RUDLAND HAND is a calligraphic font, inspired by the work of the British artist and designer Peter Rudland. As explained in his book From Scribble to Script (John De Graff, 1956) Rudland was an advocate of this style of script–italic hand–as a way to improve one’s handwriting. So although it may seem like ornamental calligraphy, Rudland intended that ordinary people would develop this beautiful, flowing, pen lettering. You could use the font as a resource for practicing your own script or, if your handwriting is as hopeless as mine, a convenient substitute.
SCREWBALL was inspired by the hand-lettered titles of the movie “What’s Up, Doc?,” Madeline Kahn’s first film. I’m offering this font for free, in Madeline’s memory, but ask that you send a contribution ($5 would be really nice) to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund or National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. THANK YOU!
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.
STUPID COW is a rustic font that looks hand painted. It suggests weak sign-painting skills rather than ignorance, as backward letters do. In the right context, the drips might suggest horror, but this a basically a fun font with an urge to communicate, albeit crudely.
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.
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.
TOYNBEE IDEA was inspired by the mysterious Toynbee tiles phenomenon. Like the original tiles, these letters appears to have been cut out with a knife. You may have stepped over this strange crosswalk art and not realized the tiles have been a source of wonder for over 20 years. My photo of a weathered Philadelphia tile is at left; that’s the primary message of the tiles.
For more information including a possible explanation, you should watch the 2011 film, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles.
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.
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.
ZITZ is my second cartoon font, based on the hand lettering in the King Features daily strip Zits by Jim Borgman and Jerry Scott. According to Robert C. Harvey’s thoughtful Children of the Yellow Kid: The Evolution of the American Comic Strip, “Zits” is a “teenage strip…ostensibly drawn by Borgman and written by Scott…. Borgman produces the final art.” The tall, tight lettering and expressive drawing style of Borgman’s political cartoons has long appealed to me; since 1997, “Zits” has represented a daily dose of his art.