They all end up pixelated and crappy no matter what font I use and whether I start them large and shrink them or not. And all the tutorials I find are for people who've made a lot of icons and want to do some specific fancy effect on their already good-looking text.
(I know lots of places to find free fonts, and I wasn't going to do anything fancy background-wise, at least not to start with. I don't need epic icons, just functional and legible.)
P.S. GIMP is my image-maker of choice, but I can translate tutorials if they're basic and describe what they're doing in detail.