I had always wanted to do this
February 2, 2009 4:26 PM   Subscribe

Make your handwriting into a font with Yourfonts. Download the PDF, draw your alphabet, scan and upload, then download the finished result. Examples. Via Drawn!
posted by Rinku (31 comments total) 75 users marked this as a favorite
But I type so that people don't have to decipher my handwriting...
posted by backseatpilot at 4:37 PM on February 2, 2009

I've always wanted to do this too, but only for my wife. I can't even read my own writing, let alone do I want to inflict it on others.

That said, if they have some magical system that makes fonts work on Linux without heartache...wow.
posted by DU at 4:43 PM on February 2, 2009

This looks like fun.
posted by pointilist at 4:51 PM on February 2, 2009

This is effing awesome. I remember seeing ads for exactly this in the backs of computer magazines about fifteen years ago, but it cost a dumb amount of money. Now it's free! Hooray!
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:04 PM on February 2, 2009

Ok, now how do I send all my gmail in my own font. Seriously, is this possible? I assume I'd have to embed the font in the email somehow, or....? Do I need a firefox plugin?

This is awesome.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:11 PM on February 2, 2009

<paranoid>I'd question putting my signature in there, but apart from that it's very cool.</paranoid>
posted by lowlife at 5:15 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ok, now how do I send all my gmail in my own font. Seriously, is this possible? I assume I'd have to embed the font in the email somehow, or....? Do I need a firefox plugin?

Unless you're attaching a .gif/.png of your email written out in Photoshop/GIMP/etc with that font, there isn't really a way to do that (yet)

Technically, there's support in some modern browsers for font embedding (using @font-face), but I don't believe there is as-yet a plugin for GMail to use that support. Then, of course, you'd have to hope someone was reading your email in a browser capable of supporting @font-face, because I don't think there's any actual email clients that will do so.

posted by revmitcz at 5:18 PM on February 2, 2009

If only I had a penguin... - you can copy + paste any text into rich text messages, but I don't know if you really want to hassle with embedding fonts into an email. You might be better off making a PDF, if you really want to share your new font with everyone. Plus, there's legibility issues. Simple fonts are the easiest to convey messages. Remember when all Quake-related websites used the Quake font? That got old pretty quickly.

lowlife - Yeah, I gotta wonder if they pick their favorite new fonts and use them, or alter them and label the fonts as their own.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:19 PM on February 2, 2009

"Remember when all Quake-related websites used the Quake font? That got old pretty quickly. "

I don't remember this. However, if it was unclear, my intent actually was to annoy everyone I know by using my font in my email, so I would consider this evidence of a feature, not a bug. Ah well, baby steps (towards my grand goal of costing my friends their sanity).

My font will be ready in 24 minutes (no signature). It is copyright to me, though I suppose there's no guarantee they won't alter things slightly and steal them. Somehow, I'm not worried.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:23 PM on February 2, 2009

I'm not only going to make my own font, I'm going to have my kids make a cute, still learning how to write, kind of font.
posted by artifarce at 5:37 PM on February 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Damn it! I just did this the hard way! And it's hard, too!
posted by cmoj at 6:58 PM on February 2, 2009 [2 favorites]

Alright, I have my font. Some thoughts..

1) I filled in the template quickly because I wanted to capture my letters as I actually make them, not as I'd make them if I stopped to think. The problem with this is that I didn't always centre them well or get them to sit right on the anchor notches. This really shows once I start typing things in my font. The kerning and vertical alignment are completely messed up. I will do it again more carefully when the server isn't so busy.

2) When I type in my new font, it underlines some of the punctuation marks, some of the time. Some commas and some periods, but not every comma or every period. I have no idea why this is.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:08 PM on February 2, 2009

If you're dissatisfied with the results, you can get a truly professional font (at a professional price) with HandFont.
posted by Typographica at 1:10 AM on February 3, 2009

This is so cool. And free!

I'm thinking I'll pencil in guides, and then erase them after I've inked in the letters. That should help in making everything leveled.
posted by neblina_matinal at 3:45 AM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

how do i make my computer scan hope pls
posted by Eideteker at 4:08 AM on February 3, 2009

I have had a dream for a while now of making a font out of my mom's handwriting. She had really neat printing, and if I can find enough examples of her writing I would still love to do this. Biggest problem I can see is getting it on the template - I think I'd have to scan in pages, cut out letters like I'm making a ransom note, then re-trace the letters in Illustrator and add them to the template there so I can scale them correctly.

