Posted by: David Logan

14 July 2009

Skylab has given birth to its first bouncing baby font

Skylab is hiring!

Skylab has given birth to its first bouncing baby font. Its name is ‘Skooper’ and it weighs in at 12pt (and more). It was originally conceived to be the face of a project we’re currently working on, a project that required something with a warm, friendly vibe.

We’ve released the font under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK & Wales license.

Taking a lead from the curvy perennial classic ‘Cooper’ we decided to hand-render our version in a loose pencil outline, we finished the cut with a diagonal pencil scribble to give it the informal and sketchy vibe we were after.

The font was created by Skylab-Tom who says “I’d been interested in creating a font for a while so this project provided the ideal opportunity to give it a go. So, armed with an old copy of Fontlab Studio, a scanner and a sharp pencil I set to work…”

Download the TrueType file.
Download the OpenType file.

Alternatively you can download the font from

For those interested in creating their own hand drawn fonts, here are the steps he took:

  1. Print a reference – As this font was based on Cooper Tom printed off a copy of all the characters required.
  2. Sketching the characters – Tom started by tracing an outline of the characters loosely, then filled in with diagonal strokes, trying to keep the thickness of the strokes consistent.
  3. Scan the sketches – At a high resolution.
  4. Photoshop – Load the sketches in Photoshop and adjust the levels until all that remained was black strokes and white background.
  5. Illustrator – Copy the Photoshop images into Illustrator and convert them to vector using Live Trace (using the one color logo option works best). Use the simplfy path tool to get rid of the unwanted complexity, then use the new blob tool to fill in the unwanted spaces in the characters.
  6. FontLab – Copy and paste each character from illustrator into FontLab using Cooper as a guide to adjust the kerning. Check for errors and if needed adjust each character and close any open contours.
  7. Generate the font as both an Opentype file for the mac, plus a Truetype file for PC.
  8. Install the font!


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