MAYBE NOT AN APP, BUT A KNACK for freehand – and some talented people have it. Others of us only wish. Still others don’t have a street-front retail location, but would like the look for our business materials (or personal scrapbook). Of course, having a calligrapher-barista on your staff or a daring and resourceful designer on your payroll is ideal. But at the bootstrapping stage of a new business, those may not be options. In which case, computer fonts to the rescue!
On the really-simple level, using a common hand-lettering style font and Microsoft Word, just by putting white type on a black box, you can nod to the style (see box).
But you can also do a lot better. Brooklyn Artisan rummaged online and came up with some font options to get you started. Some are free to download for personal use, but restricted for commercial purposes, so take care to read the directives for fair use on each site.
Nest of Posies, a little cloying in style if you’re an ironworker, but has specifics for people who want to be creative and do not use PhotoShop.
FontSpace has 19 free fonts that are tagged chalkboard.
French Kiss likes a crisp white-on-black look without the dust. The site blog has a good recommended font list, and a request: “Most of these are premium fonts that I purchased from MyFonts. Even for free fonts, please consider donating to the artists. Even a little can help say thank you.” We like that attitude.
Fonts Cafe espouses the dust to good effect, and offers a “Chalk Hand Lettering Pack” for free. In commercials uses, fontscafe.com wants their tag to be used. Fair enough.
This is not Brooklyn Artisan’s last word on this subject, so please join the discussion with your comments, opinions or recommendations. We did come across one usage we personally wouldn’t recommend – chalkboard seems the wrong style for wedding materials. Unless the wedding song is going to be “My Sweet Erasable You.” A final thought for the day comes courtesy of Inspired by Charm.