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Turning Your Handwriting Into a Font for Scrapbooking

Use Your Own Handwriting to Journal on Your Computer
by Rebecca Ludens

I love using my computer to journal on my scrapbook pages. Sometimes I print directly on the page (I happen to have a printer that allows me to print on 12"x12" pages) and other times I print onto coordinating cardstock, vellum, or transparency sheets. Being able to spell-check, keep my lines straight, manage the spacing and font sizes, all make computer journaling very important to my scrapbooking process. Of course, I am well aware of the mantra in scrapbooking that insists that future generations will be enthralled with my handwritten journaling, but getting me to give up my computer to do it has always been a challenge. Therefore, when I discovered an inexpensive way to turn my handwriting into a font, I knew that I absolutely had to give it a try. When I tried it, the cost for creating a font on with Fontifier was only $9 (US) per font.

Fontify Your Handwriting

I was introduced to a web site called Fontifier.com by it's founder David Johnson-Davies and immediately could see the possibilities for scrapbookers. The steps involved are simple. The turn around time was immediate. And, the end product does indeed look just like my handwriting. The Fontifier site is set up in a step by step format. Here's how it works:

Step one is to print out a template sheet that you download from the site. This sheet has a space for you to write in each letter of your new font. Be sure to print the template out full size onto a standard 8 1/2"x11" sheet of white paper. There is a bar code in the upper right corner of the template that will be important during the scanning phase of the process. I discovered that printing it in "final draft" or the "best" setting on my printer gave me a clean, crisp print-out that worked well as a scanned image later.

Step two is to write your characters on the template. A couple of tips that are helpful here are: Be sure to use a black pen, a felt-tip pen works really well; Make special note of the small marks on each side of the template spaces - these marks will align your letters later; You may want to draw a very light pencil line with a ruler across the alignment marks to help you keep any of your letters from "floating" and be sure to erase the pencil line completely before scanning.

Step three is scanning and saving your completed template on your computer. The Fontifier site gives resolution recommendations for optimal scanning of the template without creating a file that is too large to upload to the site. I used 100 dpi and it worked well. I also cleaned the glass on my scanner, and checked my template to make sure I had no extraneous markings. I saved my image as a .jpg file, but several others are supported including .gif and .ttf.

Step four involves uploading the scan of your template and creating your font. The site makes this simple, even for the most novice user. You will need to remember where on your computer you saved your scanned graphic and everything else is just following directions.

Step five is my favorite step. Here you get to preview your font. It was a fun surprise each time I tried it to see how my font turned out. Since you get to preview your finished font before you purchase it, you can always change things at this point by simply starting again at Step One.

Step six and seven are simply downloading and installing your new font. These steps work exactly like downloading and installing pre-existing fonts from other sites on the internet. If you need help installing your font there are tips on the Fontifier site and you can also read this article here on About Scrapbooking that covers Installing Fonts in Windows.

Here is what one of my completed templates looked like (continue below to find the fonts that I created that you can download for free):

And here are the fonts of both my printed handwriting and my cursive writing. Click on the names of the fonts below and you can download them to your computer so that you can see for yourself what a completed Fontified sample looks like. I actually like both styles better when I switch them to italics in my word processing program - apparently my handwriting is improved by a slight tilt to the right. All fonts created on this site belong to the person who purchases them. Therefore, you have the right to distribute your fonts to others.

Free Fonts:

Rebecca's Printing

Rebecca's Writing

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