Glyphr Studio: the HTML5 Font Editor

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If you’ve ever wanted to design your own font, you may have been stymied by the cost or complexity of font-creation applications. Well now there’s an interesting new option that’s totally free, though it does still involve a little bit complexity if you don’t like to code.

The tool is called Glyphr Studio, and it is a free, HTML5-based font editor.

It runs in the browser so there’s no application to download, install, or update. It works best in Chrome, but any modern browser should be OK. To get started, you just go to glyphrstudio.com. There you can play with a sandboxed example font to figure out the interface. Or you can start your own new font from scratch. 

Glyphr Studio includes the ability to add and edit shapes and curves to create the glyphs for your font. And with linked shapes, you can re-use common shapes across multiple glyphs to save effort and get consistent results.

 

A test drive feature allows you to enter text and use your new font immediately to see how it is coming along.

 

Designing the actual glyphs of your font is fairly intuitive and easy. The complexity comes when you want to transform your work into a real OpenType font. Glypr Studio exports designs in XML, which can be converted to OpenType fonts with a tool called TTX/FontTools. (TTX can also convert OTF files to XML, so you can load an existing font into Glypr Studio as a starting point.)

TTX runs on Python, so you have to install and run it using command line tools. Step-by-step instructions for Windows users are available, and determined Mac users can probably get by with the help of some additional tips on working with TTX at fontgeek.

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