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Brush Script – The typeface of the people?

January 15, 2011


In his classic book on typography “Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works” Erik Spiekermann claims there is no bad type. Yet in the design world typefaces seem to be the single most polarising subject. Only the hatred of Comic Sans seems to unite opinion for its overuse, yet in terms of stealthy ubiquity I would claim Brush Script the undisputed king of the everyday.

When business owners opt for the self initiated brand design they often favour Brush Script. Designed in 1942 by Robert E. Smith the typeface saw immediate success with advertisers and retailers, and continued to be popular through 1950s. Used with abundance on throughout Vegas, on the back of the jackets of the Pink Ladies in Grease and most notably the titles to Neighbours, Brush Script has an interesting if somewhat tainted history.

When searching Microsoft packages for a typeface to convey all their hopes and aspirations, a budding entrepreneur may find the difference between Times and Palatino or Helvetica and Arial are minimal. Brush Script screams out between the mundane and predictable, choose personality, choose artistic flair, choose a typeface that looks like it’s been painted but it’s on a computer.

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