Is it possible to create my own font? I’ve heard of other people doing this. What programs are out there for this?
Scanfont & Fontographer I think are two programs for this.
- A company named Hi-Logic makes a cheap ($50) program called Font Creator. The good news is it’s shareware, and it works completely for 99 days before it stops. The trial version still doesn’t have any help files, but it’s fairly easy to play with and figure out. I can’t seem to get it to do kerning or kerning-pairs correctly, but that’s nitpicking. The easiest way to do it is to copy & rename an already existing font file and then edit the character glyphs you want changed, as opposed to creating a whole font file from scratch. It’s very good for laying out detailed characters, because you can magnify the view very large. You can download it from Hi-Logic’s site, or from places like Tucows and ZDNet.
- The bad news is that it doesn’t do font hinting at all. So the fonts you make will print perfectly on paper at any size, and on screen at larger sizes (like, 48 pts and up) but will look lousy at smaller sizes on-screen. It also has a feature for scanning in B&W images as font glyphs, but that feature really doesn’t work very well at all. Font Creator is Windows-only, and only opens and exports TTF fonts. Any program that uses TTF fonts can use one you modified in Font Creator.
- To hint a font, you want something like Macromedia Fontographer. It automatically hints TTF fonts when you open them in it, and it does a pretty good job–certainly not perfect, but way better than no hinting at all. Fontographer costs $350 or so, if you buy it. Fontographer can open and export several types of fonts, and can make professional-level fonts if you do the kerning, kerning-pairs and hinting manually --but that’s not any quick and easy task.