Illustrator and Photoshop are not enough. You need a font editing tool, such as FontLab Studio, FontForge, Fontographer, TypeTool, or Glyphs. They range in price from open source (free) to $600+. They allow you to turn a "set of alphabetic characters" into a font, and help with creating those glyphs.
But having the software isn't the same as knowing what to do with it, any more than having Photoshop makes you a photographer. Your question is kind of like saying you can't find a good piece of music to have playing at your wedding reception, so how do you go about creating a symphony? Or you don't like the chair you've been sitting in, so how do you create a replacement? It's not that these things are impossible to learn, but the relevant skills are a substantial investment of time and energy.
My serious answer would be study on your own for a year or so, and apply to the appropriate Master's degree program at the University of Reading (UK), or the Royal Academy in the Hague. Or the new program just starting up in Buenos Aires.
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If all you really need are the letters for the logo, why don't you
simply create the logo in illustrator? Some of your design may be in the
shape of a word or letters, but they needn't be from a font. Most major
commercial logos are uniquely drawn and do NOT use fonts. See, for
example, Coca Cola, Adobe, and McDonalds. Unassociated people may have
created a font based on those logos, but not the other way around.
If you plan to use the same typestyle for arbitrary headlines or text,
that's a different matter entirely - see Mr. Phinney's reply, which may
in fact make it look too easy! Text fonts are infinitely more difficult
than just a few nicely designed letters.
With due respect to Herb, often logos are a combination of a regular typeface and a graphic design. Sometimes the typeface is modified, sometimes not. Even among his three examples, Adobe's logo uses Myriad, McDonald's golden arches are a graphic, but used to be accompanied by the word "McDonald's" in Helvetica (if I recall correctly), and Although the Coca-Cola logotype is custom, for Diet Coke I believe the word "Coke" is set in a normal typeface (Times, IIRC).
That being said, completely custom lettering and modified (even heavily modified) font usage are both quite common for logos as well.
To put it another way, and with all respect, anyone who needs to post the question is at least years away from acquiring the necessary skills to create a font.
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Tai Lao said:
"To put it another way, and with all respect, anyone who needs to post
the question is at least years away from acquiring the necessary skills
to create a font."
That's a bit harsh. While it might be true if the desired end result is
a quality text font, there are simple and inexpensive - even free - ways
to produce functioning fonts - particularly if they're for a limited
These include various services that produce a font from your handwriting
(you don't HAVE to submit your pigeon-scratches, you CAN submit nicely
drawn images of letters or even clipart). There's also the free on-line
No, you won't produce a multi-language multi-weight artistically
superior, coordinated font family, but you WILL get something, and some
of the results, particularly for display fonts, can be quite striking.
Thanks for the info on software for font creation. I figured there must be some."Your question is kind of like saying you can't find a good..."Yeah, that's me. I wanted a house but I couldn't afford what I wanted so I studied what I needed to know until we ( two of us) built it, from digging the trenches for the foundation to the roof. Everything but the septic tank. County regulations.
I hadn't really thought about taking someone else's font and adapting it, but that's a good idea, that is, if it's considered ethical.
What I want is a script that can flow from page header to page header for website and business cards. Not too delicate. Not too bold. Not grunge, but not too frilly either. I've searched through hundreds of them and none is exactly right.
I'll keep at it. Thanks for the software recommendations again,
"These include various services that produce a font from your handwriting "
Just now seeing this. We must have cross posted, Herb.
That's exactly what I had in mind. Having worked as a professional artist most of my life, I can do handwriting - calligraphy well enough when needed. Does FontStruct work this way?
Re - Fontstruct - go to the website ( www.fontstruct.com )and see what
it does and how it works. Essentially you use building blocks to put
letters together. Go to the gallery to see what people have done with
it. The individual letters/glyphs range from simple to very complex; the
fonts as a whole are simple, and truetype only, if I recall.
Thanks again, everyone,
I'm looking into all the suggestions...except the Mac only one.
I will just note that given what you want to do FontStruct probably may not work out. One thing it really can't do is script, handwriting or calligraphy fonts. It's about assembling letter shapes from sort of building blocks and shape primitives. Though it is very cool and fun, and perhaps worth checking out for those reasons alone.
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I would just like to point out how much I appreciate those who provide resources instead of displaying their personal insecurities while subjecting others to their negativity and undue criticism.
We were all once beginners.
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Just for the record---- No backhanded comments will be coming out of my post
with that being said,
all I did was:
1. write out the words, and letters I needed for my project,
2. used an app called "genius scan" and scanned(took a picture) of the words, and emailed myself that document in pdf form.
3. I opened that PDF in illustrator, then used image trace
4. I clicked Expand, and VOILA~ paths, and points galore
I hope this helped, or at least made sense.
If you are still interested in creating your own font, there's now also a simple extension for Illustrator CC that works on both Mac & PC: www.fontself.com
You'll be able to design, edit & preview your font right from your favorite vector editing tool.
Feel free to ask if you have any question about it
Wrong. This doesn't answer the question. Why is it listed as the correct answer?
My issue is that I am not trying to make a font using any typical alphabet. I have already designed my "font" in Photoshop (it's a code I've been writing in by hand that began in high school, 20 years ago, I can now read & write it fluently), but think of it more as symbols or wingdings. Now, all I need is to bring them to life as an actual font. Is there a free online tool where I can upload each image to make this happen?
I recently became disabled and can no longer handwrite. I'd really like to get this going. Please, no snarky responses!
What if I just spent the last 5 days designing my font in Photoshop? As of right now, each character is a layer. What steps would I need to take to turn them into a working font without having to design them all over again?
thx @barkmix thank you for calling it out, i wanted to say the exact same thing! the presumptions made here about the original questioner are so arrogant. To the folks who simply answered with App suggestions... thank you!
Since I wrote my original reply over five years ago, things have changed for the better. There are far more readily available resources, both online and offline, than there were five years ago.
Here is my page of resources for type design and font making, which I started three years ago (and update occasionally): general overview, books, classes, and links on all kinds of specific type design topics, from Adobe character sets to Unicode.
I would like to add to this in agreement and also disagree with whoever said you should apply for a master in developing typeface ..... don't waste the money. You have the internet at you disposal so be diligent and study.
im also studying graphic design and I work in a marketing dept and am very tired of the fonts I have. I also think font is a way to brand so I think if you had an ongoing project it might be useful to have a special font to use only for a specific client.
a step by step might be nice. If I figure it out I'll repost for you.
Actually, Adobe does use a logo font, internal use only, for its logo.
And it is now based on Adobe Clean, an internal use only font, and no longer Myriad.