Have you ever wanted to create a font that was strictly your own? It’s easy, free, and can be done in only a few simple steps.
This tutorial will walk you through generating your own font online from your handwriting, using an online application called Calligraphr.
You can choose to do this by drawing your letters on a template, or using the template on your computer with a graphic program like Photoshop or Illustrator.
The only drawbacks are that the free version is limited on how many characters you can produce – there is a 75 character limitation unless you pay for the upgraded package.
If you wish to create all of the symbols and glpyhs that could be created, you will need to purchase the subscription – which is reasonable at $8.00 for one month. There is no long-term signup required. The monthly cost becomes $4.00 if you sign up for 6 months.
- Create a user account with Calligraphr by signing up using your email address.
- Once you are logged in, from the main screen select “Create a Template”.
- Choose Minimal English if you are using the free plan (and English), or choose the language you prefer.
- You may add characters by scrolling through the different character options in the left-hand nav pane, but you will be restricted to only 75 and may need to remove some. If you do, select the characters to be removed by clicking on them until they turn blue and select “delete”.
- Select “Download Template” or add/change the characters in your template, then download it when ready.
- Choose the option of PDF or PNG – if you are downloading it for printing purposes and plan to hand-write your letters, you will probably want .PDF format. For digital manipulation, .PNG is easier.
- I prefer to select the background characters to show up, these will be removed when you upload your template but helps to know where to place your letters.
- If filling this in by hand instead of on your computer, print out the template.
- Fill out your template using either your handwriting or your graphics program on your computer. You can also alternatively scan your handwriting in and copy and paste this into the template as well, but this will take longer than just filling it out by hand.
- Make sure you use black ink with firm pressure or it will not appear properly when scanned/imported
- Select “Create a New Font” and proceed to fill out the “Font Name” plus any changes to the default spacing settings. You also have the option to change these after the fact as well.
- After you have finished hand-writing or photo-program creating your font, save it as a .PDF or .PNG file to re-upload it. The Calligraphr site says you can use your phone to do this, but the quality is not as good so I don’t recommend it.
- From the top menu, select “Upload Template”, then select your file(s) to import into Calligraphr.
- If you have more than one template page, select them one at a time until they all show up in the list.
- Choose “automatically clean templates”, then “Upload Template”.
- Once your letters appear select “Add Characters To Your Font”
- You will have the option to go through each letter and adjust them in the next step.
- Click on any character you wish to edit.
- On the next screen, select “Edit Character”.
- You can zoom in, choose a brush and its size, or use an eraser to clean up your lines.
- To switch from brush to eraser mode click on the eraser, then click again to take it off.
- Select “Undo” if you want to undo your last change.
- Once you are finished select “Save and Close” or “Cancel” to cancel the changes.
- Some of your characters might not match the rest of the characters in size or position.
- You can adjust all of this by selecting your character then opening “Adjust Baseline/Size”.
- From here you can shuffle or scroll through characters to see how the one you are working on looks when next to the other characters.
- Make any adjustments to increase or decrease size, or position your character higher or lower with the positioning arrow keys.
- When you are finished, select “Save Adjustments” then go back to your font from the top bar menu option.
- Now select “Build Font” from the top bar menu options, then choose “Build”.
- While this is exciting and you will get to see your font, you will want probably want to edit your font a bit before you save the files off.
- You can put your cursor in your font window and type using your newly created font, but your spacing and size may not be optimal. Take note of how far apart your letters look.
- While you are still in this window, select the tab above your font named “Size Comparison”. This will show you how your font compares to other regular font. Yours might be bigger or smaller, the goal is to make it fairly uniform so that you can use the normal font sizes and have a font that is an expected size.
- Select the x from the top right corner of the window to exit.
- Now select “Edit Font Details” from the top bar menu options.
- Change your settings here on your character spacing and font size (and word spacing if you need to change that), then repeat the last exercise until you like the way it looks.
- Rinse and repeat until you are satisfied.
- When you like the way your font looks and have done Build Font > Build, you may download your .ttf and .otf files by clicking on each one (hyperlinks above your font).
- These files can now be imported into your computer or website so that you can use them in your documents or on your site.
- That’s it! You now have a font from your very own handwriting.
- Please note – after you close your Calligraphr program your font does not re-appear and you will have to repeat the upload process to build it again. I don’t know if this is intentional or not. My guess is you have to buy the subscription to save your font in the application itself.
Rules to Follow for Uniform Font:
• Practice before you fill out your template
• Keep all your lines going in a similar direction. Angles are important.
• Try to make your loops similar
• For similar letters, use the same base styling, i.e., “o” and “p”
• Keep your ascent and descent strokes consistent.
You now have a font you can use in word or on your own site, that YOU created! Awesome, right?