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CorelDRAW X4: The Official Guide
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Refining and Resaving the Template
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The template requires two more guidelines, and although in theory you ll be finished with the Arial font in the current template, it would be nice to hang onto it for reference as a custom, user-created guide First, to create a complete typeface, you ll need a guideline for where a descender (in g s, y s, q s) should end, and a good typeface would also contain a hyphen (-) and an em dash ( ): their positions are easy to determine based on the current font on the page Follow these steps to finish off the template so you can get down to drawing characters for your font:
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Creating More Guidelines
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1 With the Artistic Text selected with the Pick Tool, press CTRL+C to copy and then
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paste the text in exact alignment with the original text
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2 With the Text Tool, highlight both characters of the duplicate text, then type g, then
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type a hyphen
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3 With the Pick Tool and the text selected, apply a color other than black so you can
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see what you re doing; red is good
4 Drag a guideline from the horizontal Ruler to the point where the descender of the
g ends
5 Drag a guideline to the bottom of the hyphen Choose Window | Dockers | Object
Manager for your next move Now your screen should look like this illustration
Ill 15-2
CHAPTER 15:
Creating Your Own Font
6 Click-drag the Artistic Text titles, one at a time, to a position on the Object Manager
directly below the Master Guides layer, as shown here By doing this, you ll have the characters you typed as a visual guide on all the pages you create for the different characters in your font
Ill 15-3
Lock editing of Guides layer
7 Lock the Master Guides layer from editing (and from accidentally moving the guide
characters) by clicking its Pencil icon
8 Save the document again as a template (File | Save As Template), overwriting this
file as it existed earlier
Drawing a Centerline, Not an Outline
The only real qualifier for characters you design for a digital font is that the shape must be one single shape, vector in format This means as part of the font creation routine, you ll use the Shaping operations a lot to combine several objects into a single one But that s about it: typefaces don t use fancy fills, but rather a digital typeface just has to have outline (path) information for each character You can take three different approaches to drawing the characters that make up a typeface:
If you re handy with a felt-tip pen and own a scanner, you could bring the bitmap images into CorelDRAW and then use PowerTRACE (see 27) to auto-trace every character Using this approach, as shown in Figure 15-2, often leads to a natural style, full of little irregularities, for the typeface characters Routinely, you ll need to manually edit the result of the tracing to eliminate superfluous nodes and to make other minor consistency corrections Alternatively, you could bring in your scanned image, lock it on
CorelDRAW X4: The Official Guide
FIGURE 15-2
Corel PowerTRACE is available with CorelDRAW for tracing bitmap characters to vector format
a layer, create a new layer, and then manually trace over the characters you physically drew This takes more time, but adds consistency as you draw
Drawing each character by hand This approach often leads to gross inconsistencies between character stem widths the strokes that make up a character are called stems and even to inconsistency with a single character s parts This is a timeconsuming process, and you can t reuse the basic structure of each character, as you can by defining centerlines for the stems of each character and then giving the stems different properties Making centerlines for characters, then applying outline properties This is the way to go for speed, stem consistency, and reusability of your character designs, and it s the approach shown in this chapter Here s the idea: you draw a skeleton of a capital A, for example, a teepee shape with a crossbar, so you have two paths, three maximum You can now apply a wide outline to the paths, even put a round-line cap on the strokes (see 18) Then at some point, you choose Arrange | Convert Outline To Object on a copy of your paths, and before you know it, you have a character whose stem widths are completely consistent After you combine the paths, the combined shape qualifies for export as a TrueType character Better still, you can apply an Artistic Media stroke to your capital A, and then later use the Break Apart command CorelDRAW saves your original paths, and with a little refining, the Artistic Media object becomes an elegant, intricate character perfect for exporting to a font In the illustration here you can see three examples: a manually drawn character, a character made by increasing the outline width and then converting it to an object, and a character made with a centerline and with Artistic Media then applied
Ill 15-4
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