How to create your own font?
Have you ever wondered how create your own font? Well, that’s a lot easier than you might think. In this article we take a look at Fontself, which is an extension that is available for Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop. It’s basically all you need to get started with creating your own fonts!
What do you need?
To get started with designing your first font, you’ll need the following tools:
- Adobe Illustrator CC or Adobe Photoshop CC
- The Fontself extension. There are two versions: Fontself for Illustrator, Fontself for Photoshop or your can purchase the BUNDLE: Fontself for Photoshop AND Illustrator with a nice discount.
- Optional: Pencil, Paper and Scanner
- A little bit patience, but most important: fun!
How does it work?
If you prefer, you can first sketch all the desired characters, numbers, symbols and special characters with a pencil on paper. You can then scan your sketch (or make a picture) and trace each character in Illustrator to digitize your hard work.
If you’re like me, then you’ll probably start fiddling around in Illustrator or Photoshop right away. Fontself comes with an easy adjustable template that you can use for guidance. You can adjust the ascender height, cap height, median, baseline and descender height. All these variables will give your font that unique look.
When you are ready creating your first characters, the actual font making process starts. You want to be able to write letters with your new font right? Or use it for your website or maybe sell it to other people. In other words, you’ll need either an OTF (OpenType) font file or a TTF (TrueType) font file. This is where Fontself shows it use. With Fontself you can turn each design you’ve made into an unique character.
So how does Fontself create fonts of the characters you have created? Well, if you create the characters in a logical way (for example: “a to z” or “A to Z” or “0 to 9”) you can drag them into the Fontself Extension. For example, if you drag your selection with the lowercase a to z to the Fontself extension, it connects each character to the corresponding keystroke. The only thing you have to check is that each individual character is grouped. Of course you can also drag and drop individual characters if you have made adjustments.
Is that all?
No way! Fontself contains a lot of features that you’ll need to create a final font. Of course you could save your font to OTF and start typing, but in most cases you will need to do additional kerning to your font.
Kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. This process works like a breeze in Fontself!
In typography a ligature is a combination of two or more letters combined into a single symbol.
In Fontself it’s very easy to create one or more ligatures. You can’t only combine separate letters, but you can combine multiple characters and even words to a ligature. It’s a great way to enrich your font.
Alternates are variations on characters. You can use alternative glyphs to add a unique touch to your designs.
What are glyphs you say? In most large software packages a Glyphs palette has been addes. The word Glyph essentially refers to all the available characters in a font, from letters to numbers and all the special characters.
One of the coolest features of Fontself is that you can create colored fonts!
Interested? Check out Fontself: