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Hand-drawn fonts are a crucial tool for creating an informal design style with a human touch, but as with all handmade art styles, you can’t beat the authenticity of artwork that has actually been created by hand. Brush scripts provide a quick and easy way to add hand-painted lettering to your designs, but traditional fonts can look a little fake. SVG Fonts are an innovative new technology that retains the detail and texture of the original hand-drawn scan, which results in a much more realistic font that is difficult to tell apart from authentic hand-lettered type.

Traditional Fonts vs SVG Fonts

SVG vs Traditional fonts

Traditional fonts are made of vector graphics in a single colour: Black. This is ideal for defined serif or sans-serif characters, but handmade type needs to be vectorized into glyphs with a solid fill and hard outlines, which means they lose the definition of the original hand-drawn lettering. SVG fonts can contain full-colour graphics and transparency, which opens up a whole world of innovative new typefaces known as Color Fonts. One of the most common uses of SVG/Color Font technology is to create next-generation handmade fonts that look incredibly realistic with all the detail of a marker pen or paintbrush.

The Downsides of SVG Fonts

While SVG does stand for ‘Scalable Vector Graphics’, handmade fonts using SVG technology aren’t actually vector graphics at all, they are made using an embedded bitmap image. This means the type will begin to appear pixelated if the font is scaled larger than the original bitmap size. The best SVG fonts are made using high-resolution scans, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re working on a large print design.

SVG fonts are used like traditional fonts, you can edit the size, tracking, and even OpenType features like normal, but you can’t alter the colour of the font directly. A workaround is to apply a Color Overlay, Hue/Saturation adjustment, or some kind of mask to alter the appearance.

Since SVG fonts are a relatively new technology, they aren’t supported by all creative software. Adobe users will need Photoshop CC 2017 or Illustrator CC 2018 (or newer) to use them. Procreate users can import fonts from version 4.3.

SVG Fonts to Replace Your Old Brush Scripts

When you need to add handmade type styles to your designs, SVG fonts provide the most realistic and authentic looking results compared to the basic appearance of traditional fonts. While SVG fonts do have some unfortunate drawbacks, they are always supplied with backup TTF or OTF versions so you have the best of both worlds! I’ve curated this collection of the best SVG fonts with a hand-drawn style, including friendly handwriting, elegant watercolour lettering, and rebellious brush scripts.

Handcrafted SVG Font Bundle by Tom Chalky

The Handcrafted SVG Font Bundle by Tom Chalky

Hot Mess SVG Font by Set Sail Studios

Hot Mess SVG Font by Set Sail Studios

Opulent + SVG Font by Set Sail Studios

Opulent + SVG Font by Set Sail Studios

Stay Dreaming SVG Font Set Sail Studios

Stay Dreaming SVG Font Set Sail Studios

Crush SVG Font Set Sail Studios

Crush SVG Font Set Sail Studios

Avallon by Set Sail Studios

Avallon by Set Sail Studios

Portabella Font Collection by Callie Hegstrom

Portabella Font Collection by Callie Hegstrom

Palmetto SVG Font by Callie Hegstrom

Palmetto SVG Font by Callie Hegstrom

Summer Loving Font Collection by Nicky Laatz

Summer Loving Font Collection by Nicky Laatz

The Lovestory Font Collection by Nicky Laatz

The Lovestory Font Collection by Nicky Laatz

InstaLove SVG Font by Nicky Laatz

InstaLove SVG Font by Nicky Laatz

Loving Celine Signature Font Trio by SilverStag

Loving Celine Signature Font Trio by SilverStag

SkyLove SVG Hand Drawn Watercolor Script Font by SilverStag

SkyLove SVG Hand Drawn Watercolor Script Font by SilverStag

Loving Rose SVG Watercolor Font by SilverStag

Loving Rose SVG Watercolor Font by SilverStag

Black Caviar SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Black Caviar SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Rocked SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Rocked SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Empathy SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Empathy SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Black Dragon SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Black Dragon SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Chester SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Chester SVG Font by Ivan Rosenberg

Pure Heart – OpenType SVG Brush Font by Greg Nicholls

Pure Heart - OpenType SVG Brush Font by Greg Nicholls

Total Rage – Brush SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Total Rage - Brush SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Beforth – OpenType SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Beforth - OpenType SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Stay Gold SVG Font Duo by Greg Nicholls

Stay Gold SVG Font Duo by Greg Nicholls

Take Charge – OpenType SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Take Charge - OpenType SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Almonte – OpenType SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Almonte - OpenType SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Hunters Opentype SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Hunters Opentype SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Timber Wolf – Opentype SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Timber Wolf - Opentype SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Stranger Times – OpenType SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Stranger Times - OpenType SVG Font by Greg Nicholls

Fierce – SVG brush script font by Itsmesimon

Fierce - SVG brush script font by Itsmesimon

Wild Irish Rose brush script font by Itsmesimon

Wild Irish Rose brush script font by Itsmesimon

Hipetype SVG Font by Get Studio

Hipetype SVG Font by Get Studio

Thunder Stone Font Duo by Get Studio

Thunder Stone Font Duo by Get Studio

Sherin SVG Font by Get Studio

Sherin SVG Font by Get Studio

Maverick Font by Twinbrush

Maverick Font by Twinbrush

Hackney by Ellen Luff

Hackney by Ellen Luff

Soft Notes SVG Blackletter Font by Ana’s Font

Soft Notes SVG Blackletter Font by Ana's Font

Mellow: Brush & SVG Font by Unio

Mellow: Brush & SVG Font by Unio

Sparose SVG Font by Dhan Studio

Sparose SVG Font by Dhan Studio

Hello Bloomie – SVG Font Family by My Creative Land

Hello Bloomie – SVG Font Family by My Creative Land

Mr. Poster – SVG Brush Font by Type Cargo

Mr. Poster - SVG Brush Font by Type Cargo

Triester SVG Brush Font by Maulana Creative

Triester SVG Brush Font by Maulana Creative

Halden – Hand Brushed SVG Font Duo by Surplus Type Co

Halden - Hand Brushed SVG Font Duo by Surplus Type Co

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6 Comments

  1. A few of these look better than they would as OTF/TTF but a lot of them look too real if that’s a thing, like someone just used a white marker on top of a poster. I’m sure they’ll get better but I’ not sold on them yet. Obviously taste is subjective.

    Still a very interesting piece as usual, I always look forward to seeing your blog post pop up in my email.

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