Complimentary font to Hand of Sean

Nov 20, 2012

I could spend hours searching for just the right font! Mostly because I am terrible at identifying complimentary fonts. In an effort to be more efficient, I thought I would take it to the forums...

Does anyone have any advice on a nice complimentary font to Hand of Sean (

Thanks in advance,

8 Replies
Randy Borum

Hi Siobahn - 

Wonderful to have you on this forum.

I'm not exactly sure what kind of complimentarity you might be looking for but I'll share a couple of ideas for your consideration.

1.  The foraging process:  I like to use FontPicker to compare fonts.  It runs on an Adobe Air platform.  It's small, free  and allows me to eliminate some fonts as I go along.  You can do a similar thing with the custom preview in dafont.  Just type in your own text and browse, for example, the "handwritten" theme and you can see what the same word or phrase looks like across a bunch of different fonts .  I find that helpful for comparison.

2.  The narrowing process:  When I use multiple fonts (and I try not to use more than 2 or three in a given presentation), I often try to thinking about how each font will be used.  Maybe it would be by "level" - like headings, subheadings, body text or maybe I just use one for "accents" -like labeling diagrams or graphs.   If I already know the "tone" I'm looking for (e.g., casual, whimsical, warm, professional, techy, etc)  that kind of planning helps  me focus on things like  readability and how the fonts will scale up or down.  Then, from among my choices I will identify a couple of key upper and lower case letters (e.g., a and e) to find fonts with comparable serifs, proportionality, shape, and line width to come up with a list of those that might "go together."  

3.  Using those rules of thumb - using Hand of Sean as a baseline, if you wanted a complimentary  "script"  something like "Honey Script might work.  If you want a thin complements, maybe Always Forever or Journal.  If you want a thicker font, maybe Handy Handy.  ANyway - you get the idea.

I hope some of this helps.  Maybe others will have some better, more concrete ideas.

David Anderson

Hi Siobhan - 

Hand of Sean is a little more aggressive, spray paint, graffiti style. There's a lot of tension in the style. Have you mapped out the tone or voice of the course font you want? What's the personality of the course topic and who is the person writing (font style)? Is the font a professional? grade school child? serial killer? Just kidding on the last one, but hopefully it illustrates the range of voices and personalities of handwriting fonts.

You could search for popular handwriting fonts and find many great returns:

If you could describe the tone, personality and voice of the person who's font you're trying to match, I think it will help narrow the choices.

Here's a process we use to help determine the right look and feel for custom projects:

Bruce Graham

Love this idea - of visualising the "voice", or "tone" of a font. Very insightful comments from Randy, and a great model from David.

I would have said that hand of Sean was a bold, confident person, writing with a board marker, but I guess one person's "confident" is another person's tension.

Dave's point is, however, well-made - if it's possible, and you do have some choices, and an audience to poll before you choose, then you can get some interesting feedback.

Certainly more interesting than "Oh - we ALWAYS use Arial...


Siobhan S

Wow- thank you all so much for your thorough (and thought provoking!) responses.

I love the idea considering "the voice" of my font. I, like Bruce, see Hand of Sean as a confident, bold, and playful font. I hadn't seen the aggressive side...

I think Myriad Pro is the perfect balance to Hand of Sean for the project I am working on (thanks Jeff!).

Thanks again.

Veronica Budnikas

Hi Dave,

I really like your design maps, and have also seen your screenr on the Abduction course, and I have now also downloaded a few mapping apps to try out.

I have a question about the elements you include in your design map. Most are fairly straightforward to understand, like font or people, but I was wondering whether you had some examples of how you have used, or would use, the POP CULTURE, MOVIES, element in a course. For example, in the Abduction course you listed a number of movies related to the topic, so, how did you, or would you, use that in the course? Or, any other examples of that element in other courses?

Does anyone else have any examples of this?



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