Earlier this week, I discovered illustrator Stephanie O'Hearne's lovely blog. I was having a little read through her posts, and amongst them I came across an awesome little post all about creating your own handwritten font! I have always wanted to design my own font, but quite honestly, I had absolutely no idea how. When I saw a link to a free online tool that makes it possible to design your own unique font using your handwriting, I was desperate to have a little try!
Yesterday afternoon was the perfect opportunity to try it out, and the process turned out to be incredibly straightforward. All you have to do is pop over to this website, print out a copy of the template, and fill in all the letters with a medium-thick black pen. Once finished, you scan the completed template, upload it, wait a few minutes and BOOM your very own font all ready to download! The best part is that, because it's based on your handwriting, it's guaranteed to be totally original. Yay!
[Yes, I even really did create little heart and star symbols as part of my font, I'm cool like that. Ha.]
I recommend experimenting with the thickness of pen you use to fill in the template, as it affects the boldness of the resulting font. My first font was originally written out using a medium-thick black marker pen; for the second, I used a fine-line black rollerball pen. I prefer the second font that I created, as the first is a little too heavy, although it may be useful if I require a bolder font one day.
I often struggle to incorporate text into an illustration, not in terms of composition, but because I usually find it difficult an appropriate font. The fonts I try never seem to suit the illustrations they are accompanying. I think this was a big part of the reason I originally began creating my own typography by hand; it was a way to create a style of text that I felt fit with the style of the imagery, as both were hand-created using a similar process. I tend to prefer the appearance of a more hand-created font, as it gives an illustration a sense of fluidity if image and text are of a similar style. Hand-created lettering has become my favourite way of adding text to an image, but there are occasions when cut-out or hand-drawn fonts are really suitable. I think this is a tool that I would definitely consider using if I required a proper printed font; it would be especially appropriate adding text to a children's picture book, as it has a fairly formal appearance, whilst still retaining a playful, handwritten appearance.