The Most Popular 35 Free Calligraphy Fonts for Creative Design
What Are Calligraphy Fonts?
Calligraphy fonts refer to fonts that are specifically crafted to beautify writing. These scripts are variations on standard fonts that are used for writing. Calligraphic fonts are usually used when writing important documents or letters.
Calligraphic fonts have an old-world charm in today’s world. It is not just because of the nostalgia associated with their use, but because of their presence in so many old documents.
Why Are Calligraphy Fonts Important?
Calligraphy fonts play an important part in the preservation of history. They remind people of a time when aesthetics were very much judged as a sign of character and finesse. Calligraphy is also developed today as a way to beautify ordinary documents and works of art around us. Whether it’s a painting, a poster, or a mug, calligraphy fonts can enhance its aesthetic appearance.
Differences Between Calligraphy, Hand-Lettering, and Typography
Though the three types of lettering may seem the same, they hardly are. Calligraphy, hand-lettering, and typography have subtle differences that set them apart.
This is a repeated system of letters. It’s the practice of arranging the type so that printing can occur. It’s not a style of writing or creating and words of letters. It’s merely the art of arranging letters so that a system is established. The utilization of typeface allows typography to take place.
This is a subset of lettering, and it means the art of drawing letters by hand. It requires a lot of practice to get right and is considered a high-value skill. It can’t be done through various digital art programs such as the Illustrator. It has to be done by hand. Although styluses and drawing tablets have simplified things, the quality of real-world and digital hand-lettering is visibly different.
This is the art of writing letters. It is concerned more with penmanship rather than drawing individual letters. It refers to the art of perfecting your writing in a specific style. The tools used here can be anything from paintbrushes to nibs and ink. The style is marked by variation in width and length and different strokes.
Long-written pieces like important documents, beautiful books, and handwritten leaflets have calligraphic fonts. Calligraphy differs a lot from cursive writing and hand-lettering as well as typography. It is more of a system of writing than a style.
1. Great Vibes
Great Vibes is a clean and beautifully connecting script. It has a few heavy strokes for the capital letters font which helps in asserting their dominance over the small letters. The ascender and descender loops make the font a great choice for titles that grab your attention. You can download this free calligraphy font at Font Squirrel if you want to.
The first thing that you’ll notice about Arizonia is how thick it is. Not just in how individual letters are thickened, but how they’re spread out as if by a butter knife on toast.
Arizonia has many loops and strokes that allow it to fill empty spaces more than other fonts. You could write a single word and have it fit over a very large space on a poster or a postcard. This is one font that you should consider for birthday cards and special invitations.
3. Mrs Sheppards
The Mrs Sheppards font is a reminder of the heavy lettering that used to be prevalent on postcards during WWII. From the 1930s to the 1940s this was a favorite of calligraphers that were working in New York. You could see it on photos and even posters.
You can use this font to invoke a sense of nostalgia in your grandparents and parents from a simpler time. You can download the Mrs Sheppards font online for free.
Ruthie is extremely stylized and meant to invoke a sense of writing with a quill. It’s particularly reminiscent of the writing that you would see in Harry Potter books and movies. If you read the old illustrated scholastic editions of the Harry Potter books, you’d know exactly what I’m speaking of.
The Ruthie Font combines long, loopy strokes with harsh edges in some letters. It’s purposely raw and unkempt in some places. Hence, it invokes a certain disorderliness found in ordinary writing. It’s perfect for letter-writing and decorating infographics.
The Endestry font is a variation of old fonts that were used in letter writing. The Endestry font is noticeably bouncy and is very akin to cursive writing. The font is also very free of proportion in that it doesn’t much care about proportional control.
The sizes of the letters are all over the place signifying a more free and informal style. Hence, it can be very apt for use in an abstract art display or a digital art exhibition. It’s a very stylistic font that is only apt for very specific occasions. You can use it for parties or artsy events. It may not be great to use for formal invitations or work emails.
The Salmela script font is in pretty common use today. You can find it in Instagram posts, and poetry blogs. You can even find it in a few games and music videos. It’s not a very specifically designed font and is oriented towards a more free-style rather than a fixed one. The Salmela font reminds me very much of certain fonts used in restaurants for millennials and Gen Z.
7. The Queen
The Queen font has been seen before on many platforms. It’s been used in cards, in music videos, and YouTube videos, etc. It’s a freestyle font that is reminiscent of the old lettering fonts used by 19th-century writers. The font is just noticeably more spread out and less stylistic. The large loops have widely been eliminated and what you’re left with is a simpler, raw font.
And yet, there’s something extremely simple and attractive about the font that makes it okay to use anywhere. You can use it for letters, postcards, videos, etc.
If Endestry stopped caring about proportional control for letters a little, Sydnee just stopped completely. This is perhaps the wackiest font on this list. It is designed for overly stylistic cards and letters which are for invitations. This isn’t a great font for personal letters or for beautiful books and postcards. It’s basically invitations and Gala cards.
