Exotic, “Egyptian” MYSTIC PROPHET is my third font inspired by Ouija boards, or, strictly speaking, talking boards. (This one is from another company, Haskelite, from the 1940s.) My friend Wink first brought it to my attention. The planchette (the divining tool) is shown here; you can find much more information at the Museum of Talking Boards.
NATIONAL DEBT is the all-new, 2-font version of my “Savings Bond” font, first released in 1998. It was originally created for a 1940s-style event when I couldn’t find the font I imagined. (Later I discovered the existing font I’d wanted is called Futura Display, Function Display, Gumshoe, etc.) But my version was independently created and now has a distinctive highlighted companion font.
VICARAGE, RECTORY and PARSONAGE are separate but related decorative fonts, each with a romantic, historical feel and inspired by hand-lettered film titles. Each could also be used to suggest Olde Worlde gentility, holiday festivity, or spirituality. Each font is all caps with many alternate forms for more variety and looks great as LARGE and SMALL CAPS.
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.
The Retrospace font was inspired by the hand-lettered opening credits of the film Some Came Running (1958). The Long, Hot Summer (another 20th Century Fox production from 1958) has similar credits; the films do not share directors or art directors.
My version of ROOSEVELT began with a request by Rob Case for the font once used on Aeolian pianos and organs. I drew the letters from analog examples, regularizing and filling out the set. Subsequently another correspondent, Richard Vance, told me the history of the design (at right) and showed me more examples of the original font in action, prompting the revised version which now includes small caps and a more conventional T. (The curvy one is now located at | and \.)
The three SANITARY fonts were inspired by an old (1920s? 30s?) package, pictured here. Rather a Deco text font, mostly sans with a few residual serifs. I made the Regular directly from the sample above, then rounded out the family with the bolder and wider Demi and Bold Caps. I’ve loosened the spacing somewhat and kerned accordingly.
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.
STELLA DALLAS was inspired by the hand-lettered titles of the film of the same name (1937, directed by King Vidor, art directed by Richard Day). The dramatic wedge shapes and some letterforms are reminiscent of calligraphic fonts like Koch Antigua.
These fonts were inspired by the classic mosaic tile signs of the New York City subway system, dating to the early 20th century. I’ve tried to maintain the somewhat quaint letterforms while regularizing them for contemporary use.
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 TRUDEAU fonts are based on the wrought iron architectural lettering at nearby Albany Law School. The arch and lettering (at left) were designed as a small part of a major campus renovation in the late 1960s, designed by the architect Robert Louis Trudeau, founder of Trudeau/Architects. Formerly called “Law School,” the font and its new rail-less companion have been named to reflect their original designer.
VALENTIN was inspired by the work of Valentin Haüy (pictured), creator of the first books for the blind. His comprehensive plan, as outlined in Essay on the Education of the Blind, included instruction in both reading raised print and writing longhand with an iron stylus to create indentations; for this dual purpose a cursive style was used. Blind people would learn print their own books and Haüy envisioned the eventual inclusion of other faces similar to conventional type.