Hi there! My name is Hua. I am a designer and bootstrapping founder building Typogram, a brand design tool. As part of running Typogram, I create a weekly digestible visual guide about a new font with examples and case studies to help founders, creators, and makers step up their design game in branding and marketing.
img: sample of Pacifico
The way our writings look is affected by the tool we use. Script lettering is an excellent example of this. The voice of a script font is very dependent on its writing instruments. For instance, a script written with a fountain pen appears formal, while a script written with a marker, ball-point pen, or brush appears casual.
img: each tool results in a distinctive script.
Scripts like Pacifico fall in the latter category and have enjoyed a rise in popularity in recent years. Pacifico was very popular in the 2010s and was updated in 2016 to include light and bold weights thanks to its popularity. It is a casual and fun brush script that takes inspiration from 1950s American surf culture. The roundness in the strokes makes this script popular among brands that want to appear laidback and fun. We feel at ease when we look at something that feels personalized, welcoming, and effortless. Pacifico also brings a sense of retro due to its inspiration from an earlier time.
img: Pacifico’s strokes are drawn to illustrate its easiness.
It's all about casualness. Pacifico has several uppercase letters drawn in lowercase form, to appear extra laidback. The round and exaggerated stroke also make us feel at ease.
img: These are the uppercase letters of Pacifico. As you can see, a couple of the uppercase letter is actually lowercase. I outlined a few here.
This font communicates fun, easy, and retro. If your brand is looking to communicate these values to your audience, Pacifico could work for you. The light and regular are the most refreshing of the weights and can be great for logos. The bold is very thick and more suitable for statement-making items, like social media posts or packaging.
img: It is common to see brush lettering on food trucks like this one. source: fontsInUse
img: Olive Garden’s logo uses a font that is very similar to Pacifico.
img: many brands use script lettering to appear personable, fun, and laidback. Drugmaker Eli Lilly uses a stylized version of the founder's signature. source: twitter;
Pacifico is fantastic for big display text. It has a lot of character, so try using it sparingly. A good use case is when you have a few words you want to highlight on a marketing graphic. It is not best for longer pieces of text since it can be tough to read.
img: in longer texts, Pacifico is incredibly not user-friendly and hard to read.
Some uppercase letters are drawn in lowercase forms, like ‘a’ for ‘A’
Brushstrokes in uppercase letters are drawn to show a relaxed look
Perfect for brands that want to look laid back with a bit of retro
Good for making statements
(marketing, presentation, and website)
Do not use on long pieces of text
Best pair with a simple sans serif, like Roboto, Helvetica Neue
img: example paring of Pacifico and Helvetica Neue
Avoid adding letter space between letters to completely “disconnect” a script.
img: it is not best practice to separate letters of scripts
Try designing a Throwback Thursday post with Pacifico font on Twitter or Instagram!
img: summary of Pacifico in an infographic