14 calligraphy fonts every designer should own

Lettering artists have been using a nib and ink to transform letters into beautiful calligraphy for centuries. A writing style that has flourished over thousands of years, creatives use calligraphy fonts in much the same way as retro fonts, to add charm, elegance and a sense of nostalgia to their work. 

Here are 14 of the most beautiful calligraphy fonts around today.

01. Olivia Script

Olivia Script is sophisticated, graceful and free

Featuring 351 elegant glyphs, Olivia Script is a sophisticated and graceful modern calligraphic typeface suited to use on everything from wedding invitations to greeting cards, posters and more. It's available as a free font from the Font Bundles Store, and comes with a premium licence that allows for both personal and commercial use.

02. Work in Progress

Work in Progress isn't actually a work in progress

Created by Clement Nicolle, also known as StereoType, Work in Progress is a script font with a very specific style of connecting curves. It comes in a simple free version that's good for personal use, but if you pay for the commercial version you get an additional clean version, as well as a set of alternate glyphs and ligatures, including a bunch of little words in multiple languages.

03. Envelove

Envelove has a delightful Quentin Blake feel to it

Designed by Yani Arabena, Guille Vizzari and Ale Paul for Sudtipos, Envelove is a free-and-easy typeface consisting of three fonts: Envelove Script and Envelove Caps, which enables you to build variations into your lettering with alternates, ligatures and a small caps set. There are also Envelove Icons, which are perfect for adding a bit of decoration to your lettering. Lively and expressive, it reminds us of Quentin Blake's wonderfully energetic illustrations.

04. Noelan Script

Noelan Script's swashes and alternates keep things looking fresh

Free both for personal and commercial use, Noelan Script is a modern calligraphic typeface from ndro. It features automatically connecting swashes as well as plenty of alternates to give your text a more human feel, plus international characters. 

05. Quickpen

Quickpen looks like it has been quickly jotted with a felt tip pen

Type designer Laura Condouris is behind beautiful calligraphy font Quickpen. Casual and carefree, Quickpen was designed to recreate the look of confident script, quickly jotted with a felt tip pen or brush. Available over on MyFonts, it is described as 'the perfect script for any design that doesn’t take itself too seriously'.

06. Dragonflight

Each of Dragonflight's glyphs were created using a brass folded pen dipped in ink

Beautiful calligraphy font Dragonflight was created by type designer Hanneke Classen, who hand-drew each glyph with a brass folded pen dipped in ink. The font got its name from the tip of this folded pen, which resembles the shape of a dragonfly’s wing.

07. Allura

Calligraphy font Allura is suited to a variety of print and digital projects

Stylised yet legible, Rob Leuschke's calligraphy font Allura is great for all manner of print and digital projects, including branding, posters and much more. And best of all, it's free! 

08. Freeland

Calligraphy fonts Freeland

Add a modern, bold and lively vibe to your designs with Freeland font

With a rich, inky texture, Freeland calligraphy font was created by type designer Laura Condouris. Featuring plenty of ligatures and stylistic alternates for a realistic, hand-lettered look, Freeland will give your designs an edgy vibe.

09. Poem Script

Calligraphy fonts Poem Script

Poem Script received a Certificate of Excellence at the Type Directors Club NY 2011

Available over on MyFonts, Ale Paul's Poem Script design is described as 'a mixed collection of interpretations conjuring a late 19th century American pen script style'. Poem Script received a Certificate of Excellence at the Type Directors Club NY 2011 and was selected at the Bienal Tipos Latinos 2012.

10. Aphrodite Slim

Calligraphy fonts Aphrodite

Aphrodite Slim is suited to all manner of digital and print projects

Created by designers Maximiliano Sproviero and Sabrina Mariela Lopez, Aphrodite Slim is part of calligraphy font family Aphrodite Pro. With over 1,000 glyphs and super-stylish curves and flourishes, Aphrodite Slim is suited to all manner of digital and print projects.

11. Lucida Calligraphy

Calligraphy fonts Lucida Calligraphy

Lucida Calligraphy is a favourite among designers

Calligraphy font Lucida Calligraphy is a favourite among designers. Available from type foundry Monotype, Lucida Calligraphy is suitable for books, reports, posters, advertistements and much, much more.

12. Hiatus

Calligraphy fonts Hiatus

This beautiful calligraphy font was penned by designer Stephen W. Rapp. A lettering artist for over two decades, Rapp pulled out all the stops when creating warm and elegant typeface Hiatus.

13. Lamar Pen

Calligraphy fonts Lamar Pen

Lamar Pen reflects the personality of the man whose handwriting inspired it, Mirabeau B. Lamar

An elegant, antique calligraphy font, Lamar Pen reflects the personality of the man whose handwriting inspired it, Mirabeau B. Lamar – a celebrated Texan of the 1830s and 40s.

14. Dom Loves Mary

Calligraphy font Dom Loves Mary

Designer Debi Sementelli created Dom Loves Mary as a way to honour her in-laws

Dom Loves Mary is named in memory of Dominic and Mary Sementelli, a couple who were totally opposite but 'made for each other'. The font was created by Debi Sementelli as a way of honouring the pair. A beautiful calligraphy font, Dom Loves Mary is great for stationery, posters and much more.

Contributions: Jim McCauley

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