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Is it possible to create my own alphabet from my own handwriting with Designer?


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Hi!

Just thought of this.  Don't ask me why 🙂

I have a Wacom tablet and a color scanner.  I guess they would be brushes?  Or fonts I guess would be the right answer.

How could I make them good enough so I can use them legibly in something?

Thank!

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There's much more when it comes to creating a good font/typeface rather than just scanning/creating simple letters.

You might want to prepare all characters in designer as vector objects. And for creating a font, there are dedicated apps for this. Some are even open source like Birdfont or FontFord.

»A designer's job is to improve the general quality of life. In fact, it's the only reason for our existence.«
Paul Rand (1914-1996)

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One of the easiest and fastest ways to convert your handwriting to a font is using https://www.calligraphr.com/ …it provides you with printed guides to draw your glyphs which you then upload via scans or exported files (if you use a tablet) from which it automatically generates the font for you. You can also tweak size and spacing within the web app.

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4 minutes ago, thomaso said:

(whatever this means: "Just $9.95 (plus $5.00 if you upload both template pages) - only purchase if you're satisfied!")

It presumably means what it says! Having previewed your font, you need to pay if you want to download the font file, but if you choose not to download it then it won’t cost you anything.

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Thanks everyone!  Good stuff.  Maybe if it turns out, I will post an alphabet 🙂

I do have some add-ons by Ian Barnard but it wouldn't be my handwriting.

I would also like to do something simple with black (or colored) letters with a shadow of some sort.  That is what made me think of using my own handwriting.

I taught myself architectural lettering like architect's daughter but in the process I discovered that the writing really isn't that neat and orderly after all hehe. I don't like the bars in an A and others extending past the rest of the letter, ...

 

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1 hour ago, filoplume said:

I would also like to do something simple with black (or colored) letters with a shadow of some sort.  That is what made me think of using my own handwriting.

Maybe worth to know that the use of coloured, variable fonts is limited in Affinity yet.

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/search/&q=variable fonts&quick=1&search_and_or=and&sortby=relevancy

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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2 hours ago, thomaso said:

Maybe worth to know that the use of coloured, variable fonts is limited in Affinity yet.

https://forum.affinity.serif.com/index.php?/search/&q=variable fonts&quick=1&search_and_or=and&sortby=relevancy

 Thank you.  I forgot about that but I did remember that adding effects to text does not work well.

I am so glad that Affinity-Serif keeps making improvements to their incredible suite!

 

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27 minutes ago, filoplume said:

adding effects to text does not work well.

I am not aware of an Affinity effect not working with text. Maybe I misread your goal …

5 hours ago, filoplume said:

to do something simple with black (or colored) letters with a shadow of some sort.

… you would want to create a font including this effects, the so called "variable fonts", which can be coloured / multicoloured within the font file, as mentioned in the various threads in the link above.

Whereas you can colourize text in several ways in Affinity + create a shadow with an Affinity effect or another workflow.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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51 minutes ago, thomaso said:

I am not aware of an Affinity effect not working with text. Maybe I misread your goal …

Possibly the reference is to text becoming rasterized during export when effects are applied?

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7 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Possibly the reference is to text becoming rasterized during export when effects are applied?

The OP mentioned colour and shadow. Both don't require rasterization.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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5 hours ago, walt.farrell said:

Possibly the reference is to text becoming rasterized during export when effects are applied?

It was something I read in the docs for some brushes and styles for Designer and Photo.  I will try and find what he wrote.  I just tried adding the base AD styles to a font and they looked fine.  Not sure what I am remembering.

Thanks Walt!

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8 hours ago, thomaso said:

The OP mentioned colour and shadow. Both don't require rasterization.

Doesn’t that depend on how you do it (e.g. a Colour Fill effect for the colour and a Gaussian Blur effect applied to the shadow)?

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5 minutes ago, Alfred said:

Doesn’t that depend on how you do it (e.g. a Colour Fill effect for the colour and a Gaussian Blur effect applied to the shadow)?

There are workflows which cause rasterization. But it is not required for others.

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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On 7/14/2022 at 7:11 AM, filoplume said:

I have a Wacom tablet and a color scanner.  I guess they would be brushes?  Or fonts I guess would be the right answer.

How could I make them good enough so I can use them legibly in something?

If your goal is to create a font that has a feeling and outlook of hand-written text then the simplest method to produce one would be creating a bitmap font with resolution high enough to fit the purpose. Practically all Designer "vector" brushes are actually raster brushes, and they can be useful in having a bit of control in producing  glyphs. You can well use a tablet to draw your glyphs using vector brushes and then edit them before exporting.

Vector-based fonts, however, especially when aiming at hand-written style, can be very challenging, and because of their accuracy, are not necessarily well suited to produce e.g. a bit rough and casual look that a hand-written text is often wanted to have. E.g., if you have a look on Google fonts, https://fonts.google.com/?category=Handwriting&preview.size=105, there are some that aim at the kind of roughness that is easy to achieve with a raster brush (like Splash and Homemade Apple), and many that use varied line thicknesses or calligraphic pen style; you cannot use Affinity Designer to produce the former kind of vector styles, but you can use e.g. pressure to produce varied line thicknesses (that are expanded to closed curves when exporting).

Note that while having a font initially in raster format does have quality limitations (as to size of text), it does not mean that you could not otherwise use the font similarly as a regular outline font.

bitmapfont.thumb.png.8554f84acda00281417f889b5820d1e1.png

 

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On 7/14/2022 at 4:38 AM, thomaso said:

Another one is http://www.yourfonts.com/
(whatever this means: "Just $9.95 (plus $5.00 if you upload both template pages) - only purchase if you're satisfied!")

$10?  What the heck!  It sure is worth a try,  Any way, it seems fun to me!  Now I have to practice my writing a little bit, especially in their grid.  Thanks.

I am also going to try calligraphr.com and the other suggestions here.

Thanks so much!  If things turn out acceptable, I may post a sample image here.

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1 hour ago, filoplume said:

If things turn out acceptable, I may post a sample image here.

Yes! And, in case you run into an app which allows several shapes per char (to write with variations) tell us, too, please!

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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56 minutes ago, thomaso said:

Yes! And, in case you run into an app which allows several shapes per char (to write with variations) tell us, too, please!

Any app which supports contextual alternates, stylistic sets or ligature substitution should be able to do that. Take a look at the ones mentioned earlier in this thread by @Andy05.

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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher for Windows 1.10 • Windows 10 Home/Pro
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.10 • Designer for iPad 1.10 • iPadOS 15.6.1 (iPad Air 2)

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