If you are a big comic book fan, then you know that using cartoon lettering is important! Unlike newspapers or magazines, comic book are usually using simple (sans serif) fonts making it easier for the reader to read short text rapidly.
In this article, I will show you what you should avoid and what you should do to create a comic strip that is easy to read and 100% personalized.
Most people think that handwriting won't be good enough to use for a comic strip, but there is a way to mix the flexibility and natural side of handwriting vs the stability and convenience of a real font!
Choosing a big, stick font like "Impact" can be a good choice for a title. However, using this font as part of your text in your strip might not be a good idea. This font is too massive and impressive and the reader will likely find your strip annoying and hard to read.
Using the same font, but filling it with a light color can also be a good option to create a nice title. However, be careful as it can also be harder to read than the black version if you don't choose the proper color. Do some tests and ask relatives to give comments if you're not sure.
Cartoon lettering can be an art, and like many masterpieces, finding the perfect balance between adding numerous effects without being too annoying or irrelevant is a hard task. Better keep it simple, it's the best way to be 100% sure that your work will be perfect!
Most fonts used in cartoons are "Sans serif". A "Sans serif" typeface is a font that does not have the small features called "serifs" at the end of strokes. Most newspapers and magazines are using fonts with serif while cartoons are not.
Cursive writing is not recommended for cartoon lettering. It is usually more complicated to read, especially for young children. Try to avoid them except if you want to make a point or if your comic strip is created for an older audience.
If you don't have access to a cartoon related font, you can always use the "Arial" font as an alternative. It's a simple "Sans serif" font with nice curves and it is quite easy to read. Once again, try to avoid things like a bold font or an italic one.
This font called "Phollick" was made for cartoons! It is simple to read and created with nice curves. It is perfect for small text (a cartoon bubble contains rarely more than 200 words) and children can read it easily.
Another nice alternative could be to create your own cartoon lettering. Of course, to do so, you must have a nice handwriting technique and have a lot of confidence in yourself. Although the result might not be always impressive, your comic strip will feel warmer and more personal.
The ultimate solution could be to create a font using your own handwriting! It's quite easy to achieve and you will combine the flexibility and natural side of handwriting vs the stability and convenience of a real font.
Follow the current adventures of Pascal & Hal, two lovely cartoon characters gifted with amazing personalities. New and exclusive comic strips are added twice a week (Mondays and Thursdays). Enjoy!