Artist Resources

How to Make Your Own Spooky Fonts

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Creepy typography, much like art, has the ability to put people in the Halloween spirit. It’s also the perfect addition to your social media posts. As opposed to creating spooky hand-written type for each work of art, creating a font gives you flexibility and is more fun than a vampire looking for their necks victim.

Let’s take a look at a couple of easy—and free—ways to make your own fonts. All you’ll need is a pen, printer, scanner, and maybe some spooky music to get you in the fright frame of mind.

Campfire Tales Method

This method takes just a little bit of work but can provide some exciting results. Using the website Calligraphr create a free account, which will allow you to make unlimited fonts with some limitations. Once you are logged in, go to the “Templates” tab. From here you can create a custom template using only the characters you want, or just download a pre-made template. There are faint gray lines that will help you align your glyphs, check and see if these are visible in the printed copy. Printing in color is recommended.

Example made by Resident artist Nyki Way

 

Grab a pen and make some marks. Brushy, wavy, drippy, sketchy, scrawled, and scratched marks will make a great spooky fonts.

Once you have the template filled out, scan it and upload it to the Calligraphr website in the “My Fonts” tab. The website will process the scan and give you the option to download a TTF or OTF. After you install the font, you can use it in your image editor of choice. Upgrading your account will allow you to adjust the spacing, add more characters, and even add variants and ligatures.

Pro-tip: When filling out the form, start with a light pencil sketch to get your letter down. Once you are satisfied with the results, use a black pen to ink it in. The website will ignore these lighter marks. 

 

Haunted House Method

This method is more advanced, but will give you more control over your font creations. Using the free application Birdfont, you can create vector graphics from your drawings. This means you can create detailed letters using paintbrushes, wide markers, or any tool you fancy, and then scan each of them in to the application and adjust accordingly. The app will also live-trace your letters so you can skip creating paths for each letter. They have some handy tutorial videos to get your started.

Note: Birdfont is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and BSD. 

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(Header Image: “Ooh, Monsters” by torquem)

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Josh

Josh

Teacher, art historian, burrito enthusiast, and Community Manager here at Redbubble.

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