Are you the type of person that gets a little excited when it comes time to choose a font? Have you had to force yourself to stop and just pick one, otherwise you would sink too much time into font shopping? If this describes you, then you will enjoy taking your fascination with fonts to the next level by making your own!
Creating your own font is a fun way to add a personal touch to a document. In the days of the printing press, a small metal letter called a type had to be made for each character. Today, making a new font is as easy as downloading an app and following a tutorial. Here are some great font-making apps to get you started.
iFontMaker is an app that works exclusively for the iPad. With iFontMaker, you make your font by swiping your finger across the screen to draw the letters. There is an easy-to-use tutorial that will let you create your own font in as little as 5 minutes. Your font produced by iFontMaker will have a handwriting feel to it, and might be best used for personal correspondence rather than professional documents. iFontMaker is available on iTunes for $6.99.
FontStruct is another resource that makes font-making easy. It is a free download from one of the largest online font stores Fontshop.com. If you like geometry, then you will love FontStruct. This is because the FontStructor font editor uses a grid that you fill in with shapes. You have many shapes to choose from, and when you are done you can save your font as a truetype font that can be used for Mac and Windows.
FontForge is a free font-building program that has more depth than the two previously mentioned. Letting you create your own font in postscript, truetype, opentype, cid-keyed, multi-master, and more. FontForge will also let you convert one font format to another. FontForge is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Unix/Linux. FontForge does give you more options and features than the other two apps, but because it is open source, the interface is not as intuitive as paid software.
If you are serious about making a state of the art font, then you will want to check out professional font generating software FontLab Studio ($650), and Fontographer ($350).
After you have made your own personalized font, be sure to give it a cool name. Many of these apps will automatically load your new font into your operating system, which means it will show up on word processing programs like Microsoft Word. If you are proud of your newly minted font, then you can share it online using many of these font-making apps. Who knows? Maybe this fun exercise in making a font will lead to an exciting new career in typography.
Did you know that a person’s favorite font says a lot about their personality? For example, a Times New Roman individual will be more rigid than someone who identifies with Comic Sans. What’s your favorite font and how and do you think this reflects your personality? Share with us your thoughts in the comments!
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