20 Questions with *nymphont
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Resources Week wouldn't be complete if we didn't get a chance to learn about fonts. This article is a delightfully informative interview with one of deviantART's font providers, but before I get ahead of myself...
What is a Font? A font (aka: typeface) is set of characters or glyphs that you can download, install on you computer, and use to create graphics, logos, Word documents, or other textual or text-based files. By using different fonts, artists and writers can create text with lovely scripts, bold typesets, and cool symbols. The art of creating fonts is called Typography, partly from the word "type", which comes from the Ancient Greek "tupos" meaning "a mark, impression, or type." The other half of the word is "-graphy," an English suffix that generally means "a work, an art, or a field of study."
You can find fonts created by dA's typographers in the following link:
dA's Fonts Gallery Info: "Fonts are files with the file type *.TTF or *.FON or other font file types only. Images of fonts are not included."
It may seem easy to take all this for granted, but that's about to change.
Deviant since June 10, 2009
Deviant since June 10, 2009
I asked nymphont to take part in my series of 20 Questions interviews because her fonts have been catching my eye over my year as a Resources gallery moderator. Even though I didn't know much about the work itself, I could see something special about her elegant style, her attention to detail, her willingness to go back to a font and tweak it to perfection as her typography knowledge grows.
Seeing her fonts during the past several months has given me an awareness and a kind of wonder about the work that must be involved in mastering the very building blocks of the text we use in our everyday logos, designs, presentations, etc.
She's the Co-Founder of Social-Media, a group dedicated to art and designs that help people stay connected with each other such as blog layouts, icons, and web design.
- Q1 Why do you like offering fonts at deviantART?
- Q2 What kinds of rules do your font users need to follow?
- Q3 How does this work? When someone encounters a new font, what's the best way to download and use it?
Other than that I suggest font users have fun and continue loving fonts, most are free for personal use.
[Readers: Installing Fonts by Cryingsouls - Learn how to enable downloaded fonts.]Q4 When (and why) did you first get interested in typography?
- Q5 You've probably improved since you first started out. What's one of the best fonts you've created so far?
nymphont: I think my favorite font and the one I am most proud of would actually be my first LT Oksana. I have of course updated it from it's original version, but I still really like the design. For a geometric sans serif, it still has it's own unique look and identity. I love it. It's been described an categorized at "retro" or art deco which is awesome, but truth be told I did not intend to be such. I just gave it an assortment of the characteristics I personally am fond of regarding geometric sans. Whether it was retro or just plain sans serif, I tried to make it fit. And I think this font worked partly because I was so "green" to the whole digital type/font world, I wasn't hindered by outside influences what-so-ever. New girl charm I guess.
- Q6 Where have you gotten your ideas for the fonts you've designed?
- Q7 Your work is outstanding and has a professional quality; so why offer these fonts for free?
And of course... I am still learning. I think that all of my creations could be better.
- Q8 What kinds of fonts do you best like to use for your own projects?
Other favorites are Sibyl by Sentinel Type as well as any other font from them. They are just exquisite. I used Sibyl in this illustration:
Another classic and beloved typeface is Fraktur, which I utilized in this illustration:
- Q9 For those that don't know much about typography, can you please describe the steps involved in making a font start to finish?
The next step is to bring that design into font designing software... There is so much more to fonts than meets the eye, it does take a lot of work. A lot of testing, and adjusting. A lot of intricate work fine tuning by hand.
- Q10 About how long does it take you to design a font from concept to completion?
- Q11 What kinds of software do you use to make fonts?
- Q12 Is there any good free software available online for making fonts?
They do offer a free trial version at www.high-logic.com …, the trial version does not include some of the more desirable features available in a purchased professional version, such as previewing fonts, and saving created or edited fonts.
- Q13 In typography, what is kerning, and what's the best way to achieve smooth kerning?
Kerning is the negative or positive spacing between two characters or "glyphs." Basically the "white space." An unusually shaped character might need to be paired with one or more characters and given special instructions as to how it should be spaced with said character. To give an example, a capital A might need to be paired with capitols V and W, and given a negative kerning amount, so that they do not appear awkward when next to each other or otherwise disrupt the "flow" of text in that type.
Kerning unfortunately is not cut and dry. There are no definitive or essential kerning pairs for fonts. Each is different and kerning must be done individually accordingly. I still consider myself terrible at kerning, but I have begun to view kerning as almost an art form in itself, rather than a tedious and grueling chore.
The only thing that I can recommend is to test and keep testing. Each font is different, and will requires different kerning accordingly.
I find kerning that needs adjusting within my own published fonts, one reason I hope that user's get the updates!
- Q14 When designing a font, how important is it to keep aliasing and anti-aliasing in mind?
- Q15 What are some characteristics that can make some fonts difficult to work with, and how can designers avoid these pitfalls?
- Q16 What are some other challenges for new typographers to be aware of? Any troubleshooting advice?
- Q17 Which groups do you recommend for people interested in typography?
Typography Art from typoholics
- Q18 Are there any uses of your fonts that you're particularly fond of?
nymphont: sebick makes lovely minimal desktops and makes use of my sans serifs so well.
Lovely colors and perfect fun use of my LT Chickenhawk
Stylish and fitting the retro LT Oksana (see above)
Cute and minimal logo design
I am very proud to have lent a font to so many talented designers and so many wonderful creations.
- Q19 What kinds of fonts can we expect to see from you in the future? Any projects you'd like to take on?
- Q20 Thanks for taking the time to play 20 Questions with me. Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Hello. I'm sorry that my last upload to dA was in 2011, and I don't know my way around this place like before. I want to show some appreciation to dA for allowing me to volunteer as a gallery director back then. It was such an awesome addition to my resume. If anyone remembers me from back then, THANK YOU!! I had lots of fun, and I even got behind some real cameras to take photos before most of the local photography studios closed for good, lol. I currently don't have a camera for stock photos, but I may be able to produce some textures. What sizes, format, blah, blah, specs do artists like nowadays? Am I obsolete?