Why am I designing an artist’s chop for myself? Because, after assisting my Shinkendo instructor with getting proper seals made for the dojo, I found myself with fonts, templates, whimsy, and a web site that can turn an Illustrator file into a sturdy rubber seal. (they only ship domestically, but by some small coincidence, I’d recently updated my reshipping info at Tenso)
The font is Hakushu Tensho, the text reads 手掛 (“te-gakari” =”clue”), the color is Chinese Red, and the distressed effect is a quick Roughen/Expand/Simplify. The physical seal should be here sometime next week.
Side note: good fonts are pricy. I have a decent collection (read “shovelware CD”) of Japanese fonts from Dynaware, but Hakushu is one of the few foundries that makes a full line of professional old-fashioned fonts, and they charge professional prices. Fortunately, they offer free downloads of fonts containing just the grade-school kanji.
Actually buying their fonts is a bit tricky, because most places only sell them on CD, only take domestic credit cards, and only ship domestically. Amazon Japan does carry them, and if you’re lucky they’ll be in stock, but because font CDs are flagged as software, you have to use a reshipping service like Tenso. The only working source I’ve found for purchasing downloadable fonts is imagenavi; you have to be a bit creative fudging the address fields, but you can sign up for an account and use a non-Japanese credit card to buy things from them.
[Which reminds me: one of the many little adventures I had in Kyoto was helping my sister set up an account with Pizza-La so we could get dinner delivered to our hotel room. Worth the effort; I think we ordered the “Alsace-style Flambeed Onions and Bacon” pie three times. They actually have an English menu, but if you can’t read Japanese, placing an order is still tricky; she made it most of the way through the signup process with Chrome’s auto-translation, but got stuck when it insisted on having her enter her name in katakana.]