Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Scripts: Not For Wimps

Most people don't realize a script font, such as Brush, Edwardian Script, or Snell, are considered serif fonts. Careful considering must be given when using these fonts together with other serif fonts, such as Times New Roman or Bodoni.

If you choose a script typeface for your main headline, I would offset this by using a sans-serif, such as Arial, in the body. You then could use the script typeface for sub-headlines or for special CTA's (call to action's), such as "Sale Today!" Pay strict attention to the size of these typefaces. Visually, the body may not be any larger than the headline, but type-size-wise the body may actually be as much as 20 points larger, depending on which script font you choose. Also, DO NOT use the script typeface throughout your document! Go ahead, laugh - but unfortunately I've seen it. It looks very unprofessional and makes your document very difficult to read all the way through.

Avoid using most script typefaces in reverse (black or dark-colored background with light or white text) unless it's thick and bold. The Brush font is a good example of a thick, bold script typeface. An example of a typeface not to use in reverse is Scriptina. It is very elegant but it can be very difficult to read. Another strike: if you use Adobe Distiller to create a .pdf file of your document, Scriptina does not embed, and that can cause issues with your commercial printer.

Finally, remember to not use an outline, or stroke, on your chosen script font. Most script fonts have thick and thin points, just like a serif typeface. The thin points create visual problems if you outline your text. Say you use Scriptina and put an outline around the text. You've just elminated more readability with the font by decreasing the amount of white space used to create the font. The thin parts look thinner, to the point of near-non-existence, increasing the difficulty of reading.

Use script fonts sparingly, without an outline around the text. I like using them to create elegant invitations; sometimes used as a headline for a grand opening of a beauty salon; occasionally, acting as a signature.

Happy designing!


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