Sterling Script was initially meant to a be digitization/reinterpretation of a copperplate script widely used during what effectively became the last decade of metal type: Stephenson Blake’s Youthline, from 1952. The years from 1945 to 1960 saw a heightened demand for copperplate faces, due to post-war market optimism, as well as the banking and insurance industries booming like never before, which triggered the need for design elements that express formal elegance and luxury.
The name Sterling Script is a tip of our hat to England, the Stephenson Blake foundry’s country of origin. It is also a historical hint about copperplate scripts having been used mainly for banking and bonds in the 19th century.
Originally we just wanted to resurrect a gorgeous metal type from the ashes of forgotten history. But after the main font was done we saw that the original s really needed an alternate. We made one. But we felt sorry for the original s and didn’t want to see it dropped from use altogether, so we saved it by building a set of ligatures that solve the minor connection problem with the s at large sizes. Before the completion of the ligatures, a few different alternates were also drawn, and we were faced by the fact that the single font we set out to do was now a much larger set than we anticipated. While thinking about how to split up our unexpected bundle of large characters, we drew a few more alternates and some swashes. This abundance “problem” reached a certain point where there was no looking back, so we just decided to go all the way with this font. We added many more alternates, swashes, ligatures, and two full sets of each beginning and ending lowercase letter. The result is over 750 characters of sheer elegance.
Sterling Script has many features that set it above and beyond other copperplate scripts:
- It has 2 beginning and 2 ending alternates for every single lowercase character. The beginning and ending variants on the vowels are also available in accented form in the appropriate cells of the character map.
- Sterling Script is the ultimate elegant font choice for luxury design. Very elegant, but not too soft. Its strong and confident shapes convey a message that is real, comforting and assuring.
- One of the eventual purposes of expanding Sterling Script this extensively was to create a script that finds the middle ground between formal and informal without compromising either trait, a script where the degree of formality can be gauged, tweaked, cranked up or toned down depending on the layout’s needs. Aside from beginnings and endings, there are multiple variations for the majority of the basic characters. This is a formal script on steroids, where twirls and swashes can be set to come out unexpectedly from any place in the word, which is great for reducing the inherent rigidity of words set in copperplate scripts and “humanizing” them whenever needed. This is especially useful for wedding, postcard and invitation design, where not every viewer of the collateral material has something to do with banking or insurance.
- With such an extensive character set, a designer can easily set a word or a sentence in 10 or more different ways, and choose the perfect one for the task at hand. This is particularly useful for work where details are of utmost importance, like logos, slogans, or elegant engravings that consist of one to three words. Let those swashes and twirls intertwine for maximum elegance.
The Sterling Script complete package consists of 7 fonts: Sterling Script, Alternates, Beginnings, Endings, Swashes, Swash Alternates, and Ligatures. Sterling Script is available in five different purchase options and price ranges. But with such a massive offering of variation, the Sterling Script complete package is definitely the most value-laden set in its class. Once you use Sterling Script, you will never want to go back to other copperplates.