Typeface Tuesday – Kuenstler Script

Beyond the more usual range of serif and sans serif fonts there are a huge selection of display fonts, cursive fonts, handwriting fonts and more, all of which require different consideration before use.  Script fonts (sometimes called cursive, or even hand lettered fonts) are a great example.  These typefaces are designed to look like calligraphic handwriting and give a vintage, quality feel.  There are also pitfalls to their use.

Most script fonts have a small lower case in comparison to the capitals and often has flourishes and swirls on a wide range of characters.  This means that use as body txt should be kept to a minimum, if at all.  They are far more suited to large headlines accompanying a nice clear serif font as body text.  Also, again due to the nature of the swirls and embellishments, it is not a good idea to use a script font in all capitals.  The twisting, shaped nature of the capital letters become hard to read and the words blur into intelligibility.

Kuenstler Script Typeface Tuesday

None of this means that script line, hand lettered fonts should be avoided.  Far from it.  For example Kuenstler Script is a great typeface.  Originally created in Germany, in 1902 with the name Künstlerschreibschrift it was developed to reflect the copperplate scripts of the 19th Century, which in turn were based on the hand writing of George Shelley.  In fact Künstlerschreibschrift means ‘the handwriting of artists’.

It is a beautifully crafted face, with elegant swirls and embellishments, without unnecessary additional line work which, while adding more ornamentation, make some other script typefaces harder to read.  Interestingly the bold version of this face was not developed until 1957.

When using Kuenstler Script a useful trick would be to close up the letter spacing and tracking on the characters.  In computer software each letter will be designed to display individually, allowing for a small gap between characters.  The tails on the lower case characters in Kuenstler Script allow for the letters to join up and further reflect handwriting if the spacing is set more tightly.  This adds a further dimension when using this attractive font.

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