Photofont or Customfont – the Skinnyhouse Way

I started creating Gimp-style Photofonts in order to create images with a shaped message in; like the one above.

To speed up the process of creating these Custom Fonts I have written a number of plug-ins, known as Custom Font Tools, to use in Gimp (2.10). Making a Custom Font used to take days but, by using the tools provided, results can now be achieved in a matter of minutes (well in under an hour anyway). I also have my own plug-in for using the finished Photofonts/Custom Fonts in Gimp. Perhaps I should just call them Photomfonts fonts from now on.

A selection of Custom Fonts created in Gimp

Using Photomfonts with the FontSlab plug-in

FontSlab (originally called Joined-up Text) has a total of twenty-three options for manipulating user text with size, colour and rotation.  At its simplest level the filter will take the text provided and attempt to fill the path with characters on a best-fit basis.

FontSlab filter dialog First 10 options

Here are two simple images created with the third option in the dialog set to ‘Yes’. The user path has been stroked in red to make it visible and the text has been displayed as a Photomfont.

In the second image a shorter piece of text has been used and displayed along the same path using a traditional font called ‘Alice’. Probably not the effect you would want to use in an image but you can definitely see that the characters do fill the path.

There is a full guide to using all the options available in PDF format on GimpLearn for you to explore. Click on the link below and scroll down to post #4.

Another selection of Custom Fonts created in Gimp

Here are some example images, mainly taken from the guide, to illustrate the effects of applying the other options.

Example 1: Text step size set to decrease by a small amount with each space character i.e. all the letters in each word remain the same size.

Example 2: Applying colour from a gradient to a paper-cut style Photomfont.

Example 3: Applying colour by shading from the foregound to the background colours.

Example 4: Reversing some text along a path.

Example 5: Repeating text set to decrease in size along a spiral path.

If you like playing about with text and fonts in images (we do lots of other other things as well btw) come and join in the fun at GimpLearn. We’re a very friendly and supportive bunch of enthusiasts.

Another selection of Custom Fonts created in GIMP

N.B. I’m not really going to stick with the name Photomfonts…

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Skinnyhouse has really taken the Gimp Custom (Photofont) a long way since its creation. Several Gimp Chat members (including Tin Tran our GL owner and leader who wrote the original plug-ins) worked together to find a way to do custom fonts,. As time went on, improvements, were made. Skinnyhouse, who seems to be a font making genius, joined in and developed an entire system for the fonts. As many of us are also GimpChatters, it spread to Gimp Learn also. Skinnyhouse joined in and the rest is history.The creation of the Gimp custom fonts of today included several Gimp users,… Read more »