10 amazing free tools for Font Design
Fonts are very powerful and creativeÂ way to present contents. You have a direct influence on how we perceive content and interpret. Typography is very popular nowadays, especially in combination with responsive Web design for its own rules. Google Font is the largest web font directory with only 671 fonts. But there you must take the fonts as they are offered. If you want to modify an existing font or create even a very own font, then you are at the wrong place. However, there are some services that specialize for customized fonts. Mainly the modification of existing fonts and the creation of completely new fonts. Today we present to you 10 amazing free online tools to create your own unique fonts.
FontArk is a web browser-based font editor and a tool for creating new fonts. You can import font templates or entirely create new fonts with FontArk. There are some good video tutorials which will help you to achieve a better results with FontArk. You can try fontArk editor without a user account for a short time but for using all features one has to log in. Registration is so absolutely necessary if you want to save its results and see in the future. You can either sign up via email or Facebook.
There is a useful outline generator which allows you to create a border around the letter. Later, you can edit the thickness and the curves of the individual letters. You can edit more than one letter at the same time. Then the finished font can be exported as an OTF file.
PaintFont is a relatively simple but very effective tool. The site first creates a “template”, in which you can determine which letters and special characters should be included. This template is in a PDF or PNG file that will be downloaded to your own computer either by hand or by using GIMP/Photoshop to create your own font. After the template has been filled out, you upload it again on the platform. You can generate and Â download fonts as an OTF or TTF version. Registration is not necessary for the use of PaintFont.
Yet to be filled out template looks like this:
BirdFont is not really only free tool, but it is open source and can be used free of charge as long as you with the SIL open font license agreement. Your generated font will be licensed under this license. You can also use your fonts commercially with a small fee starting at 5 USD.
BirdFont is not an online application. It is a desktop tool which is available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
The most interesting feature about this font generator is that you can take handwritten or mesh draw from the paper as an image. Then that image file will be imported as background in BirdFonts to design fonts. This application can import from other programs such as Inkscape and Abobe Illustrator and export finished projects either as TTF, EOT – or SVG fonts. Several tutorials can be found on the Web page. Also, there are a lot of video tutorials about all important steps.
The BirdFont interface:
FontForge is a very extensive, open source tool with almost infinite possibilities and settings. Its rich features could smoothly deter a beginner at first. But there are some good online video tutorials and FAQ information which will help both newbie and professional font designers.
With FontForge, you can give letter curves which in turn can be influenced shape and position. If you have already drawn in Photoshop or GIMP, it’s not so hard. Otherwise, you must invest some time to learn how to design fonts but the possible outcomes are very good. For better control over the drawn elements, there are layers same as Photoshop or similar programs. FontForge can import SVG and EPS files from Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape. This program can also read fonts from PDF files. There is also font validation function which will help you to find font errors before exporting. FontForge software is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
The interface of FontForge:
With FontStruct, you can create fonts by selecting any combination of simple geometric shapes. You can either create fonts from scratch or work on the basis of existing fonts from other users. You can find examples in the gallery. The user interface of the web service is simple and clear. However, there is an âexpert modeâ for more advanced functionality. The workspace can be influenced in size, it can be zoomed in and out. There is a full-screen mode and you can use various grids and guidelines.
You can import newly created font in TTF or .glyphs file format (X format can be edited in MAC OS). FontStruct can not import external fonts and do not convert your handwriting into a font.However, you can browse started by other users fonts and then import them for further processing. You can use FontStruct with any web browser with Adobe Flash player. You need to signup with an email to use this Font generator.
This practical and quite a feature-rich app comes in contemporary form. You can use Glyphr Studio in online or as a simple HTML file in the local computer. Inkscape – and Illustrator files are imported as well as whole SVG fonts. The adjustment of kerning and ligatures is not a problem, also linked shapes can be created to use them again in other letters. With the test drive feature, you will also receive a live preview of your fonts. A real feature is the two-screen mode. You can use Glyphr in all web browsers, but Google chrome provide the best results. Glyphr can export projects as .OTF, and SVG file formats.
The user interface:
MyScriptFont is based on the same principle as PaintFont. The homepage is very similar. You can download a template, fill it by hand and then scans it as a 300dpi document and upload it on MyScriptFont. You can download the new font as TTF or OTF file format. Registration is not required to use the service.
You can create icon fonts that are used on a web pages with this web application. But you canât create normal fonts with it. You can download those in SVG file format. Fontastic can import SVG files from Illustrator, then create an icon font. Every single detail of the icons can be edited with CSS, for example, to add shadows and colors and to change. Finished icon fonts are perfectly scaled in web pages. A registration is necessary to use this service. Fontastic works in all web browsers.
The BitFontMaker is a tool for a special kind of fonts. Because it can create so-called pixel fonts like you’ve known from old video games. You can roam through the extensive gallery, to see what other fonts users have created. Or download your own TTF or OTF fonts and then edit it. New fonts can be created from the ground which is relatively easily in the editor. You can also share your complete fonts with your friends. Registration is not necessary to use BitFontMaker.
BitfontMaker Works with the following web browsers
The last tool in this list is a desktop application that must be installed again. In the functional diversity, TTFEdit is located exactly in the middle between very complex applications such as FontForge and the simpler applications without great functional diversity. Existing fonts in TTF format can be imported and modified, or to create completely new projects from templates. The interface is divided into tabs, where each tabs for various actions. The shape of each character can be changed by moving and resizing of curves.
TTFEdit is currently only available for WindowsÂ .
Each of those Font Design tools has some especially. Some tools are good to design new fonts with others you can convert your own handwriting to the font. But all of those fonts are really fun to work with…