Can I have my typeface made into movable type?

I created my own digital typeface and have Illustrator and .ttf files of all the characters. Is it possible to turn it into movable photopolymer type? And if so, what are available places to have it made?

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It would probably be simpler to contact one of the makers of wood type and ask them the costs to make masters and cut various sizes for you. If you are looking at smaller sizes, having the letters cut from a plate would be the cheapest and most stable method, but would require a lot of fussy cutting and ensuring proper set width/height.

Not sure polymer would make a good long term type material—has anybody used polymer in the way of a cut. Problems with curling?

You could also go the foundry route — space the letters out on a sheet to leave working room around them, make a deep photopolymer plate of them, and use the photopolymer with copper plating into brass blanks to make mats for casting with a Thompson. But it’s a lot of effort — be a lot easier to just print offset (horrors!) from the art.


If you want an individual to work on cutting the face into casting patterns and have a font produced from it in lead, you should contact The Dale Guild.

Thanks guys, It seems there’s no easy way to have it done in photopolymer, as I know I don’t have the resources to be cutting it accurately myself. I found a site that said they consider custom castings of lead type, so (once I win the lottery) that may be the way to go if I ever have it done.

Thanks heli, I’ll bookmark it.

Check with Bill at Virgin Wood Type.

I can make patterns and cut wood type from your .ai file or your .ttf file. The patterns would be cut using a laser cutter into 1/8” birch plywood and mounted on blocks registered to the top left “origin” of the character.

The patterns then are sized onto the wood using a pantograph router.

I would have to see the drawings to tell you what is the smallest size that I can make. It really depends on the features of the design. Tiny features limit how small you can go.