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Font Fight! Wisdom Script vs Thirsty Script

alt:Font-Fight: Wisdom Script vs Thirsty Script -
Font-Fight: Wisdom Script vs Thirsty Script -

Are Wisdom Script and Thirsty Script the same thing?

Just kidding, it’s not really a fight, but it could have been. I’m sure you’ve noticed the ultra popular typefaces, Wisdom Script and Thirsty Script ALL OVER the place: websites, WordPress themes, ads, Starbucks, walls and tv!

It’s easy to see why. I too fell in love with their curvy, vintage styles before I even realized they were two different fonts being used.

Wisdom’s characters have straighter sides while Thirsty’s are slightly rounded. Wisdom has one style and weight and Thirsty offers 6 different weights (light to black), shadow layers, ligatures and alternates.

You can buy Thirsty Script from for $49 but you can get Wisdom Script from Lost Type Co-op for…. FREE?

I decided to look into this further because I felt kind of bad using a free copycat of a paid typeface if that’s indeed what Wisdom Script was.

Who Copied Who?

What I actually found out was, Ryan Martinson of Yellow Design Studio (creator of the popular Melany Lane font) actually used James Edmonson’s Wisdom Script as his inspiration. Interesting.

A thread was begun on Typophile in May of 2012 about this because obviously I’m not the only one who noticed how similar these two typeface were. James was called into the discussion and it turned out he had never been attributed or notified by Yellow Design Studio.

Being the nice guy he seems to be,* James stated that even though Ryan had copied at least 75% of his design, he had actually improved upon James’ own typeface. He was hesitant to do anything about the situation, but some people on the thread were worried about the implications this could have on future copying so they urged him to contact Ryan.

*Super interesting video on how James Edmonson approaches typography. How could you not like this guy?

How Does It End?

Ryan later joined the discussion at Typophile also and he agreed that he had in fact used much of Wisdom Script (along with Deftone Stylus and Lobster) as his inspiration. He also said that he and James had come to an agreement to share revenues and give proper attribution.

All is well that ends well! So go and download Wisdom Script for free if you want to and don’t feel guilty about it! But you can also help a fellow designer and give him a donation of your choice.

Ready to Get Creative?

Download one or both here:
Thirsty Script from
Wisdom Script from Lost Type Co-op

Then learn how to pair it with another font or two, find awesome free web fonts and add web fonts to your blog using the Beginner’s Guide to Fonts for Your Blog.

Your Turn

What do you think about copying designs? Since Ryan had improved upon the original design and also introduced different variations of it, was he right to charge for it? Which font would you download and why?

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  • Stu says:

    If I was using the font for printed material, I’d definitely buy Thirsty. To play with design-y stuff, Wisdom all the way.

    Personally, the “improvements” make charging for Thirsty completely appropriate. The difference between a designed bold font and graphic programs’ faux bold can be disgustingly noticeable in print. Some web browsers (Safari) also attempt to create a bold font by adding a text-shadow when there is no bold weight font available. This can lead to some wonky text display on mobile – and really frustrating to fix if you don’t know about it.

    Kudos to James for his attitude towards it. More proof that karma is king.


    • Marianne says:

      Hey Stu,
      I wasn’t sure at first if the improvements made were enough to justify charging for Thirsty. But you do make a good point, he did create multiple weights and variations of the font. I am glad that they were able to settle amicably because then it makes me feel like there is no bad guy here 🙂 Thanks for adding your 2 cents!

  • Bobbi Emel says:

    Interesting, Marianne! Who knew there were (gentle) font fights?

    I have to say, being a non-designer and not having an ounce of designerishness in my blood, that all of these fonts rather overwhelm me. Do you have any advice how to browse fonts without freaking out?


  • fizz says:

    Stumbled across this searching for latest trends in fonts and especially italics – I’m a big fan of Lobster, which is similar to Wisdom and Thirsty of course but I think Lobster can win out on clarity over the other two depending on what letters are being used.

    So far I’ve not felt the need to pay out for Thirsty, but I can see that time coming. The danger of course with such ‘on-trend’ fonts is that eventually everyone picks up on them and you can potentially find yourself with a logo font that is facing a bit of a backlash.

    • Marianne says:

      Lobster is a good font to be sure, but I find the characters to be a lot thicker.

      As for using a trendy font in a logo, I couldn’t agree with you more. It is a little dangerous to use super trendy ones just because they tend to get overused for a while and then people get sick of them.

      For a logo I’d stick to something that’s a little more classic looking or maybe not so highly used.

  • Hi Marianne,

    I know this is a super old post, but thanks for taking the time to write this up! I appreciate you doing the research and getting to the bottom of it. Feel free to get in touch if you ever have questions about this or other font matters.


    • Marianne says:

      Hi James, thanks for checking it out! I hope I did you justice 🙂 I featured some of your fonts again last week, I just love them!

      • Aw thanks Marianne! I appreciate it. For the record, Lavanderia isn’t actually free, it’s pay-what-you-want for personal, non-profit, or educational use. For commercial use it’s $60.00. But still I appreciate the post!

  • JP says:

    It’s 2020 and your article is still relevant and helpful! I had no idea this was going on with Wisdom font! I’m using it for a logo for a local volleyball academy but made some artistic adjustments. Was trying to research who I need to pay licensing to since it seems like Lost Type’s website isn’t that active (website copyright year is still 2019). Sent them a msg but no response yet. But anyways, this has been a cool story to research, even just finding out about James and all the cool works he’s done/doing.

    • Marianne says:

      That’s awesome JP! Glad you found it helpful in your research. I believe Lost Type is still around, they probably just haven’t updated their copyright notice. Did they ever reply?

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