Inkscape+Font Forge+Online Font Converter = Typographical Sandbox

Why design and create your own font?
Sometimes it is necessary to get exactly the right typeface for your design, and although there are some amazing free fonts out there, occasionally you will want something a little more unique.

Three free tools can help you create hone and share your typographical masterpeice



Online Font Converter

If you want to get an inkling (no pun intended) of what is involved, and how relatively simple it is head on over to Cleversomeday‘s blog post on how to Make a dingbat font with Inkscape

This will give you the mechanics on how to make the glyphs, and how to convert them to a font using  the Online Font Generator – the inspiration and imagination to create your individual font I leave to you.

However, if you want to make a full typeface that can be used across the alphabet, and that looks presentable without having to move the individual letters around one by one, then you will need to delve into the arcane art of kerning

In a nutshell this is the spacing between each letter that makes it “look right” when they are assembled.

Inkscape itself has a kerning facility, but to be quite honest I, and others, have found it to be quite buggy, to the point that a carefully crafted  file containing the font you have slaved over becomes virtually useless.  If you want to avoid such frustration do your kerning using FontForge.

If you are on windows then I strongly urge you to get the package available here, which contains the necessary contents you need to get the application up and running – (I tried setting FontForge up using Cygwin success eluded me).

Although the site above is in Japanese, Google Translate works sufficiently to allow even me to finally get Font Forge working without repeatedly crashing.

With patience and practice you should become comfortable using these free tools and be churning out customised type in no time.

Like everything else these “tools” will not make you a great designer any more than being able to scribble with a pencil automatically turns you into Rembrandt, but getting to grips with them can be very rewarding in itself, and you just may unleash the creative typographer inside.

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5 Responses to Inkscape+Font Forge+Online Font Converter = Typographical Sandbox

  1. Pingback: Italian letters | Original Koala

  2. Pingback: 10 beautiful Japanese fonts | DMM

  3. Pingback: My favourite free fonts for use in Blogs and Presentations | User Friendly

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