Trends in Typography: The Handmade Touch

by fontspace

The typography trend that has flourished and was born out of a backlash towards the digitization of basically all publishing, comic books, package design and the application of the graphic arts, is the handmade typeface. Ever since personal computers have entered our homes, the power of desktop publishing and graphic design has been available to anyone who can afford a computer. 

The "fanzine" is the perfect example of this. Born from the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement that sprouted out of the punk music scenes in the late 1970s, throughout the US and world-wide, creatives took to handmade layouts to design and create "fan magazines," that addressed the topics of interest of these outlier communities; music, politics, fringe art and so forth. This was due to low budgets but also as a rebellion of the burgeoning word processor status quo. Zines featured cut and paste designs, hand lettered typefaces and type-writer written copy. They where reproduced cheaply with some technology such as photocopiers and distributed independently. The undercurrent of zines is still alive and well and can be found in subcultures throughout the world.

A quick search of FontSpace's website yields 70+ plus handmade typefaces, crowdsourced from our well of design contributors. They reflect a myriad of styles (cursive, block lettering, bubble, old english, etc.), but in essence add an element of singularity and edginess to the font by creating the feel of hand lettering. 

Art directors and graphic design professionals have picked up on this, think Wes Anderson movies and small comic book publishers, boutique product lines. Tastemakers have embraced the handmade look for typographic curation. Not only because of the unique look and beauty that comes from hand-crafted designs, but their intrinsic qualities. Handmade typefaces draw attention due to the distinguishable imperfect line that is embedded in human hand design. This personal touch found in intimate lines is such a departure from the repetitive mechanical calculations of rulers that the eye is drawn in, and focused towards your content. Although these fonts are not for every creative endeavor, they are ideal for independent projects such as indie films, grassroots non-profit organizations, and unique small businesses.

If you are not a FontLab pro then contact us to find the handmade fonts that will infuse your design with that engaging, sought after DIY look. Keep an eye on the work of our typeface contributors to see the latest in fresh handmade font designs.