[2024] Add Fonts to After Effects - 5 Step Tutorial

To integrate a custom font into your Adobe After Effects project, start by closing the software and installing the desired font on your computer. Once installed, reopen After Effects, navigate to the Character panel, and select your new font from the dropdown menu for immediate use in various specialized video projects, from branding to game trailers.

February 11, 2024
[2024] Add Fonts to After Effects - 5 Step Tutorial
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How To Import A Custom Font In After Effects

If you're dabbling in After Effects for any purpose—be it corporate videos, film titles, or social media ads—you need to understand the power of custom fonts, and this guide is designed to do just that.

Custom fonts serve as the backbone for establishing visual hierarchy, enhancing readability, and setting the emotional tone of your content. They can be the difference between a project that's merely good and one that's unforgettable.

Here's what I'll go over in this blog post:

  • Specific use cases where custom fonts can make a significant impact
  • The benefits associated with each use case
  • A step-by-step guide on how to integrate custom fonts into your After Effects workflow

By the end of this guide, you'll not only appreciate the role of custom fonts in After Effects but also know how to wield them effectively in your projects.

Step 1: Close Adobe After Effects

  • Why Close After Effects: Before installing a new font, it's essential to close Adobe After Effects. This ensures that the software will recognize the new font when you reopen it. Trust me, you don't want to go through the hassle of troubleshooting later.
  • How to Close: Navigate to the top-left corner, click on 'File,' and then select 'Exit.' Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Q (Windows) or Cmd+Q (Mac).

Step 2: Download and Install the Font

  • Where to Download: Fonts can be downloaded from various sources online. Make sure to download from a reputable source to avoid malware. Websites like Google Fonts or DaFont are generally safe bets.
  • File Types: Fonts usually come in .ttf or .otf formats. Either will work, but .otf is generally more robust.
  • Installation Process: After downloading, locate the font file and double-click to open it. You'll see an 'Install' button; click it. On a Mac, you can also drag the font file into the 'Fonts' folder in the 'Library.'

Step 3: Reopen Adobe After Effects

  • Why Reopen: Now that your font is installed, reopening After Effects will refresh the software's font list. This is crucial for the next steps.
  • How to Open: Double-click the After Effects icon on your desktop or navigate to it through your computer's 'Start' menu or 'Applications' folder.

Step 4: Navigate to the Character Panel

  • Locating the Character Panel: Once After Effects is open, you'll find the Character panel usually docked on the right side of the workspace. If you can't see it, go to 'Window' in the top menu and select 'Character.'
  • Understanding the Character Panel: This is where all the text attributes are located. You'll see options for font size, leading, kerning, and more. For beginners, this is your go-to place for anything related to text in After Effects.

Step 5: Select Your New Font

  • How to Select: In the Character panel, you'll see a dropdown menu for fonts. Click it and start typing the name of your newly installed font. It should appear in the list. Click to select it.
  • Test the Font: Create a new text layer by right-clicking in the timeline and selecting 'New' > 'Text.' Type something to see how your new font looks. You might also want to try animating the text as well to see how the font looks in when in motion.

Why Add Custom Fonts?

Well for starters, the default ones are boring and overused. If you're trying to take branding seriously, then you need to use your own unique fonts.

Use Case Benefit
Branding in Corporate Videos Ensures consistency across all media, strengthening brand recognition and trust.
Animated Titles for Film and Television Creates unique and visually compelling titles, setting the tone for the production.
Social Media Ad Campaigns Makes ads stand out, increasing engagement rates and ROI.
Lyric Videos for Musicians Enhances the emotional impact of the song, making the video more effective and shareable.
Educational Tutorials and Webinars Makes content easier to follow, improving the learning experience.
Infographics and Data Visualization Makes complex data more readable, aiding in effective communication.
Animated Logos and Intros Adds a unique flair, setting you apart from competitors.
Themed Events and Presentations Adds a personalized touch, enhancing the overall aesthetic and experience.
E-commerce Product Videos Creates a cohesive and professional look, increasing consumer trust and boosting sales.
Video Game Trailers Evokes a specific atmosphere, generating excitement for the game.