A step-by-step guide
You probably think that it’s pretty difficult to make your own font, but it’s actually quite simple. In fact, there are several online platforms that allow for easy creation, enabling you to take your handwriting (vector or on paper) and convert this into a real, working typeface. There are several reasons as to why this may benefit you and your business.
You can base your font on your vector handwriting or even just your doodles.
You should note that this isn’t the way to create a font that’s widely used. This should be something you would consider for internal use, as professional typefaces require a lot of hard work and time to develop.
By creating a font that is specific to your style of lettering, people will begin to associate this with your company, especially if this font isn’t marketed externally, as no other company or individual will have access to it. It also adds very fine detailing to your work, as it has the same appearance as handwriting.
Fancier fonts are associated with more skill in certain professions; in one study, diners who received menus with fancy fonts assumed the chef had more skill.
The fonts that you create with these services won’t be considered a professional font you might market; however, creating a personalized font can be very beneficial. For example, if you often use your own handwriting or fancy lettering in your artwork, and you have to continuously draw out your characters in Adobe Illustrator, it can be very time consuming and monotonous.
By converting these vector shapes into an actual font, it will allow you to type with ease, and save a lot of time you would have otherwise spent hand-drawing all of your copy.
Icon fonts are also growing in popularity. With the following services you can assign icons to letters so you can use them in your designs or personal branding.
The classic ‘Wingdings’ font is a perfect example of an icon font. So, if you wanted to use a phone icon to represent your contact details, you can pre-assign that icon to a letter (say, “P”) and then use that when designing your website or brand work.
Therefore if you wanted to hand draw all of your icons, you could then use an online tool to convert these into a typeface, so you don’t have to re-draw them or search tirelessly for the right one. An added bonus of this approach is that these fonts are easily scale-able and can be set to adjust to a variety of screen sizes.
What We Did
We decided to create a font using the handwritten lettering which we use on our branded material. After searching online, we decided to use MyScriptFont.com to convert the letters into our own custom font. However, there plenty of sites available including:
The choice is completely yours, all of the platforms have their pros and cons over one another. MyScriptFont.com is a super simple way to create your own font for free using your vector lettering or handwriting. All you need to do is download their template, print it, fill it out and then scan it in and upload it to their site. You can then decide if you want a TrueType font or OpenType font to be generated for you.
TrueType fonts can be scaled to any size and are clear and readable in all sizes. They can be sent to any printer or other output device.
OpenType fonts incorporate a greater extension of the basic character set, including small capitalization, old-style numerals and more detailed shapes.
Firstly, we created an Illustrator file with all of our hand drawn characters including letters, numbers and punctuation. You don’t have to do this step, as you may place your lettering directly onto the PDF provided, however we did this as preparation, to save time when it came to conversion. Below are the characters we created.
We then copied these characters on to the template provided by MyScriptFont. There are two ways in which you can do this however, you may want to print it out and hand draw the characters, to then scan the template back into your system. However, as we use Wacom Tablets, we were able to draw our letters right on top of the template in Adobe Illustrator.
Once this was completed for each character, we then exported this as a PDF to be uploaded to their site. Always remember to double check all the letters are aligned properly, to ensure the kerning and spacing is adequate once converted.
Upload the file using the MyScriptFont online tool, wait a moment, et Voila! Your very own font, ready to download and install to your computer.