1. Design & Illustration
  2. Typography
  3. Hand Lettering

The Different Types of Writing Fonts: Calligraphy Font Styles, Hand Lettering, and More

Scroll to top
Read Time: 14 min

Curious about writing fonts, calligraphy fonts, handwriting fonts, and more? In this article, we'll explore different types of writing fonts, where they come from, and what the different terms mean. We'll also observe some different writing font examples, like chalkboard fonts, kids' handwriting fonts, script fonts, and others.

handwriting fontshandwriting fontshandwriting fonts
Handwriting fonts can be a fun and convenient way to add a hand-drawn look to your design projects.

What Is a Writing Font? 

Fonts are a collection of letters. They are typically a graphical representation of a set of characters, all with one continuous aesthetic. Every computer likely has a collection of fonts on it; this article is displayed in a font in your browser. 

In most cases, a writing font refers to a font that has a hand-drawn or handwriting aesthetic. This means it includes a lot of styles: there are many different types of writing fonts. This could include anything from informal kids' handwriting fonts to ultra-decorative calligraphy styles.

cursive handwriting fontcursive handwriting fontcursive handwriting font
Download this elegant script font now on Envato Elements.

However, you may hear others refer to "writing fonts" as fonts best used for actual reading and writing books. If you're an author looking for the perfect writing font, you're likely looking for a serif or sans serif font with strong readability and legibility at small sizes. That won't be our focus in this article. Instead, we're going to focus on a handwriting aesthetic. If you're looking for writing fonts for your next manuscript or for long paragraphs of body copy, check out these collections. They've got design inspiration right up your alley.

Now, let's dig into some of the different styles of writing fonts and where they come from. We'll start with one of the most popular different types of writing fonts: a calligraphy font style.

What Is Calligraphy?

Calligraphy is a type of hand lettering, but not all hand lettering is necessarily considered calligraphy. It also has roots all across the globe—many cultures, across many eras, have valued beautiful handwritten letterforms. It's not exclusive to Latin characters. The term "calligraphy" is often associated with a style: beautiful, elegant letters drawn with sweeping strokes. 

procreate calligraphy brushesprocreate calligraphy brushesprocreate calligraphy brushes
Note the elegant brush strokes here. These were drawn with Procreate calligraphy brushes.

However, a term like "calligraphy font", while commonly used, is a little contradictory: calligraphy is inherently not a font, because calligraphy heavily relies on drawing, not on generated or reproduced letters. That's not to say calligraphy fonts don't exist, but the phase is typically referring to a visual style and not the process.

calligraphy fontcalligraphy fontcalligraphy font
Rantliyer is a modern calligraphy font—it draws from a calligraphy-inspired aesthetic, but the process itself is not calligraphic.

Complicated? Confusing? A little bit. Long story short: calligraphy is an art form where the artist usually uses a brush or pen to create artistic letters arranged in an intentionally visually engaging way. The letters are not "sketched out first"—instead, there is a learned process of applying pressure and strokes to create artistic lettering. Modern calligraphy can often employ modern tools, like watercolor pens, brush pens, and even digital tools like Procreate.

Want to Learn More About Calligraphy?

We have a lovely collection of free tutorials here on Envato Tuts+. Check them out and start drawing your own beautiful letterforms today:

What Is Hand Lettering?

So what, then, is hand lettering? This term is a lot broader. If you draw your letters by hand, it's hand lettering. For example, when you walk into a coffee shop, you might see a chalkboard with artistic handwriting on it. This is hand lettering. Chalk lettering has become particularly trendy, over the years, as means of creating beautiful compositions with letters.

chalkboard writingchalkboard writingchalkboard writing
Try out your own chalk hand lettering designs in this design template from Envato Elements.

