Work experience

You know that picture that comes with the frame?

A few months ago, my employer decided that the frames produced in our stores need their own “face paper”. So what I did was dig up a photograph of a fox I took a few years ago, added the company logo, the website and the frame size and put it all together in Affinity Designer. The result looked a little something like this:

The frames are sold in the store I work at situated in Oslo west (Montebello) called Rammexperten.

Norwegian Contributors

I now have a total of 6 fonts up on DaFont and 7 for purchase at CreativeFabrica.

I also noticed that people are listing type designers and typographers from around the world on several sites, including this one from Germany, and so I thought I’d make a list of Norwegian font designers on DaFont.

At the moment, I’m in 9th place with 125 467 downloads, and on a shared 5th place with 6 available fonts.

Nr. Name Website No. of Fonts Downloads
1 Hans Gerhard Meier http://www.fontourist.com/ 6 3,132,590
2 Roger S. Nelsson http://www.cheapprofonts.com 8 2,232,876
3 Hasan Guven http://www.lordkyl.net/ 15 1,207,040
4 Espen Morten Kvalheim http://www.unbornchikken.com/ 11 398,880
5 Svein Kåre Gunnarson http://www.dionaea.com/information/fonts.php 2 382,832
6 Martin Holm http://www.martinholm.com 4 295,064
7 Frode Nordbø http://www.norwegianink.com 7 226,417
8 Morten Talleivsen http://www.211178.no 1 162,158
9 Thor Christopher Arisland http://www.tcarisland.com 6 125,467
10 McKack   2 92,251
11 Sindre Små http://www.digitalflamestudios.net/ 1 74,859
12 Intense   1 71,349
13 Kyrre Honohan   1 59,732
14 Rashid Akrim http://huskmelk.no 2 58,939
15 Atle Mo   1 38,078
16 Erik Jeddere-Fisher http://totallyoilsome.wordpress.com 1 34,427
17 Mark Lund http://www.artbluck.com 2 26,176
18 Lisa   1 25,499
19 Kristian Dalen http://www.classless.biz 1 19,404
20 Erik Holm http://www.k21.no 1 17,580
21 Alexander Rossebø   1 11,947
22 Boksen   1 8,762
23 Manuela Hardy http://www.mrs-hardy.com/ 1 6,406
24 Mattis Folkestad http://machineboy.com 1 5,801

“The Norwegian type Scene”

As I googled my name as I do every now and then I found I was listed somewhere new and unexpected.

It seems someone is cataloguing type designers and typographers from all over the world and I’m listed as part of “the Norwegian type scene”, which is kind of a nice surprise.

Here’s another one of my many online profiles, perhaps the first I didn’t make myself:

http://luc.devroye.org/fonts-89827.html

 

GlyphSize – an SVG resizing tool.

Click here to download the program.

As I’ve learned how to create fonts using Affinity Designer and FontForge, I’ve come across a few situations that require unnecessary monkey work. With some experimenting I’ve found that the simplest way to export multiple curves from Affinity Designer into Fontforge is to use the Export Persona in Affinity Designer and export curves as SVG files.

Note: Because macOS and newer operating systems are extremely paranoid these days, this program will not be able to run unless you set the security settings to allow running programs from “Anywhere”. To make matters worse – newer versions of macOS have completely removed this option. To disable this child protection lock, just follow these instructions. Be aware though, that running programs from “anywhere” is a security risk, but still necessary since both Apple and Microsoft will raise a red flag for very common applications if that particular application is something they don’t sell in their “App Store” or “Microsoft Store”.

The problem here is that when exporting the slices, the viewbox height and width is set to the size of the curve and this will cause FontForge to resize the letter you designed to fit the Glyph.

To fix this problem I made a simple Java batch processing application that resizes the viewbox to a square canvas to the size of your liking.

This application is based on my own workflow which means that to understand the why and how, a tutorial explaining how I design a font is necessary.

Step 1: Design the font in a large Affinity Designer document.

I start out with a canvas the size of an individual glyph, since I prefer working with TrueType fonts, I select a size of 2048X2048px (or 1024X1024px), and define a descender, x-height and ascender by creating semi-transparent coloured rectangles.

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 16.39.03

After this, I make the document larger (using “anchor to page” – not “resize”) so as to fit multiple glyphs and design all my characters.

