Monday, December 05, 2011

turn your handwriting into a font

I spent the weekend in bed sick, watching episodes of Felicity until I got to the end of the series (does anyone else think the end is strange?). I don't really know what I had, but I am feeling much better today. At first I thought it was the flu, but luckily it was not. It wasn't a cold. I don't have any other guesses. Corey was awesome and made me soup and took care of me. It's finals week but fortunately a lot of my final projects/critiques/whathaveyou were completed last week and I have only a few obligations this week, so I'm not very behind. Today I am resting some more and finishing up one last project that I was supposed to have finished over the weekend: screen printing three zines.

I've had an interest in zines since I was a kid. I was quite the nerdy child, with a love of stationery and all things paper, home printers, writing utensils, stickers, stamps, etc., etc. The creative side of me loved writing stories, and the nerdy side of me loved formatting those stories and making copies of them (yes, I realize how ridiculous that sounds!). My dad works with computers, so we always had one around, as far back as I can remember (and even before). For example:

Yep, that would be me. I remember learning to type on a word processor (a few years after this photo was taken...haha), and getting into trouble plenty of times for using up too much of that printer paper that is attached at the ends and has little feeder holes going down the sides. I remember rationing out pieces of colored paper when I got so lucky. I remember the magical day when we got a scanner in our home.

All that to say, I strongly believe my wanting to be an artist comes directly from these creative moments of childhood.

The other day I stumbled across Writing Fonts. It is a website where you can upload your own handwriting and turn it into a font (for $7)! This brought back memories of a time in high school when I attempted to make a font of my handwriting using a free program I downloaded. It was actually really neat, but the spacing was all off so I could only use it in Photoshop where I could control the space between the lines of text. I decided to give it another go with the Writing Fonts website. It took me 3 tries to get all of the text written evenly (it's difficult to eyeball the height of each letter and make it all equal in their template that you must fill out), but I am pleased with the result! Once I decided it was complete, I paid $7 to download it. Not bad at all considering how much time they saved me if I would have tried to do it myself again.

What am I going to use this for, you ask?

Well, I use my handwriting in my custom Etsy designs, but I won't be using it for that. I want those to be without-a-doubt handwritten and I don't want someone to compare the letters and realize it was a font. I am working on some other things that I think it will be useful for, though. For example, those zines I mentioned earlier. I am doing a series of hand-pulled screenprinted zines with autobiographical stories in them. I type out my stories first, then had been writing them out and scanning them in. I sort of hate writing them out and scanning them in, but I also sort of hate the way they look in any normal font. I think this is the perfect solution!

I'm almost done writing and formatting...then on to screen printing...I will share what the zines look like once I have them assembled! For now, here is a sample of what it looks like written in my new handwriting font:

I think it looks a little more child-like than when I actually write things, because the height of the letters is not perfectly even (like I said, the template made that difficult), but I still really like it.


Sarah O'Holla said...

I love that picture of you! I remember making birthday banners out of that printer paper and also how special colored paper or even plain white paper with no lines was. Kids today take paper for granted! Hahah I know it sounds silly, but it's true.

Love your handwriting font, I feel like it really fits your personality :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, love that old, old word processor! I also love the font you created--I made my own handwriting font a long time ago on a different site and it was a lot of fun--although I didn't have the same patience to work so hard to make the letters line up! :) it looks great!

Andrea said...

That is so neat! I've always thought about turning my handwriting into a font -it just seems so fun:)

It's Me, Tamara! said...

I love your font! I'd use it. My own handwriting looks like a weird 12-year-old's so it's probably best that I don't use it..but hey, maybe people like that kind of thing.

P.S. Yes. The end of Felicity was completely, insanely bizarre.

Kristen said...

Sarah, thank you! I feel like kids today take so much for granted...but then again, every generation probably says that! However, I *definitely* knew the value of all of my paper products. :) hehe

Maeg, thank you! I was SO determined to make all the letters line up and for it to work! It was not easy. I wish it looked a little more like my real handwriting in that respect but I still love using it! I didn't know more of those sites to make the fonts existed!? I might have to check out the competition and see what's up.

Andrea, thanks for following! You should check out the Writing Fonts website! You can go through all the steps for free and see what your font would look like, even if you don't purchase it. Pretty sweet!

Tamara, aw, I'm sure it isn't bad! I am actually fascinated by all types of handwriting. Thank you for agreeing about Felicity...I thought it was such a strange storyline to carry through the last five episodes!! It felt a little like reading Felicity-Noel weird!

uccella said...

Sorry to hear that you were sick--hopefully you are completely well again.

The font idea is so cool! On a related note, I was told that there is a Fulbright researcher this year who was awarded a grant to develop his own font.

Kristen said...

Thanks, Casey! I am pretty much well...and done with school now, so I have lots of time to relax anyway! I want to get a lot done over my break, but it's nice knowing that I don't HAVE to do much!

Thanks about the font! I would love to see how other people's turn out if they try it. That is really interesting about the Fulbright! It must be a really special font to get such a great grant to make it!! I hope to learn more about that.