St. Patrick's Day Fonts

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The Many Faces of St. Patrick's Day Fonts

St. Patrick's Day Fonts
Some Uncial, Insular Script, Carolingian, Blackletter, and Gaelic fonts are frequently associated with St. Patrick's Day. © J. Bear

Patrick (as in St. Patrick) was in Ireland in and around approximately 432 CE. The writing of his day was primarily in some of the uncial and half-uncial scripts. Do keep in mind, however, that the fonts you find listed as Uncial or Celtic or Irish are not necessarily actual typeface styles used in historical documents of Ireland during or after the time of St. Patrick. Often the type designer is aiming for a certain look and feel but not historical accuracy. However, for celebrating St. Patrick's Day, any of these fonts will do if you want your text to have something of an Irish flavor. Of course, you don't have to use typical Irish fonts at all. Use whatever fonts make you feel lucky.

Although I've attempted to show you fonts from each style associated with the Irish or St. Patrick's Day, there is a lot of overlap and the modern fonts based on historical writing systems often include features that cross-over from one time period or style to another so they don't always fit neatly into any one classification.

On each page you'll find download links for a couple of free fonts and a link to one or two fonts to buy that are representative of each category.

  1. this page
  2. Uncial Fonts
  3. Insular Script Fonts
  4. Carolingian Fonts
  5. Blackletter Fonts
  6. Gaelic Fonts
  7. Celtic Fonts
Gaelic and/or Uncial Fonts - A TypeOff article by Dan Reynolds 
Learn more about the development of so-called Irish typefaces. It's a bit of history along with examples of various Gaelic or Uncial typefaces.
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Uncial and Half-Uncial Fonts

Uncial Fonts for St. Patrick's Day
Some of the different looks of Uncial fonts for St. Patrick's Day projects. The quotation is in JGJ Uncial. "Go Green" uses Aneirin. © J. Bear

Based on styles of writing that came into use around the 3rd century CE, uncial is a style of majuscule (all capital) writing. The letters are unjoined, rounded, with curved strokes. Uncial and half-uncial scripts developed around the same time and are similar in appearance. Later styles had more flourishes and decorative letters. Different styles of uncial writing developed in various regions so not all uncials are Irish (or English or German, etc.) and some uncial fonts look quite different than others.

Free Uncial Fonts

  • JGJ Uncial by Jeffrey Glen Jackson (urbanfonts)
    Uppercase letters are larger form of the lowercase letters, some punctuation.
  • Aneirin (acefreefonts.com)
    Identical upper and lowercase with numbers.
  • Coiled Uncial (about.com)
    Extra curls on many letters, upper and lowercase, numbers, some punctuation.

Uncial Fonts to Buy

  • Omnia Roman by K. Hoefer (linotype.com)
    From Linotype, an uncial style all capital typeface with a few alternative letterforms.
  1. Introduction
  2. this page
  3. Insular Script Fonts
  4. Carolingian Fonts
  5. Blackletter Fonts
  6. Gaelic Fonts
  7. Celtic Fonts
03
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Insular Script Fonts

Insular Script Fonts for St. Patrick's Day
Fonts in the Insular script style have close ties to Ireland. The large initial M is in Rane Insular. The remaining text is Kells SD. © J. Bear

A medieval script that spread from Ireland to Europe, insular script or insular half-uncial developed from half-uncial scripts. Insular script has wedge-shaded ascenders and some fonts use the insular form of G and g (looks a bit like an s with a top like T or, in some fonts, like a 5). These fonts might have i and j without dots and often (but not always) the uppercase and lowercase letters are the same, except for size.

Free Insular Fonts

  • Kells SD by Steve Deffeyes (dafont.com)
    Based on the lettering from the Book of Kells; identical upper and lowercase including insular G/g, dotless i and j, numbers, punctuation, symbols, accented characters.
  • Rane Insular by Rane Knudsen (dafont.com)
    Based on author's handwriting and Irish insular script, upper and lowercase, numbers, some punctuation.

Insular Fonts to Buy

  • 799 Insular by Gilles Le Corre (myfonts.com)
    Inspired by the Latin script of the Celtic monasteries of Ireland, this slightly irregular typeface includes upper and lowercase with insular G, dotless i, numbers, punctuation.
  1. Introduction
  2. Uncial Fonts
  3. this page
  4. Carolingian Fonts
  5. Blackletter Fonts
  6. Gaelic Fonts
  7. Celtic Fonts
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Carolingian Fonts

Carolingian Fonts for St. Patrick's Day
More closely associated with Charlemagne than Ireland, this is still a popular style for St. Patrick's Day projects. The example here is set in Carolingia. © J. Bear

A script writing style of Europe and later on Ireland and England up until around the end of the 11th century, Carolingian script has uniformly-sized rounded letters. It has many uncial features but is more legible and is closely associated with the reign of Charlemagne.

Free Carolingian Fonts

  • Carolingia by William Boyd (dafont.com)
    Upper and lowercase, numbers, punctuation.
  • St Charles by Omega Font Labs (dafont.com)
    A Carolingian script inspired font with some extra long swooping strokes, identical upper and lowercase (except for size), numbers, some punctuation, comes in 6 styles including outline and bold.