This is perhaps one of the most stylistic fonts on this list. It’s made specifically for signatures and initials. It even reminds you of a very specific label for a wine or maybe a chocolate. It’s that kind of font. It reminds you of a signature made with a Mont Blanc pen. Yet it also reminds you that it could’ve been made by either a literary giant or a businessman.
Bill Gates and J.D. Salinger could’ve both used this handwriting. This is one of the best calligraphy fonts around. Download Hanston Signature Font.
10. Beautiful Heart
Beautiful Heart is quite clearly a font that is meant for books. You can write entire book titles with it including chapter titles and introduction titles. You can even make small notations with it in appendices and in the main glossary.
Other than that, it’s a great font to use on birthday cards, anniversary cards, and dinner invitations. It’s an all around font that works for every occasion. However, it may not be a good idea to write work emails with it.
This may be one of the weirdest fonts on this list. Like the Sydnee font, it has very little control for proportion. However, it doesn’t go quite as overboard as that. It can be used on digital infographics, titled for videos, and even blog posts. It is perfect for stylistic or artistic posts on Instagram.
If not for social media posts, you can use it for your personal portfolio on blogs. There is even a clear argument to use it for reservation cards. Though using it for a destination wedding may be more appropriate than a hometown wedding.
Download Bitthai Script Font.
Chandrawinata doesn’t remind one of anything specific. It could be a font that was made up on the spot or through careful proportion control. There are specific strokes with vertical letters like T and H. However, there is also care given to small letters like ‘a’ and ‘n’. That being said, there are also strokes that loop over each other like in old 18th century fonts.
Chandrawinata is a font that can be purposed for anything informal. It can be used on social media posts, blog posts, Instagram posts, and even video openings. Download it here.
13. Easy November
The Easy November font is even loopier than the Endestry font, but it has better proportional control. The capital letters are decidedly of the same height and breadth, while the small letters are similarly sized. Letters that begin and end a word are particularly loopy. They even trail off at their ends. This is just meant to give a highly stylized interpretation of calligraphy fonts.
Easy November is one of the best online free calligraphy fonts that you can find. It’ll literally go with anything. However, do pay heed to writing formal emails or letters with it.
Brillyo favors a very distinct style. You can see that it favors more verticality and horizontal letters. There are also loops in the font like the ones in Endestry. However, there is a rawer, unrefined feel to it than other, more stylized fonts.
Brillyo also favors the ending letters of a word trailing off like some previous fonts. This makes it a more apt font for social media.
Desyanti is reminiscent of the Salmela font as well as the Sydnee font. It seems like a merger of the two. As most fonts that are this stylized trail off with the ending letters, so does Desyanti. There isn’t anything very special about this font, but it can be used freely for social media posts. However, it’s probably not a good idea to use it for anything else. That being said, it is very popular on Instagram.
16. Alex Brush
The Alex Brush font is stylized and standardized at the same time. The Alex Brush font uses cursive font as well as long loops for capital letters. However, it has a much better control on proportion and a much greater respect for sizing. This is a font that is meant for birthday cards, well wishing cards and anniversary cards. It can even be used as a font for signatures. It’s very legible to boot, meaning you can read it no matter what you’re writing with it.
17. Quigley Wiggly
This font again reminds one of the old Harry Potter novels. It just seems like someone from that Universe, particularly a teacher, would write with this font. This is quite clearly crafted with a thick pen nib and takes great care of proportional and standardization.
You can download the Quigleywiggly Font here.
18. Bukhari Script
The Bukhari script also looks like something out of the 1960s. It’s something akinto what Satyajit Ray designed for his films and books. The Bukhari script respects proportional control and is a pretty standardized script. However, it has its quirks and differentiates itself from the pack.
The loops in the letters that end every single word and the squiggly lines reminiscent of spaghetti add charm. The font is not only for use in almost every setting, but for formal letters as well as informal invitations.
The Champignon font is obviously great for labeling champagne bottles. It’s also great for wedding invitations, reservation cards, get-well-soon cards, etc. There is a distinct style to this font which you can only use for formal events. This isn’t something you use for a high school prom or a local event. It’s something you should use for a Met Gala or for a regional ball.
20. Great Day
The Great Day font is somewhere in the middle of Endestry and Arizonia. It’s not quite as thick as Arizonia, but much more spread out than Endestry. It can be used for book titles and for cards. However, it’s not proper to use this in formal settings. It’s a great font to use for business cards though. There are a lot of design ideas you can implement with this font if you have business card clients.
The Kristi font is a cross between Chinese calligraphy, Hindi calligraphy and western calligraphy. It looks like it can be used for an art house samurai action flick directed by Quentin Tarantino. In fact, it looks like it was born from one. I wouldn’t be surprised if the inspiration came from 70s exploitation cinema from Japan or 80s epics from China.
This is definitely one font that you won’t confuse with the others. It’s got a very distinct style and is one of the best free calligraphy fonts out there. It looks like it was born out of graphic novels from the 1980s or cyberpunk comics. It could fit into a western or into a space adventure without seeming odd.
