Fonts, Icons and some Magick!

First, Install ImageMagick - a great tool for manipulating images and videos. After that, we can turn this

convert -background none -fill blue -gravity center -pointsize 36 -font /System/Library/Fonts/AppleSDGothicNeo-Bold.otf caption:"Install ImageMagick\!"

into this

ImageMagick formatted and colorized output text

I know, I know, it’s not that fancy. If your Photoshop skills are up to snuff, this tutorial will seem like baby games. But as an iOS developer with no Photoshop experience, I needed a way to make simple icons: play buttons, gears, and other things that I took for granted when I had a full-time designer on my team.

Enter Apple Fonts. With glyphs for almost every part of the Apple system, we’ve got a treasure trove on our hands. Apple System Font glyphs

Using the code in the earlier example, we can swap out Apple Symbols.tff for AppleSDGothicNeo-Bold.otf and use the text representation of the glyph we want (say, the caduceus – you know, the winged staff on the side of US ambulances) like so

    convert -background none -fill blue -gravity center     -pointsize 36 -font /System/Library/Fonts/Apple\ Symbols.tff     caption:"☤"

to get Caduceus image from the Symbols Font

The hardest part is finding the text for the symbol! Then you can import these PNG icons into your latest project and look like a professional designer.

Written on September 29, 2014