Update: yourfonts is no longer free 🙁 Try MyScriptFont instead, which was still free as of January 2011.
One of my favorite web apps of late is called YourFonts and it lets you create a personal font online. All you need is a printer and a scanner. The process is very simple, first you download and print their grid page, write in your letters and then scan the page. Alternately, you can download a bitmap version of the grid and paste in your own art or input with a graphics tablet. You could also cut and paste letters from a handwriting sample for a more natural look. Once your grid is filled in to your satisfaction, upload it to YourFonts and within minutes you can download your brand new TrueType font, ready to install. Amazingly, this service is free. You don’t even have to register.
The applications for this are enormous. Scrapbookers can type in their own handwriting, parents can preserve their children’s handwriting, companies can put their logos in easy reach, the list goes on. And I’m sure you SCAL users are already dreaming up ways you can use this to create cuttable outlines for your Cricut machine. Watch for my next post when I’ll show you my newest font creation, made at YourFonts.com.