Hand-lettered fonts add humanity and life to your sign layouts. They are a great way to avoid the generic look that’s become so common. They can help make your work different and unique—separating it from something anyone could type up on their computer. That’s important if you want clients to realize you have more to offer than the everyday look.
Some of the best sources of great-looking hand-lettered fonts are type companies founded by sign people who have worked to turn loads of hand- lettered styles into fonts:
Ken Tamashiro, Ken’s Custom Signs, Los Alamitos, CA, dropped us a note with a list of other sources of hand-lettered type from the world of print advertising.
“I’m always looking for letter styles that bring back the charm of hand lettering that I used to do in the past,” says Ken. “It’s great to find typefaces that capture that. They work well for signs, especially on designs that I will be printing on the digital printer. I thought I’d pass along some of my favorites, all of which are available online.
“You have to watch, though, because some of these fonts can appear crude when enlarged. They were intended for the small lettering in print media, like comic books. Even so, they may work fine for small signs.
“On Font Bros. take a look at Retro (1936–1965).
“On Comic Book Fonts one of my favorites is Wild Word Lowercase. Another good one is Sign Language, which holds up well when enlarged. It looks great for grocery banner-style lettering.
“House Industries has some really useful fonts. Take a look at Burbank, Movements, Sign Painter, Ed Benguiat, Latino, Studio and Las Vegas.
“Check out at the vintage Filmotype collection and the fonts from Sudtipos at My Fonts."