I have a question concerning the digitisation of handlettered typefaces. I have been experimenting translating some drawn letters and icons into fonts, which give me some problems. The way I usually work is like this:
- scan as greyscale or bitmap
- remove unwanted "schmutz" in Photoshop
- trace in Illustrator to create a vector drawing (using the "lettering" preset), after which I usually simplify the result slightly (97-99%) to reduce the amount of nodes
- import this trace into Glyphs Mini and try to clean it up
These last steps are quite tricky: I have been experimenting with tracing settings to see which gives a faithful result with the least amount of nodes. Hovever, most of the time it still creates way to many to create a proper digital font. Also the conversion from Illustrator to Glyphs is not 1=1, so this creates another problem. I have been trying to manually trace the typeface in Glyphs Mini, but it is difficult to archieve the roughness of the original.
I am looking for some advise on how to improve this workflow, to create a font which has a handlettered feel but is well drawn so it won't create havoc for rasterizers and computers. By the way: what is the maximum amount of points a character can have before it becomes problematic? I have some fonts with a vintage letterpress effect which are quite slow to process...
disclaimer: I am no professional typedesigner, I am an illustrator with a big interest in type. I have no formal training in creating type, but have experimented quite a bit over the years, so I know a thing or two about the technical stuff.