I recently did the logotype for The Crylics debut album, Ghost Surf. I was quite proud of it because the letters were all custom-made. When I couldn't find a font that felt right, I decided to try my hand at making the type myself. It turned out to be a fun process, but much more tedious than I realized.
I wanted something like Avant Garde, but the C was a more open than I wanted. I also had a problem with the break in the R and the skinny S. (I never understood why the letter S of geometric typefaces like Avant Garde and
Century Gothic had to be so tall and skinny compared to the wide characters in the rest of the font.) I came across a nice font called Code on Font Squirrel that had a C like I was looking for, but again, the other characters didn't quite cut it.
I gave the R the clean, capital-R look of Gotham that I'm so fond of. (I'm actually quite fond of the entire look of Gotham, but I couldn't bring myself to use the entire font. (I have this feeling that Gotham will become our generation's Helvetica—eventually it will be so overused that it will become too cliché to use. :( )
I'm not really sure where the Y came from. I guess it just seemed like a nice letter to be the "unique" one.
The L and the I were straight-forward enough.
The S was a pain. I quickly learned why the S of Avant Garde and Century Gothic were so skinny. Being geometric typefaces, the curves of the letterforms are mostly circular, (as opposed to elliptical.) It made sense that the letter S would be constructed around
two circles stacked on top of each other. I started off using that same circle method thinking I could widen it afterward. Unfortunately, widening the letter made it lose its circle-like geometric-ness and it instead looked out-of-place with the other letters. After an hour of fiddling with the curves I scrapped the letter all together and opened Font Book to find an example of what I wanted. I happened upon Museo Sans (also free through Font Squirrel,) that had a good S. It fit my needs perfectly, and after carefully tracing the curves, I tweaked and modified it until it looked right. Another hour later, I was done. It took twice as long as the the rest of the letters combined, but it was worth the extra time to get an S I really liked.
So there's that. I have to say, I gained a great deal of respect for all type designers. They put way more time, effort into each letter than we realize. It's not easy designing a typeface, let alone making it look good. Kudos to them.