Creating a Bold Font


Instructions for creating bold-styled fonts. 


Here are some tips on creating a bold font which is technically and artistically uniform when compared to the Plain version of the same font. 

Before taking these steps it's a good idea to load a commercial Bold font into the template layer of Fontographer and then load that same font's plain version into the outline layer. If you use a serif font like Garamond you will see several issues which need to be addressed when viewing the outline over the template. 

You will notice that the vertical parts of a character's design will gain weight faster than the thinner parts (and the serifs)—weight gain is not uniform. Also, it is common for the serifs to become a bit longer. Thicker stems grow thicker relative to thinner stems.

The stems will grow taller so now the character needs to be moved down in relation to the baseline. The above scenario isn't as prevalent in evenly weighted or unstressed fonts, such as Avant Garde,Helvetica, or Futura. But they are noticeable in the condensed versions of these faces, as condensing the font will often create stresses, especially where bowls and loops connect to the stems. Characters should be scaled in order to remain perfectly sized in relation to the em square. 

Follow these steps to use your Plain font as a basis for building a Bold font: 

1.Select all (except composites). 

2.Change Weight (try about 70% of the difference between the existing font's width and the width you desire). 

3.Keep all boxes checked on: Path Direction,Don't change horizontal or vertical. 

4.Note serifs and stress points for uniformity. 

Finally, it's impossible to tell you exactly what to do because these instructions will differ for font characters which have both thick and thin stems versus a font which has uniform size stems. The Change Weight feature can cause stems to grow in such a way as to overlap other parts of the character, counters can become filled, etc.