Best Real Pen Alternative for Handwritten Fonts

By: Andrew Glover
September 30, 2019

In a mailbox full of computer-generated letters, audiences are intrigued by handwritten messages. As direct mail strategies continue to evolve, new technologies allow you to quickly generate handwritten notes without needing a real person to handwrite every letter. But some techniques provide higher quality products while keeping costs lower. Real Pen is a handwritten technology, but a better-handwritten option is available.

MyFont is the best alternative to Real Pen for handwritten fonts. MyFont allows you to produce handwritten messages on envelopes, letters, and other direct mail materials. MyFont and Real Pen may seem similar when it comes to the end result, but there are many differences between how the two technologies work. Importantly, those differences impact how much you’ll spend. Your organization can make the right decision by understanding the differences between Real Pen and MyFont.

Comparing Real Pen and MyFont

Real Pen and MyFont achieve a similar result (handwritten fonts for direct mail) but are different in many ways. Let’s take a closer look at how they compare.

How They Work

Real Pen machines allow the user to insert their own ballpoint pen. Real Pen’s technology is called a plotting machine. The customization of the pen and ink seem appealing, but it can result in a messier appearance than MyFont.

MyFont doesn’t use actual pens. Instead, it’s completely digital. The machine randomly selects spacing and character variation as it prints. There are four-character versions for each letter, so the writing appears handwritten even though it’s digital. Everything down to the printing method and the ink used is designed to mimic real pen and ink in the end result.


Real Pen’s quality is at the whim of the quality of the pen. If a poor pen is selected, then the written quality on paper is poor. Since MyFont is fully digital, the quality is never a concern because it doesn’t rely on a real pen.

Since a real pen is needed, Real Pen requires close monitoring. Pens have a limited amount of ink, and someone needs to be ready to switch the pen once the ink is low. MyFont doesn’t require close monitoring because the ink is from a printer that can hold a larger quantity of ink.


MyFont is easy to scale since the entire process is almost entirely automated. Real Pen requires more observation by workers, which makes it a difficult option to use for scaling. MyFont allows for full mail production speeds of around 5,000 pieces per hour. Valtim’s MyFont costs only 2 or 3 cents to produce each piece. MyFont’s cost is around 90 percent less than the price of using a plotting machine-like Real Pen, which is about 25 cents per piece.

Return on Investment

Valtim tested MyFont and Real Pen against each other. In one experiment, Valtim sent 14,000 mail pieces to a car dealership. Valtim split the hand-addressing between MyFont and Real Pen.  Page capture, calls, emails, and on-site visits helped measure responses. After four weeks, each option received a nearly identical number of responses. MyFont performed on-par with Real Pen (response rate) but with a significantly better ROI since MyFont is easier to scale and a lower cost per piece.

MyFont Example
MyFont Example – Click to enlarge

About MyFont

MyFont offers a unique approach to producing handwritten products. Unlike plotting machine options such as Real Pen, MyFont is fully digital. The digital approach achieves a superior result. Mail equipment manufacturers, ink providers, and IT professionals helped develop MyFont. MyFont is designed to automate the process as much as possible while creating a result that appears visually crafted by a human hand.

MyFont offers multiple different font styles that provide variations in lettering. The variations create the effect that a human wrote the message. The slight differences in consonants and vowels add to the human-produced appearance.

While addressing an envelope, the machine chooses a different version of each letter. The printing sprays the lettering with slightly different spacing as well. MyFont uses high-resolution print quality to imitate human writing.

Choose Valtim’s MyFont For Your Next Direct Mail Campaign

Audiences prefer handwritten communications. With Valtim’s MyFont application, you can produce and scale handwritten projects very quickly. Adding this level of personalization to your direct mail campaigns will give you a better return on investment and provide a better member experience. MyFont is a better alternative compared to Real Pen for all the reasons provided above. Contact Valtim to find out how to use MyFont for your next direct mail campaign.

Subscribe for the latest blog posts:

Have an inquiry?

Subscribe for the latest blog posts:

Who is Valtim
Marketing Solutions?

With 30 years of experience, our blog shares information we have learned that are essential to anyone working in the business of marketing, print, campaigns, and all things mail.

We hope you comment, share, and are able to glean helpful information. Feel free to reach out, we would be happy to hear from you.

Relevant Posts

5 Considerations for a Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Direct mail is a fantastic way to win more members and encourage existing members to continue supporting your mission. It is crucial to consider your design and what your message says when preparing your mail piece. A successfully administered direct mail campaign can boost your brand awareness and spread your mission. Unlike other forms of marketing, sending direct mail to a physical address ensures that your message and branding reach your target audience’s hands.

5 High-Impact Direct Mail Marketing Strategies for Non-Profits

In a time with extremely saturated digital media, direct mail allows modern non-profit organizations to add unique and personal components to their marketing campaigns. Let’s explore the ways your non-profit can expand its reach and improve the effectiveness of your marketing strategies with direct mail.

How to Define Direct Mail Target Market

Your organization must first identify your typical member and tailor your marketing to build a solid foundation. Targeting a specific market doesn’t mean you are excluding people who don’t fit your criteria. Target marketing empowers you to direct your marketing budget and brand message on a pinpointed market that is more likely to interact with you than other markets. A direct mail target market effort is an affordable, efficient, and effective way to reach prospects and grow your membership.