This blog post is dedicated to all of my creative design friends who have a slight addiction to fonts.
Have you heard of What the Font? If not, you might want to read on. Last week I was given the task of redesigning a flyer for an event at my school. The digital file had been lost and all that was left was one paper copy.
I was able to replicate the flyer with some enhancements, but when it came down to the font, I wanted the font in my design to match precisely….In comes What the Font!
What is What the Font? It is a free service on the myfonts.com site that allows you to upload an image to find the closest matches in their database. Yes, you read that right! Once you upload an image, What the Font will break apart the letters in the image and then ask you to identify them. The results are some font suggestions that look like the exact font in your image or is pretty darn close.
Here’s the process I took to figure out which font was used in the flyer that I had been tasked to redesign.
- Since I only had a paper copy of the flyer, I used my iPhone to take a picture of a portion of the text showing the font I was trying to match. I texted the photo to myself on my Mac
- I went to https://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/ and uploaded the image.
- In the next step I was asked to match the characters from the image
- I clicked on continue to view my 3 matches!
The first one was the exact font I was looking for, but it was $40 on MyFonts! A simple Google search led me to a ton of other fonts sites that offered it as a free download!
I downloaded the file to my Mac and clicked Install Font to use it within Photoshop Elements, where I was creating a new version of the flyer.
A few things to note:
- If you can’t find the exact font you are looking for, you can post on the WhatTheFont Forum and a font enthusiast will help you identify it.
- I try not to upload images with a ton of text on them. Just make sure that there are enough letters for What the Font to scan and attempt to match.
- The maximum file size is 2 MB, which is very small, so you may need to use a photo editor to compress the image you want to use.
- Most of the fonts that are suggested on MyFonts are not FREE because they are trying to run a font business, but if I do a quick Google search on comparable free fonts, I often find one that is close to what I need.
I’ve used What the Font for nearly ten years now and it is my go-to site for font identification. However, there are other font identifier sites that you might like better, such as WhatFontIs (has a Chrome extension!) and Identifont.
My new favorite font tool is the WhatFont Chrome extension. This extension allows you to inspect web fonts just by hovering over them. For example, if I see a font on a teacher’s website that I really like, but I don’t know the name, I could use WhatFont to identify it.
For example, I can see that Cathy uses a font in the logo of her blog that comes from the Georgia font family. I would have to do more sleuthing to find out which Georgia font has that white bevel on it, or I could just add a bevel to the Georgia font in Photoshop Elements to match it. I find that the difference between WhatFont and What the Font is that WhatFont is analyzing the code within the website to determine which font is being used, whereas What the Font is actually analyzing an image. Either way, I hope this saves you time when you find yourself in need of the perfect font!