This seems to be one of those things, y’know? One of those things that begins as a fleeting idea in your mind, and then you Google it to see if it’s really possible. Then, you find out that it is indeed very possible, and you end up bookmarking it, promising yourself that you’ll do it once you have enough time. One of those things.
That happened with me, honestly. As with many things, I put this on the back burner, hoping to do it once I had some time–but I never did. I pretty much forgot that this was even a thing, and so I never got around to doing it. Until today, that is. I was thinking about something interesting that I should do, and I remembered about this idea, the thought creating your own font using a pre-printed template. I looked into it more, and as it turns out, it’s a LOT more simple than I thought! The whole process, from start to finish, took me less than an hour in total, and the results were better than I thought they would be.
Perhaps you have wondered about this yourself. Maybe you have been curious about what your handwriting would look like if it were typed on a computer screen, or to try to trick someone into thinking a typed essay was handwritten. I’m showing you this guide so you’ll all know how easy it is; hopefully you won’t have any reservations, and maybe you’ll even try it out yourself!
Step 1: Print out your template
For this entire tutorial, I’ll be using a website known as MyScriptFont.com. This website is very specifically dedicated for this exact purpose–for creating your very own customized font. I’ve heard about this site from a few different sources, so I decided to go with it.
This is the page you will be directed to. The first thing you have to do is to get one of their pre-made templates. Basically, all this does is it tells the website what each letter is supposed to look like. e.g., whatever you write in the box labeled “E”, it’ll let the website know that that is what the letter E is supposed to look like. Simply click on either one of the template links (I prefer the one that says “PDF”, although for some it doesn’t make a big difference) and download it like you normally would.
This is what the next page should look like. Each one of the squares has a watermark made to show which box corresponds to which box. It starts with the uppercase letters, then the lowercase letters, then the symbols, then the accented letters. All the characters that you’d need on a regular basis, really.
This is what my hard copy looked like. My printer was out of ink so I used the public one at my school, but any printer at all will work, so long as it has a good amount of black ink and it prints nice and evenly. See how the letters in the boxes are really light, barely noticeable so that you can only barely make it out? It’s supposed to be like this, actually. This ensures that the only thing that scans is the letters that you write, and not the watermarks themselves.
Step 2: Fill out your template completely
Now, fill out all of the boxes with the correct letters. Again, the watermarks should be very light, but you should still be able to see them well enough to make out which ones are which. Use a black felt pen for the best results and dark, uniform letters. I decided to use a regular black pen, but if you happen to be a perfectionist and want your font to be real solid, then a felt pen would be the way to go.
Step 3: Scan your template
Once that’s all done, you simply have to scan the template, in order to get the information back to the website. For people who don’t do it regularly, scanning may seem like something difficult or foreign, and you may feel tempted to push something aside once you find out that it requires a scan. That’s far from true, though; this is my first time scanning something myself, and it was actually pretty simple.
The process varies depending on what computer you have, what programs are available, and what scanner you used., but if you already have things set up, it should be a breeze. I simply went into Microsoft Paint, selected the “From scanner or camera” option in the ‘Files’ drop down menu, and then clicked “scan”. If your template is aligned right on the scanner, then it should pop up in your previously blank MS Paint document, and at that point, all you need to do is click “Save”.
Step 4: Upload your template
Now, here’s the fun part: where you actually get to see what your new font will look like. Click “Choose File” and then find the file that you saved in the previous step. Oh yeah, and the awesome part about this step? You get to name your font, too! I chose “Times New Hayden”, since that’s what I’ve always imagined that I would name my font, if I ever were to get around to making it. Anyways, once you name your font, click “Start” (don’t mess with the output format, by the way), and it should lead you to a page that shows you a preview of what your font will look like. It should show some or all of the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog”. If it all checks out, then click the blue text there at the bottom and download the file. As you can see, my lowercase ‘0’ is a little too far to the right, but it’s manageable.
Step 5: Install and start using your font
This is the final step you have to take before you can finally use your font. Go to your document in the File Explorer, or, to make it easier to find, move the file onto your desktop. However you do it, you now have to right click on the file and select ‘Install’. This just tells the computer “Alright everyone, this is a legit font. Let them use it whenever they want”. It does require the administrator password though, for me at least. After that, the font is officially installed on your computer and is ready to use. All you need to do now is test it out…
It works!! A completely new font was just created from scratch in a relatively small amount of time. I’m very pleased with the results; I expected to have many problems that would require a ton of troubleshooting, taking up at least the rest of my afternoon. But that, in fact, was not the case. I had minimal problems with the maximum results–something that is great to have with projects like this.
This is how Times New Hayden looks compared to my actual handwriting. Pretty neat, right? This is a fun project that I strongly recommend doing, for anyone with a little bit of free time looking for something cool to do on the Internet. The possibilities are endless!
To download and use Times New Hayden yourself, click here. Otherwise, feel free to comment below with what your experiences were like with this project, or any tips, advice, or questions you might want to share.