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Good Software to Make a Font?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 22, 2010 Feb 22, 2010

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I did a search here but the most recent thing that comes up is from 2003.

Does anyone know of any good software that I can make fonts with? This is my first attempt and I want something free or inexpensive just to see how I like it.

Thanks!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Enthusiast , Feb 23, 2010 Feb 23, 2010
Here are your options. Note that some of the commercial applications have a free demo version, but the limitations of the demo may be too great for your needs.Font Forge: open source, free. Not all that easy to use, doesn't use standard OS user interface controls. Quite powerful and does a lot. A pretty good choice if you're a technogeek with lots of time and zero money.TypeTool: $99, the "low end" tool from the makers of FontLab Studio, same interface etcetera. Probably your best choice if you ...

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Participant ,
Feb 22, 2010 Feb 22, 2010

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Font Lab Studio 5

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 23, 2010 Feb 23, 2010

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I was looking for something a little less expensive than $649.

Thanks for the suggestion though.

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Participant ,
Feb 23, 2010 Feb 23, 2010

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(Hope I won't get killed me for this suggestion 😉 )


Corel Draw - even older versions

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 23, 2010 Feb 23, 2010

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Wow, Corel Draw, wasn't expecting that!

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 23, 2010 Feb 23, 2010

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Here are your options. Note that some of the commercial applications have a free demo version, but the limitations of the demo may be too great for your needs.

Font Forge: open source, free. Not all that easy to use, doesn't use standard OS user interface controls. Quite powerful and does a lot. A pretty good choice if you're a technogeek with lots of time and zero money.

TypeTool: $99, the "low end" tool from the makers of FontLab Studio, same interface etcetera. Probably your best choice if you might want to get serious later on, although not terribly easy to use.

FontCreator: $99. They claim massive popularity for it, but I have only heard of one or two people using it in the type community. No comment on quality or interface.

Fontographer: $349, relatively easy to use.

FontLab Studio: $649, not so easy to use, but insanely powerful. The tool used by >90% of professionals and hardcore font developers.

CorelDraw can technically be used to make fonts, but I wouldn't bother unless you already have a copy, which makes it "free" from your POV. Even then... ick. It's like eating soup with a fork. You can do it... kind of.

Regards,

T

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Contributor ,
Feb 23, 2010 Feb 23, 2010

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You asked for something 'good' and also 'inexpensive'. In general, you

can't have both.

The two suggestions you've received so far include one good and

expensive solution (Fontlab) and one poor and inexpensive (Corel Draw).

Corel Draw's font creation process is absurd! It does one character at

a time and has just about zero ways to select or create any other than

a couple of default font attributes.

An exception to the rule is FontForge, which is both good and free. It

also has a steep learning curve, and requires a cygwin environment.

Somewhere in between, you can find:

Other programs from Pyrus/Fontlab, with varying costs and degrees of

capability, including TypeTool and Scanfont. Scanfont does a

reasonable job of vectorizing images of full character sets, but

should really be used in conjunction with FontLab. They also own and

sell Fontographer, an expensive old warhorse of a program that hasn't

been updated in many many years. The Mac version is a bit newer.

FontCreator (High-Logic Systems). Extremely flexible when vectorizing

images of individual glyphs. It has poor defaults (such as assigning

the copyright to High-Logic Systems and creating many hundreds of

empty glyphs) that have to be overcome. Again, post-processing with a

program like FontLab is recommended, but not necessary.

CR8 Software Solutions:

Has a free font creator, TypeLight, that has limited drawing tools,

can't import scanned images directly, and other limitations. He also

offers a paid version with significantly more capability, and a

separate program CR8Trace, for vectorizing scanned images. All in all,

not great, but you get what you pay for.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 23, 2010 Feb 23, 2010

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@Thomas and @ HerbVB thank you guys so much! Yes, generally inexpensive and good are hard to come by. I just wanted to see what the process was like and not spend too much money along the way.

Thanks again!

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Contributor ,
Feb 23, 2010 Feb 23, 2010

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Oops - hit the send button pre-maturely.

There are some other options.

Fontstruct - an on-line FREE font creator that works something like a

set of lego.

At the extreme high-end,

DTL FontMaster and associated tools. They have free trial versions

available (save disabled). Full version is over £2,000. That's

POUNDS, not dollars!

Both on-line services and software are available ostensibly for

converting handwriting to fonts. They do rudimentary scans from a

template into which you've placed your images (hand-drawn or via

computer) and they create a font from that. They include Fontifier,

YourFonts, Your Handwriting, and more.

Oh yes. Tom Phinney's comments about Corel Draw as a font creator may

have OVER-stated its capabilities

OK, this time I MEAN to hit the send button.

- Herb

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 09, 2018 Jul 09, 2018

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Try Fontself Maker an Adobe AI and PS extension for edit and create a fonts.

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Explorer ,
Jul 09, 2018 Jul 09, 2018

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There is new, easy, powerful AND affordable solution (disclosure: I'm one of it's creators)

Fontself Maker: a $49 extension that runs within Illustrator and Photoshop so you can just drag & drop your letters to make fonts.

drop.gif

Fontself has many power features (kerning, alternates, ligatures) and cool extras like OpenType-SVG color fonts, which can be based on either vector artwork or bitmap images for textured fonts.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 10, 2018 Jul 10, 2018

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Used by Google, Apple and Adobe creative team too? I love it.

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New Here ,
Apr 19, 2021 Apr 19, 2021

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Adobe needs to add this to their software

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Apr 19, 2021 Apr 19, 2021

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I don't think you are going to see that happen (i.e., bundling it with Illustrator). Fontself Maker is a bargain for the price which is very affordable for those for whom creation of fonts, especially special purpose, symbolic fonts is important. However, it really doesn't replace tools such as Fontlab etc. for heavy duty production of commercial fonts.

 

And @ricor51192602, for the record, although there are those at Adobe with licenses for Fontself Maker, that tool is not used by Adobe to create fonts in its Adobe Original font families.

 

- Dov Isaacs, former Adobe Principal Scientist (April 30, 1990 - May 30, 2021)

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