version: 3.4, last changed Saturday, August 11, 2012

A new comprehensive type design class in NYC.
Calligraphy at the dinner table.
Wolfgang Wick of Buero MAGENTA interviewed me for the latest issue of Slanted magazine

Custom Type

→ Typefaces come with your computer when you buy it or get installed along with additional software packages. They can be purchased off the rack at type foundries and software vendors. Buy them online or at the store down the road on a disk. They are neat little pieces of software, that work on a system level in all your applications. What is stored inside a font is well protected and never changes. But fonts can be custom made or altered to your specific needs too.
Adding Characters to your font
You could look at a digital font file as just a way to wrap and transport a drawing. It's safe to say that everything that can be expressed in splines and beziers would possibly be well kept in a font file.
…so what exactly can you do with this and why would you?

by Hannes Famira
created Mar. 02, 2005
updated Jan. 26, 2014

  Your Signature
We incorporate your signature into your corporate font. This comes in handy when you use your PC to send faxes, if you want to make serialized mass marketing look more personal or when you send out invoices as a PDF so your client can print them out locally.

How does this work? You send us your signature on paper or a 300dpi scan and determine what key-stroke you want us to place the digitization under. We take care of the rest.

The outline describing your signature will not be the result of a quick and dirty solution called auto-tracing but is built up out of beziers expertly placed by a type-designer, that's like in manual work and craftsmanship. If you wish we will also have a proper look at the shapes and apply minor form corrections too.

Your original scan and what happens to it when we digitize it.
Your Logo
A logo font is much more versatile than using an image file. It provides the possibility to set company logo and name in all applications across platforms and contains a version number so consistency is guaranteed.

How does this work? You send us your artwork and we pack it into your existing corporate font or create a new logo font. No matter wether what you have is just a sketch on paper or digital data that merely needs to be placed in a font we take what you have and make it look good and work well.

These are some logos we have worked on. But don't worry we do ugly stuff too.

Even logo solutions with multiple colors and precise overprint can be achieved in a single logo font.
  The euro sign €
Does the corporate design of your company force you to work with an old font that doesn't contain the euro sign yet? Usually this would be a good starting point for considering a complete redesign of your corporate identity. If all you want really is just to be able to punch in the euro sign on your computer though there is usually two things you can do. You can either check wether the font has been updated by the foundry that sold it to you in the first place and then go buy the same font over again or have the euro sign drawn and put into the font you already own a license for. The latter is the solution that we can offer you.

Another reason to do this would be if you are not satisfied with the design of the euro sign in your font.
Altering an existing font
If you want us to change a font that you bought a license for we will have to ask you to please fax us a proof of purchase in advance.

  Design Changes
Usually this is something that will happen when a designer is very fond of a typeface but is unhappy about a particular detail. Stuff like: "if BellGothic's cap- I only didn't have such prominent serifs". Or: "why the hell does the @ in the DIN typeface look like it comes out of a completely different font?" Details on one or two characters that can be corrected quickly.

Then there is the crux of missing characters or characters that don't match the rest of the font like: "I wish there were hanging figures in Syntax but then the monetary characters would have to match too of course..."

Every once in a while it happens that a client want's a complete character set to be changed. Maybe it performs well in small sizes but the design becomes to floral and prevalent in titling sizes. Or the font is great but has become too light when the manufacturer digitized the photo-type version, so now the typeface's overall weight has to be adjusted.
  Layout Changes
A relatively painless procedure, applied whenever existing characters are hard to reach and need to be placed under a different key stroke. Maybe all this font needs is a special OpenType Feature to give you control over special characters. Some characters exist in a font but can't be accessed at all or just with cryptic combinations of keys. Say you are type setting a book on architecture and need the little superscript 2 all the time to indicate square meters (or feet?). Or you are designing an art catalog and the little x that is necessary to describe the size of a painting is not accessible at all.

Just send us the font and tell us what key-stroke you want the character in question to be placed under. We take care of the rest.

2×3 m2

Designing a custom font
What has been a privilege enjoyed only by few of the really big companies for a long time has become affordable and logistically possible for even mid-sized companies in the nineties. Corporate typefaces, custom drawn exclusively for a company as a vessel for identity are slowly entering the repertoire graphic designers all over the world draw from.

  Text fonts
What are the advantages over buying off the rack? Well, it is comparable with clothing. Bespoke tailored will always suit your individual design needs better and allow for very specific solutions closely designed around your production process. And then of course there is the added value of instant recognition that you get from using a unique design that you hold exclusive rights for.

This corporate custom font was drawn exclusively for the fashion house Céline in Paris:

Céline custom typeface:
  Titling fonts
Be it for a very special occasion or for a special application, custom drawn display type lets you convey exactly the mood or tone you want to set.

There is a grey area between a logo font and a corporate titling font. You can typeset headlines or write your company's name in a font that you have the exclusive rights to. Which makes for a very homogenous presentation.
  Pi and form fonts
Wether you want to automatically create forms out of a database system or your forms just change a lot keeping the elements you use in a font is logistically much more attractive than juggling image files.

Why does it make sense to keep a collection of shapes in a font file?

  • Low resolution output devices like a monitor or a low end printer take advantage of hinting provided by a font
  • The size and stroke weight of graphic elements can be matched to the typeface used in text next to it
  • Loose Image files kept and transported in a folder get misplaced much easier than a logo-font which is installed on every computer in your company
  • When you keep your logo in a font and hand it out to graphic designers or service bureaus you can be pretty sure nobody's messing with the shapes
  • A font file contains version numbering and a copyright note that give you control even in a situation where a set of shapes is evolving. An example for this situation might be the early stages of a corporate design when production and development have to happen simultaneously.

Current location  :  Kombinat-Typefounders  :  Editorial article : Custom Type

  © 2001-2019 Kombinat-Typefounders, all rights reserved. Home - Kombinat-Typefounders