What is the most efficient way to create cursive-styled text in Illustrator?

I'd like to create a text logo in Illustrator in a cursive/signature style, but the only methods I know (existing fonts, manual drawing, image tracing) seem tedious. Is there another way of generating cursive text, or will I have to choose one of the above methods?


Cursive logo example

  • What is tedious about using a font? Anyway tedious is not well defined so hard to say what you would consider non tedious. Are there other methods, sure but realistically you have to select one of those. (also the reason this job exists is the fact that not everyone know how to do these things, or consider them tedious).
    – joojaa
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:14
  • @joojaa Tedious in the sense that using an existing font will require modification to get exact results. I simply wanted some input in case others have done this type of work before I tried what I knew.
    – Alan
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:24
  • You realize your sample is just a font with a line drawn under it, right?
    – Scott
    Jun 1, 2015 at 17:44
  • @Scott I wasn't sure if it was a font or not, but a style similar to it is what I'm looking for. I figured some sort of visual would make it a better question.
    – Alan
    Jun 1, 2015 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


This is just really a broad question.

  1. People good with calligraphy will often create type by hand on paper, scan, trace in a vector app and clean up. Using calligraphy pens or brushes by hand will often result in unique letterforms that couldn't effectively be created digitally.

  2. Those adept with software may draw straight in an application. Some may use things like a Cintiq or tablet to assist with this -- offering the manual expression to a degree, but skipping any scan/clean up.

  3. Others may just pick a font. There are a ton of script fonts out there. Some will then modify letterforms in the font, others won't.

Depending upon your desired results and skills, any of these may be the "most efficient" way to create custom script lettering.

I've used all three. I'm not wonderful at #2 though. So I tend to use 1 and 3 most often. 1 when I've got the luxury of time and 3 when I don't and depending upon the project. I much prefer 1 when possible.

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