The DOMINICAN set began with a font from Dan X. Solo’s series from Dover, name and all. Of course it’s designed to look like corroded old type. It’s a good alternative from the overused Caslon Antique. Subsequently I created companion fonts of italics and small caps.
DYNAMOTOR is my hand-drawn take-off of the classic font Dynamo. Dynamotor has the texture of diagonal crayon strokes which complements the bold, active letterforms. Looks great reversed for a chalk or scratchboard look.
GUADALUPE is based on the architectural lettering at the Basilica of Guadalupe in Mexico City. The current building was built in 1974-1976 and was designed by the architect Pedro Ramírez Vásquez. What really appealed to me, of course, was the lettering inside and out. Rustic and random, it’s very different from the usual metal letters I’d seen on buildings. Suggests early Christian texts and incorporates Greek forms: the phi-like Q, the chi-rho Rs, the cruciform Ts.
HANGOVER SQUARE is a set of 3 fonts with an early-1960s style. They were inspired by the handlettered titles of the 1964 mad-ventriloquist thriller Devil Doll, set in London as it was beginning to swing. Read more…
PESSIMA combines elegance and corrosion. It was inspired by the opening titles of the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the 1978 version, my favorite, directed by Philip Kaufman, titles by Pacific Title). It appears to be a corroded, bold version of Optima*, Hermann Zapf’s classic “serifless roman” from 1958. In the film, the corrosion varies from letter to letter and cleverly suggests the biologic horror to come.
QUINCE is a brush script with a different attitude. The basic letterforms were inspired by Murray Hill (Emil J. Klumpp, 1956). I’ve completely redrawn the letterforms with a rough “art brush” to produce an expressive, painterly line, rather than a pen line. Could be crayon, lipstick, of graffiti. More “Bratz®” than “Barbie®”.
REPENT was inspired by the work of Jesse Howard (1885-1983), a folk/outsider/naive artist. I first saw his work in Self-Taught Artists of the 20th Century, published as an exhibition catalog by the Museum of American Folk Art. What is striking to me about Howard’s work is the intense effort contained in his paintings-as-rants, and the overall texture of their deliberate lettering. Howard’s work can be seen in the collection of the Kansas City (MO) Art Institute.
SALMAGUNDI is a quirky font, a tasty melange of various typestyles, tossed together for homemade flavor.
SALMAGUNDI was inspired by the sign on the left, on the bus line between Oakland and Berkeley. After staring at it every day, intrigued by the earnest signmaker’s combination of various fonts and his own imagination, I had to get a picture of it and later expand it to a full font.
The SONNET fonts were inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnets as published by Thomas Thorpe, 1609, just 400 years ago. Working from a facsimile edition, I selected the clearest examples of each character while preserving the overall texture of the original printing. A good alternative to the overused Caslon Antique.
The graceful italics appear only occasionally in the Sonnets, usually to embellish a proper name. To complete the Italic and Swash Caps fonts, I studied a facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, published by Edward Blount and William & Isaac Jaggard, 1623. Complete set includes 5 fonts: Regular, with lining figures; OsF, with authentic old-style figures; Small Caps, Italic and Swash Caps.
STAGE LEFT was inspired by the iconic poster for the movie version of “West Side Story.” Designed by Joe Caroff—not Saul Bass as is often stated—the poster suggests a gritty but playful urban energy. It’s basically large and small caps but I’ve designed it so the big T, L, and F interlock with other small letters. Read more…
XOXO was inspired by a shopping bag I picked up in Tlaquepaque, México. The quirky lettering and imperfect printing on plastic were irresistible. With two versions of each letter for a more random feel as you can see in “XOXO” in the image on this page.