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Creating Fonts

Written by Kevin Hodgson
September 24, 2012

The days of setting type by hand are long gone (for most of us) and more and more tools are emerging that allows people to create and use their own font. The technology might make it easier but the artistic elements that go into creating something unique still requires thought and careful attention.

A number of online sites now offer the possibility of font construction and publishing.

Image originally uploaded on 2012-09-16 03:11

Fontstruct is a site that seems the least complicated to use, and offers up a lot of flexibility around font design and construction. It uses the basic “brick building” in grids concept and “feels” a bit like MS Paint.

Image originally uploaded on 2012-09-16 03:15

Fontforge is another free tool, but it does seem more complicated for someone just starting out with font design. It’s a downloadable program.

Image originally uploaded on 2012-09-16 03:19

And Fontifier is another favorite of some folks because it can turn your own handwriting into typeset font.

Of course, the larger conversation around being able to create your own font is what that does to the meaning when our world is teeming with different letters and styles. Traditionalists in the font world decry this shift, calling it chaos, while others see it as another liberating role for technology, opening up the staid doors of typesetting and design to everyone.

As for me, as long my students understand why they choose what they choose when they pick a font for their writing, then I figure a lesson has been learned and they are more apt to pay attention to the way politicians and advertisers use words and image to convey messages.

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