In 2014, Gordon turned Brianna’s handwriting into a font to automate that part of her web comic drawing process. The last time he had created a handwriting-based font was almost ten years earlier in 2005, using his own handwriting (though it was a bitmap font generated from a Windows XP Tablet PC Edition app aptly named “My Font Tool”). This time, it would finally be a more modern vector font for many reasons including flexibility in the comic process.
Brianna had kicked off the first part with an app similar in concept, except as an iPad app generating her handwriting font. But in compensating for the app’s peculiarities, the character sizes and spacing were a bit off.
So Gordon looked through a few tools he had used before, and it came down to moving away from Fontographer and towards FontLab Studio. There were 98 characters to work with, comprising most of the characters displayed on a standard US layout keyboard. It wasn’t going to be a complete set, but in practice, this was going to be plenty for the purposes of web comic bubbles in English.
Most of the adjustments involved scaling all the glyphs up in size to fix the tracking in a rudimentary manner, tweaking any one-off sizing and vertical/horizontal alignment optically (e.g. shifting everything to the same baseline), and cleaning up any Bezier curves in the vector outline of several glyphs. On that last part, the key was to do it sparingly to prevent any kind of cleanup that would take away from the original characteristics of her handwriting.
In the end, he called it Bri Lee Sans, versioned 1.0, with the option to continue iterating on it with tweaks and expansion of the character set.