Hands Down a Calligraphy Career is Not in my Near Future

Screencap from Calligraphr’s homepage.

I’ve been thinking about my last blog post a lot and wondering how I could pull a performance aspect into my learning project that goes beyond ‘performing’ when I brush my teeth or open a door. I reflected on how I could make these events more high-stakes and lengthy so that I’m not just doing one simple task and calling it a day. Therefore, the final few weeks of this project will be devoted to various ‘performances’ I have created including prepping and cooking an entire meal, designing, drawing, and colouring an image, and the one you are about to witness: creating a font using my left hand.

I’ve heard of a rise in services designed to allow you to create your own font and always thought it was cool but wondered what I’d use it for. This project seems like the perfect reason to try it out and then test the results of the font on my unsuspecting girlfriend to see if the font is actually, you know, legible.

My first step was to search ‘draw your own font’ and promptly came across this lovely blog that provided first-hand experience and guidance. I appreciated how the post was written step-by-step based on her experience and provided a list of three services the author would recommend using. For this project, I will be using the service Calligraphr, the second option on her list (they have changed their name from myscriptfont.com).

The rest was easy – I simply followed her steps. I decided to use a thin felt-tip marker so that I could get a more refined shape as I wanted to use this font for printing, not for a larger piece like poster-making. I then practiced writing the letters separately a few times to get used to what writing on a template is like, compared to the closer transitions when writing words and sentences.

Once I was satisfied, I selected the ‘Quick Test’ option on Calligraphr’s website because it did not require a sign-up process or any payment to do so. I greatly appreciate the ability to use this service without having to create an account and give personal information. I feel like many sites and services now require a user ID, even if it’s only for one-time use.

I decided to print off two templates, in case I made a mistake and I am grateful I did because, within the first few letters, I realized I was printing lower-case letters where I should have been writing upper-case ones.

Image result for facepalm
Screencap from a “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode that aired on February 5th, 1990. AKA the origins of #facepalm, the story of my life.

After that little mistake, I completed the template with no further issues. It was a very simple process to fill out, upload back onto my computer using my printer’s ‘Scan’ option, and then upload onto the Calligraphr site. The entire process from start to finish took 15 minutes tops and was very easy to do, as long as you already possessed the computer skills necessary to download the template, print and fill it out, then rescan it.

This is how my template turned out!

After just a couple of minutes, the font is ready to use. With the free test service, I was able to download my custom font in .ttf or .otf format, but I have been unable to find a service where I can actually use my font to type. Unfortunately, Windows 10 is not accepting the font as legitimate, despite following all of the steps in this tutorial. While I had planned on posting this entire blog in my custom font, I am not able to change the font of one blog post unless I use a plug-in service and to download the plug-in service, I need a $33/month business account through WordPress and that is not worth it for me to be used on one blog post at this time. Therefore, my performance piece for this post will be to challenge you to read a poem written by Mary Oliver titled, “Starlings in Winter”.

This was compiled using the preview feature on Calligraphr, seeing as I could not find a way to download the font through any of my regular document makers.

How do you think it turned out? Do you have any advice as to how I can use this font on a typing service?



6 thoughts on “Hands Down a Calligraphy Career is Not in my Near Future

  1. Okay, making your own font, that’s so cool! I actually went to the website, printed the template and made my own font after reading your blog post! I was even able to download it to my laptop (macbook) and I was able to import it into word. This would be such a cool tool to use in the classroom!


  2. Pingback: How have you contributed to the learning of others? | Maytlind Mallo

  3. This is such a creative program that you used! Creating your own font is so interesting and using your ambidextrous skills is amazing. I love that you are constantly challenging yourself with your skill. You are really pushing yourself with all these creative tools. Also, great job with all the photos to explain your process (I especially loved the Star Trek meme). Good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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