Make Your Own Drop Cap Artwork



We’ve provided a free download of our own complete A-Z set of simple upper-case “drop caps” with drop shadow, suitable for use in most content creation apps. In desktop publishing, the first letter of a paragraph that is enlarged to “drop” down two or more lines, is called a “drop cap.” It has nothing to do with the “drop shadow,” a separate effect also sometimes used, as I have. .For those of you who just want these Caps, the download is Summitlake’s own .zip file from this website, and is safe if downloaded from my site. The download link is just below. For those of you interested in learning more, or creating your own Drop Caps, our longer article with ample illustration, pointers and resources follows. Click “Continue Reading” to see the full post.


These FREE caps were created in Microsoft Word, in fontĀ  “Lucida Handwriting,” 48 point. A screen shot of this was then opened in Adobe Photoshop Essentials (PSE), where a drop shadow displacement layer was added in gray. I flattened the resulting image, and sliced and diced it into individual letters. I created individual JPG images using the “Save for web” option.


There are many elaborately ornamented clip art fonts. I wanted to create something in a simpler modern script, with a little more than we can get in a large-font MS Word drop cap. I admit I was reasonably pleased with my result, a first effort. I’ve put them into my book project.

I’m offering these free for download, in the public domain, meaning I’ll accept no money for them, and no credit or attribution is needed. You may have applications and ideas of your own. So I’ve shared the process, below, so you can design your own font artwork with your own adaptation of the method following.

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Microsoft ClearType

We’re not kidding. If you use a notebook or LCD flat panel monitor, and you have upgraded to Win XP, MS ClearType is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

We already know about anti-aliasing technology (Apple Computer, 1990’s). It’s important. ClearType takes it a step further. Tune ClearType from a choice of settings for custom font proportioning with the most apparent clarity (and readability) on your machine.

Your current font styles and preferences settings are not changed; they are displayed so that they are easier to read. Eyes of any age (but especially those that need a little extra help) will appreciate how much crisper ClearType text is. Print fonting is not affected.

We have no reports on this yet, but it’s a good bet owners of CRT monitors might notice some improvement too. We just haven’t found a downside to ClearType.

So far, we’ve installed ClearType on two desktops and on our little Vaio laptop. The setting that works best for us always seems to be the same (upper left hand choice panes). This is being composed on the laptop right now. Everyone who has seen this has taken the trouble to write back and thank us. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the most appreciated.

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