Create your own font?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Simplesimon101, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. Simplesimon101 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2006
    is there an easy (and cheap) way to do this?

    I want to litterally draw my own font for a uni project and then be able to use the font to write documents with?

    anyone know of good software to use?

    thanks :)
  2. smurfjammer macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
  3. Jim Campbell macrumors 6502a

    Jim Campbell

    Dec 6, 2006
    A World of my Own; UK
    If you Google "create your own font" there are any number of sites - some of them free - which offer to turn your uploaded artwork into a useable font.

    I have no idea, however, how good any of them are.

    Having spent many long hours in Fontographer adjusting stroke weights and kerning pairs, however, I find it hard to believe that a free conversion via website is going to produce much more than a novelty font that you might want to use for limited amounts of text.

    Creating a full character set for a font, in multiple styles (plain, italic, bold, bold italic at the very least), balancing the weight, getting the kerning right, are all time-consuming tasks. Hugely satisfying, if you have a love of type, but not easy.

    I must have created maybe a dozen fonts when I was a full-time designer and -- realistically -- I think I still use one of them today ... and that one only occasionally and probably only for sentimental reasons, because it isn't very good!

    If you're talking about creating a font for use with long passages of body text, I can only say: don't. Smarter, more talented people than either you or I have devoted much time to creating faces that are legible at small sizes in large quantities. Defer to their skill and wisdom ... I certainly do!


  4. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    Completely agree. For the price of Fontographer you can buy 1 or 2 complete Pro font families from Linotype or similar, or a dozen single fonts. And if you really want putting off the whole idea, try Googling or Wiki-ing around and see how long people like Adrian Frutiger and Eric Gill actually took to create the famous typefaces :eek:
  5. diemos macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2009
    why do you want to do this again? there are literately like thousands of fonts available.
  6. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I asked a similar question when I was in college, and I am glad I did not receive advice like the last two posters!

    Type design *is* a complicated process, but everyone has to start somewhere. An as an education in typography, it is an absolutely worthwhile pursuit.

    Besides, typefaces grow from the tools and times from which they are made. The world needs new typefaces just as much as we need to preserve our historical, classic faces.

    I started designing fonts (terrible ones!) as a design student. I was tutored by some very knowledgeable (and generous) type designers. I eventually made a career out of it. Today my fonts are sold through most of the major font vendors (They are still, in my mind, terrible. That is par for the course in a discipline that takes a lifetime to master).

    I don't focus upon typography for a living anymore, but I make sure that all of my first-year design students have a bit of education in the proper drawing and spacing of letters (I can think of at least three of my former students who now design type for a living). I also make sure that our computer labs are properly stocked with programs like FontLab so students can experiment with professional tools.

    So, check at your uni. to see if the design computer labs give you access to the tools you need (Fontlab or Fontographer).
  7. lucidmedia macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2008
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I know... this is why I am also an advocate for stopping people from:

    writing songs...
    painting pictures...
    making movies...
    telling stories...
    taking photographs...
    having children...

    ... the list goes on...
  8. Simplesimon101 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2006
    thanks for the responses...

    yeah I understand that designing a font isn't exactly an easy job. I'm not looking to create an entirely new font. On previous occasions I've copied type by hand and I really love the formal but slightly wonky hand rendered aesthetic of it... I was thinking of trying to layout a magazine using the same technique (perhaps just headings and quotes) but I don't really want to spend a month hand copying text! (I guess there's otherways around it like just copying one copy of an font family and then photoshoping it into sentences but it just seems like a clumsy way of tying to do it?!)

    i'll see what free stuff i can find on google if not I'll probably just photoshop it...

    if anyone has any brainwaves let me know...

    cheers, Si
  9. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    Don't know if you've seen this thread. Some duplicated info but a couple of other links.
  10. lindsayanng macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2008
    East Haven, CT
    I think the point people are trying to make is.. If you want to create an entire font simply to use in one application, and you have no experience in creating fonts. its not worth it.. MAINLY because you will probably not create a usable font the first ffew attemps, and if this is for an active project, it will be VERY time consuming.

    If you want to create fonts simply to learn typography and the art/skill of doing so.. more power to ya.. my hubby is a big time font geek, and he loves fontographer.

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