Creating your own custom handwriting font isn’t really as hard as one might think. All you need is a piece of paper, Adobe Illustrator and Glyphs. Glyphs, is a program that allows you to design fonts either from scratch or copy your designs from Illustrator. You can either pay the license or use the demo version if you only want to create this one font.
This covers how to create a non-connected font. Creating connected fonts is a bit more complicated.
I’m not a font designer but I always wanted to make my handwritten type in to a font. I wanted to use it in my comic books. So I read a bit on it and started experimenting.
One way would be to use this websites service. It’s free and not really that accurate but it’s faster. It’s worth a try.
Before I can tell you how I made my font you need to know how a glyph is constructed. Basically put a glyph is constructed from a base, ascender and descender. A lower case a has no ascenders or descenders. A lowercase b has an ascender and a lower case p has a descender. Basically put an ascender is the part that extends above the base of a glyph and a descender is the part that extends below it.
Do you remember my brand new light box for sketching? Well it came in handy for this as well but it’s not mandatory. I put caro paper on the box and a plain sheet of paper over it. The caro paper is there for guidelines. I used a 3×4 grid as a base. The middle 2 parts are for the base and the lower and upper part for the ascenders and descenders. The capital letters were all 3 parts high. Most letters were only 2 parts wide but sometimes they extend to 3. That’s why I used a 3×4 grid. This grid guideline is there to keep things tidy and organized.
You can also create numbers and a couple of other symbols that you need.
After that I scanned the images and placed them to Adobe Illustrator where I traced them to make them in to vectors and then I expanded the results.
It’s smart to resize the letters to appropriate size in Adobe Illustrator. I made my capital letters about 760px high. The size depends on your design though.
Now open up Glyphs and double click on the letter you want to edit. Select the letter in Illustrator with the direct selection tool then copy and paste it in Glyphs. Here you can adjust the letters to your liking and reposition them if you wish.
With lower case letters you need to consider the ascender and descender space that is marked in Glyphs. The same goes for any other symbol. The upper case letters all need to extend in to the ascender portion of the grid.
After you import (copy/paste) all the letter, numbers and other symbols all you have to do is export the font and install it to your system.
At this point you may want to test the font. Check the spacing and sizes of the fonts. You can go back to Glyphs and adjust the spacing by clicking on the letter T in the upper menu then adjusting the LSB and RSB numbers to set the spacing.
It’s easy as that. Granted this is the “for dummies” way of doing it and there probably are more precise and better ways of creating a font from your handwriting but that’s how I did it and I think it looks good enough.
My comic book lettering isn’t anything special but it’s my own. You can download my font for free and use it as you wish as long as you don’t sell the font as your own. Or create your own using this tutorial. It’s up to you.