A font designed in AD (Affinity Designer) looks something like this:

designedfont

Step 2: Resize the document

(if you didn’t design the letters according to the proper glyph size). 

If I want to change the size of the letters after this (if – for example, you find you want the cap height to be lower than the ascender – which is common in fonts since some space is required for accents in characters such as “Å” “Ë” and “Ú”, you can create a new document with the desired glyph size (in this case 2048).

2048

After this you select two characters, one upper case (such as A) and one lower case with a descender (such as g, y, p or q), place the g so that it comes at a tangent to the bottom of the canvas and use this to find the baseline, then place the upper case letter (A) on the baseline.

You can now group these together and resize the characters, after resizing them you need to change the position of the baseline.

Ag

With the resized letters, copy one of the selected letters into the document, and compare the height of these letters.

AAg

In the “Transform” window, you can see that the smaller letter has a height of “1344px” and the taller one has a height of “1536px”, with this information you find the the factor you want to resize the document to. My document has a width of 16348px, I can then calculate: 16348 * (1344/1536) = 14304 (approximately, the answer needs to be an integer).

I note this down in my document so that I can resize my document back to its original size if I want.

note

Step 3: Export the individual glyphs using the export persona.

With the document and letters set according to the right size so that they fit into a predetermined em-size (this is what it’s called in FontForge). Select the export persona (also make sure that all letters are in the form of a single curve, use the boolean “add” operation to create a union of all the overlapping shapes).

Export

In the layers tab – select all the relevant curves (all letters, numbers and symbols you want to export), and click “create slice”, the slices should be set to the “SVG” file format, but none of the SVG presets in AD have the correct settings, so I suggest you create a new Preset called something like “GlyphExport”.

The settings for exporting the glyphs are:

  • The “Set viewBox” should be checked
  • File format should be set to “SVG”
  • “Rasterise:” should be set to “Nothing”

Then click Export slices into a separate directory of your choice.

I normally name the directory “glyphs” and put them into a project directory along with the AD document file.

Step 4: Resize the viewBox using GlyphSize.

With the glyphs exported, you can open the folder and see how they look like.

Note: If you planned well, you should have renamed the “curves” in AD to their appropriate letter. When the curves have names, this becomes their filename instead of just “slice1.svg”, “slice2.svg” etc.

My lettering scheme for individual letters is taken from the FontForge Glyph Names, other than that, I name upper case letters according to their letter – so “A” is named simply “A”, but lower case letters have the l-suffix so that “a” is named “al”, this makes importing into FontForge a lot easier.

You can download the GlyphSize program here.

At the moment (June 8 2017), the program looks a little something like this:

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 17.04.07

To select your directory, just click the “Choose Folder” button and locate your directory, you can either click the directory and click “choose”, or click on any file inside the directory and it will automatically select the directory that the file is in.

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 17.06.05

With the directory selected, all there is left is to supply the desired em-size (labeled GlyphSize) and click “Resize Items”, it will create a directory within that directory named “resized”, take every SVG-file within that directory and write a copy of that SVG file with the desired canvas size.

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 17.06.12

Step 5: Import into FontForge.

The individual SVG files are now ready to be imported into FontForge, use the “Ctrl + I” as a hotkey for faster access to the Import dialog.

If you followed Step 1 or Step 2 and made a semi-transparent rectangle representing the descender and baseline, you can use the height of this rectangle as the “Descent” in Element=>Font Info=>General, after this you can fill in the Ascent by calculating 2048 – 450 = 1598.

Do this before you import your SVG files.

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 20.10.25

Creative Fabrica

Around three weeks ago I started designing fonts using Affinity Designer and FontForge.

Screen Shot 2017-03-30 at 02.13.49

I do nearly all the design in Affinity Designer and basically just the font specific stuff in FontForge.

Then a week ago I tried my luck at submitting my fonts to DaFont, three of them were accepted, and after my first was accepted I was contacted by this Dutch company called Creative Fabrica to submit my fonts for commercial licensing there, pretty surprised since my experience with working with stock photography and illustration was that it was kind of difficult to have things accepted.

The fonts I have on Creative Fabrica are here (just click on the image and you’ll be redirected to the site):

Inverted-Stencil-by-Thor-580x386 Klub-Katz-by-Thor-580x386 Borgen-Font-by-Thor-Christopher-Arisland