Exercise 113

Making your own font

There is content on this page that is restricted to members. You must login to view this premium content.
If you are not yet a member, click here to learn about becoming a member.


In this exercise, you will be designing your own font. Refer to the Layout Workbook by Kristin Cullen for design ideas & typography information (pp. 88-115). This is an exercise designed to improve your abilities with the pen tool and the direct select arrow.

Part 1: Drawing your font

  • Using the font design template I have posted to the course website, design your own font using any of the tools we have discussed in class.  You may use brushes for this exercise, though we will not cover them in-depth until later in the semester. You will likely concentrate on using the pen tool. (Illustrator 3.3 [pen tool]) Remember (Illustrator 3.4 [trimming paths]) to trim unwanted line segments. Today, you should focus on completing the uppercase letters. Make sure to use the guides (create additional guides as necessary).
  • Look at the Layer Palette (Window>Layers) and make sure your font is on the “Font Page01” Layer. Additional guides should go on the “Guides” Layer. Anything placed on a non-printing layer will not print.
    • Note:  The "Guides" layer is a non-printing layer and objects placed on this layer will not print.
  • Experiment with the Width Tool (demonstrated in lecture) to adjust the thickness of your lines (stroke).

Part 2: Submitting your work

  • At the end of class today, please use File>Save for Web and post the .jpg to the course website. Make sure to set your .jpg as the featured image of your post.
  • You do not need to comment on this exercise.
  • Optional:  If you would like to make your letters into an actual font, continue with the instructions below.

Making a Font from your work (optional):

Part 3: Finishing your work

  • Continue drawing your font with the pen tool and any other tool you find necessary.  You will need to finish both upper and lower case letters as well as numbers and basic punctuation.  If you want to include more characters you may do so.

Part 4:  Making your font

  • When you have completed your font, use the File>Save For Web command to export your drawing as a .png file.  Save this to your flash drive.  (Make sure the template is showing when you save your font.)
  • Note:  Make sure you set the output resolution to 300 dpi.
  • Next, navigate to https://www.calligraphr.com/en/ and register for the website.   You do not need a paid account for this exercise.  Click on the Start App button when you have logged in.
  • Navigate to the “My Fonts” section and click “Upload Template.”  You will upload your two .png files (one for each page).
  • Click the “Build Font” button and give your font a memorable & descriptive name.  Download the .ttf version of your font once the preview window appears.
  • Now, follow Digital Life 0.15 [AMP font viewer] to install your font on the school computer.

Part 5:  Submitting to the course website:

  • Using the sample_font.indd template, showcase your new font using the following text:

Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

This is a sample sentence.  It shows your font in an actual sentence format.


  • Use File>Export to export to a .jpg file.  You should set this as the featured image for your post.
  • Please also upload your .ttf font file to the course website.  It will appear as just a link to the .ttf file.
  • You do not need to comment on this exercise!