Laura Worthington and Jim Wasco’s hybrid script family can be as casual or formal as the occasion demands. Its set of weights range from high contrast letterforms, with all the swashes designers love, to more relaxed monoline shapes, allowing Elicit Script to work hard, and work well, in a huge number of environments.
Elicit Script is something of a hybrid, evoking the warmth of brush lettering and hand-drawn forms, mixed with a more formal script style. “The hybrid aspect is not something that’s based on chisel pen or brush,” says Jim Wasco, who designed the typeface in partnership with Laura Worthington. “It’s like one of those German italics from the early 20th century, that have beautiful shapes that hold their own.”
The pair shared the design process, passing it “back and forth” between them to create and refine letters. “From the start we wanted to create a constructed script which is not based on any clear pen and ink, but something that’s drawn and highly stylised,” says Wasco.
Elicit Script is designed as a true workhorse, spanning five weights and three styles that range from buttoned-up high contrast designs, to the more relaxed monoline versions. “When you get to the high contrast, with the thick thicks, and the thin thins, it gives you a more formal, classy look,” explains Wasco. “Whereas the low contrast, which is very ‘hotdoggy’, is more of a casual look.” It’s precisely this ability to modulate its tone of voice that gave the design its name – intended to refer to its capacity to ‘elicit’ a wide range of emotions.
The design’s ability to be dressed up or down, depending on what it’s needed for, helps answer one of the dilemmas designers face when working with script fonts – finding a comfortable balance between decorative and relaxed. “Something I found as a graphic designer, was that there are so many situations where you needed a font for a headline or sub-header, and you wanted something in between,” says Worthington. “So a serif font wasn’t formal enough, but script fonts were over the top. Elicit fills this important gap.”
While many script designs rely on the drama of fancy swashes, Elicit Script has been created to become an essential part of the designer’s toolbox. Worthington notes that designers often wonder how to pair fonts, but Elicit Script’s variable weights and contrasts means it can pair with “pretty much anything” – from a mono weight sans serif, to a high contrast Bodoni.
Users can keep things straightforward, tidy and practical with the typeface’s simple caps, or add in swash caps if they need more exuberance and expression. Its generous spacing also means Elicit Script works well at smaller sizes – a rarity for script fonts.
“I think it’ll end up being the most versatile script font out there,” says Worthington.