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FontLab 8: Tutorials by Dave Lawrence

Editor’s note

We have partnered with Dave Lawrence, the lead designer at California Type Foundry, to create this exclusive series of tutorials. These tutorials cover essential techniques of typeface design and various ways of using FontLab 8. You’ll learn how to design letterforms better, and how to use the app. Dave shares with you his unique insights and professional tips around type design, and around using FontLab 8.

Adam Twardoch Fontlab Ltd.


Let’s start your font & logo journey! Come with me as we dive into the caverns of kerning, conquer the mountain of metrics, sail the shores of smooth. FontLab is fabulous fun.

There’s nothing like grabbing a cup of coffee and firing up FontLab in the morning. It’s the most powerful pro font design software — right out of the box.

So come with me: we’re here to show you all the ins and outs and get you designing the best fonts of your life!

I’m going to explain to you in plain English (and sometimes in not-so-plain-English 😉) how to use most of FontLab’s features and then show you where you can dive into a topic that most interests you.

You will learn how to use measurement to draw precise shapes. You will learn how to use elements, strokes, actions sets, and FontAudit to cut down on repetitive tasks — for both your stand-alone fonts or your font families.

Whether you are an experienced FontLab designer, come to FontLab from another font editor, come from a vector drawer, or have no drawing experience, I have kept you all in mind as I take you on this journey. And if I missed any of you, let me know!

So get your pencils out, grab your notebook, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite beverage, and let’s get started!

Dave Lawrence California Type Foundry


For those of you who know where you want to go, here’s a map to get you started: