Fonts might be plentiful and often free, but there are still times when you want something truly original. This means creating your own font. Many font editors are tricky to use but FontStruct takes a novel approach to simplify the process so that anyone can produce some truly unique fonts.
Instead of having to get involved in the intricacies of accurately placing straight lines and editing curves, creating a font in FontStruct need require nothing more complicated than placing blocks onto a grid. Despite this simplicity, though, you can produce some genuinely amazing fonts.Here's how to make a font, admittedly a simple ony, but as you get to grips with FontStruct, you’ll find that the sky’s the limit.
How to make a font with FontStruct
1. First, if you’re sceptical that decent fonts can be built from blocks, head over to www.fontstruct.com, click on the “Gallery” tab at the top and select “Top Picks”. We trust that you’ll be impressed at the flexibility that approach obviously provides.
2. You don’t have to pay to use FontStruct but you do have to register. From the FontStruct home page, click on “Start Now” and then, on the next page, select “Sign Up Now”. Provide a username, your email address and a password.
3. Once you’ve created an account, log in using the details you provided and click on the “Create New FontStruction” button. On the next page provide a name for your first font where indicated and click on the “Start FontStructing” button.
4. You’ll be taken to the editing screen. The letter you’re currently editing – initially it’s ‘A’ – is selected at the bottom. The available blocks are at the left with the most recently used ones (initially empty) at the top. The grid is where you’ll drop blocks to create characters.
5. The pencil is initially selected in the tools menu so a block will be added on the grid wherever you click. Try building up the letter ‘A’ using your chosen building blocks, making sure it sits on the blue baseline and against the left line.
6. You can make letters as large as you want as they’ll automatically be scaled to the correct point size when you use the, for example in a word processor. The more complicated your font the larger it’ll have to be. Use the zoom slider as necessary.
7. After you’ve used a few different blocks, you’ll notice that the pencil tool cycles between “My Blocks” on each click. Try some of the other tools too. The eraser deletes an area of blocks after you’ve dragged round them and the hand allows you to pan.
8. After you’ve created a few letters, how about trying them out. Click on “Preview” to see your currently created letters at the bottom of the screen. At the top you can enter any text that includes those characters. Click “Go Back” afterwards.
9. Periodically save your creation in the cloud by clicking on “Save”. When you’re done (or even before) click on “My FontStructs” and then select the name of your font. Here you can edit details such as a description and whether you want to share your masterpiece.
10. Also, on this page, you can download the font to your PC. Click on “Download” and then “TrueType Font”. When prompted, choose to save it. The font will be downloaded to your PC, into your default download folder, as a Zip file.
11. Uncompress the Zip file on your PC and, in the uncompressed folder, double click on the font file which will have the name you gave it in FontStruct. Click “Install” on the preview window and your font will now be available for use.