Today, I’m going to talk about a website that allows you to create a font very easily from your own handwriting. You can then use it to create a handwritten logo or insert a handwriting on visuals for example.
The Template to Create a Font
Creating a custom font starts with downloading a template. Go to the Calligraphr website and create a free account. Confirm the registration by clicking on the link in the confirmation email you receive.
Then you can choose a template. The free version of the site allows you to create a 75-character font or sign, there are cheap formulas to go beyond. Here is for example the template “Minimal French” for French letters with accents.
Once the template has been chosen, you can download it in PDF or PNG format according to your preferences by clicking on “Download Template”. You can on this occasion choose the size of the boxes where you will have to write your letters.
Then you have to print the template. Its header has changed since I wrote the first version of this tutorial but the principle remains the same.
In each box of the template, you will write by hand the punctuation mark or the letter that appears in it, either in uppercase or lowercase letters. The template also offers boxes dedicated to the accents and letters specific to each language, for example the E with accent gravity / acute of the French, the eszett of the old German spelling, etc.
It all depends on the initial template you chose for your font.
Once your template completed, scan it in high resolution (300 dpi for example). High resolution is essential to obtain a good quality font.
Some Tips to Obtain a Convincing Result
- Use a thick black felt. For my part, I had on hand only a fine tip pen and the letters appeared almost erased on the final writing font. In this case, we can try to rework the image with Photoshop to accentuate the thickness of the black lines.
- Try to make letters the same size. On my first try, my unaccented E’s were slightly larger than those with accent, creating an unbalanced font at the end. Help small lines drawn on the template.
- Write the letters as if they were isolated and not as if they were part of a word.
Here are my two successive tests …
Transform the Template Into a Font
To convert the template into a writing font that can be used on your computer, simply upload the scanned file to the Calligraphr website and choose a name for your font.
It happens in the menu My Fonts> Upload Template Site.
You can then preview the rendering of your font and download the file in TTF or OTF format. The OTF format is newer and today dominates the market, also offering more graphical possibilities for font writers.
Once you have downloaded your custom font, you just have to right click on the file and choose “Install”. You will then find this font in the software installed on your computer, for example Photoshop.
Upon arrival, here is a comparison between my actual writing and the one I get with the personalized writing font. I do not always do my letters in the same way according to their place in a word (example with the L of the “blog”) so the rendering is a little different … but it remains rather like!
I discovered this site thanks to Pauline, a former graphic designer colleague who suggested we do these “handicrafts” at the break already. Of course, the rendering is “artisanal” in the state and it would probably rework the characters to get a fully exploitable font … but if you have a nice writing, you can draw an original font that you have the assurance of do not find anywhere else!