Monday, April 25, 2005

Fontifier

In A Minute Ago mentioned Fontifier in her blog, and I immediately went to check it out. Just $9 for a handwriting font?!

My six-year-old son has been wanting to make his own fonts for the whole past YEAR, ever since he heard it was possible... so when we saw this we went ahead and spent the $9 to try it out. He got a little silly with his letters, making some into icons and transposing others. But had fun. The program isn't the greatest... you upload 1/2" high letters at 100 dpi... but given those limitations the font is actually pretty good!



for what it's worth, rather than strictly following their instructions I scanned in my son's sheet at 300 dpi, increased contrast and decreased brightness 100%, digitally moved his letters to be consistent with the baseline, cleaned them up, shrunk it to the mandatory 100 dpi, repeated the contrast/brightness, and this is what I got. Not professional quality, but definitely worth the $9. I think next time I'd skip the final contrast/brightness, that may have added jagginess to the letters. One problem with the font preview is they show you it at about 36-point, so you can't REALLY see how good (or bad) it turned out.



This is part of the preview of my map font, which I decided not to purchase because they looked too thin. (the preview does include all the other characters... a full 99 characters.)

My husband, with his black belt in common sense, pointed out that it would only take 18 font purchases before I could get a utility program, Scanfont, to do the same thing. $200 seems like a lot... but on the other hand I'm only slightly font-addicted... creating 18 would not be a problem for me.

I have sketches for at least four picture fonts started, plus all the fonts (and weights) I use for making hand-lettered maps...



So I scanned in and posted samples above, to remind me to finish them someday...

update 6/05: I bought ScanFont and TypeTool, and now would never go back to Fontifier. Details here and here. Fontifier would be great for someone who just wants a single font and is onlyl planning to use it at 72 points or less... but for anyone serious about doing fonts, ScanFont and TypeTool are excellent products and easy to use. I'd be happy to answer anyone's questions about them (or Fontifier) as well, just email me.

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