How to Make a Font in GIMP

By Elizabeth Valentine

You can use the graphic design program GIMP to make your own custom fonts. GIMP houses Alpha to Logo filters, which makes it easy for you to produce polished-looking word art and text designs. You can create a whole alphabet this way to be used throughout various projects, or you can create finished words on an as-needed basis. GIMP lets you tailor each logo filter to feature the colors, design and size you want your font to have.

Step 1

Launch GIMP, and begin a font file by clicking on "File" and "Create." Follow the right-arrow to "Logos," hovering your cursor over the text in order to view the twenty-plus font functions to choose from. Click on an entry that sounds promising to give that particular foundation a try. For example, start with "Chrome" or "Neon."

Step 2

Follow the prompts in the "Script-Fu" pop-up box, inserting your desired text and completing the rest of that particular filter's options: background color, foreground color, pattern, size, drop shadow or so on. You will also be prompted to choose a computer font to give your logo a foundation to work from.

Step 3

Click on "OK" when you have inputted your desired settings. The "Script-Fu" box will close, and a workbook will appear housing your text creation. Many of the filters will produce a multi-layer workbook with a solid background.

Step 4

Delete the solid background, if desired, by clicking on the corresponding thumbnail in the "Layers" menu, and pressing the "Delete" key on your keyboard. A gray-checkerboard background will now be visible, signaling that the workbook is semi-transparent.

Step 5

Save your font file using a picture file extension that will support transparency such as ".png."

Tips & Warnings

  • If you want to create a complete alphabet set using the same settings, you can type the whole alphabet into your text field, and later crop letter by letter, saving each letter as its own ".png" file.
  • Saving your file using a ".png" extension will compress all layers of the workbook. If you want to save your creation as a multi-layer workbook that you can re-edit in GIMP, also save your file using GIMP's native extension ".xcf."