How long does it take to design a typeface?

Kerning marks on the typeface Blanco

1 month, 2 years, a decade?

Recently, Sydney-based designer Dave Foster released a new #typeface called Blanco.

He initially spent 4 months working on the English language version, followed by various stints over the next 7 years.

Why did it take so long?

Just think – in English, we have common pairs such as ‘q + u’ or ‘t + h’. You look at those pairs at all sorts of sizes, anything from 6pt to 300pt, making sure the spacing between letters, at each size, is perfect, and no element clashes with the letter beside it.

For other languages, you need to consider common pairs in those too. Dave’s typeface supports over 200 languages. That’s a whole lotta letter combinations.

Let’s talk about salaries.

Next time you wonder why a font is expensive, have a think about your own salary – let’s say it’s A$89,122 (ABS average from Q2 in 2020).

Now imagine you’re a Type Designer. You work on a typeface full-time for a year. You sell it for $59.

At that price, over 1,500 people need to buy it, for you to earn an average salary.

Not so expensive now, is it?

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