Carolingian Fonts to Buy

  • Carolina by Gottfried Pott (myfonts.com)
    A modern take on the Carolingian minuscule script.
  1. Introduction
  2. Uncial Fonts
  3. Insular Script Fonts
  4. this page
  5. Blackletter Fonts
  6. Gaelic Fonts
  7. Celtic Fonts
05
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Blackletter Fonts

Blackletter Fonts for St. Patrick's Day
Not all Blackletter fonts work well for St. Patrick's Day, but a few do. Shown here: Minim Outline (T) and Minim. © J. Bear

Also known as Gothic script or Old English, this style of font is based on script lettering of the 12th-17th century in Europe. Unlike the more rounded letters of the Uncial and Carolingian scripts, Blackletter has sharp, straight, sometimes spiky strokes. Some Blackletter styles have a strong association with the German language. Today Blackletter is used to evoke an old-fashioned manuscript feel and those with less of a horror movie look find their way into St. Patrick's Day projects.

Free Blackletter Fonts

  • Cloister Black by Dieter Steffmann (dafont.com)
    Upper and lowercase, numbers, punctuation, symbols, accented characters.
  • Minim by Paul Lloyd (dafont.com)
    Regular and Outline versions, upper and lowercase, numbers, some punctuation.
  • JSL Blackletter by Jeff Lee (about.com)
    Slightly distressed, upper and lowercase, letters, punctuation, symbols.

Blackletter Fonts to Buy

  • Blackmoor by David Quay (myfonts.com)
    Slightly distressed Textura-style Old English medieval typeface.

Also: Take a closer look at the many styles of Blackletter and more free and commercial Blackletter Fonts.

  1. Introduction
  2. Uncial Fonts
  3. Insular Script Fonts
  4. Carolingian Fonts
  5. this page
  6. Gaelic Fonts
  7. Celtic Fonts
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Gaelic Fonts

Gaelic Fonts for St. Patrick's Day
Gaelic is Irish, a most appropriate choice for St. Patrick's Day. The Gaelic text is in the Gaeilge font while the English text is in the Celtic Gaelige font. © J. Bear

Derived from the insular scripts of Ireland, Gaelic is also called Irish type. It was developed specifically for writing Irish (Gaeilge), making it a popular choice for St. Patrick's Day use in any language. Not all Gaelic-style fonts include the Gaelic letterforms needed for the Celtic/Irish languages.

Free Irish Gaelic Fonts

  • Gaeilge by Peter Rempel (dafont.com)
    Upper and lowercase including dotless i and distinctive insular-shaped G, numbers, punctuation, symbols, accented characters, some consonants with the dot above.
  • Celtic Gaelige by Susan K. Zalusky (dafont.com)
    Identical upper and lowercase (except for size) including distinctive insular-shaped G, numbers, punctuation, symbols, dot above d and dot above f characters.
  • Cló Gaelach (Twomey) (eaglefonts.com)
    Mostly identical upper and lowercase (except for size) with insular g and some accented charachters.

Irish Gaelic Fonts to Buy

  • EF Ossian Gaelic by Norbert Reiners (fonts.com)
    Upper and lowercase including insular G, dotless i, and other special Gaelic characters, numbers, punctuation, symbols.
  • Colmcille by Colm & Dara O'Lochlain (fonts.com)
    A Gaelic-inspired text font. 
  1. Introduction
  2. Uncial Fonts
  3. Insular Script Fonts
  4. Carolingian Fonts
  5. Blackletter Fonts
  6. this page
  7. Celtic Fonts
07
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Celtic Fonts

Celtic Fonts for St. Patrick's Day
Uncial, Insular script, Gaelic and other historical and decorative fonts get lumped into the category of Celtic, Irish, or St. Patrick's Day fonts. © J. Bear

Although the Celtic society was spread all over Europe, today the Celtic culture and Celtic language is most closely associated with Ireland. Celtic fonts is a broad category for any style of font associated with the writing of the Celts and Ireland, most notably Uncial, Insular, and Gaelic-inspired fonts as well as some Blackletter/Gothic typefaces. Some Celtic fonts are calligraphic or simple sans serif fonts that are adorned with Celtic knots or other Irish symbols. Dingbat symbols with a Celtic or Irish theme are often included in this category.

Free Irish Celtic St. Patrick's Day Fonts

Irish Celtic Fonts to Buy

  • Celtic Value Package (fonts.com
    Includes a traditional uncial and fonts based on the lettering from the Book of Kells.
  • Blackletter Scripts (fonts.com)
    See all the blackletter fonts available from fonts.com by Monotype Imaging.
  1. Introduction
  2. Uncial Fonts
  3. Insular Script Fonts
  4. Carolingian Fonts
  5. Blackletter Fonts
  6. Gaelic Fonts
  7. this page
Gaelic and/or Uncial Fonts - A TypeOff article by Dan Reynolds 
Learn more about the development of so-called Irish typefaces. It's a bit of history along with examples of various Gaelic or Uncial typefaces.
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Your Citation
Bear, Jacci Howard. "St. Patrick's Day Fonts." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/st-patricks-day-fonts-1077798. Bear, Jacci Howard. (2017, March 3). St. Patrick's Day Fonts. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/st-patricks-day-fonts-1077798 Bear, Jacci Howard. "St. Patrick's Day Fonts." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/st-patricks-day-fonts-1077798 (accessed January 20, 2018).