Feathergraphy letters just jump off the page at you like they’re made out of living fire. There’s something very special about this font that you can use for decorative and abstract pieces.
23. Olivia Script
This is another great font for all use purposes. Except for maybe formal emails and letters, you can use this anywhere. It’s just stylistic and standardized enough to work for normal use everywhere. The loops and the proportion control all seem carefully tuned to deliver a fantastic font. You can even see that they’ve paid attention to the particular looping of the small ‘l’ and the ‘v’. This makes it a great font to use for any purpose. You can download Olivia Calligraphy Font here.
Qaskin seems like a font that was designed for use in a birthday card. It’s for formal events, anniversaries, private dinners, etc. It can even be used for galas and balls. Just make sure that you use the font sparingly. This one isn’t needed to fill out huge spaces. It’s great in small amounts.
Maybe it’s just me, but I can quite clearly see a resemblance between Kristi, Salmela, and Kadisoka. It’s like the former two were merged to create this font. It can be used for near anything. However, using it for movie titles or video titles seems more apt. It’s not really particularly skewed towards social media, though there’s no harm in using it for posts.
26. Black Jack
The Black Jack script is perhaps one of the most stylized online free calligraphy fonts out there. The font is reminiscent of either the old-timey saloons in western films or the slogans on biker jackets. This can be used for movie titles, bar signs, etc. Anything that you want highlighted, big and bold, you can use this for.
Black Jack can also be used for book titles, and more gritty labels for food or for hot sauces. This isn’t something that is apt for formal events or card titles however. Just bear in mind that everything that looks cool doesn’t go with everything.
Bolina has a pretty standard feel to it. Honestly, you can see it being used in an old classic’s first edition. For instance, you can see it being used as a font for the first edition of Dracula or the Phantom of the Opera. However, it’s not overly stylized. The font clearly adheres to structures and specific boundaries. Hence, you can use it for formal titles for letters and cards as well.
It’s perhaps not stylistic enough to use in wedding cards or reservation cards though.
Cursif seems like it was created by a company to label a product. It’s that refined and perfected in its dimensions. It seems like it was created to fit on a small label, hence the verticality of the font. Cursif isn’t the most stylistic font but it doesn’t have to be. It does its job well. It’s an all purpose font for everything but formal documents.
29. Fabfelt Script
Fabfelt feels like a font that is very close to Bukhari. It’s something you could see being used for beautiful books in the 1960s. It’s also something you could see used in ads and product labels from back then. It has a nostalgic feel to it, so it can be used for labeling and beautiful books today as well. However, don’t use it for cards and letters today; especially formal ones.
Germanic is a font that emulates old, gothic style fonts that were typical of the 18th century. It emulates fonts that were used for titles for important documents and treaties. You can see most of the same fonts used in European law and current degrees from top universities. This is a font that is for formal use. It’s not for parties or for dinners. It’s strictly for titles and for important documents.
31. Jenna Sue
The Jenna Sue font is clearly meant for use for family photographs and small emails. It can be used for informal contact between friends. Though the heart clearly shows a tilt towards a more female audience, a male audience shouldn’t be averse to using this as well.
32. Dr. Sugiyama
The Sugiyama font has a naturally Japanese feel to it. However, it can still fit in well in a medieval setting. It reminds me of the fonts used in old 1930s horror classics like Dracula and Frankenstein. Though a little more sophisticated than those, it can still pose for fonts that were used during the gothic era. In fact, it’s a perfect fit for fantasy and gothic stories that can be reprinted for audiences today.
33. CAC Champagne
This font is pretty much the classic font used on Champagne bottles and postcards and wedding invitations. This font is practically a cliché now. However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t effective. If you want to write up some wedding invitations or some reservation cards, this is the font for you. You can even use this font for some beautiful postcards to send throughout your honeymoon.
It’s obviously something you can use on a bottle of champagne, hence the name. In fact, even if it’s not a bottle of brandy or gin, or beer, the font is still usable.
You can download the CAC Champagne font here.
34. Deftone Stylus
The Deftone Stylus font is something that you would see in an old movie from the 50s or 60s. It’s a font that reminds you of the old trailers that used to play in movie theaters for westerns and epics. The font could very well be put in a trailer for Spartacus starring Kirk Douglas or Mackenna’s Gold starring Gregory Peck. It’s a font that you can use for huge titles and taglines alike. It also seems like it was created with thick-nib fountain pens.
35. Euphoria Script
The first thing you may notice about the Euphoria Script is that it is part old and part new. What I mean by this is that it’s got some of the looping that is characteristic of the old fonts as well as some modern variations. It resembles a writing that is used in many cartoons for young girls such as the Powerpuff Girls and Winx Club. The font specifically looks like it’s been crafted with magic markers, pointers, or ballpoint pens. However, it can be a great way to decorate small posters, photographs, and even postcards.
Anyone of these fonts can be used for specific digital artistry and for specific designs. You can use them for cards, letters, reservations, postcards, etc. You can even use them for business cards and letterheads. Just make sure to use good judgment and follow the aesthetic norms for various projects that you receive. Good luck!