Creating Silly

Typography was never a strength of mine and it was something I always felt intimidated by. Yet, the craft was also something I always found fascinating and perplexing, and I wanted to finally explore it after so much hesitation. When I finally decided to pitch the creation of a font to the Cocomilk partners, I kept telling myself that I was way in over my head. But despite knowing nothing about font creation and feeling anxious about the project, it was a challenge I was determined to take on.

While I had dozens of concepts in mind for the typeface design—elegant, edgy, funky—I wasn’t quite sure how to build a system that felt authentic for both myself and the studio. Personally, designing typefaces was like creating a unique personality for your letters, numbers, and characters. Each typeface has features that make them distinct. I wanted to give the font its own spirit in a manner that felt genuine and intentional. I decided that the best way to do that was by translating my feelings of excitement and wonder into the typeface design.

As such, Silly Font was born from what I believed to be a silly attempt at trying something new. It's named as such due to its inherent spirit of silly, curvaceous, friendly fun—it reflects the naivety and joy I experienced in this project. Plus, don't you think its name has an amusing and catchy ring to it?

Silly Font Drafts: Spot the changes (and the missing letter, Oops!)

I dove into this project knowing full well that it wasn’t going to be the most perfect font. My goal was to simply give it my best shot and find ways to learn and improve in the process. With the help of the Cocomilk partners, I was able to go through revisions smoothly and enjoyed hearing about the different ways I could improve Silly. There were also times when having to look at the font constantly and making sure everything was consistent felt tiring and confusing, so having a few creative minds and fresh pairs of eyes helped me to zone in on details I might have missed on my own.

Drafting the typeface design didn't turn out as difficult as I anticipated it to be. Though, rendering and putting together the font was the challenge that forced me to look at the finer details with a more discerning eye. From the flow of the curves and edges to the thinness and thickness of the forms, down to the nitty-gritty things like fixing the kerning and tracking, there was always something I was bound to tweak or add. Still, the back and forth within the process was enjoyable.

We also decided to put Silly up on MyFonts through Monotype which meant that the font needed to be expanded. Adding new characters and letters with diacritical marks, rechecking the kerning and tracking of the new additions and adjusting technical elements such as vertical metrics and winding directions were challenges that I encountered during this phase. As a typography newbie, these things were confusing and puzzling. I found myself going down the rabbit hole of font creation forums to find answers to my questions. While there are still many things that I have yet to fully grasp about font creation, the experience gave me ideas on additional things to consider when creating a font for bigger platforms such as foundries.

As someone who loves learning, I found it amazing how much I learned about typography in the short span of this project. I was proud of the tidbits of knowledge I picked up and how I slowly conquered this personal design fear.

Some of our designers were able to test out the font and create graphics with it too. It was interesting and exciting to see how they were able to interpret Silly in their own creative ways and how different they were from each other. Because I came into the project with a certain vision, one of my concerns about creating the font was whether it would still feel usable and relatable to other people. So, I was glad to see all the various ways members of the team were able to play around with Silly.

I am thrilled to finally share this project with everyone. Silly is an invitation to let loose and try something new, even if the idea may be silly or odd or out of your comfort zone. Just go for it and don’t worry too much about making mistakes.

Do something silly today, and grab Silly Font.