Type, Image, and Border Fonts for Festive Occasions

No matter what time of year it is, the next holiday or cause for celebration is not far off. Whether it be Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas or Kwanzaa, weddings, birthdays and other milestones, anything made by hand comes from the heart, and shows a lot more love and care than any store-bought item. Examples of some of the countless opportunities to create personalized, custom-made projects include:

  • greeting cards
  • invitations, announcements, and thank-you notes
  • tee shirts, mugs, and other keepsakes
  • party decorations and banners
  • shopping bags and holiday wrap
  • videos and motion titles

Finding just the right type and image can be the most time-consuming aspect of a project. Yet selecting the right typeface(s) can be the key element that can make or break their effectiveness and success. We searched high and low for some great fonts for a multitude of festive uses, and here is just a sampling of what we found:

Many, but not all, festive fonts appropriate for decorative use are calligraphic in nature. While some are best used for headlines and display text, others can be used for text where a high degree of legibility is called for. Whatever your needs are, be sure your chosen fonts work well at the full range of required sizes.

Cancione is a graceful, stylized all-cap design with a weathered appearance. The elegant letters are complemented by a variety of ornaments and flourishes as well as alternates and stylized words. A.Cancione

Champion Script is an award-winning script with a wide selection of ligatures and alternate forms, including small caps, ornaments, and an assortment of frames and flourishes. B.Champion

Dancing Script is a lively, casual script where the letters bounce and change size slightly. Use this open source font when you want a friendly, informal and spontaneous look. C.Dancing

Ed Script is an authentic retro script originally designed by the renowned Ed Benguiat. Its continuous connecting characters, bouncy twin letters, and alternate forms give it the appearance of authentic hand-lettering. D.EdScript

Evita is an upright casual script that is evocative of the Art Nouveau era. This extremely readable font can express anything from an elegant, romantic mood to an ethereal, ghoulish one. E.Evita

Four Seasons is a handwritten typeface inspired by nature and its changes in summer, spring, fall and winter. It has an extensive character set including titlings, endings, initials, swashes, ligatures, as well as ornaments, dingbats and words based on shoots, branches, leaves and flowers. F.FourSeasons

Lobster is an assertive bold, condensed open source script loaded with hundreds of ligatures and alternate characters. G.Lobster

Riva is a casual script style that abounds with natural curves and swash terminals. Its lighthearted design features create a carefree yet elegant appearance. H.Riva

Rosarian celebrates the painterly grace of the pointed brush. Elegant swash capitals and delicate curls that sprout like vines lend it a fanciful look suggestive of the Art Nouveau era. 

The Wendy family is a cursive script in three weights. This upright, casual handwriting style projects a friendly persona and an approachable appearance. K.Wendy

Decorative Initials
LTC Ornamental Initials are lovely, organic initials with a snow-like background. L.Ornamental

The Ornate Initials collection includes three highly stylized, floral initials. M.OrnateInitials

Sattler AS Initials were designed in 1897 by Joseph Kaspar Sattler, one of the great German art nouveau artists.N.Sattler

Images & Ornaments
Images and symbols go a long way towards capturing a specific mood, occasion, or holiday. The good news is you don’t have to be an illustrator to create them. There are many fonts to choose from containing decorative and seasonal graphics, from snowflakes and leaves, ornaments, religious symbols, and food and drink-themed images. They can be converted to outlines, altered and custom colored for the desired effect.

The Lanston Christmas Ornaments collection is a collection of classic Christmas and Winter iconography with a nostalgic feel. It includes images for Easter, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, April Fool’s Day, Thanksgiving and 4th of July. 1b.HolidayOrnaments

DF Celebrations is a highly stylized collection of designs relating to the four seasons, major and minor holidays plus Bar Mitzvah, birthday, christening, first communion, graduation, prom, and wedding imagery. 4.Celebrations

Type Embellishments is a unique and handsome collection that range from classic, art nouveau and art deco to calligraphic and copperplate. 3.TypeEmbellishments

Bodoni Ornaments is a stunning collection of 122 glyphs that can be used for any kind of decorative elements. 2b.BodoniOrnaments

Borders & Backgrounds
The addition of decorative borders as well as background patterns can be just what is needed to give a design that extra something to complete it and make it stand out.

Period Borders is a set of five individual styles suitable for any occasion. P.PeriodBorders

The 32 Frames and Borders in this set are charming and very informal. They come in every shape, from round to square to oval, with flowers, dots and swirls. O.Frames&Borders

Japanese Garden is a collection of images designed to interlock and create the most beautiful Asian-inspired backgrounds. P2.Japanesegarden

All-in-one Families
A great way to have all of your graphics harmonize is to use a font family that includes typefaces and images that were designed to work together. Check out these all-in-one font families for your custom projects:

Adorn by the talented Laura Worthington is a stunning collection of 20 fonts: seven display fonts, four script fonts, monograms, ornaments, banners, frames and catchwords. There is something here for every mood and occasion. Q.Adorn

This Goudy family is a revival and dramatic expansion of Frederic Goudy’s Forum Title, originally designed in 1911. This updated family consists of Goudy Forum, a cap/small cap font with a myriad of advanced typographic OpenType features, Fleurons (floral ornaments), and Borders. R.Goudy

P22 Morris features designs by William Morris (1834-1896), one of the most influential figure in the Arts & Crafts and private press movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It includes two historic fonts plus a set of ornaments and decorated initials. S.Morris

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This is just a sampling of fonts for festive occasions to get you started and give you inspiration. If you don’t find what you need here, use keyword searches on type foundries and resellers websites; sign up for foundry newsletters, explore social media for sales and specials, and search for your favorite typeface designers. Some foundries offer holiday or themed packages, seasonal or time-based discounts, and sometimes even free fonts around specific holidays. Use your imagination, and have fun!

Posted on: November 11, 2015

Ilene Strizver

Ilene Strizver, founder of The Type Studio, is a typographic consultant, designer, writer and educator specializing in all aspects of visual communication, from the aesthetic to the technical. Her book, Type Rules! The designer’s guide to professional typography, 4th edition, has received numerous accolades from the type and design community.

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