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How To Make Your Own Font Quickly

Updated: Apr 2

Creating your own font takes a lot of work, but there is a quick way to do it. I'm going to show you how. Though, if you're wanting to sell your font, this post probably isn't for you. But if you're wanting to have a little fun, walk this way!


Contents


For this post and to make your own font, you're going to need a website called Calligraphr, which instantly creates fonts (for free, if you accept certain limitations, or paid, if you want to create more fonts with a larger number of characters), when you upload them within their template guidelines.


An irregular font with serifs. It looks as though it has been hand drawn
This is my font: Here Be Dragons, based on antique maps

Make your account with Calligraphr


So, the first thing you need to do is make an account with Calligraphr. This is done in the standard way, by heading to the website and signing up (don't worry, it's free for your first font, so you can decide if you like it!)


Creating and downloading a template


Once you've done that, click 'create a template' and then 'minimal English'. If, of course, you are English - it offers other languages too, such as German and French.


If you are using the free version, you will need to reduce the amount of characters to the specified number.


Once you are happy with your chosen characters you want to include, click 'download your template' in the top left corner.


When you come to download your template, you can also decide whether or not to include the guidelines, by ticking the box 'Draw helplines' when you go to download. You can also click the box that says 'characters as background', this will include a faded version of the character in the background, to act as a template.



I chose to create a minimal English template with the guidelines, but not the guide characters. It looks like the above.


The two narrowest grey lines are for the lower case (small) letters. To draw a capital letter, start on the same bottom line as a lower case letter, but take the letter all the way to the top guideline. See below for an example!


A template for the alphabet and numbers has been drawn on by Nicola, it now shows her own hand drawn letters and numbers
My initial final draft of my font

I knew that I wanted smaller numbers in this font, so I did the numbers the same height as the lower case letters. Once you have the rules down, feel free to play about with different sizes!


Top tip though: the speech marks and apostrophes can only go in one direction, don't do both of them in the same block like I did above! Instead, create a generic shaped apostrophe/speech mark that could be either opening or closing.


Practice, practice, practice!


Next, you'll need to practice your font. Grab a blank piece of paper, or your iPad, if you're working on an iPad, and write out the letters as you want them to look. It's a good idea to practice the letter forms a few times so you know the best way of writing them in the template.


Draw your final version


Once you're happy with the shapes of your letters, it's time to draw them onto the template!


  • Working on iPad: you can do this in Procreate by importing the JPG of the template into Procreate, creating a new layer and drawing onto that layer.


  • Working in analogue: print out the template and draw directly onto it.


Finally, upload your hard work.


  • iPad users: share the file in jpg and then upload that straight to Calligraphr, although I like to airdrop mine to my mac first to check it all.

  • Analogue users: scan your file in as a jpg, and then upload that to Calligraphr. To do this, go to 'my fonts', 'new font' and then 'upload template'.


Choose your template files, upload them and then click 'add characters to font'.


Once you're in the next screen, you can check your font out and make any changes you like (this will mean changing things on the template and then re-uploading the template file).


Download and install your new font


Finally, click 'Build Your Font', give it a name, and voila! Your font is ready to download in both .ttf and .otf. There isn't really much difference between the two, so just choose whatever file ending will work best for you.


I hope this has been helpful for you! Leave a comment below if you have any questions and I'll do my best to help! In the mean time, have fun creating your font!


If you want to download my 'Here be dragons' font, based on antique maps for free (not a commercial license), then click here:


And if you fancy checking out one of my other blogs, then these might interest you:



As always, thanks for reading!

Nx





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