When mainstream media starts following a digital branding trend, you know that trend is hot.
The trend of the day is handwritten script fonts. Also known as calligraphy fonts and brush script fonts, you’ve undoubtedly seen them used on social media graphics and on Pinterest images. A few months ago, I started spotting them in print and television ads, magazine covers, and even my cereal box.
You know you have a font obsession when you recognize the font on the back of your box of Special K Red Berries as Playlist Script.
If you’re working on your branding, you may want to add handwritten script fonts to your website and social media images. They add personality and flair, helping you express yourself and grabbing your audience’s attention. Used as accents, in small doses, they have a strong visual impact. Just make sure to place them against a simple background.
Calligraphy fonts are meant to look like a signature which adds a personal touch to logos and website banners. They can be used to elicit a whimsical, unique, and artistic mood. From feminine to hipster, there is a script font for just about every brand.
Wondering where to get handwritten script fonts or calligraphy fonts? We’ve compiled a list of the best places to find them. Most of these sources are free for personal use. If you’re using the font for commercial purposes (such as graphics used for logos), you may need a commercial license to use them so be sure to check the End-User License Agreement. For an explanation of font licenses, please read this article from Design Shack.
Google Fonts’ typography is open source. As stated on their FAQ page, “The open source fonts in the Google Fonts catalog are published under licenses that allow you to use them on any website, whether it’s commercial or personal.” So, if you are looking for commercial use fonts and don’t want to worry about obtaining a license, Google Fonts is a great source of fonts for your design work.
If you have a self-hosted WordPress site and want an easy way to use fonts in the Google Fonts library, there are a few plug-ins you can use, such as Easy Google Fonts.
These sites are a font lover’s dream, DaFont and 1001 Fonts are both extensive archives of fonts. Categorized by font type, and easy to navigate, both sites will send you down the rabbit hole of fonts. Grab a cup of coffee and plan on staying a while surfing the selections (there are thousands of fonts!). Most fonts are free for personal or demo use which allows you to download the font, play around with it to see how it will look in your logo or other branded images, and then purchase it for commercial use.
FontSquirrel boasts that they have done the work for you in finding “quality freeware that is licensed for commercial work.” FontSquirrel also contains thousands of fonts, although the use of tags makes it a little easier to filter the results to narrow down your selection.
If you’re willing to spend a little money to download fonts that have a commercial license, a great source is Creative Market. You’ll find a vast selection of handwritten script fonts and other unique typography that will make your website stand out. I love the font duos that many font designers have made available. It takes the guesswork out of pairing fonts that look great together. You can find some great deals on Creative Market. Most of the fonts are inexpensive, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have the commercial license. Be sure to get on their email list if you are font-obsessed.
Take font hoarding to a new level. Font Bundles and The Hungry JPEG have special deals which are available for a limited time. The prices are incredible, and the fonts include commercial use licenses. If you design for a living, you undoubtedly know about these sites, but design newbies will discover a whole new world! Be sure to check out the $1 deals on The Hungry JPEG for some fantastic deals on fonts, patterns, textures, and other graphic elements.
If you have an iPad and an idea for a font, this article from Who Arted will show you how easy it is to create a hand-drawn font using the iFontMaker app. The benefit of creating your own font is that no one else will be using it. It’s unique, and you can design it to match your brand perfectly.
Now you know where to find handwritten script fonts. How will you use them? Unleash your creativity! Here are a few ideas of things you can create if you have a commercial license for the font:
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