Make Photofonts

Create your own photofonts

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.

If you are interested in creating photofonts, we have a professional bitmap font editor that can help you: BitFonter.


BitFonter is a tool for creative professionals who wish to create photofonts or to turn existing artwork into photofonts.

BitFonter has a powerful image editing application built-in, but you can also use other image editors such as Adobe Photoshop®, Corel Painter®, Paint Shop Pro, GIMP and many others, to create photofonts. Or you can just take a picture or scan some lettering. BitFonter will automatically detect all lettershapes on the image, remove the background if needed, and you will be able to quickly convert your image into a photofont. BitFonter has a metrics and kerning editor so you can refine the spacing of your photofont automatically or manually.

In BitFonter, you can remix, ‘scratch’ and customize your existing PostScript or OpenType fonts using bitmap operations such as blurring, softening, sharpening, embossing, adding noise or texture. You can then save the result as a photofont. Since BitFonter integrates with Fontlab’s outline font editors (FontLab Studio 5 and TypeTool 3), you can also convert the photofont back into a flat outline font (using customizable autotracing). The customized fonts can be used in any applications on the same workstations that the original font was licensed to—provided that the original font’s license agreement permits modifications.