My own font

I’m a sucker for freebies, and I’ve always liked to personalize things I do online and on the computer, so when I saw this link on the other day, I was intrigued: Create a font from your own handwriting –

This free web site provides four simple steps to get a font in your handwriting: “1. Print template » 2. Complete template » 3. Scan template » 4. Preview and download.”   Basically, you write all of the letters of the alphabet, along with other common characters (i.e. $!@()*%&{}[]), then scan it and upload it to the system.   It processes your sample and creates a .ttf font from it.   And best of all, it’s free.

I first tried it with a Sharpie, since that’s what the “Complete Template” step recommends.   The results looked pretty good, kind of like The Simpsons’ “Akbar” font, but the letters were rather thick for regular use.

Sharpie font

The other problem that I had with the resulting font was that the characters weren’t all uniform.   The uppercase O and U were too small, and the baselines on many of the letters were way too high.   The template page online had good instructions about ascenders and descenders, but the page that you write on itself didn’t help me enough to get the letters in the right proportions to each other.

I tried again with a regular Bic, but the scan didn’t come out well and the font looked like a bunch of chicken scratches and dots, not letters.   So my third attempt was with an “Ultra Fine Point” Sharpie.   After I scanned the image, I took it into the Gimp and adjusted my characters to meet the baselines and ascender lines.   Here’s the final product, which I call Curtissimo.

Curtissimo Font

Everything looks good except for the lowercase q is way too small, but really, how often do you use a Q?

I remember back when I was a teenager reading my parents’ computer/publishing magazines and catalogs, there were services that would do the same thing, only they’d charge you $30 – $50 for the font.   Those services would have you write specific words in addition to just all of the characters, so it could get an idea of how you put words together and how your characters line up with each other.

This system doesn’t do that, and I wish they would do a little more error-correction on the scanned image, but you can’t beat free.   I plan to use the fonts with CSS3’s @font-face on, possibly for headers site-wide and maybe as the main text for this blog.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 4th, 2009 at 3:34 am and is filed under Cool Web Stuff. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

3 Responses to “My own font”

  1. Your Name Says:

    Cool! I’ll definitely be doing that soon.

    One of my designer friends was talking about making a font each year of his daughter’s handwriting and naming it Julia6, Julia7, etc (she’s 6 now).

  2. RenaeNo Gravatar Says:

    shinkle blinkle plinkle do. OOgitty Boogitty, Moogitty,too. Junk with a dunk and bunk stinky funk. Marshmallow fluff is really great stuff. Won’t you go dance with a stickitty shoe?

    No, that’s pretty cool. Maybe I’ll have to make my own font. I love fonts. It’s like Christmas when my computer downloads new ones.

  3. Curtis GibbyNo Gravatar Says:

    My co-worker and I were talking about doing the same thing — letting our kids write a font every year.

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