16 calligraphy fonts every designer should own

Calligraphy fonts can bring charm, elegance and a handcrafted feel to a project.  These fonts take their cues from the nib-and-ink lettering that has been around for centuries. There are plenty of types of calligraphy fonts to choose from online, but finding a good quality one can prove difficult. To help you out, we've picked a variety of our favourites for you, which start from free, so are suitable for a range of budgets.

The best calligraphy fonts can be used for both personal and commercial projects. Styles range massively – calligraphy fonts can be formal, casual, modern, retro or add more of an antique feel to your work. A lot of the calligraphy fonts on this list include optional ligatures and alternates you can swap in to create an organic-looking, unique script for your project.

Looking for something different? Check out our list of free script fonts, or our mega-roundup of the best free fonts for designers. 

01. Mahesia 

calligraphy font

There's plenty of swoosh in this calligraphy font  (Image credit: Jamalodin)

Maheisa Script is a modern vector font, which was designed to be used for beautiful text in greetings cards, invitations and logos. It features over 600 unique glyphs, with plenty of swashes available, and a stack of accented letterforms. This calligraphy font is free for personal use and a commercial licence will set you back just $13.

calligraphy font

Add some charm to your projects with Cookie (Image credit: Ania Kruk)

Calligraphy font Cookie was developed by Ania Kruk with support from Google Web Fonts. Kruk was inspired by the 1950s aesthetic, including ads and pinup girls. She describes it as "sweet and friendly – but not too decorative". Ideal for bringing some charm to your design projects. 

03. Montez

Calligraphy fonts: Montez

This calligraphy font has a strong, sharp look (Image credit: Astigmatic)

Designed by Astigmatic, this calligraphic script font uses sweeping strokes to create drama. The font is inspired by 1960s beauty packaging, and is available to download for free at Google Fonts. Use at medium or large sizes to ensure it stays readable. 

04. Risthi Script

Calligraphy fonts: Risthi

This bright calligraphy font is ideal for invitations

Risthi is a stylish, elegant script with a dancing baseline and a classic touch that includes alternates, ligatures and multiple language support. This bright style is the creation of Olexstudio, which has a range of 10 vintage-inspired calligraphy fonts to choose from, all of which have real impact.

05. Biloxi Calligraphy

Callligraphy fonts: Biloxi

Stand out with this calligraphy font

Biloxi Calligraphy is a heavy weight version of Biloxi Script, a casual handwritten style with a calligraphy feel that contains Western and Eastern European characters. The script is written with heavy calligraphic strokes that make this an ideal choice for an eye-catching project.

06. Meat Buckets

Calligraphy fonts: Meat Buckets

Meat Buckets has plenty of thick swooshes

On sale from StereoType, Meat Buckets is described as "a nervous script font with a taste of old-school style". It's free to download for personal use, or you can buy a standard licence for use in commercial projects for $39. If you opt for the full commercial version, you get access to 86 alternates, contextual ligatures and underlinings, so you can pimp this calligraphy font to create something unique. 

If you like the old-school stylings of Meat Buckets, check out our roundup of the best retro fonts.

07. Palomino

Calligraphy fonts: Palomino

Here's a calligraphy font based on pencil

Palomino is a calligraphy font with a difference: instead of being based on inky lettering, it was created using Palomino Blackwing pencils (something of a cult offering in the pencil world). This versatile font family comes with alternates and swashes that range in price from £9.99 to £26.99 per style, with great value packages available to help you create your own impressive designs. It also comes with extensive language support and is fully unicode mapped.

08. Olivia Script

Calligraphy fonts: Olivia

Olivia is ideal for wedding invites

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. 

09. Work in Progress

Calligraphy fonts: Work in Progress

This is a clean and clear calligraphy font option

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. A standard license costs $39. 

10. Envelove

Calligraphy fonts: Envelove

There's a sweet vibe to this calligraphy font

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.

11. Organika

Calligraphy fonts: Organika

There's a friendly vibe to this calligraphy font

This hand-drawn calligraphy font family includes six complementary fonts, including upright and italic brush script, sans and serif fonts. Uneven edges and loose letterforms help give Organika an organic, friendly vibe.

You can enable the Discretionary Ligatures OpenType feature to replace automatically lower case letters with an alternate when the letter is repeated. So there are never two letters next to each other that are just the same. 

12. Noelan Script

Calligraphy fonts: Noelan

Noelan Script has automatically connecting swashes

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. 

13. Quickpen

Calligraphy fonts: Quickpen

Get the handwritten scrawl look with Quickpen

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".

14. Dragonflight

calligraphy fonts

There's a sunny feel to this font  (Image credit: Hanneke Classen )

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. 

15. Allura

Calligraphy fonts: Allura

We can see the allure of Allura

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. 

16. Freeland

Calligraphy fonts: Freeland

You can almost see the brushstrokes in this 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.

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Dom Carter

Dom Carter is a freelance writer who specialises in art and design. Formerly a staff writer for Creative Bloq, his work has also appeared on Creative Boom and in the pages of ImagineFX, Computer Arts, 3D World, and .net. He has been a D&AD New Blood judge, and has a particular interest in picture books.