My own chicken-scratch writing would likely be too illegible to use...
posted by caution live frogs at 9:27 AM on February 3, 2009

Aha! Finally, unbreakable encryption!

It'd be cool to read MeFi in author's own handwriting. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I suppose, depending on your POV), my voice would be effectively silenced by the unmitigated horribleness of my handwriting.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:38 AM on February 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Pretty psyched to give this a shot and get sort of the best of both worlds for lettering my comic. Rad.
posted by COBRA! at 10:52 AM on February 3, 2009

This is beautiful. Thanks.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:01 AM on February 3, 2009

Huh. Interesting object lesson. Making the font was really, really easy. But the end result really drove home to me that not all handwriting fonts are created equal. I popped open my most recent comic and changed all the text over to my new font; the results are, um, distinctive:

Original lettering (anime ace)

New font lettering

I might try again later, taking a little more care with the template (and using a thicker pen). Even if I never end up using it for this strip, it's a cool toy.
posted by COBRA! at 11:50 AM on February 3, 2009

As of the time of this comment it seems their processing queue is overwhelmed. I'll just have to wait.

I'll need to read your comic later COBRA! but I think the new lettering looks pretty excellent.
posted by dagosto at 12:17 PM on February 3, 2009

Thanks... I still don't think this batch turned out great, but it seems like another attempt might kick out a version I'd like a lot.

I noticed an errant dot in the "F" box of my template made its way into the font, causing spacing weirdness.
posted by COBRA! at 12:53 PM on February 3, 2009

I've done so more playing. First, I drew guidelines across the baseline notches in pencil, and also down the middle of each box. I did not have a thicker black pen, but that would have helped too. After drawing the letters in pencil, going over in pen and erasing all the pencil (guidelines and original letters), I scanned in colour. Then I opened the file in photoshop and went in and deleted all the little spots/dots/artifacts and painted in a little more black where the pen thinned a bit.

This produced a much better font, but I still had underlining in some letters, and the spacing and vertical alignment are still a little wonky. I went in and downloaded the free font editing tool on the site (the demo version is free) and have been editing with that. It's time consuming, especially for a person who doesn't know much about fonts, but I can delete all the underlines (it seems to be including in the letter some of the table) and fix the spacing around each letter. Basically, I'm typing all sorts of things and looking at the samples to see which letters need to be fixed and fixing them. It's not difficult, but i takes some time.

Pretty good for free, I would say.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:15 PM on February 3, 2009

Nice. Mine came out okay, despite some baseline wibbles. You can correct that with the free FontForge (which, although is nominally cross-platform, is a fierce install on anything but Linux).
posted by scruss at 1:41 PM on February 3, 2009

The best thing about this post is that just the other night I was talking to a girl about making her handwriting into a font. Hello, new friend!
posted by seagull.apollo at 4:34 PM on February 3, 2009

I used an earlier for-pay ($9 or something) site to create a handwriting font for my blog (it only works in Safari and Firefox3.1beta). This looks even better. FontForge is a great help in cleaning things up, particularly the kerning, I recommend using autokern if you do nothing else.
The other problem is that everyone hates my handwriting, FontForge won't fix that.
posted by AndrewStephens at 5:47 PM on February 3, 2009

My second attempt to make a font turned out pretty weird. I was slower and more deliberate, and the end result looks kind of like the shitty lettering in the old Charlton comics. I think I like my first attempt better, even if it looks kind of insane.
posted by COBRA! at 6:40 PM on February 3, 2009

I want to try this.

But I can see one issue.. if you're doing a scripty font, it would be nice to have a dozen or so minor variations on (at least) the capital letters. Just throw 'em in randomly.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:10 PM on February 3, 2009

Protip: After you get your font back from the site, do yourself a favor and download the free trial of FontCreator they advertise at the end. It's got an auto-kerning tool that vastly improves the realism of the font -- by using that and doing a little tweaking, my font went from a wide-spaced Comic Sans knockoff to a photocopy of my handwriting.

Sadly, I can't seem to get Windows XP to implement kerning anywhere other than Microsoft Word. Does anybody know how to make it work system-wide?
posted by Rhaomi at 2:15 AM on February 8, 2009 [1 favorite]

im in ur fontz analyzin ur handwritings
posted by cmoj at 11:59 PM on February 9, 2009

« Older We Never See A Headline / 'Bout A Breadline /...   |   I hear the secrets that you keep... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments