Dean Rivers (dean_r) wrote,
Dean Rivers

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For Vanish and everyone else who's asked: HOW TO MAKE A FONT.

Call offering this knowledge a Christmas present if you want to consider me as especially cheap.

Font Creator Program (note: shareware, 30 day limit)
(not required, but recommended: Manual)
A plain piece of white A4 paper
A black pen, thickness equivalent to the thickness you want the font to have
A scanner.
A decent art program (though if forced to, Paint can do what is required)
Patience. A lot of patience.

You will need to consider if you want the font to be A-Z only, whether it'll include smallcase text, numbers, symbols - if you're gonna make up a whole fontset you'll need these keys.

Top row: `1234567890-= shift held: ¬!"£$%^&*()_+
Second row: qwertyuiop[] shift held: QWERTYUIOP{}
Third row: asdfghjkl;'# shift held: ASDFGHJKL:@~
Bottom row: zxcvbnm,./ shift held: ZXCVBNM<>?

So, A-Z is only 26, a-z as well 52, numbers 62, symbols as well makes it a lot... eugh, I'd count, but it's 4 AM, so, bleh. 100 or so. That is a lot of work. Honestly. I'd recommend going for 26 to begin with and adding as you get more time.

Write out the letters you need onto the paper. Make sure they're of a quality you like and they look legible from a small distance (over a metre or so), otherwise they'll be useless characters to have, for a small font size.

Then get the scanner on and get ready to scan the letters. You'll want to scan them in at a very high quality so you can then ensure the character you get is as good as possible. I recommend trying to make sure each your letters are about 300 pixels high and no wider than 300 pixels wide. You can morph the size of your text in the font creating program though, so if it's a bit out you can edit it in there easily.

Using the paint program, cut the letters out of the picture and save them, one by one, seperately as bmps. This is the file type the program accepts.

From here, loading the program and looking at the manual for additional guidance would be a very good idea, really. But if you really can't be bothered to, you're making my life hell. Anyway. Go to FILE - NEW. Click Unicode and OK it. As we've only got 26 letters right now, double-click A on the "font1.ttf" window... then go to Tools - Insert Image. Find and load up your letter A. Dilate if this font looks chunkier than the rest of your letters (or erode if it looks thinner than the rest of the fonts). Then click generate and the program does most of the hard work. It'll generate the glyph.

From here, zoom in and amend any bumps if need be. Make sure the glyph is below the top of three darker horizontal lines (for a capital letter, go for about 75% of the height between the first and second horizontal lines), that's the absolute limit at the top. The third and bottom line is the absolute limit for the bottom. The second (red) line is the line text should sit on (the space between the second and third lines is for tails/curly bits on letters like q, y etc). Also make sure to amend the dashed line on the right to go over the right-hand edge of your glyph as this is how the width of each character is determined.

Repeat 26 times. This'll take a while, I assure you, so be patient.

And yes, this explanation is basic and non-foolproof, but if you were desperate enough to make the font and want aid at any time, leave a comment asking for help in anything specific and I'll explain how I don't know what you want as in-depth as required.

Okay, now I've written that I actually feel tired. So nightnight people!

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