Drawings of typefaces, new & old are generated in various ways. Regarding existing typefaces, digital conversion is at times, the only way to generate the necessary artwork for our ATF/Benton Engraving Machines, but we consider this a last resort. This is what we term 4th generation. The primary being punches; secondary would be the matrices; third are the types cast from the matrices; the last (or 4th generation), the images of the types on a printed page. We have engraved matrices & cast types successfully from all four generations. In all but the last, the drawings are done completely by hand, our format being 7 1/2", that of Goudy while at Deepdene. When the 2nd or 3rd generation is in hand, a Nikon Optical Comparator is employed. In 4th generation work, the outer parameters which define the character, are done with pen & ink.
Regarding new or Proprietary typefaces, drawings in 7 1/2" format (from top of ascender to bottom of descender), are done freehand, as did Goudy. Of course the format within the format has been defined in the preliminary design work, i.e. Blackletter, Classical Roman, Titling (the x-height and its relationship to the other characters). The outer parameters are defined in pencil, confirmed in ink, then the characters are inked in with a brush. The drawings are then reduced to 4.75", montages are made to 5" height, & a maximum length of 9". Our photo engraver them burns intaglio plates that become the master engraving plates for the Benton Engraver. From a set of plates, we can engrave 6-24 point matrices. These steps in the artwork are illustrated in the pictures.