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.
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.
BitFonter is a professional bitmap font editor for Mac OS X and Windows developed by Fontlab Ltd. It allows creative professionals, web designers and manufacturers of electronic devices to create and modify photofonts for print publications, web pages, animations, computer games and electronic devices. Users can also create photofonts from existing outline fonts (OpenType, TrueType, Type 1) and turn photofonts into outline fonts (when used together with TypeTool or FontLab Studio).
TRY or BUY BitFonter on fontlab.com
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.