STF_CURVE  TOOL (Small Grid)

by Sed4tives

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Here is a gift to the community.


This is a collection with parts and bits for small grid designs, (5x5 max) Each related to the assembly of smooth and (near) Bézier-like curved shapes and round letterforms. 


As some of you might very well know, one of FontStruct's holy grail is custom circular and curved forms. I'm talking about those not simply build with off-the-shelf bricks from the standard brick pallet FontStruct is providing.

Making these can be a very difficult process. Since the bricks in the default pallet are a far cry from what is truly possible with some clever use of FontStruct's editor features. Although obviously there remain serious limitations when it comes down to making different curves and round forms, there still is a lot room available to work in.
Most of the seasoned users know and utilize this very well, but, as with each of us, it took time and dedication in order to learn the tricks of the trade!

With a little knowledge, clever thinking and a healthy dose of outside the box thinking one can still get a lot out of FontStruct.

This font is meant to serve as a helping hand and inspirational / educative tool. Providing some insight into making numerous curving and rounded forms, various transitions, achieving different weight contrasts, and how all the various building blocks were aligned in order to make the various parts.


Most important features used for this process are:
Brick Size filter: Must be changed to a 2x2 value in order to use the elements in this font.
All functions found in the "Modify" menu: Flip rotation and nudge are used to make alignments and to fill up the gaps.
Make composite: (also found in the Modify menu) This function will mainly be used to do two tasks, resize, modify/distort brick shape,
placement and orientation of bricks within the brick grid square for the required given composite.


The font itself contains a collection of different premade elements divided into 3 main groups that I will list bellow. And can be found in the uppercase, lowercase and numerals sections.

[Uppercase]  Various pre-assembled variations of the letter O, to demonstrate different variations for a round letterform. These were sub-divided and grouped according to their relative height!
[Lowercase] "Copy & Paste"-ready isolated parts 'n bits (curve segments, terminals) aimed at re-constructing and use in your own projects
[Numerals] Various random examples of letters that have curved/round features implemented in some way.

A fonts height probably is the most dictating parameter in type design in terms of behavior and appearance. Therefor, with the collection of pre-build vatiations of the letter "O", I choose its relative height to further sub-divide them in, rather than weight, since these are already completed letterforms. This makes up for the easiest access to a "drag/drop" adaptation into one's own project and build a full font based upon it, mainly for those that come with only limited experience.

This tool is to make one's FontStuct experience a little easier or to save time. So feel free to clone it and use the content however you like.
Re-use any of the provided elements, copy/paste the letter examples into your own fonts, deconstruct and re-use the various parts. Or simply just take a peek under the hood to see how they were build, This can be done via the "Menu>View>'Outline' " function.

There are no restrictions to how the content is used.


More additional curve variations and different related other elements will be added soon. I have to select them from my various random works and this takes some time. Please stick with me on this one.

The intent is to try keeping this a ongoing project, so hopefully many more updates will follow and eventually turn this into a "all-in-one" tool for small grid designs. So far I also have plans for including a collection with different serif style, but this is something for a future update as well!

For now, curvatures it is!


Note that, all content and forms in this font were created by myself and were gather from the various projects I have made, most came from published works, but some were taken from private material as well. We all here work with the same tool + limited brick set, so I am pretty sure certain elements in here were done exactly the same way by other users. Please don't accuse me of using others or your material without approval, this is just a case of unfortunate coincidence.



The elements are best used by way of copying them from this into your personal projects, and work with it from there! This because the "My Bricks" pallet in this font is messy, probably very uncomfortable to work with as is. Copy & pasting them into your own font re-arranges the selected brick set for that segment into your own font's "My Bricks" pallet, making it much easier to get sense of its individual bricks.

Another very important thing is, I strongly advice not to nudge any of these what so ever, unless investigated its composition first. And I cannot rephrase this enough, seriously, never, or brace yourself for absolute dire results!
This due to the numerous counter-rotated or different directions of nudged 'into place' elements that make up a complete segment.

There are some elements included that at first seems to be looking like doubles, with onother one looking exactly the same. This is right, but these are constructed using different configurations of bricks. The reason for this is to provide alternative configurations for them. Some scenario's can make one approach to be working just fine, and the other simple not. This all hangs in strong correlation with the current nearby configuration of bricks, and simply depends on the whatever spot still remains unused in the surrounding grid. Since available grid locations to start working from are usually very limited. Its like this, Taller and/or wider letterforms meaning more available space to work from and place your bricks, but the smaller you go, the more scarce space becomes, simple as that.

So best is to use and work with this tool on a copy of your current glyph to verify no bricks will be raplaced and ruin the current glyps, and only to replace the original glyph once you're absolutely sure everything worked out well together.

If something else isn't clear or if you have any questions in regard to this tool, feel free to ask those in the comment section bellow.


One final thing, beware that some of this elements can possibly influence the font vertical metrics (font size and leading/vertical spacing) and create addition extra line spacing. As well as the letter width. So be sure to allways double check those two when u use any of this.


PS: My apologies for the "too much" of a explanation above, lol.

Happy structing,



Comment by Sed4tives 28th august 2019

For now most of the included contents is fitting to a 'half'-brick stroke weight / thickness, except for a small number that have different weights.

But other weights will be added soon as well.


Comment by Sed4tives 28th august 2019
Comment by Sed4tives 28th august 2019

Thanks for this excellent resource!

I already know/use most of these tecniques, but having them all in one place is very useful and time-saving.

Comment by riccard0 19th october 2022

how about the uppercase C.

Comment by Commenter/Cloner Mon, 14th august

heya, where is the STF logo glyph at (Unicode)

Comment by Commenter/Cloner Mon, 14th august

thank you! sorry for my somewhat beginner comment... i'm fairly new to fontstruct... but when i do a control g it gives me only a shape within a square. i see some shapes crossing four squares with no outlines, so it doesn't seem like they are composites... so i'm not sure how they did those. I want to do a thin line with gentle curves like the sample...  i see that they nudged it down on the top... but how they constructed a curve that crosses four squares on these samples is a mystery to me... any help very much appreciated... it's probably something simple... but i need a  fontstruct for dummys explanation!

Comment by simmy8 Sat, 30th september

@simmy8: Don't worry, it's just a filter matter. We all are learners here.

Comment by elmoyenique Sat, 30th september
Comment by elmoyenique Sat, 30th september

@simmy8: To change filters (1:1 appears by default): Go to Menu>View>Filters. Ask what you need. Have fun and good FontStructions.

Comment by elmoyenique Sat, 30th september

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