Michigan and Nike unveiled a new font for athletics called "Valiant." It's not a drastic change from the previous font, but it's enough to notice.
The old font was very similar to a free font called Superstar M54. However, the new font is a completely custom creation for Michigan. It will likely never be officially available to download. I wanted to have the font for use in wallpapers. Luckily, Nike released a photo with all the letters and numbers. Come along for the ride and learn a little bit about font in the process.
The first thing I did was take Nike's photo and trace all the letters and numbers. This allowed me to convert them into scaleable vector files. It was a tedious process, but I would soon find out it was the easy part.
The next step was creating a font from the vector files. Mapping the vectors to the corresponding letters and numbers was easy enough, but the spacing and kerning proved to be more difficult.
What is kerning? If you think of every letter as being inside of a box, kerning is what allows certain boxes to overlap. In "LV" the L and V are nestled close together. Without kerning, it would look more like L V. So at first my font looked like this:
To speed things along, I decided to use M54 as a base. This allowed me to take advantage of the kerning already built in. I replaced the M54 letters and numbers with the new ones and did some subtle tweaking to get the spacing just right. The spacing might not be exactly the same, but the shapes of the numbers and letters are perfect. Here is the final result in action.
A couple things to note: the font only works with uppercase letters. I was having trouble mapping to both upper and lower case, so I just removed it. There are four special characters hidden away in the font. They shouldn't be too hard to find.
I am very pleased with the result. It was a difficult process, but I came away with a lot of new information about creating fonts. Big thanks to WD for helping me test along the way! I know you will put the font to good use in your SuperGuides.