Have you ever thought about how much you really liked a font and wondered where you can get it or something similar? (Or is it just us font obsessed people?)
I thought I’d talk to you today about a tool I use quite often. This came up in our Font Doctor thread in the forum and I don’t think I’ve really talked about it here. So today, I’m giving you a quick tutorial on it.
Diane really liked the wide open, loose script font making the word “beach” on a layout. She tried to find a similar font, but wasn’t having much success.
Though we ultimately didn’t find one quite the same (I suspect this one is hand-drawn word art), I tried my typical identify-a-font approach, I turned to the website My Fonts.com and their “What the Font” feature. What you do is take a screen shot of the font or link to a picture and My Fonts will attempt to analyze the font in the picture and identify it.
I’ve learned some tips over the years using this site. First off, it’s best to isolate the font from the back ground, so the analyzation doesn’t pick up on stray bits and assume they are characters. It’s also a good idea to pick words that have distinctive characters. The “b” in this particular word is definitely unique. It is a more traditional cursive letter rather than a semi-print letter.
I used the magic wand tool to select the word “beach” and copied and pasted it into a new document with a plain background. Then I saved the image as a .jpg and uploaded it to the site. Sometimes, What the Font can’t pick up on separate characters, especially with script fonts that are connected like this one. Sure enough, What the Font didn’t find any characters on the first run. So I went back through and erased a bit of the connecting lines between characters.
The program tries to self-identify the characters, but if it can’t, it leaves the box blank so that you can identify it. In this case, it didn’t identify any characters, so I had to type them all in the boxes myself. (Which didn’t bode well!)
You can also change letters that aren’t correct and drag and drop two “tiles” together if it accidentally separates a single character. (Do be careful though, I don’t think you can “uncombine” things without reuploading your image.) You can also leave boxes blank for items that aren’t really characters.
Once you identify your characters and hit continue, What the Font tries to identify the font and suggest similar fonts if need be. Sometimes this is more successful than others. These are the first few results I got with the beach word art:
As you can see, some match better than others, but none are quite right. Often times, My Font links you to paid versions of fonts (I’m assuming they get a commission of some kind). However, I’ve found fonts that they’ve recommended for free too.
The nice thing is that even if you don’t find a match, you now have a starting point for your font search. Maybe I can find a different version of “Radio Time” that matches more closely. Maybe I can take the tags on the right and google one or two of them with the word “font” added. Eventually, you’ll end up downloading as many fonts as I do! LOL
I’m sure there are other font identifying sites out there, but this is the one I turn to. Does anyone else use tools like this? I’d love to hear in the comments! In the mean time, Happy Font Hunting!