Type On Screen
Tuesday 24th June 2014
With their often delicate curves and flowing embellishments, script typefaces are typically thought of as being pretty feminine—relegated to a life adorning wedding announcements or evoking elegance. But scripts can do so much more. As part of our three-post series on breaking stereotypes, Jake Giltsoff shares five scripts that defy convention with vibes that are far more fella than feminine.
Taking inspiration from the graffiti on the streets of New York, Line is an impactful monoline script. I particularly enjoy the intriguing contrast between its sharp angles and meandrous curves. As each of its weights are very light, it screams to be used at large sizes. It comes with various modular embellishments, which can be attached to letters (these appear differently depending on the character). These are great when you want some additional decoration.
If you’re trying to channel vintage flair and want something a little different, give Nouvelle Vague a shot. It’s an homage to Roger Excoffon’s infamous Mistral (which has been used in just about every situation ever, so you can count on its flexibility). It has a steady rhythm in its lowercase, and its large, more expressive, capitals add to its impact.
FF Market looks great on screen and is one of few script typefaces that works well in all caps—just add some extra letterspacing. As you might have guessed, it was originally designed for use in advertising (specifically, ads in open-air markets). After its adoption became more widespread, it was redrawn. I really like how inviting it looks while still feeling neutral.
Born from a Kickstarter project back in 2011, Kaushan Script is a lovely, energetic brush script. Its unrefined forms and varying baseline gives it a more authentic feel—as if it were hand drawn specially. It’s optimized for readability on the web but is still best kept for headings.
Vampiro One is a near-monoline fat angular script that renders well on screen with its low contrast. This is far from a typical script and certainly packs a punch! I really like its harsh angles combined with its occasional subtle curves.
Okay, so scripts might not be suitable for every situation. But as you can see, they can be much more versatile than we give them credit for. Just keep legibility in mind. Just as messy or overly adorned handwriting can be hard to read, so too can the joined up letterforms and occasional superfluous flourishes found in scripts. But if you give them an ample font size—going a little larger so they’re that bit easier to read—and use them sparingly for headings or block quotes where they really grab attention, they can be just the touch you need to add some visual distinction.
For more web font recommendations, check out the other posts in our breaking stereotypes series: Brighter Lighter Blackletters and Clean, Lean Serifs for Science & Tech. Or browse the rest of our Type on Screen collection. We’d also like to extend a big thanks to our guest author Jake Giltsoff for writing today’s post. Guest authors are paid for their contribution, and all opinions are their own.