There are plenty of sources available to find free high quality fonts that you can use in your apps and web projects. However, it can sometimes happen that even after checking hundreds of fonts, you’re not able to find the perfect font that you were looking for. Or you simply want to use a unique font in your app, website or logo design. In such cases, you may want to create your own font to add uniqueness to the typography of your project.
In this article, we have brought a list of the best tools and software for creating fonts. You can use these font creators to make your own custom font from scratch. You can also design your fonts in vector graphic editors like Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape and then import the .svg file in font building tools like FontForge (mentioned below) to convert into TrueType (TTF) or OpenType fonts (OTF). Some of the tools listed below are browser based such as FontStruct and FontArk, while the rest of these editors are downloadable software available for Windows and/or Mac OS.
FontLab is a powerful font editor for professionals to design typefaces and create or modify fonts. It is available for Windows and Mac and supports all major outline font formats including OpenType, TrueType, Variable OpenType, Color OpenType fonts, PostScript Type 1, web fonts as well as Glyphs.app (glyphs) font format.
Cost: Premium with Free Trial. See pricing details
FontCreator, available for Windows, has an intuitive interface for beginners and also has advance feature sets for font designers to create and edit high-quality TrueType and OpenType fonts. Import of (scanned) images or vector graphics for conversion into glyphs is also supported. Using FontCreator, you can also make scalable color fonts, supporting both COLR and SVG color extensions.
Cost: The Home Edition costs 49 USD, check price comparison chart for details
Glyphs is a Mac font editor that lets you draw vectors from scratch, easily manage any number of letters, figures and symbols, and efficiently produce an OpenType font. Variable fonts and color font creation are also supported.
Cost: Premium with Free Trial. See pricing details
Fontself Maker is an extension for Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop you can use to turn your lettering into OpenType fonts. It runs on both Mac and PC and is a great add-on for designers who are already using these Adobe software. You can checkout these fonts on Behance and Creative Market that have been made using Fontself. With this extension, you can also make OpenType-SVG color fonts.
Cost: Premium. See pricing details
FontForge is a free open source font editor available for Windows, Mac, Unix/Linux systems and localized in many different languages. It is an outline font editor and allows you to create and edit PostScript, TrueType, OpenType, svg and bitmap fonts. It also lets you convert one format to another.
Type 3.2 is an OpenType font editor available for Windows and Mac OS X. You can open, save and convert .otf and .ttf fonts. Import of .svg files is also supported. Beginners can also try out the freeware font editor, Type light that is available for Windows.
Cost: Type light is free, Type 3.2 costs 35 USD
FontStruct is a free browser-based typography creation tool to let you quickly and easily create your own fonts. You can download your font as TrueType. You can also share your fonts with FontStruct community, browse and download fonts uploaded by others and use in your projects.
BitFontMaker2 is a browser-based pixel-font editor that you can use to edit and create bitmap fonts. You can download your fonts as TrueTypeFont, you can also upload your fonts to their gallery.
Fontifier is an online tool that allows you to create a TrueType font from your own handwriting. You can preview your font for free but you have to buy the font for using it in your projects.
Cost: Free to use, 9 USD to download the font
YourFonts is an online tool that lets you generate OpenType fonts from your scanned handwriting. Like Fontifier, font preview is free and you need to purchase the font for using in your projects.
Cost: Free to use, 9.95 USD to download the font
iFontMaker is a downloadable application available for iPad and Windows 8. Using its free-hand font editor you can either create your font from scratch or edit the existing ones. You can convert it into a TTF file and use in your projects.
Cost: 4.99 USD for Windows, 7.99 USD for iPad
FontArk is a browser-based type design and font creation tool that supports Google Chrome or Safari. With features like real-time multiple glyph editing system and automatic outline generator, you can easily create your own font and download it as .OTF file.
Cost: Free for limited time
Calligraphr (previously MyScriptFont) is an online tool that lets you create TTF or OTF fonts from your handwriting. It also allows you to download your font for free that you can use for commercial purposes too. Upgrading to Pro gives you access to advanced features such as ligatures.
You can read my post where I have shared my experience on how to create font from handwriting using MyScriptFont for more details. The process of creating fonts using Calligraphr is similar to the steps shown in this article.
Cost: Free as well as Premium, see pricing plan
BirdFont is a font editor that you can use to create TTF, EOT and SVG fonts. This editor is available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and BSD. You can download its freeware version to create fonts under SIL Open Font license, for other licenses you need to upgrade.
Cost: Free as well as Premium, see pricing details
If you want to design professional typefaces, it is recommended to use a professional font editor like Glyphs or Fontlab. In case you are starting out or want to try out font making as a hobby, online tools like Fontifier and Calligraphr, that let you create font from your handwriting, are a good place to start. While for designers who use Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Fontself is a handy extension to convert your lettering into OpenType (including color) fonts.
What font editor do you use? Or do you plan to use any of the editors listed above? Let us know in the comments below. And, do share this post with others if you found it useful.
You might as well be interested in these articles on fonts and typography:
- The Psychology of Fonts
- Font Identification Tools
- Best Free Serif Fonts
- Best Free Sans Serif Fonts
- Gorgeous Script Fonts