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The Sketchnote Typeface

MY SECRET WEAPON in designing The Sketchnote Handbook was a family of custom fonts. I saved literally hundreds of hours by using this typeface, produced in partnership with my friend, Delve Withrington of Delve Fonts

Drawing characters for The Sketchnote Handbook font.

I’m pleased to announce The Sketchnote Typeface is available for purchase! The typeface was in production for over a year, so it feels great to release it.

Creating The Sketchnote Typeface Family

The Sketchnote Typeface was built for production work. The four fonts in the set were created for The Sketchnote Handbook to represent handwritten text and headline fonts, and they worked wonderfully for that purpose.

Sketchnote Text 5Js

Sketchnote Text, Italic and Bold were built from hundreds of hand-drawn glyphs, and variations on glyphs. These added characters allowed Delve to create Contextual Alternates — multiple variations on each character which help recreate variations in handwriting and can be accessed with tools that support this OpenType feature, like InDesign.

The Sketchnote Typeface gets closer to release! These are proof sheets from @delvew

Sketchnote Square, on the other hand, was drawn, scanned and vectorized by me and sent to Delve for perfecting the forms and placing each character into a font. Square is also unique in that it has many dingbats added from the book and other sources, like telephones, R2D2 and my dog Rufus.

Can't forget the Sketchnote Square dingbats! /cc @delvew

Now you can use the same set of fonts in a more perfected format to convey a warm, hand-drawn feel on your next print or web project.

We worked hard to include international characters, for setting text in languages like German, French, Italian and more. See the font specimen PDF and character set for a full list of languages.

Sketchnote Typeface: fully stocked w/ funky characters for many languages by @delvew

The Sketchnote Type Family: Details

There are four members of The Sketchnote Typeface family:

  • Sketchnote Text - This is a friendly, casual script with a bouncy baseline and a warm texture. To emulate natural handwriting, OpenType features automatically switch between multiple versions of each letter or number, with over 240 Contextual Alternates in each text font. OpenType kerning classes are used with unique kerns made to tame pairings of all those wily alternates for consistent spacing.


  • Sketchnote Italic - This is the italic version of the text font, including Contextual Alternates.


  • Sketchnote Bold - This is the bold version of the text font, including Contextual Alternates.


  • Sketchnote Square - Sketchnote Square is a bold, somewhat compressed headline type that complements the text fonts. Drawn instead of written, the characters in Square have neat little happenstance voids within the strokes.


  • Sketchnote Square Dingbats - Sketchnote Square is a handy selection of fun icons, rules, and arrows—functional tidbits for your design projects that syncs perfectly with Sketchnote Square.


Sketchnote Typeface Webfonts

The Sketchnote Typeface is available as a separate webfont too. Optimized for use on the web and ready to go as a self-hosted solution, they are packaged in four formats (WOFF, EOT, SVG & TTF) needed to perform in a variety of popular web browsers and platforms.

Sketchnote Square and Sketchnote Text are also available as webfonts at TypeKit if you're a user of that service and prefer not to self-host your fonts. A TypeKit Portfolio subscription at $49/year includes the Sketchnote Font.

Font Applications and Details

Sketchnote Text is intended for use at smaller sizes, for longer bits of copy in magazines, books, and websites. Sketchnote Square is best used at larger sizes for headlines, titles, packaging, etc. Use them together for a consistent style or paired with other typefaces. Either way, Sketchnote is great for a variety of projects where a hand-crafted aesthetic and ease-of-use are desired.

Sketchnote Handbook: Real-Time Sketchnoting

The texture of Sketchnote is the result of actual ink-spread on paper, captured in scans of the written letterforms and left intact during production to preserve that feeling. Under the hood, the texture was carefully edited by hand, eliminating outline errors and keeping the point count low for optimal performance. These fonts are crafted to the highest industry standards.

Sketchnote Typeface Pricing

Individual fonts are affordably priced at $29 each but the best deal is the complete family of fonts for $99 — giving you everything you need in one set.

Webfonts for self-hosting are available separately for the same one-time pricing: $29 each, $99 for the family. The base webfont license is a generous 500k pageviews/month — great for most websites.

The webfont is also available at TypeKit at the Portfolio level ($49/year). Here are links to Sketchnote Square and Sketchnote Text.

Buy button

You can purchase the fonts directly from Delve Fonts or at

App Licensing

If you're a developer looking to add Sketchnote Typefaces to your app, we would love to talk with you about licensing. Contact Delve Withrington for details and pricing to best suit your needs.

I can’t wait to see what kinds of projects you will make with these fonts. I know how valuable they were for The Sketchnote Handbook, and I hope they are valuable for you, too!

Reader Comments (27)

I've wondered as I've been enjoying the book whether you used a font of your own handwriting to create parts of the book. And now I know. So excited about this! I looks great.

May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick

Most impressive, gentlemen. Hooked into TypeKit as well? Brilliant.
Congratulations on the completion of a ton of work, well-executed. Very proud of this.

May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLuke Dorny

I'd like to include this font inside an iPad app so that my customers can use this font to create slide-like tiles.

Who do I contact about this type of licensing?

May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher Allen

Christopher - drop Delve a line at Delve Fonts and he'll set you up.

May 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Many thanks for what was obviously much labor and applied expertise. I'm not sure I'll need to publish anything that uses the font exclusively, but it should be marvelous for letters and notes that are part of novels and biographies. The usual note fonts look cheap in that context.

