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I realize this is an unfortunately vague question. I happen to be working with a designer with really awesome lettering skills, and we were hoping to create a couple fonts in .otf files. We are at a bit of a loss at how to go about doing this nicely.

The fonts created using http://www.myscriptfont.com really aren't rendering nicely in print, and we were wondering if there is a better way to do this.

(If possible, we would like to use free software - we're already paying a lot for printing and other fees.)

Thank you so much.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

If you want a web tool, I don't believe such a thing exists. There are some free software options, though.

There is FontForge, but the last time I tried using it was beyond frustrating. I could not get it to run for very long without crashing (and tried across many different operating systems). It's even addressed in the FAQ:

Why is FontForge so unstable?
I don't bother much with doing QA. This is a problem. I don't enjoy doing it, and no one is paying me to do it, so little gets done.

Another is called BirdFont, but I have not yet tried it so I can't give you a personal seal of approval.

There is a lot of careful designing that needs to go into font creation, so I think you'll be hard pressed to find an automated solution that will produce a nice looking font. The tool you linked and any like it are like the "CafePress" of font creation: don't expect polished results.

If you're already comfortable designing things in vector, then you've got a good head start for designing a font, but there are many other behind-the-scenes metrics that you'll need to get comfortable with (see diagram below)

Typography Line Terms
Source: Max Naylor

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+1 for FontForge...I've been working with it and while it's a bit fickle, it's definitely workable. @gersande if you do give it a try and have questions, post them up on this site! –  Brendan Jun 2 '13 at 3:59
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