Logo Design Insight – Typography

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ScriptBlack LetterChisledGraphic
Hand Crafted Fonts Are…

A type classification that shows influence of the tool used to create them.

Terms Referencing This Style

Calligraphics, Handmade, Display, Ornaments

From Brushes and Chisels to Computers
Hand crafted type families differ from both Serif and Sans Serif type, in that they show evidence of the tools used to create them. Wide, flat pens were originally used to create Blackletter type, while broad brushes give the Scripts their calligraphic flair. Chiseled type obviously was originally created with a hammer and chisel, and Graphic type has a unique, human quality that stems from their creators’ hands through their computer, in a distinctly handmade manner.
This classification of type is the largest and most varied. One thing they all have in common is they are primarily display type. Their use in design is limited to small groupings of letters such as headlines, advertisements and signage. They are attention grabbing, when used properly, and a premium is placed on ornamentation rather than legibility. They look best at large sizes, and are poorly suited for body copy.
These days Hand Crafted type, along with the vast majority of all type, are constructed using font creation software. Depending on the style, their authors are trying to invoke a particular emotion or time period. This can be particularly effective in setting a mood for a logo or corporate branding materials, although they must be wielded with care, as it is very apparent when their use does not line up with their overall mood.


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Terms Referencing This Style

Formal, Casual, Chancery, Etruscan, Unical

Example Script Typefaces

Zaphino, Bickham Script, Mistral, Edwardian Script

Script type is based on forms made with an actual writing implement, whether brush or broad-edged pens. They are by definition calligraphic, and the letters often connect, but not always. They range from formal to casual, and call to mind wedding invitations or baseball jerseys, respectively.
Formal scripts are based on pre-type handwriting and are often very elaborate. They can be difficult to read, especially for those unfamiliar with cursive letterforms. Casual scripts developed more recently and often have more influence of brush use. Both styles often have a large stroke contrast, and a true italic slant.


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Terms Referencing This Style

Gothic, Old English, Textura, Rotunda, Cursiva, Fraktur

Example Black Letter Typefaces

Fette Fraktur, Texture, William Klingspor Gotisch

Blackletter is a calligraphic style of type that was popularized in Germany and used in Europe from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. They are highly ornamental, featuring swirls on the serifs and a large number of ligatures. They were also the first style of type to include lower-case letters.
This style of type features very heavy letterforms and were used in the first printed books. This style has developed a counter-culture modern usage and has become associated with Nazi Germany, heavy metal and gang culture.


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Terms Referencing This Style

Glyphic, Latin, Incised

Example Chiseled Typefaces

Century Gothic, Kabel, Avenir, ITC Bauhaus

The distinguishing feature of Chiseled type is a triangular shaped serif design, flaring at its stroke terminals. This decorative flourish was added by engravers to hide inconsistencies caused at the edges of their strokes
Chiseled typestyles are aren’t classified as serifs, because they are inspired by handcrafted letters. Their inspiration predate the invention of lowercase letterforms, and as a result their fonts often only contain capitals. They have very little contrast in stroke weight and have serifs only on the ends of their strokes.


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Terms Referencing This Style

Display, Manual, One-Off, Decorative, Manuaires

Example Graphic Typefaces

ITC Airstream, Spooky, Rosewood, Matra, Curlz

Graphic type is a classification for typefaces that defy pigeon holing. It is therefore the largest and most diverse category. It is a catch-all category for type that shows excessive styling and an illustrative quality that enhances the underlying letter structure.
They are hand crafted, often with computer software and may share traits from several type classifications. They often use unorthodox letter shapes and proportions, appearing very expressive. They frequently reflect an aspect of culture, such as tattoos or graffiti, or evoke a time period or theme. Their often lack of consistent style can cause them to look amature-ish.