FontStruct is a new online font creation tool from font seller FontShop that was officially launched last week. The site combines a Flash-based font maker (the Fontstructor) with a community site built around sharing, discussing, and building off of those fonts. FontStruct is free to use, as are all the fonts created using it.
Creating fonts has never been a cheap endeavor. FontLab's Fontographer software costs about $350, while their FontLab Studio product costs over $600. Even their basic TypeTool product requires a $100 investment, and the FontCreator program from competitor High-Logic costs about $80. All rather pricey for someone who just wants to fool around and create a few fonts for fun.
FontStruct is a simple to use Flash tool that uses pre-made shapes to allow people to assemble simple fonts. While it can't create the most sophisticated fonts, it can create some pretty cool ones. All fonts created using the FontStruct app must be licensed using a Creative Commons license, which means that anyone can download and use the fonts for free -- though only fonts licensed without the "No Derivatives" clause can be cloned and used as the basis of new FontStruct creations.
Below is a font created using FontStruct and embedded using their sharing widget that lets users spread fonts they've made via social networking sites and blogs.
FontStruct automatically packages fonts as TTF files and makes them available for download on a special font page where other users can vote on that font and leave comments. Of course, FontStruct also serves as a marketing tool for the professionally made, paid fonts that FontShop sells -- one of which is advertised on almost every page of the FontStruct site. Even so, FontStruct is a really neat web application that makes it easy for anyone to create a TrueType font for free.