I’m a little partial to digital tools that can be used to create diagrams and images that look hand drawn — Balsamiq Mockups is a wonderful example.
I’ve often thought it’d be great to have a font made from my own handwriting, enabling me to “hand annotate” digitally crafted images to add an informal, playful and personal touch. Of course, creating a typeface from scratch is an expensive, skillful, labor-intensive process, best left to professional typographers, not amateurs like myself.
So imagine my delight in discovering FontCapture, an entirely web-based application that enables you to create a font from your own handwriting within minutes — and what’s more, it’s free. All you need is a printer and a scanner.
“Fontifying” your handwriting is a simple, four-step process:
- Print a specially formatted template.
- Complete the template with your individual handwritten characters — up to 128 glyphs. Be careful to align ascending and descending characters with the template’s baseline marks.
- Scan your completed template back into your computer and upload it to the service.
- Within a few seconds, you should see a preview of your font and a link to download it in OpenType format (see the screenshot above).
The service works very well. It’s simple, fast, free and accurate — though perhaps a little too accurate. FontCapture demonstrated how appalling my handwriting really is! I didn’t do a perfect job of keeping my characters and glyphs aligned within the marks on the template, but the final result was a pretty good representation of my jittery scrawl.
I’d readily recommend the app to anyone who needs a digital representation of their handwriting, but sadly my own handwriting is too illegible to be charmingly applied to digital imagery.
What would you do with a font of your own handwriting?