NZ Font Info

The NZ fonts are designed in strict accordance with the current NZ style as specified in Teaching Handwriting originally published in 1985, then republished in digital form in 2008 for the NZ Ministry of Education by Learning Media Limited (ISBN 978 0 7903 3260 4; Item Number 33260; Copyright (c) 2008 Crown).*

All of the NZ fonts contain the alternate Maori forms of the uppercase and lowercase vowels. There are a number of easy ways provided to type the Maori vowels. The NZ fonts are compatible with the standard software keyboards "Maori" on Mac and "English (New Zealand)" in Windows.

All of our NZ fonts contain the special Maori vowels.

The unjoined form of the New Zealand style is NZ Basic Script GT. The transitional NZ PreCursive GT is also unjoined but the letters have cursive entries and exits which the writer needs to master as they move towards fully joined writing.

The weight of the Regular fonts is intended to match the average pen thickness of the illustrations in Teaching Handwriting. The Thick weight is approximately 170% of the Regular weight as per common typographic practice.

The NZ Basic Script GT fonts are available as Regular (with and without directional arrows), OutIined (with and without directional arrows), Dotted (with and without directional arrows) and Thick. The NZ PreCursive GT fonts are available as Regular, Thick and OutIined. These 10 fonts plus PDF Manual comprises the Beginner Pack.

When fully joined, PreCursive becomes the NZ Cursive style. The automatically-joining fully cursive font NZ Cursive GT Pro is available as a separate package with its own Manual. The NZ Cursive GT Pro font is supplied in one weight which is slightly thinner than the stand-alone NZ Basic Script GT-Regular and NZ PreCursive GT-Regular fonts to reflect the fact that, by the time the student begins cursive writing, they will be probably be using more refined writing implements such as ball-point pens etc. Also, the lighter weight allows the cursive joins to be displayed more accurately and clearly. There are no Thick, Outlined, Dotted or Directional Arrow versions in the NZ Cursive GT Pro font.

The NZ Cursive GT Pro font is a sophisticated OpenType font that will only function to its full potential in applications which are OpenType-aware and which recognize special OpenType features called Stylistic Sets. At present, the list of such applications is limited mainly to Microsoft Word and Publisher (2010/2011 & later), Apple Pages (v5.6 & later), Adobe InDesign, Quark XPress (2016 & later), CorelDRAW (X6 & later), Sketch and TextEdit. Note that the current versions of Word and Publisher only support the use of one Stylistic Set at a time providing basic joining functionality but limiting the full capabilities of the font. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (up to and including CC) do not support Stylistic Sets.

The NZ Cursive GT Pro font does not require the use of any external utility or application to create the cursive joins between letters – the joining is completely automatic, occurring in real time as letters are typed. All you need to do is select the joining level you want (see the Manual's Quick Start Guide) and start typing!

The NZ Cursive GT Pro font is a 'combo' font, providing access to the NZ Basic Script style, transitional unjoined Cursive (PreCursive – standard and advanced) and NZ Modern Cursive all within a single font file without the need to change fonts in the font menu of your application. There is no specific reference to looped cursive joining in Teaching Handwriting but the NZ Cursive GT Pro font now includes Speed-looped Cursive (Standard and Advanced) which is based on the rules and conventions used in most other Australasian modern cursive styles.

On page 13 of Teaching Handwriting one of the guidelines for cursive joining states as follows "[Diagonal] joins are not made to ascenders b, h, k, l, f, t" however in the childrens' writing samples on page 26-28 (which are the only illustrations of actual cursive joining in the whole document) joins to letters with ascenders are the norm. This apparent inconsistency has led us to the conclusion that the rule on page 13 is simply just poorly and clumsily worded and does not say what it first seems to say. We believe it does not mean that there are no joins to letters with ascenders but rather that joins should not be made to the ascender (ie the portion of the letter above the middle line aka x-height) – rather, the joins to these letters should join no higher than the middle line. We have designed the NZ Cursive GT Pro font in accordance with this interpretation. If this interpretation of the page 13 rule is incorrect then the inclusion of the samples on page 26-28 makes no sense. Furthermore, if the NZ style does actually prohibit joins to letters which have ascenders then then would make NZ the only style out of the six Australasian Foundation styles which does not specify joins to letters with ascenders – see all the styles illustrated here. All of these current Foundation styles (NSW, NZ, QLD, SA, TAS, VIC) were first devised and introduced in the 1980s using broadly the same references and educational research (mainly from the UK) so it is highly unlikely that any one style would differ fundamentally from the other five. We note that there is no commercially available NZ cursive font that we are aware of which prohibits diagonal joins to the letters with ascenders. Should you believe that the rule on page 13 should be interpreted quite literally and the samples on pages 26-28 ignored then you can turn the joining off for individual joins by selecting both letters and turning the Stylistic Set off.

The NZ Basic Script GT, NZ PreCursive GT and NZ Cursive GT Pro fonts slope to the right at an angle of 10° to the vertical as per the majority of the illustrations in Teaching Handwriting. If your application has controls for slanting text, the fonts can be slightly skewed in either direction to achieve other slopes if preferred.

The default numerals for the NZ style are lowercase-height. In addition to lowercase-height numbers and math symbols, all the fonts contain uppercase-height numbers and math symbols. Special OpenType features makes it easy to switch between the different number sizes.

All fonts can be set to display with or without horizontal guide lines (four lines/three spaces) with no need to change fonts to get the lines – just turn them on or off within your application (for instructions on how to do this see the Quick Start Guide in the manual). If you need to have coloured guidelines see our instruction document Coloured Dotted-Thirds GT_v2.1.pdf

The full multi-lingual character set for the NZ Basic Script GT-Regular and NZ Basic Script GT-Thick fonts can be viewed here.

The NZ Tight Text GT Pack is a 4-font OpenType family (Regular, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic) in the NZ style, optimised for use in text with normal linespacing. The Italics are based on the PreCursive letterforms. The height of the capital letters as well as the length of the ascenders (b, d, f, h, k, l, t) and descenders (g, j, p, q, y) have all been reduced, making normal linespacing possible. The fonts have similar proportions, size and linespacing to normal text fonts (eg Arial, Helvetica etc) at the same point size. Ideal for school newsletters, pupil's reports, worksheets, forms, websites and documents, allowing them to be written in the same recognisable style that the students are learning to write - but avoiding the very wide linespacing that you would get if you were to use our Beginner teaching fonts. Multi-Language support - contains all special characters required for Australian Aboriginal, NZ Maori, Classical Latin (Phonetic) and many other commonly-taught languages which use the latin alphabet. Enhanced Maths support, with the ability to type "true" fractions automatically.  Includes Special custom Keyboard Layout software (Mac & Windows) for use with Australian Aboriginal and Phonetic Latin  (Note - Keyboard Layouts for all the other languages are already standard with the Mac and Windows operating systems). Note these fonts don't include horizontal guidelines. Numbers are cap-height by default. Not available as individual fonts. Delivered by download. 10-computer licence. Win/Mac compatible. The NZ Tight Text GT fonts are NOT recommended for use by pupils in the very early handwriting teaching stages.

* Download free New Zealand Department of Education publication "Teaching Handwriting" 1.2MB PDF:

Download Syllabus

Please note that downloaded material is Copyright © Crown, published by Learning Media for NZ Ministry of Education.