Five Different Fonts: Maker Movement Inspired Faces

Perhaps it’s because of the maker movement where handmade things are more appealing than those mass-made. Maybe it’s because graphic designers are looking for something distinctive, a little more “left-of-center,” than traditional choices. For whatever reason, the most popular fonts recently licensed from are not industrial strength sans, urbane neo classical designs – or even square-jawed slab serifs. The new top sellers are scripts and a couple of unusual serifless designs.

Different Fonts Designers Want

Looking at the top five in this category, in alphabetical order:

DearJoe 4

The DearJoe 4 typeface looks like handwriting – because it is. Well, at least the characters in the design are scans from handwriting that designer, JJW van der Ham, and then converted into an all-singing-all-dancing OpenType font. Even the ragged outlines of the original pen on paper were maintained. There is, however, also a “smooth” version for folks wanting a more refined look.

Dear Joe 4

DearJoe 4 Family, Foundry: JOEBOB Graphics Released: October 16, 2012

Hipster Script

“Hipster Script is another of my habitual attempts at trying to reduce the divide between manual and digital,” says designer Alejandro Paul. “I tried to get the computer to emulate continuous painting.” In contrast to Paul’s ornate Spencerian and Copperplate scripts, the Hipster Script design has a more casual, brush lettering quality. Both distinctive and lighthearted, this is not your father’s Murray Hill.

Hipster Script

Figure 2: Hipster Script Family; Foundry: Sudtipos Released: September 19, 2012


A practical sans serif need not appear dry or constructed. It can excel in its sensible role and yet possess a distinct flair. The Iskra (“spark” or “flash” in Slavic) design is a new sans serif designed by Tom Grace. It was drawn to bridge the range between nuts-and-bolts utilitarian and carefree decorative typefaces.

IskraFigure 3: The Iskra family by Tom Grace | Image Design by Joseph Alessio

Metro Nova

Toshi Omagari took William Addison Dwiggins’ original Metro typeface, updated it for current typesetting techonology, and re-introduced the delightfully quirky suite of characters from Dwiggins’ first drawings. Omagari also enlarged the family and, in doing so, gave designers a formidable new typographic tool. “Because of its many weights, condensed variants and alternate characters, Metro Nova is a great ‘all-rounder’,” says Omagari. “It can be used on screen, in print, for display and text.”

Metro Nova

Figure 4: Metro® Nova Family; Foundry: Linotype Released: July 26, 2013

Thirsty Script Rough

The Thirsty Script Rough design is a dusted-up version of Yellow Design Studio’s Thirsty Script. The uneven texture recreates the qualities of letterpress printing with well-worn type. With four alternate versions of every weight – ranging from light to heavy distress – the Thirsty Script Rough family can create a uniquely aged demeanor.

Thirsty Script Rough

Figure 5: Thirsty Script Rough Family Foundry: Yellow Design Studio Released: December 21, 2012

Basic Type Bootcamp, HOW UWant more font fodder? Check out HOW’s Basic Typography Bootcamp workshop or Mastering Typography course, starting on 12/2!