Where to look for type design/editing opportunities, in a general sense?

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  • I'd love to hire someone to just digitize for me. Unfortunately, The pay would be terrible :(
    There's an autotracer joke in there somewhere. 😎
    Type design was sooo much easier when my standards were lower :) 
  • off topic

    Dobro, please mind that this is a real-names forum.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,118
    Johannes Neumeier great post! For someone in my current state of exposure to the subject, it seems that there is a great opportunity available for an in-depth font engineering book that targets the type designers with that interest. Your summary list is a good potential table of contents.

    My searching for reliable and helpful, practical techie information has produced too much dubious and sometimes contradictory information. Ahh, the Internet. The various published specifications are a great resource, but don't broach practical matters. They same could be said of GitHub's content. The commercial font editor manuals are by far the best source I've found. That's to be expected as they have real technical writers and UX teams translating (or trying to) software engineering concepts to practical actions. Kudos to those teams. It's not easy.

    I think the problem has a big wrinkle that it is a moving target. That is, best practices for font engineering keep on changing. What you need to worry about depends on which problems are automated away vs which ones still need manual intervention. How you solve problems depends on the current state of tools. Even which tools you use (beyond a font editor) is changing regularly.

    The other problem is that serious levels of font engineering require at a minimum, comfort with the command line, and preferably Python and other know-how. This is a problem both because (1) it just scares off a lot of designers, some who could learn all that if they were not intimidated by it, and (2) a lot of people who have the aptitude and interest for type design do not have the aptitude for font engineering.
  • I want to add an idea on the font engineering book. I think it would be really helpful.

    I'm a beginner type designer myself, but a web developer by day. But I don't do the Python code stuff for making fonts yet. Because I don't know what I don't know.

    So the idea is make the book a website, or an online e-book. Where it can be maintained and updated regularly since the main problem is the best practices, tools and landscape keep changing. Or maybe an online course?
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 659
    edited March 22
    A lot of my work (besides things like print, web assets, icons, banners, cartoon characters etc.) is doing lettering for Thank You cards (this includes animations), Holidays, Weddings, and so on. Weddings are a big one, especially because people now spend much time locked indoors and there is maybe a little baby boom :) 
    I haven't had much revenew with font sales per se, and I believe this particlular model is on the way out, but having a shop on MyFonts has given me an edge over some competitors. Many of my strictly typographic jobs are modifications of font for laser cutting, i.e. I make a stenciled version. This was, surprisingly, a good portion of jobs I do.
    I have been hired as a font specilist in the sense that I have to use my aesthetic skills to pick the right font for a job. Last year I did a big batch of cards which I was specifically instructed to use only Google fonts for. (see attached image). I tried offering my services to YouTube channels for thumbnails, and got some very positive and enthusiastic responses, but they couldn't offer me a reasonable payment/fee so they are stuck with their old designs. ;)


    Font engineering will be a big one in the future, in my opinion. Mainly because, while there are exceedingly more and more type designers, many of their fonts lack proper coding, they don't compile well, they don't work in certain situations or behave strangely, and some are simply not Ok under the hood - I've seen glyphs without removed overlaps in fonts I won't mention. Which will obviously lead to problems in vinyl or laser cutting, print, coloring the font, you name it. All this will create a ton of work. It's perhaps similar to being a mechanic for more and more new car models or a repair technician for new variaties of appliances. There is actually much more work now than there was before, at least for me. :)
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