Monday, June 16, 2008

FontStruct: Make Your Own Fonts Online

There's a new website out called FontStruct that allows you create your own font online for free. The font creation abilities are limited, but it's an interesting extension of Web 2.0 into the design world. After you design your font, you can keep it private or choose to share it with a Creative Commons license. According an article in Slate, this site is popular with all kinds of font enthusiasts, not just designers.

My personal opinion is FontStruct is it's pretty fun to play around with, but incapable of creating any fonts that I might actually use. You are limited to pretty blocky, tech-y and ultimately gimmicky designs due to how the program is set up and the shapes available to build with. I was really excited about the site at first, but as I tried to design a font, I just got frustrated and annoyed that I was unable to make any of the designs that I wanted to. Call me a font snob, but I really hate gimmicky fonts and was overall, unimpressed by the gallery of fonts generated by users. The Slate article suggested that this site is so overwhelmingly popular it's been crashing. That scares me a bit. There are already many horrendous fonts out there, do we really need more? I think I'd be on board with this site if it had more capabilities to produce a wider range of designs because right now they're all too obviously made by building block shapes.

The Slate article quotes a user stating, "all of us are going to be little Adrian Frutiger[s]!" Sorry, but this program is nowhere near capable of producing a font like Univers. Not even close...

1 comment:

Stephen Coles said...

I was sorry to see that Frutiger quote in Slate's otherwise excellent article. FontStruct was never intended to be a professional font tool for creating the next Univers or Garamond. It's optimized for modular type design, not as a replacement for FontLab. I hope you'll find a good use for it someday.