Fonts with a Personal Touch

Three fonts, three personalities: Adobe Handwriting brims with potential.

Fonts with a Personal Touch

It can be tricky to find typefaces that can convey the feeling of personal warmth that comes from a handwritten note, especially as we type more and more and write with pen or pencil less and less.

To add some more of that warmth to the Adobe Originals collection, we recently released Adobe Handwriting, a trio of fonts based on the handwriting of some of our own designers. The three eponymous styles of the family — Ernie, Frank, and Tiffany — each have a unique flavor with its own rhythm and character. These fonts were originally created in 2012 so Acrobat users could sign documents electronically, but they were capable of so much more, and we’re happy to share them for general use.

We often boast about the technical sophistication of the Adobe Originals fonts, but, in this case, it’s the lack of software wizardry that makes these fonts so impressive. These three styles have no dynamic substitution, no alternates, and not even any kerning! Nevertheless, they each support an impressive range of languages using the Latin, Cyrillic, and Greek alphabets, and because they were designed to work well in a simple tool, a rare feature of these fonts is that they look just as good no matter where you use them.

How did we do it? LOTS of writing, and then even more care once we developed and refined digital outlines from the samples. Ernie, Frank, and Tiffany each wrote pages and pages of letters, words, phrases, numbers, and symbols to produce lots of examples for comparison and selection, in order to get the most authentic overall texture that captured the spirit of each writer’s hand. The best individual characters were scanned, converted to outlines, and then after a good amount of cleaning, adjusting, and positioning, the vector shapes were assembled into fonts.

Thanks to careful preparation and the keen eyes of the designers, the Adobe Handwriting fonts will look just as fresh and natural in situations with even the most basic font support as they will in sophisticated tools like InDesign.

All three Adobe Handwriting fonts are now part of the Adobe Fonts collection (of thousands!) that comes with Creative Cloud subscriptions. Log in with your Adobe ID and try them out for yourself in any design application.

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