Search FontMaster

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Create & Enhance Your Own Fonts, Free!

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to take a real hard look at My business.  The long and short of it is that as a web designer I only had a couple of the most recent sites that I have done in My portfolio, after over 14 years as a web designer.  I would design sites that the client would effectively ruin.  And once it was delivered, though proud of what I had managed to do despite the fact that they refused to listen to Me, they then managed to destroy it over time, or the business and website would go down, never to return (probably because they didn't listen to good, sound advice in the first place.  Then the economy slowed way down and our conservative Dakotans stopped investing or doing new advertising a couple different times, and I had to take other work twice.

After hurting myself at one of my so-called "part-time" jobs (tripping over a "safety feature" that is more dangerous than safe), most of My business was halted because I was either I was just too tired from unloading truck or just in too much pain to think.

But I have always wanted to design fonts.  For a couple of years now, I have been trying to run a Freeware PC TrueType Fonts website,  The thing about designing a font is that although you can use valuable critiques from fellow peers as well as constructive criticism from the general public, no one is going to halt the project unless you do it their way.  No one is going to pick out the worst off all design mock-ups presented, because it's just you in charge, and you are responsible for your own work.  And you can be proud of it because you don't have an ass with no art education second guessing your every comment and over-riding your decision despite the logic.

I once worked on a website that was going to be the shining example of true optimized, best design practices using the industry standards of HTML5 and CSS3, and this guy took out all My code and put the presentation on tables! -Talk about CRAP Design!

There just isn't helping some idiots.  But the worst part is that he was a web design friend that fell behind the times and refused to trust Me.  Some friend.  Some designer!

I have been growing more and more tired of working for know-it-alls that think they know better when they are just hurting themselves, repeatedly, never learning, never advancing.

Then just lately, as I rest up My hip, I have found some great resources for anyone to design their own fonts, free of charge...

  • Fonstruct
    Fontstruct is a fantastic resource that allows its registered users to create scalable modular TrueType PC fonts, as well as pixel based TTF fonts.  The font editor is known as the FontStructor and although a little limited, is an extremely versatile and capable tool.  With pointers from other Fontstructors, one can easily create masterpiece fonts (aka "fontstructions").  I am working on my best one yet, now.  Once I am done with that one I will clone it and change all the little things I noticed could be changed when it was already too late.  It's hard to believe that this tool is free, but so ultra-cool that it is.  Thanks, Rob Meek!  ;)
    This one is a little gem that has been around a long time.  You print out a page of grid, hand draw your characters in their respective blocks (or cells), scan it @ 300dpi, upload the resulting image and it will use vectors to create a TrueType, OpenType or SVG Font of your characters for you.  Although I would like to see just a couple more characters, it does create a very usable font.  But I use this one to rope you in, because there is a more powerful such tool (Paint Font, listed next) that you can use to add any characters you choose.  
    Paint Font is a masterful script that not only allows you to create fonts, but allows you to append or overwrite fonts with new characters, any character you can display through your keyboard, perhaps more (support for languages, ligatures, math and more only takes a click of the mouse).  Obviously, this is a very powerful tool meant to be used to allow artists the ability to update or revamp their own projects, so please don't use it with fonts that you are restricted from doing so by the license.  I personally only use it to create new fonts and refine older versions.  The resulting font can be configured as an OTF (OpenType Font) or TTF (TrueType Font)  file and the tool even supports embedding your own Copyright message.  I say use My Script Font on your crazy ideas and use Paint Font to really develop the ideas that work.
    Font Punk is a really cool utility that allows you to play with your fonts by adding all sorts of effects to them.  Only the main unicode Latin letter sets are supported (Basic Latin, Supplement 1, and the Latin Extended Sets A & B).  But that pretty much covers the fonts of the western world, so it really is a great tool that will allow you to easily bold or lighten your font, randomly rotate or shake the characters, skew a font, turn a font into outlines, and more.  As you can see, you can take a font and come up with a bolder or italic version, or apply multiple, even all the effects... but watch out because there are some advanced ones like morph and add 3D effect.  This is also a powerful free tool.  
I plan to add more cool font tools as I find them, as well as announce My own font creations and highlight cool fonts.  For now, I hope this is enough to get you interested in the art of the font, and possibly started on some of your own creations.  It's always cool to hand a client a font used to produce his logo, perhaps with a version of his logo in it.

Happy font inspiring/creating/designing/fun!

-Doug Peters
@Font-Journal   @Fontstruct   @UserAlbum  @Behance
Add Me On Twitter:
@D_E_Peters   @Domainating   @FontJournal   @WDaDg  

No comments:

Post a Comment