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Display and Titling Fonts Sometimes you don't want a whole font. Maybe you just need an attention-grabbing headline or a distinctive title. Like the titling font from the movie The Joker, for instance (figure 1). Or perhaps you need a company logo, a shopping cart icon, or another symbol. For a small job like this you might think that it would be easier just to draw the characters in a regular graphics program and place them like graphics, rather than to fire up a font editor and make a font. But there's a lot to be said for going the font editor route. These days you can do almost anything in a font editor that you can do in a vector drawing program. The added bonus is that a standard OpenType font really works everywhere! It's a file that renders smooth scalable vectors in pro design apps, in offce apps, in web browsers, on Mac, Windows or Linux. Forget PDF, EPS, SVG, WMF, PNG — OTF is the one universal container for simple drawings. There's no law that says that a font has to include every possible character. You can have as few glyphs as you want. If your signage requires only a dozen letters then you can make a 12-character font and leave it at that. And a logo can be just one character. If you decide you want to expand it later, all the font basics are still there for you to build on. Of course, fewer characters means less work. Both because you don't have to draw unnecessary glyphs, but also because you don't have to kern them or hint them. If you create a standard single-color font, you can then colorize the characters in the final app that you use. You need the logo or title to be black, or red, or white? No problem, just change the color of the "text". No need for separate "dark" and "light" versions of the graphic. Another advantage of using a font editor over a graphic design tool for creating small sets of characters is that the drawing tools are better. Font editor tools are, of course, specialized for drawing glyphs. That means you can do a lot of work quickly by taking advantage of tools such as the Rapid tool (figure 2) which makes it super-easy to draw many consistent glyphs quickly, and the Brush tool (figure 3) which you can use to draw calligraphic strokes. These kinds of tools can save you a lot of time compared to the less specialized tools in a paint program. Also, for example, with Power Nudge, Servant nodes and Power Guides, you can easily and rapidly make glyphs or their portions narrower or wider, taller or shorter, while keeping the stroke thickness unchanged without having to go through all the zoom-in/tweak/zoom-out steps that a graphics program would require. By using a font editor you don't lose the ability to use color or special effects (figure

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