The Internet is full of gazillions of fonts that can, at times, make life tough if you are looking to find the name of a particular font. You know, those situations where you have the font but you don’t have its name? You know it will work. You like it. But, you cannot use it because you don’t know what it is called. Such a situation can baffle any web or graphic designer at the best of times. Thankfully, technology comes to our rescue in such a scenario. This article will list down some of the famous Font Identifying Tools that make life easy when you are stuck. Also, I will test these tools quickly to gauge their authenticity. Each time I will pick a random font from Da Font and see if these tools can identify it.
I quickly download Katakana Font and surprisingly What The Font smartly judged what font it was.
2. What Font Is
Personally, I am not happy with What Font Is. I tried to run five different fonts through this tool but none of them were identified successfully. The sad part was that the results weren’t even close when I ran DOC 510 through the tool which looks pretty simple. I would have been satisfied if the results were close to what I was looking for but that wasn’t the case. Some of the downsides of the tool are:
- Limitation of taking only 10 characters as input. If you enter an image which has more than 10 characters then it will result into error.
- You will have to enter corresponding characters for at least two characters on the image if you want results. It will result into an error if you enter nothing. Surprisingly, What The Font does good job at guessing the characters on its own and then lets you change them if you feel so. It surely has an edge over What Font Is.
- Sometimes the tool fails to break an image into individual characters henceforth the results are broken too. This happened when I used Levitee as test image. This wasn’t the case with What The Font.
Identifont uses a different technique to identify your font. You will be asked to answer a set of questions that will help the algorithm identify your font. The approach isn’t the best way to judge a font and this is quite clear with the results that you get. But, I still appreciate the amount of accuracy that Identifont can achieve.
I used Varsity Font to test Identifont and the result wasn’t exactly what I was looking for but it was quite close. See the results below.
At the end of the day you might just realize that only humans can help you. When program codes fail and answering questions give useless results then I will suggest you seek help from some experts. Typophile is the largest community of font experts. You post your image and you will quickly get a reply about the font which is being used. A discussion will shoot up on your question and you will love it. Remember to contribute back to the community.
Here goes an imported tool to explore the world of typography. The Font Finder Firefox Add-On is surely going to interest most of you. The tool comes in handy when you want to know the font of the selected text. Also, the tool smartly explains all the CSS styles that are connected to that font. Just select the text, hit right-click of your mouse, and opt for Font Finder. The add-on will compile the list of complete CSS code that is part of that text.
You can even play with a website by changing its font to see if it will look better with the font of your choice. See how I changed 1WD’s font just for the sake of testing.
Bonus: Yellow Pages for Fonts
Enough of asking! The last way out is to help yourself. Rookledge’s International Typefinder is surely the bible of fonts. It is the ultimate dictionary for fonts. You might end up spending some time with this book but the time spent will be worth it. The book’s secret advantage is its sidebar that highlights some of the most important features of a font.
The font industry might have grown a lot but requisite tools that help you identify the exact font are yet to be launched. What we have is the first phase of font identifying tools and they have a lot of room to grow. I am not sure when we will have more accurate tools to use but until that time we will have to stick with the available options.
Salman Siddiqui is an alpha geek, design guru and seasoned WordPress critic. Writing, for him, started out of ego but it has become the most luring and enlightening career option of his life. He is walking that extra mile for his freelancing dream.