I am just getting into font creation, and was wondering what program I should use. I found a couple that look nice, but they’re only for Apple products (I’m using Windows).
Try Fontself for Photoshop and Adobe illustrator but they are still working on it advancement
Hi Sarah, Font Creator is available on Windows
I’m using a combination of programs: Procreate (for hand-writing), Adobe Illustrator (for tracing) and Font Creator (for creating it as an installable font). If you’ve got a pen-pressure tablet, you can use Photoshop or any other program for creating hand-written fonts (PainTool SAI, Krita, Clip Studio etc.)
Have a look at Fontlab 7. They have a windows version.
You could try looking into Type 3.2 and like mentioned above Font Self. Font Self is an add on to Adobe Illustrator and you can import your SVGs to export them as a font. It’s pretty neat!
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I’ll be giving these a try soon.
I’d love to see some of the letters or fonts you create!
I used to use a website callen MyScriptFont.com, but I just tried to go to it and it isn’t there anymore.
However, they have replaced it with www.calligraphr.com. They have both free and paid versions. You print out a template, create your font by hand, then scan/photo it into the computer, upload it and they create the font. I just did it in under five minutes. Granted, I printed out the template, took a sharpie and scribbled the alphabet, both upper and lower case, scanned the template, uploaded it, and created a ttf. file (you can also get otf). No it’s not a font I’m going to use, but I just wanted to make sure it would work reasonable fast and it does.
Give it a try. It’s free! And who says you have to write letters. You could draw little stick figures, or full blown art and create a file of dingbats. I have an idea to draw different shaped segments and create a font that will make mandalas.
Hope that helps.
super helpful, thanks for sharing these resources!
I am so glad this question was asked and that so many suggestions have been provided. I was considering creating my own font as another step in my journey but I had no idea where to even start. Thank you for asking this question!
If you’re just dipping in your toe, and aren’t sure you’ll be making a lot of fonts, both Type 3.2 and TypeTool are right around the $50 mark. They have similar feature sets, and both have demo versions available so you can try them out to see which you prefer. I started out using Type 3.2.
I currently use Font Creator; when I was ready to upgrade, I tried out the demo for FC, FontLab, and Fontographer, and liked the tool set and workflow in Font Creator the best.
I know that the FontSelf plugin for Adobe Illustrator has improved a lot in the last couple of years; it used to not have the tools I needed, but I’ve heard that you can now include alternates, kerning, and other OpenType features. I only tested it when it was new and not complete, so I can’t speak to how well it works for creating actual sellable fonts.
From what I have heard about Font Self, many people still bring their fonts into Type 3.2, Font Creator, or whatever program they mainly use to work on the tracking and kerning.
Good to know! I know that the output from the iFontMaker app on iOS isn’t clean enough to sell as well; anything that comes out of there should go into Type 3.2, FC, Glyphs, or some other program for additional cleanup.
I think every artist should try their hand at designing and creating fonts. It’s a whole lot more work than most people would believe. If nothing else it helps font fanatics appreciate the amount of work and time that goes into a font.
If you are going to just create stuff for yourself, then the above programs are probably fine, if you’re going to offer them commercially, then I’d look at Fontographer or Fontlab Studio. Programs like Transtype are really handy too, they let you convert fonts to and from almost any format, and they will allow you to add effects versions of your completed fonts without having to redo all the letter spacing, kerning, etc.
Font self is straightforward user friendly.
There are a lot of solutions for creating fonts on Windows. I do not have experience with all of them, but there are a bunch that are free.
FontForge was developed for a guy’s own use and is very professional. He developed it on Linux, and it has been ported to Windows and Macintosh platforms as well. I had trouble getting it to run reliably on Windows for years, but the latest version is now rock solid on my Windows 10 Pro laptop.
Glyphr Studio is a hobbyist style bezier font creation tool on the web. There is also an app that is currently in beta development, which you can download.
