BDF is an ancient bitmap font format from the 1980s.
FontLab’s BitFonter can generate BDF files. This is a tool we keep available only because there is so little else that does these functions—we no longer develop or maintain it, although we support it as best we can.
While I like the general idea of articles like this, I thought this one was at heart... wrong.
Typography in culture wars is primarily just another symbol vested with often-arbitrary meaning. Sure, that meaning sometimes comes from a historical basis, but at heart what matters is which ideas are associated with which particular styles, and sure it is great to be aware of that, but it is no more a big important deal than color or any number of other things that get associated as symbols of particular movements.
I'll just add that some 5-10 years ago there was a survey of a bunch of type designers (back on Typophile—I think?) and at the time we found that it was about 50/50 whether people sketched first or went straight to their font editor.
The main correlation with that was age. Older type designers were more likely to sketch first, and that chance went up fairly linearly with age. So the oldest ones it was more like 75% sketching first, and the youngest ones it was more like 25% sketch first. Or something like that.
I do not particularly think people are more likely to sketch as they gain more experience with type design, so I suspect the percentages are continuing to shift a bit with time, as the existing population ages. Probably it is a bit less than half who sketch first, today.