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FontForge for Comic Fonts: Variant Double Letters by eishiya FontForge for Comic Fonts: Variant Double Letters by eishiya

Click here for Part 2: Proximity Variants.



A lack of variation is a common critique of digital comic lettering, which is a shame since variation can be added to fonts! To help remedy this common issue, I decided to make a tutorial about one way of achieving letter variants in FontForge.

Eventually, I hope to make an appendix to this tutorial  that lists a bunch of substitution rules that achieve different kinds of variation.

There are other ways to achieve variation, but I haven't discovered how to use them in FontForge yet. If I do, I will make tutorials about them too!


FontForge is a free font creation/editing program, it is available for every major OS.
This tutorial assumes some familiarity with FontForge because it's about a fairly advanced font feature. If you want to learn the basics of FontForge, there are several tutorials online, including the official one.

Since FontForge supports importing fonts, you can even add variants to fonts you've downloaded! However, if you modify a font you didn't create, make sure you do not redistribute your modification unless the original font's licence allows it!


One thing I wanted to cover in the tutorial but opted not to is the serif I, which some letters use exclusively for the pronoun "I", with the sans serif I being used in all other contexts. Most comic fonts (especially free ones) will have one or the other, even though it's not hard to make both. For now, this part of the official FontForge tutorial should do. It's the same process as I use for my serif I variant, except serif I replaces one letter while the tutorial example replaces two. That tutorial covers glyph classes fairly well, so it would be silly to make a tutorial on the same subject.
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Daily Deviation

Given 2014-03-12
FontForge for Comic Fonts: Variant Double Letters by eishiya

A good tutorial, giving a helpful solution to a common trouble with creating fonts inspired by hand-writing. ( Suggested by artichokes and Featured by pica-ae )
:iconmrcooldd:
MrCoolDD Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Looks pretty interesting!  I think I might try this out when I start drawing digital comics!
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:iconlaughbutts:
LaughButts Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Goodness, you sure thought this through! 
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:icongillianivy:
GillianIvy Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Intriguing, congratulations on the DD.  I've been thinking of making fonts and this is very informative.  I particularly like handwritten text.  :)
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:iconasjjohnson:
AsjJohnson Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
congrats on the DD. ^_^
...I've thought about trying to make a font. Though I think I'd decided that if I feel like making a handwriting-like font, it would probably be easier just to learn to hand letter stuff properly than try to figure out how to make a pleasing font. :P I think it would take me a long time.
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:icontruthistruth:
TruthisTruth Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Congratulations on the Daily Deviation! :clap:
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:iconeishiya:
eishiya Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! It's my first one and I didn't expect it at all. I'm glad this tutorial might help people <3
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:icontruthistruth:
TruthisTruth Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
You're welcome!
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:iconcrispylettuce:
CrispyLettuce Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Oh wow, I didn't even know you could do this with fonts!
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:iconmintflavoured:
MintFlavoured Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2014
This is very helpful, thanks so much.
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