7 posts

Font creation software with absolutely no budget

Feb 01, 2015 at 05:41

Hey guys,

I'm Geronimo. I make fonts. I'm an amateur and font creation is just a hobby to me. I only use free programs to make them because I'm not willing to fork out 350 dollars for software.
That being said, does anybody know of any font creating programs that are free or super cheap that are capable of generating 'grunge' fonts?

Feb 01, 2015 at 06:17

I love ScanFont 3 from FontLab. It has nothing in common with FontLab's ScanFont 5.

ScanFont 3 is a stand alone Windows font editor from the mid 1990's that can create and open True Type and Post Script Type 1 fonts, but can't create or open Open Type, (.otf), files. ScanFont 5 is a plug-in for the FontLab Studio font editor.

Unfortunately, ScanFont 3 is no longer sold, and it doesn't work with any Windows operating system after XP, and some Windows automatic update in February, 2014 caused it to stop working for me with Windows XP, but I bought a second computer with XP, and only installed the updates to the end of January, 2014, and I keep that computer disconnected from the Internet, so the ScanFont 3 works fine on the 'dark' computer.

Geronimo, you're going to find that your font editor choices are limited, depending on which Operating System you use. I like XP and old school apps, but some newer apps won't work on my computer. More recent operating systems might restrict your ability to use older apps. Windows Vista is usually the first O/S for which older apps may not continue to function properly. The Ones that work with XP, generally worked previously with Windows '95, Windows '98, Windows Millennium Edition, and Windows 2000. Other apps tend to work with Vista, and Windows 7, 8, etc, so if you are offered a cheap older app, be warned that it might not be compatible with your Windows 8.

Feb 02, 2015 at 17:25

Font Forge (free)
Type Tools ($48)
Font Creator ($80)

For me, I use an old version of Type Tools.

Feb 02, 2015 at 18:34

The grunge effect is not made with a font editor.

Feb 02, 2015 at 21:46

Want to see his heart stop when you tell him how much Illustrator is?

Feb 04, 2015 at 17:41

Menhir said  
Font Forge (free)
Type Tools ($48)
Font Creator ($80)

For me, I use an old version of Type Tools.

Have you made any fonts, Menhir, or do you use a font editor only to study fonts made by other people?

Feb 04, 2015 at 18:16

koeiekat said  
The grunge effect is not made with a font editor.

In theory, some grunge effects could be made with a font editor. It may be easier, or more time efficient to use a graphic design program, but this thread is about 'on the cheap' font design.

For example, in ScanFont 3, I could draw some contours within the glyph window, drag them onto an existing contour, and reverse the newly added contour(s), to create 'white on a black background', in print. That can probably be done with other font editors, as well.

I got it using eMule in 2006, but It's necessary to have a computer that has Windows XP, is not connected to the Internet, and has no Windows updates after January, 2014 to still be able to use it.

It cost me $140 Canadian, from my repairman. It's a 'flat tower' model, with a floppy disk drive, that fits under my monitor, but it processes very quickly, without the Internet hogging CPU resources. I just have to use a flash drive to move files between the computers, because I'd have to connect both to the Internet, to put them on a LAN.

My ScanFont 3 is a cracked version of the demo that was available for free download on the Fontlab home page for many years. It cost me about 14 MB of bandwidth, so I don't think anyone will find a less expensive font editor, unless their download doesn't include the .pdf manual.

Fontlab doesn't even sell ScanFont 3 anymore. There is no truth to the rumour that Windows Vista was created specifically to prevent people from making fonts with ScanFont 3, but a Windows automatic update in February, 2014 may have possibly had that purpose.

I've only ever known of two other font authors who have fonts hosted at Dafont and have made fonts with ScanFont 3. One of them doesn't make fonts anymore, but the two she did make were very popular. The other designer uses a different font editor now.

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