Arcon – creating a bold font variant

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One of the issues I’ve regularly had during game development is to find a font that has the exact style I am looking for but is missing variants, e.g. comes in Regular but not Bold.

While working on Hyperscape, I’ve found Arcon and after a few tests, decided it looked good across multiple user interface elements and would make for a solid base font in the game.

However, this font only comes in the Regular weight.

Rather than just discarding the font, I thought I’d try to create a Bold variant. I must say I had expected the process of making a Bold variant to be completely beyond my ability: I’m a programmer after all, and the idea of editing each individual glyph did not appeal.

Enter FontForge

I started by downloading FontForge (an open source font editor) and loaded up a copy of Arcon, renamed to Arcon-Bold.

Press Ctrl-A to select every glyph:

With Arcon, I found that some glyphs had their directions flipped, which meant that when I attempted to increase their weight I ended up with the occasional glyph looking lighter instead.

To fix this, select the Element menu and then click Correct Direction. You might see that some glyphs have been modified (note the dark blue f and k):

Now we can modify the glyphs’ weight in bulk: go to the Element menu again, then Style and Change weight.

In my case I’ve chosen to Embolden by 40 units, rather than the default 50.

Once you’re done, you can export your font by going to File and then Generate Fonts.

And to finish, here’s a screenshot of the new Arcon-Bold being used in a WIP screen for Hyperscape, both in the window title and the table headers:

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One Comment

  1. Awesome. Didn’t even think about making my own bold variants of fonts where I could only find a Regular weight until now.

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