Every so often I like to do a “Make Your Own” project just for the fun of it. Not because I need it or because it will save me money. I just like the fun of having a crafty moment and finding out what I can make on my own.
I just like the challenge 🙂
And that’s why last week I decided to make my own font. Yes, I know there are already a bunch of fonts on my computer from the basic Times New Roman and Arial to fonts I swear nobody ever uses like Fang Song and Tunga. AND – there’s a whole bunch of fonts for downloading online too.
So what the heck – why did I have to go and make my own font?
Just to see if it would work. And it did!
It’s kind of ironic, however, that I often type something because I know it will be so much easier to read than my somewhat messy, scrawling handwriting. But the reality is . . . .
How To Make Your Own Font
So how did I make my own font? The whole process was surprisingly simple by using a site called PaintFont.com. They make it easy with their template sheets that you print off, fill out, and then scan and upload to their site.
Here are the steps:
1. Print off their two template sheets which have little squares on them, with a shadowy print of each letter of the alphabet in each square (both upper and lower case as well as numbers and symbols).
2. You then write each letter in the corresponding square. I had the most success using black markers.
3. Once you’ve written in all your letters, scan your template sheets into your computer.
4. Go back to PaintFont.com and click on “Upload Filled Out Templates”.
5. For “Choose File” you will want to find the scanned template pages on your computer.
6. Pick a name for your font.
7. Click on “Send File”. It will give you a message that it will take a while, but it really doesn’t. Mine was finished in just a few seconds. You will then get your lovely font preview.
8. You will then click on “Download”. Either the green button, or the blue button under the preview worked.
9. My font file ended up in my “Downloads” folder. From there, I copied and pasted it into my Fonts folder. (For me the Fonts folder was found by going to the “Control Panel”, then “Appearance and Personalization”, then “Fonts”)
And now you have your new font added to all the other fonts on your computer!
So What’s It REALLY Like To Make Your Own Font
OK, so that was the technical side of making your own font. Here’s what really goes through your head while you’re making a font:
~~ I better write slowly and carefully, after all I’m making a font. Oh crap, now it looks like a six year old made this font.
~~ Oh, I guess I have to pick a name for my font. Umm, I don’t know. This is hard! Oh wait, I have an idea. I’ll pick something with the letter A so it’s at the beginning of all the other fonts so I can find the stupid thing when I’m done. Better yet, I’ll use a double AA. I’m calling my font “Aardvark”. Aardvark is just as good a name for a font as CAC Moose!
~~ Will a regular pen work as well as a black marker? Darn it, no. Why does using a regular pen give me weird streaks when I scan? Guess I better stick with markers. Do I have a thicker black marker in the house besides my Sharpie? Yes, there’s a nice thick black marker by my whiteboard! I’ll use that to make a second font. Oh wait, now I have to come up with another font name if I try again with a thicker marker. Ummm, Aardvark Fancy. That will work. (yes, that’s Aardvark Fancy in the picture above).
~~ Oops, I screwed up a letter. Shoot! All the letters are on one page. Time to start all over with a new page. *sigh*
~~ Hey I think I can use my new font on my favorite photo editing site PicMonkey. I’m going to try it right now. Haha . . . this is fun!
~~ Why do both my fonts look like my handwriting? Oh, I guess because I’m doing it in my handwriting. It’s REALLY hard to write and have it NOT look like my handwriting. Can you even do that??
So hop on over to PaintFont.com and have some fun yourself – OR – let the kiddos have some fun experimenting too. But the key word here is FUN. It’s a challenge to get your handwriting to perfectly line up like a “real” font, so just enjoy fiddling around and appreciating that somebody made a website that can actually do this!
If you do want to take more time, there are little lines on the boxes on the templates to help you get things lined up so if you have the ability and patience, you could probably make a pretty cool font.
I’m just sticking with Aardvark Fancy.