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What Is That Font Anyway?

Published on June 1st, 2021


Steve Spence


Figuring out the name of a font can be a time consuming and frustrating endeavor.
With a million or more fonts out there and more coming every day, the task will only become more and more challenging.
Perhaps you are like me: I have spent countless hours searching through the font pages in the front of the various CorelDRAW clipart manuals (when they had manuals) looking for a font close enough to the original to get by. Too often, the only option was to digitize the letters I needed which took even more time.


In recent years, a number of programs and apps have hit the market claiming to be able to identify fonts. Some work pretty good and some hardly work at all but I have been using one that has been “on the money” more often than not.
It is an app for your phone called “What the Font?” and it’s free from the App Store.
Here’s how it works: When you open the app, it will access the camera in your phone. Aim the camera at the text you want the name of and click the shutter button.
Any text within the cam

era’s view will show up with a box around it. Touch the box containing the font of interest and it will show you a list of possible candidates with the first one in the list often being a perfect match. Click on the desired font and it takes you to a website where you can buy the font. If you already have the font in your inventory, you can go right to it without having to search your entire inventory. Of course, to make things more complicated, you should be aware that some identical fonts have different names. This is usually so whoever is selling them doesn’t have to pay a royalty to the maker (Corel did this in their early versions). Also, designers often modify one or more letters in a logo to make it unique. This means you have to search on the letters that have not been modified.


If you need to buy the rights to the font, www.myfonts.com is probably as good a source as any but I can usually find the font somewhere for free. The hard part is finding the name of the font so you know what to search for, and this little app does a surprisingly good job of that.
The same basic App is also available online for your desktop computer at www.myfonts.com/whatthefont.


In the screen shot to, you can see this search for the Conde font produced several possible with the third option being the closest to the original.

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