Create your own font in less than 5 minutes

If you have ever thought about creating your own font then you are probably aware of the amount of time it takes. No? It would involve you drawing every character, scanning them, cleaning up scans and converting to a font creation tool. Sounds simple? Trust me, it takes a long time.

I’ve wanted to create my own handwriting font for ages. The thought of scanning a hundred plus characters gave me nightmares.

Good news then if you own an ipad. If you have an ipad, you can create your own font in about 5 minutes. Shut up! 5 minutes are you mental? Yes, I mean no, I’m not mental, you can create a font with all the basic glyphs in 5 minutes. Its so easy your mum could do it!

How to create a your handwriting font?

All you need is the iFontMaker app and your finger, or pen. I have a cheap griffin ipad pen, so that’s what I use. Before you dive in let me remind you again how you would create the font the traditional way:

  • Print a character template
  • Draw each glyph with a pen or pencil
  • Scan each letter
  • Process each Glyph in photoshop or illustrator
  • Convert to font with fontlab studio or other package
  • Sort out the spacing
  • Sort out the kerning
  • Generate the font

Obviously, if you had a drawing tablet, you could draw them directly into fontlab or other software package. As you can see its probably too complex for your average user, and you need a whole load of expensive software.

Create your handwritten font the easy way

First, you will need the app. After you install the app, watch the video’s on the creators website. It will quickly get you up to speed on how everything works.

Alternatively, if you are like me, ignore all the instructions and just dive in and start drawing. The app is very intuitive and works like all the other apps you have already used i.e. drag, drop, rotate etc.

Lets get started.

1. Create a new document

font

The iFontMaker interface. Start by creating a new document.

2. Give your font a title and author name

handwriting

It will use the title and author name when you publish your font, so make the title your font name i.e. simons hand

3. Use a example font as a template

create your own font

Kind of like tracing, or a guide, this helps you to keep your font consistent in terms of scale etc.

4. Start drawing your glyphs

typeface

You can draw as pen, pencil, brush and vectors, and you can change the width (radius) of each stroke. Its really easy to undo if you make a mistake.

5. Scale and modify if you need to

create

You can easily select a brush stroke, scale and rotate it or delete it.

6. Build font via 2TTF.com

simon

7. Email the font to yourself, or go via website

draw

To get your font, you need to visit the website and use the pin provided. On the site you can also modify the name and some aspects of the font like spacing. You can also publish it on the site and make it available for everyone to use – yea!

8. You are done, now you can install the font on your desktop.

Conclusion

How easy was that? I’ve never found an app on the ipad that I would use more than once, but this, I’m gonna create a whole bunch of typefaces with it. If you want more inspiration to create your own font, take a look at before breakfast, a free font I created using this app. Granted it took me 10 mins not five, but still dam quick!