Masterclass: Create and Sell Fonts on Etsy

Masterclass: Create and Sell Fonts on Etsy

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Why Should I Sell Fonts?
  3. Creating Fonts by Hand Drawing 3.1 Using Inkscape to Trace Bitmaps
  4. Creating Fonts with Existing Shapes 4.1 Using Circles and Rectangles in Inkscape
  5. Modifying Existing Fonts 5.1 Using Public Domain Fonts
  6. Creating Individual Glyphs
  7. Using Glifter to Create and Edit Fonts Online 7.1 Entering Glyphs in Glifter 7.2 Downloading and Installing the Font
  8. Conclusion


Designing and selling your own fonts may seem intimidating at first, but it can be a rewarding and profitable endeavor. In this article, we will break down the process of font creation and show you how to list your fonts for sale on platforms like Etsy. Whether you're an experienced designer or just starting out, creating and selling fonts can provide a source of income and allow you to showcase your creativity.

Why Should I Sell Fonts?

You may wonder why you should bother selling fonts when they are often priced at a relatively low value, such as $4.68. However, consider the example of a seller on Etsy called Baby Crochet Art. While they offer various products, including fonts, they have achieved over 10,000 sales. Assuming an average of $2 to $5 per sale, this amounts to a revenue of $20,000 to $50,000 from digital font downloads alone. Selling fonts can be a lucrative business, especially when combined with other products or services.

Creating Fonts by Hand Drawing

One method of font creation is through hand drawing. This can be done using either digital tools like an iPad and Apple Pencil or traditional tools such as pencil and paper. By drawing each letter individually and adding any desired accents or details, you can create unique and personalized fonts. Once your drawings are complete, you can digitize them using a program like Inkscape.

Using Inkscape to Trace Bitmaps

Inkscape is a free vector software tool that allows you to trace and convert hand-drawn font designs into scalable vector graphics (SVG). Simply import a scanned or photographed image of your drawing into Inkscape, select the image, and use the "Trace Bitmap" function. This will convert the image into a vector that can be edited, modified, and exported as an SVG file. By tracing and refining each glyph, you can create a complete font set.

Creating Fonts with Existing Shapes

Another approach to font creation is using existing shapes, such as circles or rectangles, and combining them to form letters. Programs like Inkscape provide shape-drawing tools that allow you to easily create and manipulate basic shapes. By arranging these shapes in the desired letterform, you can create clean and visually pleasing fonts. This method is especially useful for creating fonts with a minimalist or geometric aesthetic.

Using Circles and Rectangles in Inkscape

In Inkscape, you can select the circle or rectangle tool and create shapes of various sizes and proportions. By duplicating and positioning these shapes, you can construct letters that resemble the desired font style. Adjusting the size, rotation, and position of each shape allows for further customization. Once the letters are complete, you can save them as individual SVG files or export them as a font using online font creation tools.

Modifying Existing Fonts

If you prefer to work with existing fonts, you can modify them to create unique designs. It is essential to use fonts that are in the public domain to avoid copyright infringement. With programs like Inkscape, you can open a font file, select and edit individual glyphs, and save them as new vector files. By making subtle or significant modifications, you can transform an existing font into something entirely new.

Using Public Domain Fonts

Public domain fonts are fonts that are not protected by copyright and can be used freely. These fonts provide a starting point for your font creation process. By modifying the existing glyphs, adjusting proportions, adding accents, or altering letterforms, you can create a font that suits your style and meets your creative goals. Public domain fonts are readily available and can be found on various font websites.

Creating Individual Glyphs

A glyph refers to an individual component of a font, such as a letter, number, or special character. By creating individual glyphs, you can assemble them together to form a complete font. Using vector graphics software like Inkscape, you can draw and refine each glyph, save them as individual SVG files, and organize them into a font set. This method allows for precise control over the design and aesthetics of each character.

Using Glifter to Create and Edit Fonts Online

Glifter is an online font creation tool that simplifies the process of designing and editing fonts. With Glifter, you can easily import your individual glyph files and generate a complete font file. To use Glifter, you need to sign up for a free account, and then you can either upload and assign each glyph to its corresponding character or use the built-in vector drawing tools to create new glyphs directly within the editor. Once all the glyphs are in place, you can download the font file and install it on your computer.

Entering Glyphs in Glifter

In Glifter, you can enter your glyphs by selecting each character box and assigning the corresponding SVG file. This allows Glifter to compile all the individual glyphs into a complete font file. You can also edit the glyphs within Glifter, making minor adjustments or adding special effects. Glifter provides basic editing tools and the ability to insert icons or graphics as special characters within your font.

Downloading and Installing the Font

Once you have finished entering and editing your glyphs, you can download and install your font file. Glifter provides the option to download the font in various formats, such as TrueType Font (TTF), Web Open Font Format (WOFF), and Embedded OpenType (EOT). After downloading the font file, you can install it on your computer by double-clicking the file and following the installation prompts. Once installed, the font will be available for use in any application that supports custom fonts.


Creating and selling fonts can be a rewarding and profitable venture for designers. Whether you choose to hand draw your fonts, use existing shapes, or modify existing fonts, there are numerous tools and techniques available to bring your font designs to life. Online font creation tools like Glifter simplify the process of compiling individual glyphs into a complete font file. By leveraging online marketplaces like Etsy, you can reach a wide audience and monetize your font designs. Get started today and unleash your creativity in the world of font design and entrepreneurship.


Q: How can I sell fonts on Etsy? A: To sell fonts on Etsy, you can create a digital download listing that includes the font files in formats like TTF or OTF. Provide clear instructions and previews of the font in action. Set a reasonable price for your font and be sure to fulfill any customer inquiries or requests promptly.

Q: Can I sell fonts I created by modifying existing fonts? A: Yes, you can sell fonts that you have modified as long as the original fonts are in the public domain. Ensure that your modifications are significant enough to distinguish your font from the original and comply with copyright laws. It's good practice to acknowledge the source of the original font if applicable.

Q: How do I choose the right font for my project? A: When choosing a font for your project, consider the purpose and audience of the design. Different fonts evoke different emotions and suit different contexts. Experiment with various fonts to find the one that conveys the desired message effectively. Additionally, ensure the font is legible and accessible across different devices and screen sizes.

Q: Can I use free fonts in commercial projects? A: Many free fonts are available for commercial use, but it's essential to review the license of each font before using it in commercial projects. Some free fonts may have specific restrictions or require attribution. Always read and comply with the terms of use specified by the font designer or foundry.

Q: Are there any tools or software for advanced font creation? A: Yes, various professional font creation software, such as FontLab and Glyphs, offer advanced features for font designers. These tools provide extensive control over kerning, spacing, and more advanced typographic settings. However, they generally require a higher level of technical expertise and familiarity with font design principles.

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