What's the best and/or best & least inexpensive program to convert a vector graphic to a font?

Explorer ,
Jun 13, 2011 Jun 13, 2011

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My client gave me a bunch  of vector graphics that a different agency gave them for a font that  they use for money amounts in their new branding. They gave me vector  graphics 0-9, a "$", a "." and a ",".

I've already tried to find out what the actual font is but I've had  no success. My next option is to convert the vectors into a new font.

So now I need to find a program to do the conversion. What programs work best based on your experience.

Thx in advance for your suggestions.

Zak.

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Enthusiast , Jun 13, 2011 Jun 13, 2011

You don't mention what platform you're on, which sometimes matters, but here goes.

First, you could try more at identifying the font. I know you've tried here, and using WhatTheFont, but failing those, the "font ID" forum on Typophile.com is your best bet. That's where I go when I can't identify a font myself (which doesn't happen often, but once in a while).

If you can't ID the font and really want to make a new one... well, two concerns:

1) Starting with the vectors from another font may very wel

...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2011 Jun 13, 2011

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Zak,

You may start looking at FontLab and Fontographer and work your way down, or start looking at free font creation software and work your way up (you may Google the latter).

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Enthusiast ,
Jun 13, 2011 Jun 13, 2011

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You don't mention what platform you're on, which sometimes matters, but here goes.

First, you could try more at identifying the font. I know you've tried here, and using WhatTheFont, but failing those, the "font ID" forum on Typophile.com is your best bet. That's where I go when I can't identify a font myself (which doesn't happen often, but once in a while).

If you can't ID the font and really want to make a new one... well, two concerns:

1) Starting with the vectors from another font may very well infringe the copyright (as software) of the original font. Leastways, that's how I read Judge Whyte's decision in the summary judgment from Adobe vs SSI. But I'm not a lawyer, just alerting you that there might be a legal issue.

2) Unless your time isn't worth much, probably the most cost-effective way to do this would be to simply pay some font geek to do it for you. Researching, installing software, and learning what to do and to do it right will probably take you four hours or more, and then you will probably still not have done an optimal job and it won't render as well as if somebody did it right in an hour. I'd probably charge $80 for a job like this, if it were me doing the work, and the files were EPS or some format I can easily open and convert. (I expect there are folks who would charge less, btw. I have a great day job, and so I only take side projects that really interest me and/or pay my usual consulting rate, usually both.)

That being said, if you want to rebuild a font with just those 14 glyphs in it, doing it yourself, and want to know what your software options are:

First, you need to know that any given program has a route for you to get those vector graphics in and to do so while keeping the scaling consistent. If I were doing it, I'd probably open them all in Illustrator or something like that, and paste them from there into FontLab. If you don't have Illustrator, you might need to figure out some other route, or it might mean experimenting and finding out what works for your particular software combination....

Something like 90% of professional font development today goes through FontLab Studio 5. But it costs $649, and has so many features that it is more than a little intimidating for a new user. I love it, yet would hesitate to recommend you or anybody else learning to use it for such a small task, unless you expect to do further font design or production work in the future.

Fontographer (also owned by FontLab Ltd) is a noticeably easier-to-use option, and the bells and whistles it lacks certainly don't matter for this purpose. It costs $399.

TypeTool is also from FontLab Ltd, and costs $99. It's reasonably easy to use, too. Probably the most sane option, I would think, if you're going to do this yourself.

FontForge is an open source alternative, which means FREE, hurrah! BUT... unless you are on Linux it does not use a standard UI on your computer, but instead runs in Unix (X-11 on Mac) or a Unix-like shell (CygWin on Windows). On the Windows side that means installing an additional environment on top of Windows. It is about as powerful and complicated to use as FontLab, after you go through the hassles of getting it up and running.

There is also HighLogic FontCreator on Windows, which I don't know enough about to have an opinion on. It is pretty much not on the radar of the professional font developers, for the most part. $199 for the professional edition, and $79 for the home edition (which says it is "not for commercial use").

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Explorer ,
Jul 16, 2011 Jul 16, 2011

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Hi,

Hope I'm not too late. I'm a font collector. So, I've learned a few things which I hope can help you here.

There are many companies which will convert graphics to fonts. Search "convert your signature to a font".These range in price from very inexpensive to maybe a couple of hundred dollars each.

Also, fonts are vector graphics. Why can't you use the graphics as they are? Vector graphics are resizable without image loss, jaggies or any of the other issues raster graphics have.

Hope this helps.

Diane

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