Script Fonts: Most Popular Typefaces, Best for Webfonts
Script typefaces are derived from the fluid, and varied strokes that are representative of handwriting. Script in penmanship is a general term that includes calligraphy, cursive writing and print writing. In terms of typography, script typefaces mimic the look and qualities of modern and historical styles in faux-written style.
A common theme with script fonts is that they are adjoined or nearly adjoined and often flow from one letter to the other, creating slanted or rounded characters. Script typefaces can also be organized as formal scripts and casual scripts.
The formal script
The letterforms of the 1600’s and 1700’s serve as the influence for most formal script typefaces. Notable influences include masters such as George Snell, George Shelley and George Bickham. These fonts have been written using the quill or the use of a pen with a metal nib end. Both tools allow the writer to create varying modulations of thick and think strokes. During the 18th and 19th centuries, typefaces that depict script fonts started to appear.
The modern revivals of formal scripts can be associated with the Snell Roundhand by Matthew Carter as well as the Kuenstler Script. The most common usage of the formal script would be on invitations as well as graduation diplomas. The formal script fonts depict a very formal, austere, elegant and elevated look.
The words are meant to be read once but are more ideal as memorabilia, and give the document a more official, intellectual or sober appeal.
The Casual Script
These types of script fonts tend to be less about form and more about movement. If formal scripts are austere and disciplined, the looseness of casual scripts make them dynamic. The strokes could vary considerably and the result could be similar to that of a wet brush being used than a controlled pen nib.
These script typefaces have appeared in the 20th century and with the popularity of photo-composition, the number of casual script forms has increased. These fonts reveal more personality than formal scripts and that is why they are popular for advertising across the Atlantic, including North America and Europe, especially during the 1970s. Popular variations of casual scripts include the Mistral, Kaufmann, and the Brush Script.
Most Usable Script Fonts
Jacques & Gilles
Dom Loves Mary
Chalk Hand Lettering
Platinus Script Pro
PF Champion Script Pro
Poem Script Pro
Adios Script Pro
Utilizing script fonts
- Always check the point sizes for the script font. The size can add to the readability or legibility of the font. Does the font read well? Make a test print of several types of script fonts and experiment on the right size. More than their aesthetic appeal or legibility, the script font should still be able to deliver the message effectively. Indeed, some script fonts can look crowded when in smaller sizes but can look more alluring and detailed in larger sizes.
- Test the letter spacing when selecting fonts, especially when setting the fonts on curved lines. The flow of the script could get disrupted since it alters the natural movement of the lines. Test if the script will flow naturally even in uneven lines. Script fonts are more ideal for straight lines since the movement of the lines already create a unique harmony on paper. Script has been designed for decorative purposes and so should be used in effective and more beneficial results.
- Script fonts are appealing on their own and they have their own character. Since they are designed to create presence on paper or on screen, it has to be used sparingly to create the desired effect. It is ideal to mix the elegant or dynamic movement of script fonts with more neutral fonts to achieve balance.
- If you took your script handwriting class by heart, you would know that writing Script in all-caps can result to clashing since the capital letters are not designed to flow with other capital letters. If the fonts tend to flow to each other, do not set them apart as that would break the line and cause an ugly mess on the screen or print.
- When using script especially those with swashes and curves, make sure that they are used in shorter lines of texts. The script fonts are used in diplomas and invitations for a reason: they do not contain too long sentences, they can be set apart and the layout emphasizes the font to create a more solid flow. It would be advisable to avoid using script for extended texts or when writing multi-paginated content.
- Scripts have unique qualities and so when used with other scripts; it is like a cat fight. Never mix two scripts on a page or the entire document. This causes the flow of line to be disrupted, eliminating the elegance or dampening the overall effect of using script to help the eyes glide through the words.
Follow these helpful tips and the use of any script font will be a pleasant experience for any amateur or professional graphic designer or layout artist.