TypeTalk: Give These Fonts a Hand
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Q. Which is better for an informal look: a handwriting font, or real handwriting?
A. Handwriting, whether it's a font that looks like handwriting or custom lettering produced for your project, can be a warm, personal treatment for ads, book jackets, packaging, invitations, logos, signage, film titles, and other designs. There are pros and cons to consider when deciding whether to use a font or real handwriting.
• Fast and easy
• Easily scalable and editable
• A fixed cost, just the price of the font(s)
• You know exactly what you're getting beforehand
Note that fonts often contain only one design per character. Therefore, repeated glyphs might all be the same letterform, a repetition that can spoil the individuality you're aiming for. Look for an OpenType font with alternates to avoid this problem.
This is just a sampling of the many digital handwriting fonts.
Real handwriting (or hand lettering)
• The person doing the lettering can infinitely customize each letter and/or the overall look, feel, and fit
• Not easily editable
• Could be relatively expensive if you're using a lettering artist, especially for a lot of text
• Could be free if using your own handwriting or that of someone you know
If you want to use hand lettering, don’t be afraid to try your own "hand" at it, so to speak, and ask other people you know for samples of their handwriting.
Jill Bell creates some of the best handwriting and hand lettering around. All of the following examples are her work.
Handwritten gift cards for a series of Lenox print ads.
Cornerstone Software print ad.
Recipe cards for Williams Sonoma.
Handwritten copy for an Oliver Peoples print ad series.
Seabrook print ad.
SBC Yahoo newspaper ad.
Hand lettering for book cover.
Love type? Want to know more? Ilene Strizver conducts her acclaimed Gourmet Typography workshops internationally. For more information on attending one or bringing it to your company, organization, or school, go to her site, call The Type Studio at 203-227-5929, or email Ilene at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up for her e-newsletter at www.thetypestudio.com.