And this is why calligraphy is considered a type of hand lettering, just as chalk lettering is. It's a process of creating letters by hand. It's often considered illustrative by nature. As a broader category, there are plenty of different techniques and aesthetics that could fit into this term. Hand lettering also has broad applications. For example, hand lettering could be used to create a logo design, rather than working with a font. 

hand letteringhand letteringhand lettering
Love hand lettering? Showcase your designs in a digital mockup template like this one from Envato Elements.

Turning back to calligraphy, we could technically sketch out letters that look calligraphic, with varied line width, and then fill them in with ink. This would be hand lettering, as it's hand drawn and illustrative, but it wouldn't technically be considered calligraphy (in terms of process, not necessarily aesthetic). See the difference? Some of this might seem a bit nitpicky, but it often comes down to describing the creation process.

Handwritten Kung Hei Fat ChoiHandwritten Kung Hei Fat ChoiHandwritten Kung Hei Fat Choi
These handwritten Kung Hei Fat Choi prints are an example of hand-drawn lettering in vector artwork.

So, What Is a Handwriting Font?

Handwriting fonts take a hand-drawn aesthetic and apply it to the convenience and versatility of a font. They have continually grown in popularity over the years. Handwriting fonts are a fun and simple way of employing a hand-drawn aesthetic without necessarily drawing each letter by hand.

casual handwriting fontcasual handwriting fontcasual handwriting font
Use this casual handwriting font to add an organic, hand-drawn feel to your designs.

The strokes tend to have an organic quality that in some way mimics what hand-drawn lines would look like. This can be in terms of jitter, stroke width, or a number of other aesthetic qualities.

Here is a sample of some different styles of writing fonts. You can download all of them on Envato Elements—for one low fee, you get access to the entire font library. So give them a try or sit back and enjoy the font inspiration.

1. Rose Colored Handwriting Script

handwriting script fonthandwriting script fonthandwriting script font

Check out this pretty script font. It has connected letters, as we'd expect to see in cursive, so it's easy to see how this would be considered a handwriting font.

2. Jalibar Bold Handwriting Font

bold handwriting fontbold handwriting fontbold handwriting font

But handwriting fonts aren't exclusively cursive. Check out this chunky, fun handwriting font. It could be a great fit for Cricut font projects, invitations, and so much more. 

3. The Baghotta Casual Script Font

decorative script fontdecorative script fontdecorative script font

Isn't this script font elegant? It has a little bit of calligraphy inspiration in its aesthetic. It's easy to imagine this one on packaging, T-shirts, and other design projects. 

4. Imani Serif Cute Handwriting Font (Handwritten)

Serif Cute Handwriting FontSerif Cute Handwriting FontSerif Cute Handwriting Font

Check out this cute serif font. Yes, handwriting fonts can be serif fonts too! This bookish font could be great for your children's book, school projects, and more. It could be a fun choice for a kids' handwriting font too.

5. Love Junkie Pen Handwriting Font

Pen Handwriting FontPen Handwriting FontPen Handwriting Font

This handwriting font looks more like strokes from a ballpoint pen. If you're looking for an ink font, give this one a try. 

6. Thick Chalkboard Font (Handwriting Chalk Font)

chalkboard fontchalkboard fontchalkboard font

Handwriting fonts can also mimic a textured aesthetic, like this chalkboard font. It's a great way to capture the look and feel of chalk writing but with the convenience of a font.

What Is a Cursive Font and a Script Font?

The terms "cursive" and "script" are often used interchangeably. They both typically refer to writing (or fonts) that have sweeping strokes that connect to one another. This is generally a good definition to keep in mind, when looking for and creating fonts.

Chances are, you may have learned "cursive writing" when you were in grade school. The letters connect to one another. Many claim that this type of writing is faster because you don't have to lift your pen or pencil.

cursive fontcursive fontcursive font
Download this pretty script font today with unlimited downloads on Envato Elements.

While handwriting like this might have inherent visual qualities, it doesn't necessarily have to be artistic to be cursive. Script is sometimes associated with more stylistic writing, like calligraphy, but again, the definitions tend to overlap.

