Spencerian Script Fonts

01
of 01

The Coca-Cola Logo Script Was Based on Actual Handwriting

Coca-Cola logo
The Coca-Cola Company

Digital fonts that are classified as Spencerian Scripts vary widely in style. Typically these fonts have small x-heights and often long and distinctive descenders and ascenders. They are ornate characters with variations in thick and thin strokes the mimic the type of writing instruments in use in the 19th century.

History of Spencerian Scripts

Have you ever admired a Coca-Cola or the Ford truck logo and thought, "Wow, I wish I could write like that?" As a matter of fact, a lot of people—most of them older than anyone you know—used to write just like that. Both those logos use Spencerian script, a style of script handwriting that became popular in the United States in the second half of the 19th century.  First adopted for business correspondence and taught in business colleges, it eventually found its way into primary schools. Back when cursive was the way to write, it's what many American school children learned—minus some of the elaborate flourishes.

The Coca-Cola logo uses a form of Spencerian Script. The Ford logo also used it in its first oval logo design. In modern times, the script is basically the same but has become a little fatter with more rounded ends on some letters.

Eventually, the typewriter replaced handwriting for business, and a simplified style of penmanship was adopted by schools, but Spencerian script lives on in famous logos, and its influence is seen in some lovely script handwriting fonts. Even if you don't use pen and ink, you can type like an early graduate of Bryant & Stratton College (alma mater of Henry Ford) or a public school student of the 1890s.

Using Spencerian Script Fonts in Graphic Designs

Spencerian fonts are suitable for wedding invitations, greeting cards, certificates, initial caps, and headlines. Usually, they aren't used for blocks of text because they are difficult to read at small sizes. They are formal in appearance and pair best with a legible non-script font. Because they are so distinctive, don't use more than one script font in a design. You can also use these fonts to invoke nostalgia or a specific time period.

Commercial Spencerian Script Fonts

With some of these commercial fonts, you'll get many alternate characters, flourishes, and ligatures.

  • Spencerian Palmer Penmanship Regular by Intellecta Design is an OpenType font with elaborate capitals.
  • Spencerian By Product Regular, also from Intellecta Design, is still fancy but slightly less so than Spencerian Palmer Penmanship and there is less variation in stroke width. It is more uniform.
  • Alexandra Script Normal by BA Graphics is similar to the free font Exmouth but with slightly fancier capitals.
  • Kuenstler Script is almost a twin of free font Palace Script but with a bit more character spacing.
  • Edwardian Script has slightly fancier capitals. It is a typical, classic Spencerian style script.

A few of the other script and cursive fonts that haven't strayed far afield of their Spencerian heritage include Balmoral, Citadel Script, Elegy, English 111, English Script, Flemish Script, Gravura, Original Script, Parfumerie Script, Sacker's Script, Shelley Script, Snell Roundhand, Tangier, Virtuosa Classic and Young Baroque.

Format
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Bear, Jacci Howard. "Spencerian Script Fonts." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2017, thoughtco.com/spencerian-script-handwriting-1079049. Bear, Jacci Howard. (2017, August 27). Spencerian Script Fonts. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/spencerian-script-handwriting-1079049 Bear, Jacci Howard. "Spencerian Script Fonts." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/spencerian-script-handwriting-1079049 (accessed January 19, 2018).