I can't believe I didn't know about font generators until now. It's possible that I am not the only greeting card designer who is unaware of font generators. So for all of you, please note: I did it and found it was fun, cheap ($12.50), was instantly generated and copyright protected. I know it will save me hours, days, weeks of time.
There are many font generator services on the web, but after trying a few, the one that impressed me the most is called YourFonts. It has a simple, clean professional website (no blinking distractions with scary hot pink backgrounds) and very clear instructions, and there were no upload interruptions of my large file. Also unlike other sites, YourFonts requests high quality 300 dpi on the scanner, whereas other companies suggested using lower quality 100 dpi or less. The fonts are vector based and scale clean at multiple sizes.
It's not like my writing style is particularly impressive, but the reason why this has a major impact on my work, is that I have a line of 180 cards that must have consistently styled text. This is hard to do from one day to the next, or one month to the next. All kinds of things can have an impact on writing consistency: material freshness, hand pressure, whether you've had caffeine, what kind of sound is in your environment that could startle you and make your arm jump, or whether there is a possibility you might be interrupted by someone. In order to write calligraphy, I've found it important to be really, really relaxed and focused. To me, writing consistently is the most time consuming and hardest parts of card design...and there is no option of a spell check.
I often have to tweak, edit, or write last minute revisions of inside-text before cards go to press. I can't use a newly inked marker on that day, or a lighter grip of my hand. For a lot of designers, font isn't critical, but since one of my lines is based solely on quotations, the writing style must look unique AND consistent, and not look like something you'd find in a standard software package.
Here's a sample of my first try at making a font. I'm sure I'll do several more.
Have any experiences with font generators? Tell me or add a comment below.