suggestion for an handwrite font

swanina's picture

Hi everybody!
I'm searching a good and beautifull hanwriting font
something like that:

in the left side...
someone can help me?!?
I would like something beautiful and good, not the dafont handwrite fonts, that I don't like so much... :(
thank you

Nick Shinn's picture

No one writes labels anymore, they use a handwriting font.
And who has a typewriter?
But the Hill Station label isn’t a poor fake.
This branding signifies upscale short-run “home-made” quality, not big factory, by referencing low-tech type/lettering on a plain label. The pretense doesn’t matter, to the extent that the repetitive glyphs and regularity of leading and flush left aren’t even a problem. The intent is to signify a product’s position in the marketplace, not to deceive the shopper with a trompe-l’œil effect.

Compare with a similar idea, photographed in a Paris market in 1973. In those days, it would have been quite acceptable for the maman who lovingly made the beautiful preserve to have also lovingly made a label with beautiful writing.

But today, if one were to take the Hill Station label at face value, it appears that the writing was done by a six-year old who has yet to master cursive and capitals, or an adult who has regressed to that level.

What is it about something so crude and naïve that you find good and beautiful?

Would the Hill Station labels have been spoiled if they looked less like a typeface, and more like real writing, having been done with an OpenType font that utilized contextual alternates to do away with obvious glyph repetitions?

swanina's picture

Dear Nick Shinn,
obviously the font choose by "The Hill Station" is well studied, I think that everybody knows that in this forum. we're professional, it's normal to understand that the character of the label it's tied with the font used.
Thank you for your little lesson.

But now, can you help me to find a beautiful handwrite font???
cause me too, I must create something inspire by homemade stuff.

thank you

Té Rowan's picture

Looking through the handwriting section on DaFont might turn out inspiring.

Nick Shinn's picture

…obviously the font choose by "The Hill Station" is well studied…

But is it?
Would a font with contextual alternates (to avoid, for instance, the two “e”s in “sweet” being identical) have been more erudite—demonstrating that the designer had made a study of contemporary script fonts, and was familiar with the possibilities of OpenType?

Or is the deliberate “fontish-ness” of the type and layout more appropriate than trying to deceive the shopper into thinking that it's writing, not typesetting?

Answer this, and I will recommend some fonts accordingly.

hrant's picture

The height of irony of course is that good handwriting tries to
make the letters look consistent! The grass is always greener...


swanina's picture

usually I don't like at all the fonts in the dafont collection, they are very rough...

but actually I found this one that it's not so bad:

but I'm very curious about the suggestions of Nick!!! :)
yes, your opinion Nick it's a great point of view, your are right about the contextual alternates, totally, but I can't believe that the people think that those handwriting fonts are made trully by hand...I think that everybody can understand that they are typesetting!!! or not?!?!
so what you suggest???

but please, the next time be less aggressive! :)

thank you everybody

Nick Shinn's picture

Sorry, I had no idea I was being aggressive.
Just pursuing an idea that interests me.

I think that everybody can understand that they are typesetting!!!

I don't think that thought ("is it type or writing?") occurs to most people, even designers.
I have trained myself to spot the difference by looking for repeated glyphs, because I'm very much involved with the process of making OpenType fonts that mimic handwriting. But that's unusual.

Nonetheless, I do think that the overall effect of the Hill Station labels is typographic, rather than lettering—not just the font, but, as I mentioned, the setting, which is flush left and evenly leaded.

But whatever the viewer may or may not be aware of, be they shoppers, designers, typographers or type designers, I do think it's important that you, Swan, have a clear strategy vis-à-vis whether you want to create an effect which is typographic, lettering, or type that imitates lettering.

Or do you just want a fashionable script font?

Nick Shinn's picture

Real hand-made label:

hrant's picture

Almost nobody would pay money for that.
In fact they would probably call the FDA's hotline.


riccard0's picture

Nick, the pear drawing is wonderful.

Nick Shinn's picture

Thanks, I'll pass the compliment on to Karey.

…they would probably call the FDA's hotline…

Well, it has been in and out of the ’frig a few times.
But you raise an interesting point about the role of government agency in professionalizing food products and how that might impact shopper expectations and factor into the label designer’s awareness.

hrant's picture

Clearly yet another repercussion of the Industrial Revolution.


Té Rowan's picture

@swanina - I think someone said that Sudtipos carries a lot of script. How much of that is handwriting I do not know. Then there's Pia Frauss; bags of script.

Té Rowan's picture

I note that Karey was very careful not to add an 'l' to 'Pear'.

swanina's picture

ok guys (sorry for the late of my answer, I miss you a little bit :) )
here I am, it's impossible to obtain a complete hand made label in the real market, cause there are too many informations that you are forced to put on them and sometimes the law decide also how big some informations must be. almast for all the cosmetics and drinks and foods. so it's impossible to produce a minimal label like Karey's one.
however, yes, probably I can't understand all the stylistic undertones that there are between typographic, lettering, or type that imitates lettering or a fashionable script font!!! and I would like to learn it, to clarify my mind and bringh the right decision.

@Té Rowan: I love Sudtipos fonts, but the other one is complete out of my idea...I don't want some old handwritings.

thanks a lot for this discussion,
I learn always a lot from you!!! :)


hrant's picture

BTW, in my book a handwriting font cannot be one without... mistakes!
So this is one of the exceedingly rare fonts that qualifies:
Of course you probably don't want mistakes on a label.
Which is why you want to use a font, and preferably one
that looks like one! What I try to tell people is that text
doesn't have to be handwritten[-looking] to be organic.


Nick Shinn's picture

…probably I can't understand all the stylistic undertones that there are between typographic, lettering, or type that imitates lettering or a fashionable script font!!! and I would like to learn it, to clarify my mind and bringh the right decision.

You can learn by playing around with the type.

For instance, if something like the Hill Station label could be set with a script font that has contextual alternates, it would be possible to set the label two ways, once with the Contextual Alternates feature applied, and once with it off. At the same time, you could humanize the “on” version further by varying the indent of each line, and the leading. You might even add bounce by manually adjusting baseline shift. And apply manual kerning for a more uneven fit.

Then you can compare the “typographic” version with the more artful mimicry of handwriting, and see which works best for the design brief.

(It would also be possible to apply de-regularizing typographic effects to a non-script font, and even throw glyph rotation into the mix; this would produce a pointedly arty, non-professional, hand-made effect.)

Alex Kaczun's picture

>Almost nobody would pay money for that.
In fact they would probably call the FDA's hotline.

>hrant... you are indeed one funny guy.

Very funny, I almost peeped... laughing.

JamesM's picture

> And who has a typewriter?

Surprisingly there are places where you can still find them being used, mostly in occupations where you need to fill out lots of preprinted forms. The government of New York City reportedly has thousands of them in daily use, primarily at the police department.

You can also find manual typewriters still used in areas where electricity is unreliable or unavailable (mostly outside the U.S.).

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