A lot of people like the look of a handwriting font because it can make their website look more casual and inviting, and their documents unique – especially when crafting things like stationary or gift cards. There are hundreds of handwriting script typefaces available – many for free on the Internet – but there’s a fine line between a font that looks like handwriting and one that is legible enough to read.
If you’re thinking of using a handwriting font, take into account that many people have difficulty reading even the clearest of cursive handwriting; there’s just something about the connected letters that causes them problems. Try to help by keeping the contrast simple and clean with a black font on white background, making your font choice as easy as possible to read.
Here are some of the best print and cursive handwriting fonts that you can try – and a couple of special styles.
- MVB Calliope – Available in three weights that appear thin, bold and very bold, this is an interesting, separated font. It looks a little messy, but in a rather natural way. It looks rather friendly and casual.
- Jarman – I like this one because it is a little unusual, but not too strange. The letters are slightly slanted and look to have been traced. But there are these little ears on certain letters that give them more of a flourish.
- Penmanship Print – This one is great for teachers or websites teaching language skills. It comes with its own rules, such as in a notebook, and the letters are incredible proper and straight. But they still look to have been handwritten by someone attempting to show perfect penmanship.
- Jolly – This one costs $3.99, but I think it is worth the price. It has a rather fun touch and really looks like somoene scribbled down the note. One thing I found interesting, however, was a sample using it to tell a macabre story. It worked quite well, proving that just because it looks ‘jolly’ at first glance, it can be applied to other purposes as well.
- Venture – This one has a bit of a fancy touch to it, as the writing has an extra flow. But it is still very easy to read and presented in a large, bold font that is pleasing to the eye. I have seen this one – and similar ones – used a lot lately in ads.
- P22 Kaz – This font makes me laugh because it looks a lot like my own handwriting. A little odd, it is still clear and has a little something that is more unique than many of the others. Or maybe that is just a bias, since I use many of the same strange flourishes in my own writing.
- MVB Sacre Bleu – One of the biggest issues with using cursive in design is “letter-form repetition.” This is when you use double letters like ‘ee’ and they sort of meld together. This isn’t so much of an problem in calligraphy, but it can be a designer’s nightmare. MVB Sacre Bleu gets around this by providing several alternate letter types in their font style to break this up. The end result is much cleaner and less boring.
- FF Market – You know that full look of lettering written with a felt tip marker? This one has that, which is a look I love. The font itself has an odd mix between traditional cursive and letters that look more broken away. The up side to this is it looks more genuinely handwritten, such as in a signature.
- Blessed Day – I love this one. The whole thing looks a lot more formal, like someone who has carefully traced a more advanced form of calligraphy. But it still has the hand done look to it, and seems as though it would be better suited for a celebration message or announcement. Very pretty.
- Lipstick – This font has a fun and flirty air that some of you will just love. The name is exactly what it is…a font that looks like it was written in bright red lipstick. The lettering is in a clear print, and there are little symbols like hearts and kiss marks also available. I downloaded this one for a note to the hubby recently; I hate cleaning up real lipstick.
- Avalon – As a prisoner in Egypt, Austrian artist Fredrich Neugebauer fought to keep his mind and art by creating a calligraphy style that is still recognizable today. When he ran out of ink he used toothpaste, refusing to stop. His forgeous style has been adapted here. The sweeping expanse and careful precision are gorgeous.
- YouMurdererBB – A nice, creepy font for you, this one uses an interesting, faded block letter style that has a genuinely dark tone. The best part to me are the symbols, which includes little black handprints that look a lot like they were made from blood rather than ink.
- CrazyKiller – The one above not enough for you? This one looks like a genuinely psychopathic mind scribbled a note for those who found his victims. The letters look practically carved into paper with a pen or pencil, and they are very jagged and angry.
If you just can’t find a font that you like, then Handfont.com will help you create your own. Simply fill out the provided form with your font style, scan it, upload it to the site and download a full font version.
The ability to choose an interesting and little-known font allows the freedom to create a unique website and printed materials. Some people go wild like kids in a candy store, putting several different handwriting fonts on one site, which should be avoided.
Keep in mind that, above all else, the font you choose must be readable or people won’t stay around long enough to get your message. Some handwriting fonts can be just as difficult to read as real handwriting, so choose wisely and keep your visitor’s visual comfort in mind.