Making reasonable font
October 19, 2012 7:17 AM   Subscribe

I would like to create a font using someone's handwriting and am looking for a good software with which to do this. I'm not an expert in this, so it would have to have a small learning curve, unless it is really worth it for me to spend time learning so I can get reasonable results.

I am trying to add additional phrases to an already existing hand drawn document and it struck me that it might be easier to use a custom font than cutting and pasting bits of words. The text will be all uppercase and will have, so far as I know, no characters other than the regular alphabet (no punctuation or special characters). I'd like it not to look too badly spaced (kerned?) so if there's a way to do something not fixed width, that would be lovely. I'll be using Photoshop - and yes, I'm sure that's not the ideal thing, but ...

Other practical things: I'm willing to pay a bit for this, but, unless the product is superawesome and will make me cry tears of joy, I'd like to keep it under $50.

If I can get this working, it will make life much easier for me and my boss. Thank you in advance for any and all ideas!
posted by sciencegeek to Technology (6 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Here are a few sites which offer to create your font for free
posted by 2manyusernames at 7:43 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Any opinion/experience on which work well? I've done a search myself and am looking for specific recommendations.
posted by sciencegeek at 7:57 AM on October 19, 2012

Best answer: I used, and it came out really well. I did my own handwriting and my daughter's at about age 6, which is now extra adorable six years later. I did download a freeware font editor to tweak a couple letters that came out a little funky, but it was easy to do (a little spline tweaking). I'm afraid I don't remember what software that was, though.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:05 AM on October 19, 2012

Best answer: FontForge is good software to augment the above-mentioned websites. It's not the most elegant software ever, but then font editing is not an elegant process.
posted by cthuljew at 8:24 AM on October 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've used in the past. It works best with more printing-type handwriting than cursive writing. Here are some screen shots of text set in fonts I've made there. The kerning is ... okay. But I'm a graphic designer and probably pickier about that sort of thing than most people.
posted by mon-ma-tron at 3:03 PM on October 19, 2012

Response by poster: The handwriting I'll be working with is printed as opposed to cursive, so it sounds like should work, with possible adjustments with FontForge if necessary.

And "... okay." kerning should be fine. I just didn't want something that made my eyeballs bleed.

Thanks for the suggestions and I hope to be able to start working on this font on Monday. I love Metafilter.

(the guys at work think I'm crazy to do this, but I think that no matter what it will be easier than cutting and pasting individual letters over and over again)
posted by sciencegeek at 3:51 PM on October 19, 2012

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