Font Development Best Practices

Technical guidance regarding font development and production

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1.3 Background Knowledge

The discussions in the following chapters assume a certain amount of background knowledge. Some of this depends on the specific subject. For example, a font designer who is drawing glyphs needs to know different things than a script engineer who is constructing OpenType tables.

The most important background knowledge that all those involved in font development need to have is an understanding of the differences and interrelationships between characters, keystrokes, codepoints and glyphs. Chapter 2 of the online book Implementing Writing Systems is an excellent and thorough resource.

It is also important to understand the basic contents and structure of an OpenType/TrueType font. An Introduction to TrueType Fonts provides a brief orientation for designers and engineers.

We try to provide references to documents that will provide you with this background information. If you find that we’ve assumed some knowledge that made the discussion confusing, we invite you to let us know and we’ll try to provide more information.