What is this style of design/writing called (and how do I do it)?
February 22, 2015 2:50 PM   Subscribe

I feel like I've seen this kind of design and writing everywhere, and I'd like to emulate it for a personal project, but I'm not talented enough to figure it out on my own, and I don't know what to Google to find tutorials. Image link below.

This is what I'm talking about. I know it's probably kind of cliché at this point, but it's for a small project at home so I don't care that much about being original... I have Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, and I'm decent with them, but I'm not great at figuring things out from just looking at an example. I am excellent at following tutorials, if I do say so myself. But I have no idea what to search for to find one for this. Can you point me in the right direction, or at least give me some tips on how to achieve this look?

I really hope the answer isn't just "draw it by hand," because that's not exactly my forte either.....
posted by primethyme to Media & Arts (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Those are chalkboard fonts.

Born of the fancy chalkboards at Whole Foods and the sandwich boards in bistros.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:52 PM on February 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You'll also find a lot of useful material using the term "handlettering" to describe the visual effect - as in "handlettering fonts."
posted by Miko at 3:03 PM on February 22, 2015

Response by poster: Perfect, thank you both! I foolishly didn't bother even searching "chalkboard" because it made me think of stuff like this which is obviously not what I want!
posted by primethyme at 3:29 PM on February 22, 2015

"Hand-drawn type" is also a good search term.

By the way, it's not an online resource, but you might enjoy this recent book about handlettering, Hand Job.
posted by the_blizz at 4:25 PM on February 22, 2015

When they're good, often these chalkboard signs emulate vintage -- especially 19th century and early 20th century -- poster, sign and label design tropes. A lot of these were revived in the 1960s and 1970s, when wild and rough-drawn design was quite popular, as well. Is it specifically the chalkboard look -- common to coffee shops, lunch places, and farm stands -- you're going for? Or the interaction of many typefaces, flourishes, and other design elements?
posted by dhartung at 5:31 PM on February 22, 2015

If you want to make something similar for yourself, I'd definitely recommend Mary Kate McDevitt's Hand Lettering Ledger to help you get started. I've flipped through it and it looks like a great introduction and tutorial for that particular kind of thing. She also has some Skillshare classes on the same topic, if you want to pursue it with a little more vigor.
posted by redsparkler at 9:54 PM on February 22, 2015 [2 favorites]

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