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The list of fonts that are in-built across modern-day operating systems is nearly endless and there are so many more that you can download from the internet. While there are numerous modern fonts that boast of characteristics such as clear cut transitions in the strokes, long and thin horizontal serif, and an overall structured look and feel, certain ‘primitive’ fonts are still very much in use.

Primitive fonts are the fonts whose roots are firmly set in calligraphy; fonts that boast of the artistic handwriting feel that give them an organic look. Such fonts are typically used for short titles and headers and they are generally avoided by designers when long pieces of text are involved, as it can interfere with readability.

Even though the use of modern fonts is much more prevalent than that of primitive or calligraphy fonts, there are certain fonts that have stood the test of time and are frequently used by designers for a wide variety of projects. In this post, we’ll check out some of the most effective primitive fonts in today’s times.

1. Freeland

The Freeland font has a very inky and rich texture. Created by Laura Condouris, a type designer, the font can bring an edgy look and feel across all your designs. Its stylistic alternates and abundance of ligatures guarantee an incredibly realistic hand-lettered appearance.

2. French Kiss

Even though French Kiss is classified as a calligraphy or primitive font, it doesn’t have much in terms of similarity to most other calligraphy fonts due to certain differences. For starters, French Kiss’ letters are more separated and the strokes are much broader compared to other calligraphy fonts as well. Even though the font lacks the flourishes and cursive details typically associated with primitive fonts, it can work wonders for event invitations.

3. Dragonflight

The creation of Hanneke Classen, yet another renowned type designer, the Dragonflight font was developed through glyphs that were hand-drawn using a brass folded pen, which was dipped in ink. The pen that was originally used to draw the glyphs had a tip that was very similar to a dragonfly’s wing, which resulted in the font being christened Dragonflight.

4. Envelove

Envelove is a font family consisting of three fonts; Envelove Icons, Envelove Caps, and Envelove Script. Designers Ale Paul, Yani Arabena, and Guille Vizzari were the ones to come up with this font family, which is known for its expressive and lively characters. The typeface allows users to incorporate numerous variations into their letterings thanks to a small caps set, ligatures, and alternates.

5. Biloxi Calligraphy

A version of the Biloxi script, the Biloxi Calligraphy font consists of characters from both Eastern and Western Europe. As a result, the font has a distinct look and feel that you won’t find in most calligraphy fonts that have mostly been inspired by characters from a specific region. The heavy strokes used in this font are its core strength and if you want to create an eye-catching project using a primitive or calligraphy font, look no further than Biloxi Calligraphy.

6. Montez

A font that’s known for creating an incredibly dramatic effect, the Montez font has been inspired by the packaging and labelling of beauty products that was prevalent in the 1960s. The best thing about this font is that you can download it for free on Google Fonts. As using small sizes of this font may make readability an issue, make sure that you’re using only the medium and/or large sizes.

7. Cookie

The Cookie font was developed and designed by Google Web Fonts in partnership with type designer Ania Kruk. Kruk drew great inspiration from the pinup girls and ads of the 1950s, which had a certain aesthetic vibe and it was this inspiration that led her to design the font. Cookie is regarded by designers as a font that’s sweet, charming, and friendly. Even though it’s not the most decorative font among calligraphy or primitive fonts, you can still use it to great effect, particularly in projects that require a certain degree of charm and elegance.

8. Stone Age

Designed by Dave Bastian, the Stone Age font is a 100% free font that will take you back in time to the days when men used to carve letters and figures on rocks to communicate. The imperfect letters of the font are characterized by asymmetric designs and shapes. While the font is in no way appropriate for a formal design project, you can have loads of fun experimenting with it across fun and informal projects that require a rustic vibe.

9. Jungle Rock

Jester Font Studio developed and designed the Jungle Rock font and it’s completely free for personal use. The font consists of capital letters only and the letters are big, rounded and have shadowed outlines that really make it look very solid, rough, and tough. To add to the rough vibe of the font, there are leaves, bushes, shrubs, and bugs surrounding the letters. If you’re designing something for kids with a jungle theme, this font is the ideal one to go with.

10. Sophia

Sophia is one of those primitive or calligraphy fonts that boasts of a lot of grace. In the world of type designing, it is generally regarded as a feminine font and is typically used in projects where a high level of charm is required. The elegance of the font lies in its thin and wide strokes, that give it an authentic hand-drawn look and feel.

11. Risthi Script

Most type designers would advise against using fonts with uneven baselines. However, for certain projects, such fonts can work much better than the ones with even baselines and Risthi Script is one such font. Apart from its uneven baseline, the font is characterized by ligatures and alternates and the best part is that it’s available for download in a number of different languages. So even if you’re using a language other than English for a project, you would probably be able to find a Risthi font.

12. Olivia

Olivia Script is one of the most graceful and sophisticated primitive fonts on offer and it features a whopping 351 glyphs. While you need to buy the premium version of the font if you want to use it commercially, there’s a free version for personal use. The font is among the most popular in the design community for creating posters, event invitations, etc.

13. Organika

Organika is a font family that consists of six fonts that all have very warm, friendly, and organic vibes thanks to their loose letterforms and uneven edges. To maintain individuality of letters, particularly if they are repeating, you can use the feature known as Discretionary Ligatures OpenType.

While formal projects have no space for primitive or calligraphy fonts, there will always be space for them in informal projects and if you’re in charge of designing one, feel free to use these fonts. To check for their licensing status (for the fonts that need to be purchased for commercial use) do a quick search on Google and you should be able to find several trustworthy font sites where you can download them. So, go ahead and play with these primitive fonts for creating a truly out-of-the-box project.