Typography is one of the most important parts of a design and choosing a font that works on a project can be difficult. Luckily, there is a wide variety of free and paid fonts on sites like Google Fonts or DaFont.
But you are not here to take the easy road with a premade font.
Although there are many great typography choices available, perhaps you want to create your own font and put your imagination and creativity to the test.
As you may already know, creating a custom font can be a challenging and time-consuming task. It will take some technical skills and imagination – and perhaps many hours at the “drawing board”.
If you simply want to upload your handwriting or calligraphy and turn it into a font without the need for fine tweaks or advanced illustration, then a program like Calligraphr might be all you need. Otherwise, you might be on the search for software that can perform some more advanced functions.
Fortunately, there are some incredible programs that can help make your finished font look clean and professional.
9 Best Sites to Create Your Own Font
1. FontForge (Free)
Open Source | Software | Advanced
FontForge is one of the standard names in typeface construction and the creation of new fonts. They offer an open-source program that is 100% free and is continuously being upgraded with new features every month. With over 200,000 downloads, it helps guide a user to crafting a new font without all the confusion since it offers full-length documentation and a help forum. They even have a free starter book that helps users understand the complexity that goes into creating fonts as well as offering clear instructions and a helpful knowledge base.
If you want to dive into the world of font creation with free “do-everything” software, then FontForge is the right direction for you.
2. Fontself ($59)
Extension Add-on | Paid | Drag-and-Drop
If you are already a graphic designer that is familiar with the popular Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop programs, then Fontself might be the perfect solution since it is an extension of these programs. All of the features you find in other complex typography creators are found within Fontself and if you are handy with Adobe products, then moving around the program is going to feel more intuitive. The pricing of the extension begins at $39 for the illustrator-only extension and increases to $59 to include the Photoshop version as well.
Don’t worry… the pricing is only a one-time cost and is not a yearly subscription like many other similar Adobe add-ons and extensions.
For all you Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop graphic designers, look no further than the elaborate Fontself typography extension.
3. Fontstruct (Free)
Browser | Typeface Export | Community-Based
Fontstruct is a font builder platform that runs right in your browser without the need to download any software to your computer. This web-based platform allows you to create fonts using geometric shapes arranged in a grid. While it uses its own system for creating new fonts, the interface is rather intuitive and not difficult to learn. As a free program, it is backed by many supporters giving it a fantastic community to answer questions and share fonts.
If you want to learn to create fonts with an excellent online community without taking months to learn an advanced program, then Fontstruct might be a great place to begin.
4. Calligraphr (Free)
Web Application | Simple | Template
Calligraphr is a web-based application that is built for turning your handwriting or calligraphy into an online typeface. This program differs from the previous choices as it focuses on creating the font by hand rather than with an online program.
It’s simple. First, you create a template and print it out. Then, fill in the template with your custom handwritten font and scan it using a printer, digital camera, or smartphone. Click “build font” and voilà! You have your new font ready to use and share with the online community.
If you are the artist who is accustomed to creating designs by hand rather than at the will of a keyboard and a mouse, then Calligraphr might be the best method for uploading your custom creation.
You can create your typography design using a free plan or upgrade to access all the advanced features for only $8/month.
5. Birdfont (Free)
Software | Open Source | Advanced
Birdfont is yet another downloadable typography program that is useful for those looking to create multiple fonts and make a hobby out of their designs. It is a free program that is 100% backed by donations (as they ask for a small payment for a commercial use license).
It has a more intuitive layout than the popular FontForge program but lacks some of the more advanced features. Regardless, most of the advanced features are used in rare instances – so you may only need what this software can offer.
If you want a downloadable program that you can learn without having to dive into the advanced features of other software, then Birdfont is worth a check.
6. FontLab 7 ($459)
Advanced | Professional | Windows & Mac
Perhaps the most professional and advanced typography program on our list is FontLab7, which is a paid software program available for both Windows and Mac.
While the price of the software is enough to scare off novices, it is well worth it for those looking for the most professional option to create many skillful fonts. If you are a veteran graphic designer looking for the most elite option in typography software, then FontLab7 is the right program to experience – regardless of how the font will need to be used or formatted.
7. Glyphr Studio (Free)
Easy | Web-Based | Intuitive
If your head is spinning after seeing the price and features of the previous font editor, then you might be pleased to see a simple and intuitive web-based option for hobbyists. Glyphr Studio is a web-based editor that is built for a user looking for a non-complex solution to have fun creating new fonts without getting in over their head.
We enjoy the fact that you do not even have to sign up with your email to instantly get started with the simple-to-use program and you can jump right in without a second thought.
If you want a simple program to dip your toes in the water of font creation, then Glyphr Studio is a fantastic choice.
8. YourFonts ($9.95)
Handwriting | Template | Web-based
YourFonts is another program like Calligraphr that takes your handwriting from a template and uploads it to the web. It has a different template interface which some may prefer so we suggest giving a try to both programs to see which one works best for you.
9. Creative Fabrica (free)
Upload Design | Web-based
Creative Fabrica has a free (yes, truly FREE) webfont generator available if you have otf or ttf font files that you would like to convert to usable web fonts. It can be challenging to find the right conversion when you only have a font available in otf or ttf file versions. If this is the case, we suggest using a webfont generator from the team at Creative Fabrica.
Best Program to Make Your Own Font
We do not have a “favorite” program to recommend since there are many different options to fit different needs. Some users may want to experience the best possible solutions with a professional and advanced program while others may be looking for a simple way to work on a new hobby.
To recap, we grouped the programs into the most popular and unique categories.
Professional & Advanced Software
Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop Designers
Browser Typography Tools
Handwriting Upload on Template
Whichever typography program you end up with, remember to always have fun and let your creativity and imagination flow! If you have created some incredible designs with one of our suggestions, we would love for you to share below.