Here are some examples of cursive fonts and script fonts. You can get a lot of variation here: from kids' writing fonts to calligraphy fonts. What aesthetic do you prefer?

1. Borneos Monoline Handwriting

cursive fontcursive fontcursive font

This font is such a fun choice. If you're a crafter, and you're looking for Cricut fonts that connect, this could be a great download for you. Or try it in your next print project.

2. Ferlista Funny Script Font

curly script fontcurly script fontcurly script font

Script and cursive fonts can go in a number of different visual directions, like this curly font. It's so decorative and energetic. What kind of project would you try with this one?

3. Dancing Candy Handwriting Font

script fontscript fontscript font

This cursive font has long connecting strokes. Dress it up by using it in gold foil, or keep it casual in a more muted ink color. 

4. Gelaniyo: A Script Bold Typeface

bold script fontbold script fontbold script font

Here is a thicker, bold script font. Notice how the increase in line width really affects the overall aesthetic of the letters.  

5. Muffle Cute Script Cursive Font

cute script fontcute script fontcute script font

This script font has a lot of signature font vibes to it. Notice, however, how we can have cursive letters, but it's not necessarily the typical calligraphy-inspired aesthetic.

What Is a Brush Font?

Brush fonts are another type of handwriting font. In these fonts, we typically see brush strokes, much like we'd see if we were drawing the letters with a brush or a pen. Imagine, for example, what it would look like if you drew the letters with a paintbrush. You might notice some crossover here with cursive, script, and even calligraphy font style writing. However, a brush font does not have to "connect", like cursive, to be a brush font.

Take a look at these stylish examples, and take note of how the brush stroke itself is a big part of the font's aesthetic.

1. AvailaBrush Brush Font

brush fontsbrush fontsbrush fonts

This brush font has high-contrast, energetic strokes. It would be a great fit for display type, titles, and even logo design.

2. Oland Brush Font

bold brush fontbold brush fontbold brush font

Isn't this font fun and energetic? Note the visible brush strokes here. The font looks as if it was drawn with a brush, and that's a big part of the brush font look.

3. Singleday Brush Font

script brush fontscript brush fontscript brush font

We see some connecting, cursive lines in this brush font, but note the texture too. It adds such visual interest to the letters, doesn't it? It also makes it feel less stagnant and more natural.

4. Anileba | Brush Font

Anileba | Brush FontAnileba | Brush FontAnileba | Brush Font

Like many other handwriting fonts, brush fonts can come in a variety of shapes and styles too, just like this brush font. It has interesting variety, although the strokes are rather uniform.

What About Calligraphy Fonts?

Now that we've looked at different styles of writing fonts, let's explore some calligraphy different fonts. We've already covered the fact that calligraphy, as a practice, is inherently something that doesn't use fonts. However, this aesthetic can still be employed, visually, as sort of a "faux calligraphy" to recreate the style. 

Here are some elegant examples.

1. Estylle Madison Calligraphy Font

calligraphy fontcalligraphy fontcalligraphy font

This modern calligraphy font is a beautiful choice. Whether you're looking for Cricut fonts, fonts for invitations, or something elegant for your next design project, this aesthetic could be perfect.

2. Slovenia | Calligraphy Font

elegant calligraphy fontselegant calligraphy fontselegant calligraphy fonts

Swashes and stylish alternates are often a big part of calligraphy fonts. This beautiful font has such long, sweeping strokes and swirls. 

3. Somalia: Modern Calligraphy

modern calligraphy fontmodern calligraphy fontmodern calligraphy font

Here is another take on the calligraphy aesthetic, but with a different personality. When you're looking at calligraphy, different types of fonts exist in this niche too.

4. Charlotte Calligraphy Font

elegant calligraphy fontselegant calligraphy fontselegant calligraphy fonts

Prefer a thinner, longer style when it comes to calligraphy fonts? Perhaps you'd prefer a look like this one. It makes for an elegant, artistic look.