For those who're part of Adobe's Creative Cloud, Typekit is included in the subscription.

May 29, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichael W. Perry

I can't seem to get the dingbats to show up in Word for Mac...any suggestions?

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTruman

Truman - I've found this at Apple Support:

I'm also going to alert Delve about your comment and have him weigh in on this here.

May 30, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Hi Truman,

If you are using MS Word for Mac 2010 or newer, you will need to access the "Stylistic Sets".
Here are instructions for doing so:

If however, you are using an older version of Word for Mac, you will need to use the Mac OS Character Palette. Here are instructions for accessing that:

I hope this helps. Feel free to get in touch if I can be of any further assistance.

Delve Withrington

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDelve Withrington

Same issue with trying to find dingbats on a Mac (including character viewer).

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Ridings


Sorry to hear it is being troublesome for you. I will help however I can. Please give a bit more info about the situation - either here or via email: delvefonts (at) gmail and I will find a solution.


May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDelve Withrington

Thanks Delve, the issue is that I simply cannot find the dingbats portion of the font anywhere. The question is whether they were part of the installation, and if so how one would access those characters for use (I've looked under the mac character viewer)

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatt Ridings

It seems from the comments on this page at my fonts that on MacOS X only InDesign will support the 'advanced features' of these fonts. Which I take to mean the alternative characters etc.
Is that a fair interpretation?
Sad if it is.


May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDaveG

Unfortunately the character view in Lion does not allow you to select a font, so I too am having difficulty in seeing the dingbats for this font.

Other apps often have an .rtf file in the download that has all the odd characters in it. Worst case you can copy and paste from it.

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristopher Allen

Matt & Dave, If you are using Creative Suite, they can be accessed via the glyph palette in Illustrator and InDesign. In Photoshop, from the character panel options, choose OpenType > Ornaments. Doing so will turn A-Z, a-z, 0-9 into dingbats.

May 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDelve Withrington

Hi Everyone,

Great News! To address the difficulty some folks are experiencing getting easy access to the dingbats, I have made a standalone Dingbats font that is now included with the desktop Sketchnote (family) and Square (single) font packages. This was already the case for the webfonts package, because of the current lack of OT feature support in most browsers. I also updated the accompanying type specimen PDF to include a handy key chart for accessing the dingbat glyphs.

If you have already purchased the destktop font Sketchnote (family) or Square (single) package look for an email from me with the new Dingbat font attached. Get in touch with me if for some reason you do not receive it.


June 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDelve Withrington

Very beautiful, and thank you for adding "international characters". One small nit: In the "Æ" letter the A and E are supposed to share the middle "stem" (not sure what the parlance is), as you did in Sketchnote Text.

In Sketchnote Square however they are almost just like two separate letters a little too close together.

Hope you enjoyed my nitpicking. :-)

June 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAsk Bjørn Hansen

Thanks for the kind words and nitpick! I will talk to Delve about tweaking that Æ glyph. :-)

June 4, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

Great! I now need a monospaced version so that I can code with it!

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterVictor

I've been kicking that idea around! Lots of work, but maybe!

June 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

@DaveG I was under the impression that Mellel can also access the advanced features of OpenType fonts, in the same way as InDesign. Can anyone confirm whether that is the case?

June 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Dear Mike, Delve:
I'm very excited about the availabilty of your font and the benefits they offer.

If I purchase a set for myself, do I have to purchase a second set for a designer or freelancer I'm working with?

Likewise, the Webfonts versions.

I'm looking forward to URL links to websites featuring your fonts.


June 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRoger C. Parker


Your questions just came to my attention.

The base license is for up to five users, so yourself and four colleagues are covered. To add more folks later, get in touch with me for an upgrade—an additional license would not be necessary.

The webfonts are a different animal. They are for use on a web server and are not installable as desktop fonts. That said, as a matter of common practice, web devs can have the webfonts in a local directory, referenced by their CSS files as the site is built/maintained. Usage is measured by averaged site pageviews per month, up to 500k for the base license.

Hopefully that helps to clarify things.

I too am looking forward to seeing all the fantastic things folks are making with Mike's Sketchnote Typeface!


June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDelve Withrington


Just saw your comment regarding the AE. Thank you for the good feedback. I agree, it is an unconventional join for that ligature, which may trip up readers. Mike and I will look into revising it for a future update to the font.


June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDelve Withrington

@Rick @DaveG

I can confirm that Mellel (3.1.3) has support for OpenType features. However, the Contextual Alternates must be activated from the Character palette > Attributes (near bottom). As best I can tell, the dingbats must be accessed via the standalone Sketchnote Dingbats font in Mellel.


June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDelve Withrington

Hi Guys, first up thank you so much for this wonderful font. It was exactly what I was looking for. The only problem I'm having is I don't know how to access the wingding part of the font. I'm using it via Typekit on my site at

How do I use the wingdings?

Thanks again, Mark

June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark Gibson

Hi Mark,

Unfortunately, Typekit does not currently offer webfont versions of dingbats, wingdings, etc. at all. Get in touch with me: delvefonts (at) gmail if you are open to self-hosting the sketchnote dingbats webfont.

Delve Withrington

June 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDelve Withrington

The Sketchnote Typeface is now available at!

June 29, 2013 | Registered CommenterMike Rohde

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