• Venetian
  • French
  • English



Slab Serif


Sans Serif



Introduction  Design   History   Family Classifications

Family Classifications of Type


Script and cursive typefaces are those designed to literally represent handwriting or hand lettering styles. As a general distinction, scripts have linked or joining lowercase letters, similar to handwriting, while cursives appear as un-joined hand lettering.

Script types resemble handwriting and feature joining lower case characters. Cursive types resemble pen or brush lettering, with lower case characters that are not linked.


Script and cursive designs can be calligraphic, appearing to be pen drawn, formal, bearing the look of engraving, as seen on social printing such as invitations and announcements, or brush, more informal styles appearing to be brush drawn. Most designs feature ornate, swashed uppercase characters, making these typestyles largely confusing and unreadable when set in all caps.

These typefaces began to appear in the late 19th century, as more and more foundries competed for the commercial printing market. There is a tremendous variety of scripts and cursives available today, most of them designed in the in the 1930s at the height of their popularity.

From that time through the early 1950s, pen and brush lettering were hugely popular in advertising and commercial printing. Foundries inundated the market with types in these styles, which were widely used, especially where customers had no budget for lettering artists.

Kaufmann Bold
Designed by Max Kaufmann in 1936

he Kaufmann family, which includes a lighter, more delicate version, is a classic informal joining script.

The uppercase characters are free-formed initials which do not connect. The connecting links which join the lowercase characters are aligned so as to give the impression of continuous handwriting.

The strokes are uniform in weight throughout and all characters feature a strong, consistent angle.

top of page