5. Raisyah Calligraphy Script Font

bold calligraphy fontbold calligraphy fontbold calligraphy font

This modern calligraphy font has beautiful contrast in its strokes. Try pairing this font with an elegant serif font in your next design project. Or try it out as a Cricut font in a variety of papers or vinyl.

Check Out These Different Styles of Writing Fonts

We've only touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the possibilities for different styles of writing fonts. From fun and bubbly to elegant and formal, there are so many different handwriting styles to choose from when it comes to font design.

Here's a sample of some of the possibilities. Consider trying one of them out in your next design project, and check out the design inspiration.

1. Kiddo Kids' Handwriting Font

kids handwriting fontkids handwriting fontkids handwriting font

Kids' handwriting fonts can be such a fun addition to school projects, children's books, T-shirts, and much more. Try them out on invitations or on a paper texture for a notebook look.

2. Tremors Handwriting Signature Font

signature script fontsignature script fontsignature script font

Many script fonts push more towards a signature-type aesthetic. Note the energetic lines here. This could be perfect for high-end branding, packaging, and more. 

3. Deepo Handwriting Font

sketchy handwriting fontsketchy handwriting fontsketchy handwriting font

Handwriting fonts can take on all kinds of moods and aesthetics. This one could work for a horror film, a scary story, or even Halloween invitations. 

4. Cute Bubble Font (Notebook Handwriting Font)

cute handwriting fontcute handwriting fontcute handwriting font

How about something rounded and cheerful? This handwriting font takes inspiration from notebook doodles and scribbles. Imagine it on merchandise or on your next T-shirt design.

5. Best Jolly: Handwriting Font

best jolly handwriting fontbest jolly handwriting fontbest jolly handwriting font

Here's a handwriting font with cute curls. There are so many possibilities when it comes to handwriting fonts. Try mixing and matching them together to push the drawn aesthetic further.

6. Ribons: A Handwriting Display Font

block handwriting fontblock handwriting fontblock handwriting font

Love chunky handwriting fonts? This one has a lot of potential. The letters here have organic contours and memorable shapes that could stand out in your design project.

7. Tizart: The Handwriting Serif Font

serif handwriting fontserif handwriting fontserif handwriting font

Isn't this a fun serif handwriting font? The cutout spaces here make for a really memorable aesthetic. You could dress this up or keep it casual. 

8. Hello Summer: A Sweet Handwritten Font

cute handwriting fontcute handwriting fontcute handwriting font

This handwriting font has a bit of a retro font feel to it. The letters connect, but they also have a really stylistic length to them. Give this cute script a try.

9. Lefty Ink Handwriting Font (Handwritten Type)

Ink handwriting fontInk handwriting fontInk handwriting font

If you like ink fonts, check this one out. It's got a scratchy, scribble aesthetic, like notes right off a notebook page. Use it to add an informal touch to your next design.

10. Belle Amour: Modern Calligraphy

modern calligraphy fontmodern calligraphy fontmodern calligraphy font

Script fonts can take on so many different aesthetics. Here's an elegant, modern one that pushes in a different direction. Isn't it classy? It's easy to picture this one on beauty products, posters, and more.

Want to Learn to Make a Font of Your Own?

Love handwriting fonts? Have you ever considered making one of your own? Well, there are plenty of free tutorials on Envato Tuts+ that can help get you started. Why not start designing your own handwriting font today?

What Kind of Writing Font Is Your Favorite?

So, which of the different types of writing fonts is your favorite? With so many to choose from, it's hard not to want to download them all. If you're looking for a font library, remember to check out Envato Elements. For one low price, you get access to thousands of fonts. It's an awesome and cost-effective way to try out as many fonts as you want, without limits.

Want to check out even more handwriting fonts? Check out these font collections for even more font inspiration, downloads, and insights. 

Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Design & Illustration tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
One subscription. Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads