Blaze Type releases ‘How to design fonts?’ – an essential guide for mastering your A-Zs

Blaze Type, a French type design foundry renowned for their variable fonts, has recently released an essential and comprehensive guide to type design. Titled ‘How to Design Fonts?’, it addresses a common problem faced by both experienced and beginner designers: the scattered and conflicting guidance found across various sources. Aimed at anyone who wants to learn or re-learn the fundamentals of typeface design and font production, the guide therefore serves as a beacon of clarity amidst this sea of knowledge and discourse, providing access to all the required information in one easy-to-navigate document. 

Blaze Type how to design fonts publication

For those new to type design, the font production process is challenging enough to understand, with technical issues not only proving frustrating but also time-consuming. 

While specific technical challenges may vary among designers, common areas of importance include:

  • Ensuring legibility and readability of the typeface
  • Maintaining consistency and coherence across glyphs
  • Addressing kerning and spacing issues to optimise the overall appearance of the typeface
  • Ensuring proper alignment and proportions of each character
  • Considering cultural and regional preferences when designing multilingual typefaces, such as incorporating specific characters or diacritics unique to certain languages

Blaze Type’s guide fully acknowledges and understands the fears and pressures faced by font makers, providing ways to overcome them. Spanning 140 pages, the book provides a step-by-step guide curated to lead designers through the entire process of font creation – mastering the intricacies of the Latin alphabet – and covers essential topics such as:

  • The basics of type terminology and type anatomy, including x-heights, weights, and stem balance
  • In-depth exploration of spacing and kerning
  • Testing and proofing your fonts
  • Best practices for exporting files, final production, and distributing and self-promoting your work
  • Crafting font licenses and pricing work appropriately
Blaze Type how to design fonts publication

Matthieu Salvaggio, a France-based type designer, art director, and graphic designer who founded Blaze Type in 2016, wrote the book with the intention of supporting both newcomers and seasoned creators alike. Known for his high-quality variable fonts that blend historical references with contemporary twists, Salvaggio’s typefaces have been used by creative studios such as Pentagram, byFutura, Graphéine, and Ogilvy Labs.

 “I’ve always wanted to write something to teach people as we are often asked on how to design fonts,” he tells us. As a self-taught designer, he reveals that there was little to no knowledge available online when he started. “I figured that making something like this, and accessible at such a low price, would be of high help to everyone keen on learning font design.”

Drawing from his own industry experiences, Salvaggio delivers an extensive and insightful guide (designed by Léon Hugues and translated by Frédéric Durand Degranges), sharing reflections and advice for navigating the professional world of type design. Condensing all this information into one concise document “without making it dull or overweight” was a challenge, he adds. “I think we did a good job there, where it still leaves room for more chapters in the years to come.”

Blaze Type how to design fonts publication

Whether you are an experienced art director, a graphic designer looking to expand your skills, or a beginner with a passion for typography, this book is a valuable tool for anyone who aspires to become a proficient type designer.

The guide is available in PDF format, with additional IDML files for testing and proofing fonts, as well as IDML files to showcase your work as font specimens. A print-on-demand version is also available for purchase (166 pages, printed on 80g paper). Prices start at €17, making it an opportunity not to be missed.

Blaze Type how to design fonts publication

You can pick this publication up over on or browse more of our helpful resource articles here.

Keep up to date with Blaze Type over on their Instagram page, or foundry site.