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Here are my favorite commercially-licensed fonts for creating apparel designs that sell.
This kitschy handwriting font was likely inspired by the popular houseware brand by Rae Dunn. Available for free from Google Fonts, Amatic SC is great for minimalist typographic designs geared towards. If you design on multiple computers, use the free Skyfonts tool to download and sync fonts across devices.
Nanami / Nanami HM
Related font families Nanami and it’s handwritten version Nanami Handmade are designed by Thinkdust. They come with a huge variety of styles from thin to super bold, making them extremely versatile and useful for all sorts of niches. More importantly, the fonts are well-design with balanced letters that kern well without needing manual adjustment. The handmade version has both a solid and textured version, and add subtle characters to your designs.
Brush script fonts make great designs by themselves and are great sellers. What I like about Argentinian Nights, besides how lovely the script is design, is that it includes swashes to start and end words with flair.
A simple caps font, it’s the simplicity that is the beauty. The tall but slim letters enable you to make bigger, eye-catching typography. It’s clean lines make this font work well on it’s own or paired with others. If you have Adobe Creative Suite, download the upgraded font family, Bebas Kai, from the Adobe font library.
Bluberry is a fun and friendly font that is especially great for kids designs. Like many of my favorites, it comes with several variations – outline, drop shadow, and grunge – that make cohesive font pairings easy.
Bhatoshine is a fun bounce letter brush script. My favorite is the brush variation that is textured to look like it was painted.
Prisma is a great font for retro 70s and 80s inspired designed, especially those silly retro sunsets.
Is Saltash overused in grunge designs? Yes. Does it sell a lot of products? Also yes. The bold letters with rough lines, and optionally distressed texture, make it easy to add character to any design with Saltash. Pro tip: all the letters are caps, but typing in a mix of lowercase and uppercase show different letter variations making it look less like a font and more handmade.
Holland is an elegant and modern script font that elevates any minimalist typographic design. (Yep, another script font…I don’t know if it’s a power move that millennial moms are playing on the next generation who can’t read cursive, but they love their script font shirts.) You can try it for free with the personal-use version, but be sure to buy the commercial version for any products.
For designs with a retro handmade vibe, a typewriter font is a classic choice. Special Elite is available for free from Google Fonts, and has the character of a kitschy typewriter font, but is not overly grungy and is still readable.