Guest Article: 20 Insanely Cool Manga Fonts
It’s hardly surprising that more and more westerners are becoming interested in creating their own manga-style comics: not only is it a rich and varied art form, there’s a lot of money in it too. The manga market is worth $4.4 billion a year in Japan alone and a further $200 million in the USA.
If you want to create your own manga, you’re going to need the right manga fonts, or your work’s going to stick out like a Mickey Mouse cartoon at a dojinshi convention. Fear not, you can choose from any one of the brilliant fonts listed below. Use an all-caps font for your main text, a handwritten font for small text, and a variety of different fonts for sound effects. One last word of advice: avoid Comic Sans at all costs (die-hard manga fans hate it above all else.)
1. Wild Words Wild Words, originally created for Jim Lee’s Wildstorm books, has almost become the industry standard font for translated manga text (as opposed to sound effects). It has even been featured in TIME magazine.
2. Anime Ace Anime Ace, by Blambot, would have to be the second most popular font used in translated manga text, after Wild Words.
3. Manga Simply called Manga, this font by Neale Davidson is a little obvious and over-stylised perhaps, but it’s effective nonetheless when used as a title.
4. Manga Speak As the name suggests, this font designed by Teabeer Studios is ideal for speech. The font was originally used in Shonen Punk comics, which have a clear manga influence.
5. Saiyan Sans Ben Palmer designed this bold font, which looks best when it’s in a big size.
6. Ninja Naruto This ghoulish, spooky looking font was designed by sk89q in 2004 and remains a firm favourite among mangaka (manga artists).
7. Pokemon This is the famous Pokemon font from the video game, manga, anime, trading card, book and toy franchise, created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1995.
8. Nikona Inspired by Asimov’s three robotic laws, this font family is perfect for use in any manga featuring robots or mutants. Carlos Fabi·n Camargo Guerrero and Rafael RincÛn designed it.
9. Zaius Ed Benguiat’s legendary work has inspired many a typographer, including Jonathon Hill and his Zaius font. Zaius is perfect for all sci-fi, interplanetary manga.
10. Sky Wing Yet another Jonathon Hill font, this time inspired by vintage Japanese computer games.
11. GetaRobo The third and final Jonathon Hill font in this list, GetaRobo is reminiscent of Japanese anime, including Getter Robo and Gatchaman.
12. Manga Temple Another very popular manga font, this time by Blambot, Manga Temple is very easy to read across a range of sizes.
13. Tokyo Robot BB Tokyo Robot BB was designed by Nate Piekos to accompany all types of manga art, but especially that to do with big robots.
14. Augie According to Steven J. Lunden, who designed this font, Augie was based on the handwritten class notes of a ìsolid B-minus studentî. It has since become ëde rigueur’ to use it in western manga-style comics.
15. Another Another, a font by UnAuthourized Type, is perfect for use in manga sound effects.
16. Big Fish Ensemble The band Big Fish Ensemble received the ultimate honour when they had this font named after them. It’s based on the handwritten letters that appeared on their album ìPlayî. It works really well for manga sound effects, especially ëscratchy’ and ëspiky’ sounds, thanks to its pointed structure.
17. Trash Hand This font by Luce AvÈrous is simple and very effective in that it’s crystal clear, but also quite compact.
18. VNI-HLThuphap Not a very catchy name, but a great font nonetheless. Its simulated brush-strokes have a classic, gothic look.
19. Scott McCloud Complete Family Pack At a price of around $70, this isn’t the cheapest font on the market, but thanks to its clarity, it’s one of the best for use in comic books of all types, including manga.
20. Felt Regular Felt Regular is a handwritten font with a certain childlike quality, which makes it suitable for use in manga with a childhood theme.