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how to make a text fontI’m a typography fanatic so naturally, I’m deeply invested in searching and experimenting with all kinds of different type styles and fonts.

To this extent, I’ve also tried my hand at creating my own fonts and I have to say that anyone with a little know-how can do it. So how to make a text font?

Here is a highlight of some of the more prominent (and free) tools you can use how to make a custom text font.

Fontstruct

Fonstruct is a web-based application that is an excellent place to create fonts, especially if you’re just starting out. Users have to register to create fonts, but the GUI is oh so user-friendly and you can get started in no time.

create a font

Fontstruct starts users off in an MS Paint-like environment where they can utilize “bricks” which are essentially stencils that help to create designs of your choosing. There are dozens of bricks to choose from and each can provide creators with a unique flair to add to your typeface.

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Some additional basic tools include an eraser, line/rectangle creator and a panning utility to let you make your font accurately and professionally.

Each letter/symbol in whatever language you choose to make your font in, has a designated “slot” to help you keep track of what letters you’ve made and those that you may have forgotten.

One of the cooler features of Fontstruct is that the site contains character models for over 20 different languages, letting users create fonts for letters in a ton of different languages.

make a font

While you’re creating your masterpiece, Fontstruct also lets you type and test what you’ve made in a real-time environment, which is certainly a handy feature for newbie designers and pros alike.

fontstruct

Once you’ve completed your font, you have the option of downloading it (in TrueType format) and/or opening your font up to the public via the gallery. Here users can share, vote on and download each others’ fonts to create a hustling and bustling community of typography-lovers everywhere.

FontForge

If you prefer a software-based approach to creating your next font, then consider FontForge: an excellent freeware program that lets you produce custom fonts. The program is slightly more sophisticated when compared with Fontstruct, and it is also teeming with options and tools.

Users start off with bitmap “glyphs” of characters and symbols which can be molded and reworked in accordance to your desired design. FontForge is compatible with multiple font formats, including TrueType and Opentype.

I would also recommend reading this excellent tutorial provided by the creators of FontForge, which can guide you in starting your font creations. The program is available for Windows®, Mac and Linux, however Windows® users will have to also install Cygwin, which is a free Linux environment for Windows®, which FontForge needs to run.

fontforhe - make a text font

Aside from this FontForge is certainly worth checking out, but you may want to consider trying out Fontstruct beforehand, to get used to the typography environment and flesh out some of your initial ideas.

Well there you go readers, two cool methods to creating your very own fonts, so go ahead and try “˜em out.  You might also want to take a look at another font creation program for Windows called the “Private Character Editor” which Saikat recently wrote about How To Create Your Own Fonts & Characters on Windows How To Create Your Own Fonts & Characters on Windows Read More . Or if you’re looking for some design inspiration, check out best source to download free text fonts 5 Excellent Sources To Download Free Text Fonts 5 Excellent Sources To Download Free Text Fonts Read More which Mark wrote about back in November. Finally, you can also use sites like YourFonts to create fonts from your own handwriting.

YourFonts: Creating Fonts Online From You Own Handwriting

Got a comment, question or perhaps a suggestion for another free font creation site? Then why not submit it to the comments section and share your thoughts with fellow MUO readers.

  1. KT Pierce
    August 11, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    Hi. I've already created my fonts in Photoshop. Is there a way to make them official fonts without having to design them all over again?

  2. pamela
    August 12, 2009 at 9:29 am

    banacuia

  3. Kampanye Pemilu Indonesia
    February 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I really liked your blog! :)

  4. Kampanye Damai Pemilu 2009
    February 4, 2009 at 4:29 am

    Hmmm,..unique font, i hope i've my style font on Kampanye Damai Pemilu Indonesia 2009 (http://www.indungg.com/2009/02/kontes-kampanye-damai.html)

  5. diogo
    February 3, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    For windows there is a much easier way than Cygwin. It's called Fontforge-Mingw, it uses xming and was compiled by a Japanese programmer. Like Cygwin, it's also promoted on the Fontforge official page.

    Don't get scared by all the Asian characters, just scroll down to the download link, and it's done :)

    the program is in English and you don't need to install anything on the drive, it's a portable application. So far, it's working pretty well.

    • Kabir Chauhan
      February 4, 2009 at 9:19 am

      Nice tip!

  6. Chris
    February 3, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    YourFonts.Com
    You fill out a form on their website and scan it and upload it. It gives you a .ttf font of your own handwriting! FOR FREE

    • Flauxicon
      February 4, 2009 at 12:19 am

      I used yourfonts.com - Be sure to use a thin black marker and high DPI settings, otherwise the quality isn't worth it.

    • Chris
      February 4, 2009 at 8:08 am

      I used a Sharpie with 300 DPI. 600 DPI (The next setting) would have been too big. I saw it on Lifehacker Monday.

    • Kabir Chauhan
      February 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

      Thanks for sharing Chris. I'll definitely check this out!

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