I’d often wondered how easy it would be to create my own font and having seen various pixel based, graphical editors always placed it in the too-complicated or too-hard camp. But I came across this tool called MyScriptFont the other day which promises to make the process significantly easier.
First of all, there’s no on-screen editing. You simply download a template grid and then using a medium thickness black felt tip, write in the alphabet in uppercase and lower case, along with the main numbers and punctuation. Additional symbols are optional, which in the interest of speed and testing it all, I opted against. Then it’s simply a case of scanning your grid in to your PC and uploading it to the MyScriptFont website.
Once it’s online, the site does its thing and provides you with either a True Type Font (TTF) or OTF which you can download and then easily install into your own machine.
I created mine in about 5 minutes – which you can view or install from here, if you like. It’s not perfect, as I accidentally crossed some of the guide lines so the loops on some of my letters have been cut off during the scanning process, but it was so easy to do, I just felt it worth sharing on here. I’ll shortly be revisiting the site and taking more time on my grid so I can have a perfect font!
Where the site might have a few drawbacks is in foreign language support, or for those instances where pixel perfect accuracy is required. It’s also quite tricky, as I found, to fill in the whole grid without making a mistake… so, unlike me, take your time and do it slowly! And make sure your felt tip pen doesn’t start fading half way through writing.
In terms of applications, there are a lot of paid font solutions out there that designers and organisations use and pay for, but this one is absolutely free – and pretty unique too. It’s not going to be suitable for every application, but the speed at which you can get your own custom handwriting based font is hard to complain about.