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A blog about branding, marketing, and design, mostly through the lens of practical psychology, intended to be a resource to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Unless otherwise noted, all articles are written by Nyla Smith, owner of n-Vision Designs. {Subscribe to the RSS feed here: RSS}

Fonts That Make Me Giddy: Catalina

Nyla Smith | Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Hand drawn fonts are all the rage right now, and I love it. In a digital age where everything is shiny and technical and precisely perfect, it is nice to be reminded of the freedom, the quirkiness, the imperfect humanity of the handmade.

One of the typefaces that makes me happy is Catalina by Kimmy Kirkwood. The Catalina font family includes a bunch of wonderfully organic fonts, giving you options for variety, yet they still cohesively work beautifully together. And when I say options, I mean options — We've got quite a few...

Catalina Anacapa (Sans & Slab)

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I love that there are both slab and serif styles to this tall, thin, all caps font. Plus, stylistic alternatives for select letters, and contextual alternates! The hand drawn nature is apparent in the sketch-like irregularity of the strokes.

Catalina Avalon (Sans & Slab)

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Catalina Avalon, also tall, thin, and all caps, has a high contrasting line weight, along with an inline style. As with Catalina Anacapa, we've got alternates and small caps for both slab and serif styles.

Catalina Clemente

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Catalina Clemente, with an open, rounded quality to the letterforms,  is not as narrow as the previous two. Since it also includes lowercase letters, it can work well for body copy.

Catalina Script

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What type family would be complete without a script style? Catalina Script provides a feminine cursive flair to complement the other fonts in the family. Again, it comes with OpenType features of contextual alternates (with two variations for each letter) and special ligatures.

Catalina Typewriter

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Catalina Typewriter is another lovely variant, with open rounded letters that allow it to work well as either body copy or headlines. 

Catalina Flourishes and Extras (graphic ornaments)

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Two other fonts are Catalina Flourishes and Catalina Extras. These arrows, banners, flourishes, borders, and other graphic elements are all drawn in the same style to integrate perfectly into the family. What else could you ask for?

Where to use Catalina

This is a fun type family — perfect for small, local companies who want to convey a non-corporate, friendly brand. It can work for bakeries, craftspeople, day cares or children's books, local organic restaurants, tea shops, ice cream shops (or shoppes — it seems almost mandatory to spell it that way). I could see it being used for family-friendly outdoor entertainment such as state fairs and festivals or on circus posters. Anything handmade. Need I go on?

I'm stashing this one away for the next time I need to design something with a casual, handcrafted quality. Can't wait to use it! 

(If you want to grab Catalina for yourself, I recommend heading over to I've been using MyFonts for most of my career, and they are always my first stop for exploring and purchasing fonts.)

Nyla Smith is a Graphic Designer, Web Designer, Front-End Web Developer and Consultant with over 13 years of experience. She is the owner of n-Vision Designs, LLC in Hampton, Virginia, which exists to provide marketing support and brand consulting to small- and medium-sized businesses needing creative solutions. Contact Nyla if you'd like to discuss your next creative project. She can usually be bribed to a meeting with a cup of green tea and an oatmeal cookie.
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