-Hand-Lettered-

Traftoon is a set of three fonts that look like neat, slightly sloped hand lettering done with a brush and ink. Casual but not child-like, with full upper and lowercase, Traftoon offers an attractive and flexible alternative to many similar fonts such as Balloon and Comic Sans. Traftoon was inspired by Howard Trafton’s Cartoon Light and Cartoon Bold of 1936. My friend Vista Bill got me started on this. Cartoon Bold exists in digital form under various names. The Light had not been previously digitized and neither included lowercase originally. In creating these, I maintained the quirks of the originals… continued

The Wm Blake fonts were inspired by the work of the great English poet and artist. William Blake (1757-1827) wrote, illustrated, lettered, printed, and hand-colored his “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience”, inventing a new form of printmaking along the way, all very inspirational to me as a printmaker and font designer. These fonts maintain the romantic charm of Blake’s original hand lettering—quite different from typeset—in both roman and italic forms as he used.

BIRDWHISTLE is a handwriting font with an artistic flair. Inspired by notes from the artist Willie Marlowe, Birdwhistle is like its namesake: pretty, playful, distinctive and a little unpredictable. Birdwhistle mixes upper- and lowercase in a creative way, and includes alternate characters for an even more spontaneous look. Willie is a dear friend, longtime colleague, and marvelous artist with an international reputation; please check out her paintings. Using 25 years of her notes and letters to me, I made Birdwhistle, striving to keep some of the whimsy and spontaneity of the original. Here is a sample of her handwriting.

SPREZZATURA is a fun, casual font with the whimsy of a love note and the boldness of a protest sign. Sprezzatura looks like brush and ink lettering because that’s how it started. The OpenType font also makes use stylistic alternates and ligatures for a totally hand-lettered effect. Available with and without the spatters.

Factura is a set of fonts that looks hand-carved. The letters are drawn almost entirely with straight lines, with offbeat shapes and jagged edges that can seem alternately playful or sinister. Inspired by Saul Bass’s classic poster for “Vertigo,” Factura has two widths and full upper- and lowercase. The “Rough” version of each font reproduces the block print technique I used in the design process.

ARTISAN BREAD is a set of three fonts with the feel of earnest, informal hand-craftsmanship. Each combines an “organic” texture with a whimsical approach to letter shapes and case. Available in 3 weights, Thin, Thick and Regular.

AFFICHE is a set of fonts that resemble hand-painted signs, somewhat casual but with a distinctive and professional style. The direct inspiration for AFFICHE is the hand-lettered titles of François Truffaut’s classic 1959 New Wave film “Les Quatre Cents Coups” (The 400 Blows). I love the squarish shape of the Q and O and the slight incline. There is no lower case; use small caps as they did in the film. These fonts contain an extended character set to accommodate most all the languages of Europe that use the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic alphabets. Available in Regular, Light and 3-D.

POPSTREET is a pair of fonts inspired by the work of Keith Haring (1958-1990) an artist whose work referenced both Pop and street art. Haring first became known for his graffiti-style drawings done in the subway, but was also respected for his gallery work and public art, his accessible, affordable design, and his social activism. The set includes an Outline and a Fill font that can be used separately or layered together in different colors.

THANKSGIVING was inspired by this handlettered “Buzza-type” motto (left). Grandma would have had a couple of these homilies tacked up in little frames. My partner, Al, collects them and I became interested in the lettering on this one in particular. The feel is of handlettering in imitation of print, rather than the other way around. Includes upper and lowercase, numbers, punctuation, and international characters.

SYNCOPATED SCRIPT was loosely inspired by the work of the painter Stuart Davis. His jazzy canvases bridge Cubism and Pop Art, often featuring words, written in this style and others. Davis’s work always seems fresh and inventive to me. After looking at all the reproductions of Davis’s paintings I could find, I used some of his writings and my own intuition to fill out the alphabet. I’ve tried to maintain both the erratic, jumpy quality and the continuous linking. The originals were painted; these feel as if they were cut out of paper. Includes caps, lowercase, punctuation, numbers, several alternates… continued

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