Free handwriting fonts are a little different than most free fonts you find on the web. There are some exciting options available in this style of lettering.
The Usual Suspects
The first kind of free handwriting fonts are the same as any other font on the web - they are the ones that you find on sites like DaFont and other common font resources. Some avid fontophiles even blog about the best handwriting fonts they can find, such as Kevin and Amanda who have a selection of the best fonts used for scrapbooking. As usual, with downloading anything from the web there are a few rules to keep in mind:
Use trusted font sites like DaFont or Free Fonts; many so-called "free font" sites are just excuses for many ads and sometimes worse. The best sites will not only have more fonts than ads but also have good previews of fonts, reviews by other people who have used them, licensing information and clear instructions on how to install them on various platforms. Just downloading any font may not only be stolen but could also contain malware that would be damaging to your computer.
Getting Creative with Free Handwriting Fonts
If you're going to use a handwriting font, why use someone else's handwriting? One of the neatest new innovations on the web is the ability to turn your handwriting into a font. There are several sites that offer this service, but the quickest way is to work through YourFonts.
The process is as follows:
- Download the font template file and print it out. This is a grid with letters, numbers, and symbols for you to fill out in your own script.
- Scan the filled out form and upload it to the website, where it will be processed
- Preview your font so that you can be sure all the characters are looking correct. "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" is a phrase that will show every letter.
If it all looks good, you can download and use your font for free from the site. You can even make several kinds of handwriting fonts - one in cursive, one in print, one in all-caps - maybe even one for "stressed out!" Using a personal handwriting font is especially popular in scrapbooking, for turning labels and captions into a clear but individual presentation.Other sites, such as Fontifier, charge a small fee for a similar service, but there is very little difference between the fonts themselves.
Using Handwriting for Teaching
While there is a movement to stop teaching handwriting in schools because everyone types so much, the good old "tracing" handwriting pages still can be handy for teachers hoping to help their students learn specific words and styles. Several styles are available, with various options:
- Cursive vs. Printing
- Repeating vs. Single letter
- Solid or tracing
- Rulers and other lines
Using these fonts, a teacher can have the ability to create specific lists of words - for example, spelling vocabulary - and help reinforce both the writing ability of the students and their spelling retention. While cursive is not used nearly as much as it used to be, clear printing is still a necessity in everyday life.
Where is Handwriting Font Appropriate?
Fonts that emulate handwriting have a casual, intimate feeling to their message, and as a result may not be suitable for business presentations or other places where more official propriety needs to be maintained. Also, if you are doing something like a poster or a Powerpoint presentation, handwriting may not be entirely clear to read for your audience - instead, stick to the simple and safe Helvetica or Times-New Roman style font. Save the handwriting for those personal touches when things need to look a bit less digital.