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From time to time you may find yourself in the situation of needing to identify a particular font. Maybe you're trying to match the look of something you see in print or on the web, or maybe you want to find a font that looks like another one you don't have for some reason. Fortunately there are some great websites that can help you identify mystery fonts. I have a few of them open here in my browser, so, let's check them out. The first one here is the what the font section of myfonts.com. Here you can either upload an image of a font or the URL of an image.
In either case, pay attention to the tips below to get best results. I'll choose to upload a file. And on my desktop I have mystery_font.png, which looks like this. I'll click Choose, and Continue. I'll scroll down and in the character section I can confirm or correct each character that has been identified. And you'll get much better results here if the letters aren't touching in your image. These ones are all correct, so I'll click continue. And here are my results.
All of which identify this mystery font as Bradley Hand. Which it is. Now if the automated tools at WhatTheFont didn't work, you can submit the image to the user forums here and see if someone can identify it for you. Go to the forum, and I can upload an image here and you can see some cases where people are trying to identify specific fonts. And the status of the case if it's been solved or unsolved. WhatTheFont also has a mobile app which can be really useful if you want to take pictures of type with your phone and then try to identify the fonts used in that type.
Just go under WhatTheFont, choose mobile. And you can get the details of the mobile app. Another site with several different methods for identifying mystery fonts is identifont.com. You can search for specific fonts if you know just part of the name. Or if you know it looks like another font, you can search for similar fonts. So say you had a sample that looked like Papyrus but wasn't exactly Papyrus. You could search on that name or just click on it. And then just click through the different similar fonts until you've found a match. You can also search by specific symbols by clicking on fonts by picture.
So, if you had a dingbat font that contained a dragon say, you could search on dragon and find fonts that contain dragons and so forth. But maybe the most interesting option is the one on the far left, fonts by appearance. Here you can try to identify a font by answering a series of questions about the appearance of the characters. You start out with the entire pool of over 9500 possible fonts. You can focus on specific characters and if you know the year of your sample, you can exclude fonts that were released after that date and hopefully get to the answer quicker. To the right you can click through the questions and answer each one Continuously narrowing down the possible options, until you get to a single font. I'll just click through them very quickly and here in this case if all those were true, the font would be Florentine. If Identifont couldn't identify your font you could also try a similar question and answer tool at Linotype.com, right here. And the site Bowfin Printworks also has a visual identification tool and the nice thing here is that you can see all the questions on one page rather than clicking through a whole bunch of pages which can sometimes get kind of tedious. Another option is at the site typophile.com Click on Font ID at the top. And here you can tap into the expertise of the other folks on the forums and upload an image of type to see if anyone knows what it is. You can also scroll through the other samples other people have uploaded. And if there's an entry on the far right, you know there's been a positive identification. So when you need to identify a mystery font, the good news is there's no shortage of options. In fact, you might have a hard time choosing between them. But with a little effort and some patience, you can tap into some great resources, an stand a good chance of identifying the right font.
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