If you've got nine bucks to spare, consider building a font based on your hand lettering. While we wouldn't recommend using it for your next graphic novel, consider these scenarios:
Try using your clean, clear handwriting font on commercial storyboards, especially if you're working at a stage where the design department hasn't decided on the final font yet.
If you have to turn in layouts or sketches of your next comic or graphic novel, consider using a font version of your handwriting instead of quickly scratched text or empty balloons. The publisher will get a better sense of what the book will end up looking like and you can play around with varying balloon widths.
So your aunt in Dubuque wants a "cartoony" invitation for your cousin's Spiderman-themed birthday party? Since your entire audience for this project will consist of people who will be fooled by your hand-lettered font, why not use it? There's nothing wrong with phoning it in once in a while.
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
Speaking of your Aunt in Dubuque, why not make a font of her handwriting and give it to her for Christmas? I think custom fonts defintely fall under the "Say -- I didn't even know you could do that!" category. And with a ttf format, she should find it pretty easy to load on her Dell.
After a very quick google search we found fontifier, a fast and easy way to make a true type font for your use. Fontifier has you write out the alphabet on a specialized template, which you then scan in and upload to their site. Their compu-bots make a font out of your sheet in less than a minute.
- Only $9. PayPal or credit card. Cheap enough that you can make several fonts, or even several drafts of one font for less than the price of a night on the town.
- Flexibility with customization. The font I made is all caps, so on the template I put uppercase roman as "lowercase" and uppercase bold as "uppercase." Also, want to draw a smiley face, or something not on the template? Try putting it in place of a character you may not use, like the British Pound.
- Works on mac and PC.
A note on the template: I wrote all of my letters on graph paper first, sometimes printing an individual letter two or three times until I got it right. Then I scanned it in at 600 dpi and dropped my best letters onto the template in Photoshop. (I had up-res'ed the template to 600 dpi as well.) When I had my template finished I dropped down the image size to 150 dpi or so on bicubic.
There are other make-a-font programs out there, but they seemed either too DIY on the programming end or prohibitively expensive (for recreational use, anyway). Zander and I aren't getting any cash from Fontifier, so if you know of other good programs, let us know!