How to Use Script Fonts Well

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Now that society is adjusting the omnipresence of technology, we crave the handmade touch in our day to day lives. One area this manifests in is the rise in popularity of script fonts.

Many business owners are incorporating script fonts into their visual brands to lend a sense of friendliness and warmth. This is especially true of businesses who do most or all of their business online, and never interact with their clients in person.

As script font usage continues to rise, so does the mis-use of script fonts.

Because script fonts are more unique in size and spacing than most serif and san serif fonts, they present unique challenges in their use.

These three tips will help ensure you use script fonts well.


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Most script fonts are designed to look like cursive hand lettering, where all the letters connect and flow together.

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Ideally, your script font's kerning (the individual spaces between letters) has been designed so that happens automatically when using the default tracking (how much space is added or removed from between all the letters). 

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But, if you adjust the tracking at all, you risk messing up the flow and connections between the letters. When using a script font, you need to pay attention to the design elements that are supposed to connect between letters, and make sure they're connecting correctly.

Another type of spacing you need to watch out for when designing with script fonts is leading, the space between lines of text. Many script fonts have exaggerated ascenders (the parts of the letter that go above the main text line) and descenders (the parts of the letters that go below the baseline), and require extra leading to ensure the ascenders and descenders don't run into other lines of text.


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Script fonts, in almost all circumstances, should be use sparingly. The first priority of your text is readability, and the longs sections of script font can tire out your readers.

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Script fonts are best used for headers or call-outs. I recommend keeping your script sections under seven words long, if possible.


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With the rise in popularity of script fonts came the rise in the number of script fonts that are available. The purpose of using a script fonts in your visual brand is to add a handmade feeling. Using an overly used script font, such as the defaults that come with your computer and/or design software doesn't have the intended, personalized feel.

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You should also avoid script fonts that feel too perfect, just don't look like a real person's handwriting. There's a midsection between traditional calligraphic script fonts and natural, relaxed handwritting fonts that feels strange. The uncanny valley of script fonts.


Script fonts can be a beautiful way to add more humanity to your visual brand, but they come with their own unique design challenges. Keeping this three tips in mind will help you use the script font trend to the best of its ability.


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SIERRA KELLERMEYER

I'm a brand designer who helps business owners who are tired of their marketing efforts just pulling "okay" results. I help them stand out and be remembered online by designing them a Noteworthy Visual Brand that attract their ideal clients - effortlessly.