While Fontstruct may seem a little simple at first, it is loaded with certain features that you would not, could not try out in a regular font creation program. It is a modular font creation program where you use different shaped bricks to create a font. The drawback is that there are limited true curves. The feature is that it can be used for highly decorative fonts quickly and easily. It is a great prototyping tool where you use another font editor to tweak the larger bezeir curves you need for specific characters, as well. It comes complete with kerning, line height adjustment and more, so can be used to create fonts without the fonts ever running another font editor and is quite adept at angular fonts (rock n’ roll or blackletter fonts are good examples). There is also an option to export a Glyphs project (Glyphs is a professional Macintosh font editor). One issue is that all fonts are saved as version 1.0 and I like to update that and clean-up the rest of the font info (using TypeTool3, FontForge, or something else).
I just purchased FontCreator, myself. First, I bought Scanahand, and then requested a crossgrade discount on FontCreator, which saved me a lot. I still have to work with it, I’ve been busy working on website designs.
This allows you to print-out sheets of font character boxes in whatever size you want, with as full of a character set as you want, and then you use whatever tools you want to create the characters. Then you rescan it and load it into the program again and it creates a font. You will usually have to clean-up a lot, that’s the same everywhere, though.
#6) Windows Fontmaker
Is free from the Windows store and is more a basic lettering font creator. It requires a touch/ink enabled device such as a Surface tablet, but will create basic letter sets. They may make it even better, eventually. I can’t post the link here, it is so long and it looks like affiliate spam, but search Bing for Fontmaker and it will come up first.
I like this online font making utility, but have moved on. You can make a very basic font for free but it will have a limited character set. Yet, the paid options are a good place to start and inexpensive. It works like scanahand, print-out font worksheets, fill them in, then scan them, then upload them to your Calligraphr project and it creates a font. You will want to check what is created in a font editor for fine tuning.
I don’t like FontSelf even though I have both versions. It is a plugin for Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop that allows you to make your own fonts from your lettering. But the reason I don’t like it is because it relies so heavily on Adobe software that has to be under subscription, and the fees are enormous, and Adobe is getting away with highway robbery with its subscription model. So, I won’t even bother linking to it, it requires Photoshop CC or Illustrator CC. If you don’t already have that, I wouldn’t bother. If you do, THEN consider it, but it isn’t as straight-forward as the other Font Editors.
What is a FREE vector arts program doing here in this list? Well, it turns out that this free tool, which has been around forever (and will soon reach version 1.0, coming out of beta development), actually has font character editing support, and that is a big plus. I would grab this free software package no matter what font editor you choose, no matter which vector arts illustration program you use.
Fontlab wants to own the font creation market. It has a lot of offerings, and there is usually a Macintosh and a Windows version…
Fontographer was the standard bearer for font designers for a long time. I always wanted it. Originally, I think Altsys created it. Fontlab wound-up buying it and bases the FontLab 7 interface off of it, I’m told (by Ray Larabie, so a very good source). That means that if you want to get FontLab 7, you could get Fontographer 5 a little cheaper and when you are ready to upgrade to FontLab 7 you can get the upgrade cost and still know the interface. However, Fontographer is 32 bit, too, so it doesn’t run on Macintosh Catalina unless you use a virtual box to run Windows, then you can run the Windows version.
TypeTool is a really, really stripped down FontLab (I forget which version, though). I grabbed it when ScanFont5 was a plugin. I don’t think it is so good without the plugin. This is also 32 bit, so has the same issues on Macintosh as Fontographer I just mentioned.
#12) FontLab 6 Studio & FontLab 7
I am not sure why FontLab 6 Studio is more expensive than FontLab 7, but Fontlab sells both. I would opt for Fontlab 7 because as I understand it, it is all 64 bit and has the nicer, easier to use Fontographer interface fully implemented. I also believe that FontLab 7 is all 64 bit and FontLab Studio 6 might be 32 bit.
There are others. Fonty used to be available for Android, but it was proprietary and the fonts really only worked in the apps by the parent company. There is Procreate for the iPad which has been used to create fonts, though it is really an arts program. There are some other apps for creating fonts on the iPad, too. On Unix/Linux, there are quite a few more options, too.
Even though this is a Macintosh OSX application, you could always emulate Macintosh in a Windows 10 virtual box environment. There are all sorts of versions, as well. But this is the pro platform for Mac.