Designing workflow

Hello everybody,

I want to share with you my workflow to have an opinion about every step, cause i m not sure i m doing it well.

1- start drawing and designing letter on a multiple master file on fontlab. 
2- Then i adjust metrics and kerning pair, auto fill font info and finally i make a first exportation of the VFB instances i want.
3- At this step i decompose every glyph (accented too) in each instance and then generate a Fontlab TTF file.
4- After that i open the Fontlab TTF file With Glyph and then i generate again a TTF with this software. (the reason why i do this step is that I m not able to make a manual hinting with fontlab and the automatic hinting process causes me a lots of problems, like disappearing some letter, mostly accented...the /Iacute for example i ignore the reasons why. On the other hand, the automatic Hinting Process made with Glyph exportation seems to have better results without problem.)
5- after generate TTF in Glyph i open all the font family in TransType to organize the family name and finally make the exportation of the TTF, OTF, and Web Pack.

This is an empiric method i found on the way by trial and error.
You may say, whatever it works. Yes, but i found this workflow simply unpractical and every time i found some error i had to come back on the VFB file to correct everything and made each step again. And more step i use more it's the possibility to make mistakes.
Is it a good process?
Can i simplify it in some way? 
There are articles or books about the right process to obtain good, organized and quite well hinted TTF and OTF files?

Thank you in advance for your advice. 


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 960
    Why do you start with FontLab, then? Are you not happy with the drawing tools in Glyphs?
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 745
    Or contrariwise, I would wonder why steps 3, 4 and 5 are even necessary. So I would look into the causes of the problems that are provoking you into doing these workarounds in the first place, so as to avoid those steps.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 603
    If hinting is the only issue that prompts the workarounds, then you might consider installing ttfautohint and just batch-hinting the first-generation TTF font files directly. (In which case, I should think that you can skip the step 3 decomposition.)
  • Let me suggest an experiment:

    Don't bother decomposing composites (that doesn't make much sense for .ttfs), but before generating your .ttf in FontLab Studio, make sure you first select all glyphs in the font and then select paths->set tt direction from the contour menu. See if that helps with your hinting issues.

    Then you wouldn't need to use anything other than FontLab (i'm not clear why TransType is needed since you can set the family name in FontLab directly).
  • Dyana WeissmanDyana Weissman Posts: 125
    Try saving different VFBs. One as a master file. Another for TTFs, a third for OTFs, etc. Depending on your mistake, this would be much faster once they're all set up. For instance, if you need to change a glyph, you can copy/paste real quick.

    And yes, no need to decompose for TTFs. 
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,139
    Try saving different VFBs. One as a master file. Another for TTFs, a third for OTFs.

    I recall Mark Foley telling me that Dalton Maag maintains production VFB sources with TTF (quadratic) outlines in one layer and CFF (cubic) outlines in the other. That seems to me good practice in terms of maintaining a dual format source.
  • @John Hudson Except that hinting is not stored in the Mask layer...
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 960
    But if you swap mask with outline?
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