Our weekly look at a favorite new typeface. Share yours with us on Twitter and Instagram @AIGAdesign with #TypeTuesday.
Designer: Alejandro Paul
Back story: This finely drawn typeface honors Spencerian penmanship, particularly the style known as Engrosser’s Script, itself an American reinterpretation of English Roundhand Script. Courtesy Script represents a look back at the ornate handlettering taught at the Zanerian College of Penmanship founded at the turn of the 20th century by C.P. Zaner, a legendary American calligrapher, pen artist, and penmanship instructor. The typeface pays proper homage to its historical antecedents even as it pulls off the neat trick of appearing fresh and modern at the same time.
Why’s it called Courtesy Script? The name captures the proper mannered feeling, elegance, and propriety of the sort of handwriting that once graced the ephemera of everyday life—think shipping manifests, police station log books, grocery lists—as well as high society invitations, thank you notes, and calling cards.
What are its distinguishing characteristics? Courtesy pushes the boundaries of legibility without going over the edge, thanks to a laid-back monoline lowercase with wide connections that enhance readability. The capital letters add a variety of stroke widths and varying degrees of flourish, from starter-level fancy to insane levels of engrossery. The Open Type glyphs provide a wide selection of alternates and swashed lowercase forms, plus ending and decorative swashes for maximum customizability.
What should you use it for? The ornate flourishes of Courtesy Script are best used in small doses for display, headline treatments, and packaging. It shines when combined with a transitional serif typeface such as Baskerville. Small caps provide an especially nice contrast.