I‘ve been using my iPad a lot more lately. For a while, I was mostly using it as an e-reader and notebook, but lately I‘ve been playing games from the Kingdom Rush series and other Apple Arcade apps. I also recently discovered that there are a number of apps for creating your own fonts! Years ago, I read an article about a high school student who sent in his college application essay printed in his own handwriting, and making my own font has been on my bucket list ever since.

A sample of my handwriting as a font, including the pangram “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” in both uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as Latin characters and symbols.

After a bit of research, I decided to check out Fontself. It was really easy to set up and get started. The app comes with a number of templates, so I picked the handwriting one and began drawing. I tried really hard at first to get each stroke right, but later realized that I could edit the curves afterwards.

The handwriting template provided in the Fontself app, showing the alphabet in grayed out letters.
The letter ð in Fontself with bézier curves visible and editable, surrounded by other letters in a grid.

Honestly, it’s a little bit weird to see my handwriting so neat and even. I feel like I could probably achieve this by hand if I wrote verrrrry slowly. Before editing the curves, the font looked a lot more like my everyday handwriting, but the repeated quirks in each letter looked strange to me. Making each letter more balanced and upright lent itself better to a legible font.

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do with my new font. I would love to add a bold variant but the app is a little bit limited and I can’t edit stroke width after drawing out the character, so I’d have to start from scratch. I ran into a problem I also have with my physical handwriting — at small sizes, it’s difficult to read. I think it’s because the letters are so narrow and tall. Maybe I’ll refine it more and put it on my website. All in all, it was a really fun afternoon project!

It’s far from complete, but if you wanted to check out the font, you can download it here.