Handsome was the first digital typeface to resemble nice, ordinary, fully cursive handwriting. Or neon.
In 2005, Handsome Pro was one of the first script typefaces to utilize the OpenType format to simulate the natural quality of writing, by automatically substituting alternate contextual glyphs.
Handsome follows the archetypal lettering style of Brush Script / Mistral / Rage for cursivity in the lowercase and a few of the caps. The rest of the characters, including the figures, are concoctions.
Handsome was drawn freehand within Fontographer, using a Wacom tablet and stylus. The technique is wickedly clean, producing a perfectly even line. For the Nib version the tablet’s pressure-sensitive feature, which is supported by Fontographer, was used to achieve the varying weight of the line, because the angle of stress is not constant. The idea of having different “pen” versions of the same style is, as far as the designer is aware, unique to Handsome, and should prove useful to art directors.
For the look of real handwriting, Handsome is most convincing at around 15 pts. At much smaller or larger sizes it works differently. At display size, the feel of the non-nib styles is very slick, more like a speedball Kauffman, owing to the smoothness of the finish.
As script fonts go, Handsome has a relatively large x-height, which can be useful copy-fitting text, if you don’t want it to look too small.