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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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:
- How to Learn CalligraphyAndrew Blackman09 Aug 2016
- How to Draw Calligraphy FlourishesMegan Eckman22 Jul 2014
- Creative Arabic Calligraphy for Beginners: IntroductionJoumana Medlej03 May 2021
- The Art of Calligraphy: How to Master the PenMegan Eckman09 May 2015
- Learn the Art of Calligraphy in Our Latest CourseAndrew Blackman23 Jan 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This handwriting font looks more like strokes from a ballpoint pen. If you're looking for an ink font, give this one a try.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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.
Here is a thicker, bold script font. Notice how the increase in line width really affects the overall aesthetic of the letters.
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.
This brush font has high-contrast, energetic strokes. It would be a great fit for display type, titles, and even logo design.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Swashes and stylish alternates are often a big part of calligraphy fonts. This beautiful font has such long, sweeping strokes and swirls.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
- How to Create a Font in Adobe IllustratorMary Winkler10 Aug 2020
- How to Create a Nautical Tattoo FontChris Carey30 Oct 2019
- How to Make Your Own FontYulia Sokolova21 Apr 2023
- The Basics of Drawing Type & Creating Your Own Handwritten FontGrace Fussell09 Jun 2021
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.
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- 30+ Free Signature Fonts (Script Fonts to Download Now)Nona Blackman03 Apr 2021
- 31+ Best Brush Fonts (Script, Paint, and More!)Melody Nieves09 Apr 2021
- 25+ Best Free Hand-Lettering Style Fonts (Designs for 2023)Melody Nieves25 Dec 2022
- 15+ Best Free Calligraphy Fonts (Free Downloads)Nona Blackman14 Apr 2023
- The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Chinese FontsKendra Schaefer02 May 2022