The ALBANITA fonts were inspired by the city of Albany, New York, my hometown for over 30 years. Albany has a distinctive look and character that has often influenced my work, and that I’ve deliberately tried to capture here, if not literally. There are no “Egg” shaped letters, no Dutch-style peaks, no bricks.
The 2 ALÚMINO fonts were inspired by font designed for Alcoa, the aluminum company. Sleek, clean, modern, light and flexible. I’ve also made a narrower version with the same stroke weight, although it appears somewhat darker overall.
ATLAS was inspired by the classic analog Art Deco font. My first version of it–the one with stripes–was originally named Farouk, as it was called in the first reference I found, but I later changed it to conform with period sources (left). I’ve also recreated the companion Solid font; both are completely redrawn with very clean edges.
BARRIL is my digital interpretation of a “lost” analog font called Barrio. I started with a scan from a dry-transfer catalog (thanks, Jeff). I know it was produced originally by Neufville, but that’s all the information I have. Totally 70s!
For my own amusement, I made a second inline version called Barril Doble. Great for layering.
Baselina is a stylish, squarish font that hugs the baseline, suggestive of Art Deco and neon signs. In four weights: Light, Regular, Bold and Extra Bold. Inspired by the hand-lettered titles of the Fleischer brothers’ animated film “Mr. Bug Goes to Town” (1941)
Bezel is an Art Deco font with a contemporary twist. Bezel starts with geometric forms but adds modern proportions and a sleek curve for a fresh feel. The set Bevel was inspired by this TV ad for Las Vegas and then expanded to include 4 decorative variations: Black, White, Diamond, and Shimmer.
CARTEL was inspired by the logo of OPEC, Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Rigorously geometric to the point of near illegibility, Cartel could add an exotic touch in a futuristic or retro context.
EGYPTIAN REVIVAL is an exotic retro font with geometric flourishes. It was inspired by the single word EGYPT on an old book, sketched at left. It’s named for a style of European decorative arts that uses Egyptian motifs. I imagined I was an early 20th-century designer, influenced by Art Deco and the discovery of King Tut’s tomb. There are regular and inline versions, each including some alternate letterforms.
FONT SHUI was inspired by a style of hand-lettering illustrated in “Alphabets: Ancient & Modern,” compiled by J. B. Russell (Padell, 1946). It was referred to as “Modern Oriental Alphabet” there and no designer was named. The font blends the appearance of the most ancient Chinese characters with a sleek Art Deco style.
Like its predecessor, Gaumont, GAINSBOROUGH was inspired by the hand-lettered titles of an Alfred Hitchcock film. The Lady Vanishes (1938) was produced by Gaumont-British, and is identified as “A Gainsborough Picture” in the opening credits. Another quirky sans serif.
The GOYA fonts (including light, medium, heavy, ultra, and inline)were inspired by the logo of the GOYA® food products company. Another Art Deco font–like Red Circle–but this time with a preference for the circle over the square.
HARDLINE is an Op art font with a groovy, 60s/70s vibe, all geometric forms composed of parallel lines. It was inspired by the 3-letter logo at right, from an envelope my friend Dan gave me. (USU has apparently changed their logo.) This font is really fun when it’s used big and kerned so tightly that the letters overlap, creating cool moiré patterns as in the animation above. I’ve included a number of alternate letterforms in the lowercase positions for greater flexibility.
LE FILM is my digital interpretation of the classic analog Art Deco font of the same name.
Le Film (variously known as Film and Initiales Film) was designed by Marcel Jacno and released in 1927 by Deberny & Peignot of Paris. The characters are conceived as a line of three-dimensional forms viewed from the front and slightly to the right. The letters are negative white shapes defined by the background pattern of elliptical black dots and the solid black “sides” of the 3-D letter.
LIBELED LADY was inspired by the hand-lettered titles of the film of the same name (1936). It’s an enjoyable romantic comedy directed by Jack Connolly and starring Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy, art directed by Cedric Gibbons , William A. Horning, and Edwin B. Willis.
METRO-DF was inspired by a trip to Mexico City. The official signage of the Mexico City subway uses a peculiar adaptation of the classic font Eurostile, designed by Aldo Novarese. The capital E was most unusual. The overall feel was of a past vision of the future, with a distinctively Mexican touch. (The squared circle, or rounded square, is very common in both old and new Mexican design.
MILKY WAY was inspired by an Art Deco alphabet seen in late 1930s Speedball lettering books by Ross F. George. A “future past” look, like the 1939 Worlds Fair and Tomorrowland. Originally, George directed that the distinctive white dots were to be made by spattering white ink with a toothbrush. The degree of detail in the Regular version of this font means it should be used fairly big, and that it’s a big file.
ONION was inspired by an unidentified font included in Art Deco Initials, selected and arranged by Carol Belanger Grafton [Dover, 1991; "selected from rare periodicals (mostly European), type catalogs and printed ephemera ofthe 20s and 30s."]
RED CIRCLE was inspired by the font formerly used on the Eight O’Clock brand coffees. These brands (which were sold at A&P stores) included Bokar and Red Circle. The smell of fresh ground coffee and this lettering are forever linked in my memory.
The 4 RÉPUBLIQUE fonts were inspired by the lettering on this style of Paris Metro sign, designed by the architect Adolphe Dervaux and first installed in 1924. This design coexists with the more famous Art Nouveau “Metropolitain” signs, designed by Hector Guimard in 1900 and made of sinuous wrought iron. The “Candelabra Dervaux” uses simpler Art Deco letterforms, cut out of red metal, and illuminated from the back. The double row of stencil-style supports resembles train tracks.