Hand-Drawn Fonts

Since this website is about making comics, and making software that helps making comics, I thought I'd also share the fonts I created. Obviously, it helps a great deal if a computer can do the lettering for you.

The benefits of creating your own font are that you can draw the letters with the same hand that will draw the art, so the two go better together. You also get to control the "feel" of the font, and you can design it for a story where you are going for a specific tone.

For a font to work well in a comic, it has to be compact so that it leaves as much room as possible for the art, while it should stay readable. The x-height (height of the small letters) should not be significantly smaller than the height of the capital letters. This is probably one reason why comics creators often just use only upper-case.

I created the three fonts introduced below for my website. I named them Amsterdam". Amazingly, there were no fonts named Amsterdam yet! The most recent and best utility I found that can turn hand-lettered into a font, is www.calligraphr.com. I do then adjust the kerning using fontforge to improve the font further. The kerning is improved over time, a later version of the fonts below may have better kerning.

I offer the files for download, and under a very permissive Creative Commons license.

Amsterdam Script

This was the first font I created. It is a sans font, and has relatively little "character". THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE IN ALL-CAPS, IN CASE I WANT TO USE THIS FONT LIKE THAT IN WORD BALLOONS.

Amsterdam Drole

Amsterdam Drole has some quirky, goofy characters with personality. This font is expressive, but harder to read, and so it is best suited for short text: a title, or a short caption in a cartoon. THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE IN ALL-CAPS, IN CASE I WANT TO USE THIS FONT LIKE THAT IN WORD BALLOONS.

Amsterdam Golden Age Serif


I created "Amsterdam Golden Age Serif" to be used in a story I am working on that plays in the seventeenth century. The font had to feel like it came from that era. Why tell the story, when you can procrastinate and design a font, right? THIS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE IN ALL-CAPS, IN CASE I WANT TO USE THIS FONT LIKE THAT IN WORD BALLOONS.


Download for Use

I provide the fonts in the formats ttf, woff and woff2. The ttf format can be used in desktop applications. woff and woff2 are designed for web.

If you want to use the fonts on your website, you need to add the following to your css:


@font-face {
font-family: 'amsterdam_script';
src: url('amsterdam_script.woff2') format('woff2'),
url('amsterdam_script.woff') format('woff');
font-weight: normal;
font-style: normal;
}

@font-face {
font-family: 'amsterdam_drole';
src: url('amsterdam_drole.woff2') format('woff2'),
url('amsterdam_drole.woff') format('woff');
font-weight: normal;
font-style: normal;
}

@font-face {
font-family: 'amsterdam_goldenageserif';
src: url('amsterdam_goldenageserif.woff2') format('woff2'),
url('amsterdam_goldenageserif.woff') format('woff');
font-weight: normal;
font-style: normal;
}


You can then use these fonts by adding

font-family:amsterdam_script;
 
or

font-family:amsterdam_drole;
 
or

font-family:amsterdam_goldenageserif;
 
as needed.

Amsterdam Script

amsterdam_script.ttf
amsterdam_script.woff
amsterdam_script.woff2

Amsterdam Drole

amsterdam_drole.ttf
amsterdam_drole.woff
amsterdam_drole.woff2

Amsterdam Golden Age Serif

amsterdam_goldenageserif.ttf
amsterdam_goldenageserif.woff
amsterdam_goldenageserif.woff2


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