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Drawing How-To

Indices : “How To” Section : Drawing Characters

Some Basics

Q: any suggestions of appropriate exercises, books, websites would be fantastic.
from this thread, a list of sites put together by Randy Jones:
Notes on Type, Handwriting and Lettering by Gunnlaugur SE Briem
typeworkshop.com by Underware
Sketching Type from the LettError Wiki
Some Elements of Proportion and Optical Image Support in a Typeface [PDF] by Mark Jamra.
Form and Proportion in a Text Typeface: A Few Guidelines by Mark Jamra.

Also, for using FontLab Leslie Cabarga’s Learn FontLab Fast is indispensable, and Logo, Font & Lettering Bible is very helpful.

Karen Cheng’s http://Designing Type also has useful comparisons of proportions of letters in different type faces.

Q: is starting entirely by hand/pen a better choice?
A: http://www.typophile.com/node/4822

The more uninteresting a letter, the more useful it is to the typographer
- Piet Zwart

From the FontLab group at MSN

Using Illustrator to Draw Typefaces

Advice to Designers Sketching Type
How Do You Develop Hand Lettering Aesthetics?