a system of working layers that support identifiable features (patterns) in your ‘font.’ Create a layer for each set of “repeatable” features (features that can be duplicated, replicated, copied, pasted, rotated):

  • Stems
  • Serifs
  • Bowls
  • Arms
  • Eyes
  • Swashes
  • Hairlines etc…

Systematically Drawing Pieces/Parts/Patterns of Shapes that make up similar Letterforms >

– Zoom into the alphabet (with the Zoom Tool) – to begin tracing letters with the pen/path tool (use the direct select tool to reselect the anchor point, and Bezier Curve points + handles, to reconfigure each letter.

– In the beginning work with a pen/path that has an empty fill (see the fill option on the content bar) – it has it’s own color palette. Also the fill and stroke options exist equally – at the bottom of the toolbox/toolbar (the “Picker Palette”)

– Choose when to fill or stroke the pen tool path. Looking at the path: make sure the shape is completely closed – finish the path – before trying to fill it (or stroke/outline the path)

– Use the Move Tool to select vector shapes that you have drawn: Option + Drag to duplicate/scale new vector shapes (by rescaling the bounding box for each shape)

– Grab the Rotation Tool: to spin new vector shapes

– To Zoom Out: and ‘Fit Artboard in Window’ use the keystroke: Command + 0 (the # zero)

– As you create and overlap shapes, choose which shapes to Arrange > Front or Back. Go to: Arrange > Bring to Front or Arrange > Send Backwards….

– As you redraw/re-design each letterform, number and character continue to go to: EDIT > Copy, and EDIT > Paste the pieces of each letter that you plan to use again, and again, by placing duplicates (of small parts/pieces) along the gray sidelines/the outer artboard

Locking & Unlocking Layers >

– On each separate layer created and allocated to these shapes (dots, dashes, stems, bowls, serifs, ears, eyes, arms etc… ) lock each layer when you do not want one layer to interfere with another. Unlock layers when you need to make changes to the shapes on that layer.

– Use the Free Transform (and scale + rotate + shear) Tool/s to continue to alter and reshape/reposition letterforms…

Selecting and Making Refined Adjustments…while Working Between Layers >

– As you work, use the Lasso Tool: to select each shape/letterform/number/character that you are working on (on that second layer)

– Alternate between the Lasso Tool and the Direct Select Tool to adjust the anchor points + Bezier Curves + handles… of each letterform/number etc..

– Use the Smooth Tool to “soften’ the anchor edges, along curves (to smooth-out the curves)

– Also use the additional Pen Tools: to Add + Anchor Points, or Subtract – them..

The more letters, numbers and characters you build, the easier it becomes to create new ones from pieces of the original shapes, you have already designed and designated on separate layers.

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(2) If you have live-type drafts to re-draft (re-design) as your own unique alphabet… the process is the same… just a few of the ‘start-up’ steps are different…

(*Note: InDesign is the best place to choose a font you want to work from, as it is possible to scroll through the fonts, with your type ‘selected’ to choose a typeface from which to work and further ‘diverge’….)

Use Illustrator: to type up your first type-layout of the upper and lowercase alphabet + numbers + characters… once you have located the name of the font you want to re-design… as your own…

The Live-Type Start Up (Break Down Letters to Breakthrough to your own Font) >

– Open illustrator CC –

– Go to: FILE > New > Width: 8.5 inches , Height: 11 inches (Check Preferences > Units: Inches)

– Type the new “Font’ arrangement into the page (upper and lowercase letters + numbers + two rows of characters)

– Center the font on the page (fit to the 11 x 8 ½” letter-sized page) with the selection tool, sizing the image (bounding box) corners

– Go to WINDOW > Layers and title this first layer (with live-type) as the: “Template”

– Drag this layer from the panel into the icon (at the base of the panel) for “Duplicate Layer” (to make a copy)

– Go to the Layers Panel (Palette) again > Create New Layer (using the create new layer icon, or the upper right corner ‘pop-up’ menu on this Layer panel)

– Title this second layer “Letters Numbers Characters” (or perhaps ‘font’ or ‘alphabet’ or ‘typeface’…) – this is your “working layer” to start…

Selecting Live-Type and Creating Outlines >

– Go to: SELECT > Select All

– Go to: TYPE > Create Outlines

Read the instructions at the top of this page (after scanning and placing drawings…) the steps are pretty much the same, with these remaining touches >

– Use the Lasso Tool, to select and separate each letter/number etc… as you work on each form/shape individually.

– Alternate between the Lasso Tool and the Direct Select Tool to adjust the anchor points + Bezier Curves + handles… of each letterform/number etc..

– Use the Direct Select Tool and the Smooth Tool to “soften’ the anchor edges, along curves (to smooth-out the curves)… see detailed instructions above…

– Zoom into the alphabet – to better see the anchor points

– Zoom out and ‘Fit Artboard in Window’ when needed using the keystroke: Command + 0 (the # zero)

– Colors? See the fill + stroke options on the content bar – it has it’s own color palette. Also the fill and stroke options exist equally – at the bottom of the toolbox/toolbar (the “Picker Palette”)

Choose when to fill or stroke the paths >

– Drawing a path? Looking at the path: make sure the shape is completely closed – finish the path before trying to fill it (or stroke/outline the path)

Draw + Nudge + Stretch + Adjust + Duplicate >

– Also use the additional Pen Tools: to Add + Anchor Points, or Subtract – them…

– As you create and overlap shapes, choose which shapes to Arrange > Front or Back. Go to: Arrange > Bring to Front or Arrange > Send Backwards….

– As you redraw/re-design each letterform, number and character, continue to go to: EDIT > Copy, and EDIT > Paste the pieces of each letter that you plan to use again, and again, by placing duplicates (of small parts/pieces) along the gray sidelines/the outer artboard

– Use the Free Transform (and scale + rotate + shear) Tool/s to continue to alter and reshape/reposition letterforms…

– Use the ‘Direct Select Tool” to reselect the edge of each path/letterform allowing you to see it’s empty-anchor-points…. so that it is possible to continue adjusting these anchor points and their Bezier-Curve handles…

Keep Organized Layers (Detailed Instructions Above…) >

– Collect these shapes (dots, dashes, stems, bowls, serifs, ears, eyes, arms etc… ) when you need them… each set on it’s own layer… detailed instructions above… *See locking & unlocking…

*Reminder: These notes are demonstrated in the ‘Digital Font Drafts • Teacher’s Demo’ (within the next submenu item for ‘Project I – Typeface’) 

Questions? Email: AM32@sunywcc.edu

Project I Notes – Mrs. Cruz