I am looking for alternatives to hand-lettering a Comic. One attractive alternative would be building a custom font. (I’ll be asking about details on that in a separate question.)
However, I would like add variation to the characters in order to make it feel more natural. Meaning that a character would have to have several, subtly differing definitions. Which definition to use would be determined randomly.
Does any current mainstream font format support this?
If not, what methods exist to produce digital text with such variations?
Or is this simply insane for building the first custom font?
Given you only want to use caps in your comic, a simple solution to add a little variation could be:
- create two different uppercase forms for each letter
- assign one to the letter’s uppercase slot, and the other to the letter’s lowercase slot
- create your lettering using a mix of uppercase and lowercase characters
You could probably randomise thE mIx to An exTEnt bY hammering on the shift key as you type directly in your design app, but I’d be tempted to write a script in my favoured environment to randomise the case of a string of text and then paste that in. You’d probably want to ensure that where there’s a pair of repeating letters, eg ‘tt’ in ‘letter’ or ‘oo’ in ‘moon’, that they always use differing forms, rather than being truly random.
This approach also has the advantage that you don’t need a full-featured font editor or delve into the inner workings of the OpenType format.