by Ilene Strizver
With the holidays just around the corner, it is time to consider making your own greeting cards and party invitations, as well as personalized gifts such as t-shirts, holiday keepsakes, CDs and picture albums. Handmade offerings are warm, personal expressions that are always noticed and appreciated this time of year.
You don’t need to be a professional designer to make a unique statement – just an idea, a little bit of time – and the right fonts! Choosing the right typeface will go a long way toward capturing the spirit of the season, setting the mood and communicating your message.
Scripts in particular are perfect for holidays and special occasions. Here is a sampling of special, festive script font designs in a variety of styles and moods:
The Arid™ design grew naturally out of the flowing, highly flourished style of calligraphy that lettering artist Rob Leuschke has been practicing for a long time. This unique, dry-brushed style is great when you want a hand-lettered look for a greeting card or banner.
Vienna designer Viktor Solt has a love affair with handwriting. “Usually,” he says, “when I start with a specific calligraphic style, I take some historic specimens and try to integrate their main features into my own handwriting.” Graceful caps and swash characters give the Ballerino™ design a hand-written, celebratory feel – just right when a bit of drama is desired.
Taking her inspiration from 4th century Roman inscriptions, Brenda Walton gave this typeface a slender, elegant and high-waisted form, with the thick-and-thin variations of brush strokes on stone. The Cancione™ typeface is great for decorative usage since it includes lots of floral ornaments, tendril-like flourishes and alternate letters, as well as decorative single words such as “of” and “to.”
A lot of time and care went into the design of this exquisite Spencerian script by renowned typeface designer Ed Benguiat. The Edwardian Script™ design makes an elegant statement and is perfect when you want a dignified look, such as on a business holiday card or a formal party invitation.
This fanciful typeface, designed by Michael Gills, is based on the famous French Ronde script. The Fling™ design is a highly legible script and works well when you want a classy yet lighthearted look.
Based on an historic style of lettering, Michael Gills’ Frances™ Uncial design has a strong tactile appearance which was achieved by lino-cutting the letterforms before scanning them into digital form. This typeface is perfect when you want a classic, yet warm and playful effect.
The French Script™ font is based on the handwriting and script engraving used in formal announcements and invitations. Its upright posture and European flavor are perfect when an elegant mood is desired, such as for a holiday invitation, menu or homemade wine label.
The Gigi™ design is the work of masterful lettering artist Jill Bell. Its informal features and abundant surprises make it charming and give it the spontaneity of handwriting. Tight curlicues on many of the letters, particularly the capitals, are reminiscent of a Parisian schoolgirl's script. Gigi is a delightful face and is ideal for lighthearted holiday graphics.
The roots of the Hedera™ design can be traced to a suite of initials originally intended for book design. Designer Olivera Stojadinovic made the first sketches with a handmade tool consisting of two flexible metal strips tied to a wooden handle. This paradoxically rough yet refined design works well when a textured, calligraphic feel is desired.
This typestyle, designed by Alan Meeks, is slightly bolder than a typical copperplate script. A fine open line runs throughout the Inscription™ design. Restrained initial capitals integrate beautifully with a strong, flowing lowercase and make it a great choice when a bold yet festive elegance is desired.
The upright Riviera Script™ design has an engraved appearance and includes decorative capitals. Its unique inline styling makes it the ideal choice for elegant and formal holiday creations. Try converting it to outline and adding color!
For seasonal ornaments and borders to use as companions to these fonts, check out the Seasonal Fonts article.
- Editor’s Note: Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a typographic consultant, designer and writer specializing in all aspects of typographic communication. She conducts Gourmet Typography workshops internationally. Read more about typography in her latest literary effort, Type Rules! The designer's guide to professional typography, 3rd edition, published by Wiley & Sons, Inc. This article was commissioned and approved by Monotype Imaging Inc.