I was just checking out nymphadora-t's amazing artwork and saw some faux-Magic: the Gathering (MTG) cards she had done of her two brothers. I've thought about making my own faux-MTG cards and just never quite got around to it. So I took a look into it, with a focus on the fonts because they are such an important detail to making the faux cards look real.
A) I went looking for anything I could on the subject. It gave me hints to investigate like several posts on the internet mention it being this or that font; so I downloaded several to try. I found the software 'Magic Set Editor 2.0' and briefly checked them out... it really wasn't what I was looking for. I did find an incredibly valuable post from Mark Rosewater in 2002 who mentioned font sizes. It can be found at [ www.wizards.com/Magic/Magazine… ]. After accidentally installing some really yucky advertising software and fighting to uninstall it; I decided to move on to the next step.
B) I looked to half a dozen examples of MTG I own. I started deconstructing several of the MTG cards I own. I typed out all the various text in an MS Word 2000 on one of my cards and tried out several fonts and sizes. Thankfully step A gave me several pretty good guesses (and a few not so good guesses).
C) I began playing with in-font features like size, bolding, and italics.
D) Finally, I printed off my font-ed text and did a side by side comparison with my magic card sampling. Mark's post was important for alerting me to them using really odd sizes to their fonts. I wonder if that's to make duplication more difficult? If so, why not just use all custom fonts?
E) So... here's what I concluded should be used on a standard 2.5 inch by 3.5 inch MTG card starting at the top. The title, I think 'Matrix' 12.5pt bold. For the card type, I think 'Matrix' 10.5pt. For the rules text, I think Wizards of the Coasts (WotC) uses a font designed in house but 'MPlantin' 9pt comes really close (apostrophe's being one of the big differences between the two fonts, so should be avoided if possible). Cards with lots of rules text may be as small as 7.5pt. For the flavor text, it's 'Times New Roman' 9pt italic. The flavor text may not be present if there is a lot of rules text. For the artist, we're back to 'Matrix' but 7pt. And for the copyright, it's 'Times New Roman' 4.5pt. I wonder if increasing the canvas to 7.5 by 10.5 and using 3x these font numbers will make them look even closer?
F) Since I don't want anyone reading this to go through the same painful fight with uninstalling yucky nasty evil advertising software, I thought I'd go back to the internet and try to find a single website the 'Matrix' and 'MPlantin' fonts could be obtained from. Eventually I found [ www.angelfire.com/va/planeswlk… ]. Just scroll down to the 'Other Files' section and click the links for 'Magic Card Text Font - MPlantin' and 'New 8E Frames Name Font - Matrix Bold'.
All that being said, please keep in mind that WotC changed the fonts and sizes over the years, so they won't be perfect fits for all the cards... but I hope my findings will help, if only by giving you a better place to start.
P.S. As of this post all the links I mention were functional and safe, but I in no way guarantee them or that they will stay that way. Click them at your own risk.
Thanks for doing the drudgery work for all us Proxy enthusiasts!
Very useful indeed. Thank for the link!
This was really useful to me. Thank you very much!