LaTeX font system is really complicated. You can have some idea of why it's very difficult by looking source code of TeX font.
droid package that provide droid font into LaTeX : http://www.ctan.org/tex-archive/fonts/droid
How fonts are used by TeX
Tex doesn't manipulate fonts, In the first implementation of tex compiler (no PdfLatex,Luatex,...) the tex compiler generates dvi files. This file is finally processes to generate pdf.
Tex only manages metrics. The main job of the tex compiler is putting boxes in the right place into a document. Moreother dviToPdf only manages T1 font (no ttf, no otf).
Moreover Tex only manages code pages that can contain 255 glyphs. (the T1 option of inputenc package specifying the right glyph page to load, some other ones exist depending of the language used).
What is the job of converting font for Tex format
Fortified by these previous explanations, I can explain the job of converting font.
- First you must convert ttf font into T1 (really easy).
- Second, You must wrote all Codepage translation. All glyphs are identified by their position into the font and a text ascii code that describe the right glyph. These codes are not normalized, and the job need to be done by human (that is the most part of the job)
- Finally, you should generate by using metafont some font variation like sloping font
How to bypass theses limitation
Some alternate Tex compiler are able to manage ttf font. If you can, you should consider using these. Like LuaTeX or XeTeX.
I say only a basic introduction of latex font compiling, For droid font the author has worked about 6 month on spare time to achieve this result.