You’re asking, why should I do it?
For many reasons, but I’ll just name a few.
Let’s say, you’ve seen a really cool and attractive font printed on some wedding or conference invitations, or you were browsing the net and saw an ad using an unusually good-looking typeface, or one of your clients brings a business card and says that’s all he has and you need to reproduce it (this happens way too often! 🙂 )… the list can go on and on, but the big question remains… what do you do to accomplish the task of identifying that particular font?
Well, there are lots of different ways you can go in the search of this answer, but in the next lines you’ll find the options that I’ve tried and found to be the most effective along the years.
This should be your number 1 stop if you managed to scan or get a photo of the typeface you’re after. All you have to do is upload that image from your computer or from a web hosting site and click the big green button to continue. Then you’re taken to the Character selection page where you see the letters identified by the system and you have the chance to help it (if not all characters are recognised) by filling the empty boxes with the corresponding letters/numbers for the highlighted characters. Press again the green button and there you go to the results page. Here you get to see a list of possible matches with the typeface’s name and direct link to the buying page. If you feel that none of the returned answers matches the font you’re looking for then you’re encouraged to go to… option number 2.
2. WhatTheFont Forum
This is your next logical stop if the previous option failed to render the desired outcome. This place is full of font identifying nerds, as the site’s administrators say, who find great pleasure in solving difficult cases. But to be able to post a photo with the typeface you’re looking for, you need to register and become a member of MyFonts, don’t worry though, as it’s all free.
This service uses a different angle to tackle the issue of finding the right font. In case you don’t have an image of a particular typeface, you can try searching by its appearance, in which case you’d have to answer to at least 10 questions about the look of different glyphs (like serif or sans-serif, shape, style, height etc.); then you can try to identify a font by its name (if you know at least a part of it); the third option is looking by similarity (here you’d have to have a starting idea and then try to narrow down the possibilities); the fourth tab lets you search for a typeface based on a symbol or shape (for example, all the fonts that contain: stars, flowers or horses); the last option present on Indentifont’s website, is also the least helpful for all those who aren’t quite font gurus, trying to find a typeface by searching after its designer or publisher.
Succeeding as a font detective is not always easy, even with great helpers, like the options listed above. But, one thing is certain, the more you try to ID different fonts, the more you’ll learn about them and the easier will be to track others down next time, or even get to know many of them by heart.
That’s all for now, good luck Sherlock! 🙂