Embracing Authenticity: The Rise of Handmade Fonts in 2023 and Beyond!

Embracing Authenticity: The Rise of Handmade Fonts in 2023 and Beyond!

In a world increasingly dominated by digital tech, there is a much-needed trend emerging where returning to basics, honoring craftsmanship, and embracing authenticity in various forms of design is the norm. One of the most exciting iterations of this trend (at least for me!) within graphic design is the use of handmade fonts, an aesthetic choice that’s gained significant momentum in recent years and a style that I am completely in love with.

The Handmade Russell Brush Font Family by Tom Chalky
The Handcrafted Russell Brush Font Family by Tom Chalky


Handmade fonts, often made with traditional tools such as brushes, nib pens, or even a simple pencil before being digitized, possess an authenticity that standard typefaces cannot replicate. This raw, unrefined edge offers a visually appealing contrast to the digitally created perfection we’ve grown accustomed to, and businesses are harnessing this unique aesthetic in their branding, logos, and marketing efforts. The reasoning behind all of this makes total sense from both a business and creative’s perspective. Let us dig into this a little more.

Why use Handmade fonts within Branding and Logo design?

Branding, aka a company’s identity, has seen a notable shift towards handmade fonts and designs in recent years, but why?

The organic, textured feel of these fonts endears brands to consumers by conveying an aura of authenticity, personal touch, and connection. The world is more informed now than ever since the rise of the internet, and brands can struggle to gain trust and build a connection between them and their customer. The inconsistencies and perfect imperfections of handmade fonts can translate into a brand image that is human, approachable, and engaging. Setting the stage as best as they can for a strong first impression.

Vintage Styled Fonts used within Logos and Badges
Various ‘Vintage’ Inspired Handwritten Fonts by Tom Chalky


While handmade fonts offer undeniable charm, they aren’t a universal solution. There are numerous scenarios where qualities beyond “authenticity, personal touch, and connection” are desired, making a more refined, precise design a more appropriate choice (most of the time). For example; Corporate and financial institutions, medical and healthcare, tech companies, academic or legal… you get the point.

Handcrafted Fonts: Helping You Stand out Since… Forever.

The use of handmade fonts in marketing and packaging is an excellent opportunity for businesses to tell their story in a captivating way. Handmade fonts can give print ads, social media campaigns, or even billboards a distinctive, organic look that immediately grabs attention. They can be playful or serious, rustic or modern, enabling brands to develop a distinctive voice in their marketing efforts.

Similarly, packaging designs featuring handmade fonts tend to stand out on the shelves. Call me biased, but test this theory for yourself! They communicate an image of being artisanal, eco-friendly, or even luxurious, depending on how the design is implemented and what fonts are used.

Handmade Font 'Bobby Jones' in a Marketing Design Poster
Handmade Font ‘Bobby Jones’ by Tom Chalky

The Authenticity Factor

Above all, the rising popularity of hand-drawn fonts signifies a broader cultural shift towards authenticity. In an era where consumers are bombarded with digital content, they are increasingly seeking connections that feel real and genuine. Brands using handmade fonts are essentially making a statement that they value authenticity, a trait highly appreciated by today’s consumers.

Vintage Inspired Font Used for Levi Strauss Mock Up Marketing Advert
Brixton Hand by Tom Chalky with Plenty of Extras 😉

This authenticity extends beyond just the visual appeal of handmade fonts; it taps into a broader narrative. It tells a story of a brand that respects craftsmanship, invests in uniqueness, and isn’t afraid to be imperfect. In essence, the use of handmade fonts is as much a branding decision as it is a design choice!

Rustic Font Family used in a Vintage Inspired Label
Rustic – Handcrafted Font Family

The Future of Handmade Fonts

As we look toward the future of graphic design, it seems the trend of handcrafted fonts is here to stay. The versatility, distinctiveness, and authenticity they offer make them an attractive design choice across different mediums and industries. That said, I believe the future will also demand balance. As a type designer who predominantly puts out handmade fonts, I often celebrate imperfections, but I have recently been exploring the ‘clean and perfect’ in an attempt to strike a balance and build bridges between the styles. Feel free to follow along!

Handcrafted Font used in a Clean Advert
Beyond Comfort font duo by Tom Chalky


In conclusion, the ascendance of hand drawn fonts is a testament to the timeless appeal of authenticity and craftsmanship. It is a creative response to an increasingly digital world, representing a yearning for connection, individuality, and genuineness. The future will be one where we see a fusion of this traditional approach with new digital innovations (the rise of SVG fonts being a beautiful example!).

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