Wouldn’t it be great if you could create your own TrueType fonts, name them whatever you want, and actually use them in programs like Word, Photoshop, etc.? Fortunately, there are some really cool software applications that you can use not only to create your own Windows fonts, but also to edit the fonts that are currently on your system!
In this post, I will mention several programs, some of which are free and some are paid, that you can use to create custom fonts. Obviously, paid programs tend to have more features and a better interface for working with fonts, but there are good free ones as well.
Free Font Editors
Let’s start with the free ones, as most people will not create fonts for business, but just for fun. There are literally millions of fonts available to download or buy online, so if you’re reading this post, you’re probably interested in creativity and uniqueness!
One of the easiest ways to create new fonts is to use an online font editor. You can create your fonts right in your browser and download them to your computer when you’re done.
FontStruct is probably my favorite online font editor because it has a nice interface and better font management tools. To use the service, you need to create an account and log in. Then click the Create New Fontstruction button. Give your font a name and you will see the font editor screen.
Here you are using bricks to create the font block by block. They have a lot of bricks to choose from and you can switch to expert mode which will give you even more font creation tools. It takes some time, practice and creativity before you can create something unique, but it’s definitely a lot of fun.
FontStruct requires you to create your font using digital tools, but what if you choose to draw the fonts by hand and then digitize them into vector fonts? Well, here’s where PaintFont can help!
PaintFont is a neat little online service that first forces you to select the characters you want to use in a font, then prints out a template for you that you fill out, and then forces you to download it so it can convert your handwriting to a real font. It also has templates for languages ??other than English such as Spanish, German, French, Italian, etc.
After you click “Create Template”, a PDF file will be downloaded that needs to be printed and filled out. Each block will contain one character from the one you selected above. Obviously, you don’t need to write the letter as shown in the box, but the way you want it to appear in your new font. This symbol is for reference only, so that the program knows which block represents which letter.
Then you download the font template and download the font you just created. Obviously the process will not be perfect, so make sure you scan the template well before downloading and that the characters are clearly written in black ink. The nice thing is that if multiple fonts aren’t recognized properly, you don’t have to start from scratch.
You can create a new template with only misspelled characters, and then when you go to download, click on advanced options, you can use the original font as the base font. The newly recognized characters will replace the characters in the base font. All in all a great concept and something fun to do with your kids!
Moving from online tools to desktop tools, one of the good font editors is BirdFont It has quite a few font tools and will be really easy to use for anyone who already has experience with software like Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw.
If you are new to using any of these tools, it will take you a while to learn them as it is difficult to create something decent looking just by playing around with different tools that you don’t know how to use. Check out their online tutorials to get started.
Another free program for editing fonts and converting between font types is FontForge This is an open source project and it works fine, but not as well as I would like. First, it seems like it hasn’t been updated since 2012. Secondly, instead of being in one big window, it has separate windows for tools, a list of fonts, and so on, sort of like the GIMP used to be.
It works well, but not very user friendly. Also, it doesn’t have as many tools as BirdFont Now let’s talk about some of the paid font editing apps.
Commercial Fonts Editors
High Logic has a very cool program called FontCreator from $ 79 that lets you create and edit TrueType or OpenType fonts. It also has very powerful drawing and editing tools built for typographers and designers, as well as an intuitive interface for beginners!
This Program is well suited for designers and graphic artists, not for games if you have no money to throw around. Some of the main features of the program are:
- Creating and editing TrueType and OpenType fonts
- Redesigning existing symbols
- Adding missing symbols to a font set
- Convert images (such as signature, logo, or handwriting) to character outlines.
- Editing and recreating font names.
- Fixed character collations.
- Correct fonts that do not display correctly.
- Create, modify, import, export and clear kerning pairs.
- Add / fix over 2000 compound glyphs.
- Convert individual glyphs or the entire font (ie make the version bold).
- Extract TrueType fonts from TrueType collections.
- Preview all fonts before installation.
- Install fonts on Windows for use with Windows programs
To get familiar with FontCreator, you can also create your own font. First you select File from the menu and then New.
Give your new font a unique name, otherwise it will not install correctly on Windows later. This name is not a file name; this is the name of the font that will be displayed inside programs, etc. For example, Times New Roman is the name of the font family, but the file name is actually timesbd.ttf.
Now you see the glyph browse window where you can draw letters. Double-click the cell labeled “A” and you will be taken to the glyph editing window. Choose Outline from the Insert menu to start creating letters.
You can read the complete guide to using FontCreator here. If you still feel like itâ€™s just too complicated or you want to create a font from your own handwriting, you will need some kind of drawing tablet and graphics program like Photoshop that can save every letter you draw in GIF format. There are also many free drawing programs.
If you have each letter saved in GIF format, you can import the letters into the glyph editing window by choosing Tools and then Import Image. This way, you don’t need to draw letters with tools, you can just write them down.
After you have created some fonts, you can test your new custom font by going to Test in the Font menu. Start typing letters and you should now see how your letters look in combination:
Now you can click “Set” in the menu “Font” to install the font on Windows. It is not recommended to just copy the fonts to the Windows Fonts folder. Once installed, your font will be available in all your favorite applications!
FontLab Studio is the gold standard in terms of font creation tools, and it has a price to match that name: $ 673.95! That’s a lot of money just for creating fonts! Font companies that only create fonts that are then sold on the Internet primarily use this program.
The process of creating your own fonts isn’t necessarily easy, but for most people it is definitely possible if it takes a little time and effort (and possibly a little money as well). All in all, though, it’s really cool to create your own fonts for sending postcards, emails, and more! Enjoy!