Font Designer Jobs
Fonts are everywhere. Take a look around you right now. How many different fonts do you see? Books, magazines, websites, cups, menus, brands, comic books, resumes, corporations, billboards, video games, and advertisements all feature specialized fonts.
Fonts are a form of communication. Fonts act as a voice for the words that they portray. They can express elegance, creativity, objectivity, stability, tradition, respect, comfort, progress, style, humor, uniqueness, strength, or affection. Fonts are powerful things, but where do they come from?
Font designers design, develop, and create fonts. This powerful visual art form affects everyone. It plays a role in how we read our newspapers, what we are attracted to on a website, the design of our resumes, and the branding we recognize. Fonts make a world of difference in how we perceive words. They have a direct impact on our user experience. Imagine how dull life would be with only one boring font. Fonts bring words to life.
As technology has developed, so has font design. Currently, you have access to thousands of free fonts through your computer. You probably even recognize fonts like Helvetica, Courier, Times New Roman, Comic Sans, Bookman, or Arial from the Internet or from your resume, but there are thousands of other fonts available too. The amazing thing is that every font is different.
Font designers spend countless hours designing and developing a single font. For every character, they consider the weight, slope, width, optical size, metrics, contrast, serifs vs san serifs, character variants, spacing, and other factors. The options are endless. Every letter must be tweaked individually until an entire font is developed. Then that font is developed into a typeface.
Technically a font consists of a particular size, weight, and style of typeface. For example, Times New Roman, Size 12, Italics. A typeface, or font family, shares common design features. This may include all variations of Times New Roman – Bold, Sizes, Italic, etc. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they are technically different. Both terms fall under the broader niche of typography, or the art of arranging the written language as type. It’s an art form that has been around ever since the printing press.
To become a font designer, you need to have a keen eye for detail and an appreciation for the shape of the written language. You can learn font design at art or graphic design school. There you’ll study the fine art of font design. Font design software like FontLab, Adobe Illustrator, FontCreator, Nexus, InDesign, and Glyphs will help you to become a font design expert. Using your new drawing, programming, and design skills you can then build a font design portfolio.
Armed with a high quality portfolio, aspiring font designers can find jobs with design companies, computer software companies, large businesses, and foundries. Many font designers work from home in the freelance marketplace too. A font designer can make $35,000 to $62,000 per year. Pay depends on experience, font designs, employers, location, and other factors.
Pay attention to the fonts in your life. How do different fonts make you feel? Can you identify the nuances between one font and the next? If you enjoy visual art and the written word, develop your font design portfolio. Then it is time to start your font designer job search.
Quick Facts About Font Designer Jobs
Job Title: Font Designers aka Typeface Creator aka Font Developer
Office: Computer Based
Description: Design and develop fonts
Certifications/Education: Art or Graphic Design Degree
Necessary Skills: Eye for detail, Design skills, Software skills
Potential Employers: Foundries, Software Companies, Businesses, Freelance
Pay: $35,000 to $62,000 per year
Helpful Font Designer Employment Links:
- Search Font Designer and Other Designer Jobs on JobMonkey
- The Type Directors Club
- The Society of Typographic Aficionados
- American Institute of Graphic Arts
- So You Need A Typeface?
- A Font Designer’s Growth Curve
- Typography Guru
- International Society of Typographic Designers
- The Typographic Circle
- Association Typographique Internationale