About Photofonts

What are photofonts?

Outline font formats such as TrueType or OpenType are limited to monochrome letterforms. Bitmap fonts can use the full color palette and transparency. So far, color bitmap fonts have been widely used in computer games as well as in TV, film and motion graphics applications. Our Photofont® technology brings that same creative power to traditional print and web applications. Photofonts allow users to break free from the traditional black-and-white lettering and use fonts that are made of real calligraphic brush strokes, everyday objects, scanned historical documents or felt pen doodles. Photofonts are not only fun but also open serious business opportunities for example in the field of personalized marketing.

What is a photofont?

The foundation of the Photofont® technology is a photofont.

This is a photofont

And this

This is a photofont that looks like a regular font. It can be used to typeset several lines of text using a custom font of your choice.

One Photofont

Photographers and graphic designers can think of a photofont as a collection of bitmap images that use RGB color, lossless compression and alpha transparency. But this collection is “intelligent”, it works like a font, so you can press a key and get a certain image from the collection.

Web designers and web developers can think of photofonts as an efficient means to use custom, non-standard fonts on a website in a standards-compliant, search-engine-friendly way, and without converting the text into “flat” graphics.

Typographers and type designers can think of a photofont as a font that supports kerning and Unicode encoding, but which does not use outline glyphs. Instead, it uses bitmap glyph definitions that support multiple color and transparency.

Lettering artists and calligraphers can think of a photofont as an effective way to turn your lettering and calligraphy into fonts while keeping an authentic, organic feel, retaining the calligraphic brushstrokes or applying some photographic effects. You are no longer limited to the “flat” look of normal outline fonts.

Software developers can think of a photofont as a simple document with the file extension .phf. The Photofont® file format is publicly documented, is based on standard web technologies such as XML and PNG, and can be implemented by 3rd parties without any licensing restrictions.

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