ACE OF CLUBS is a decorative display font with its roots in the 19th century. The unique trefoil or club-shaped terminals give it a certain jolliness, inspired by the former “lollipop” logo of the A&P supermarket chain. Starting with just 2 letters, I expanded it into a complete font with upper- and lowercase, numbers, punctuation, and the rest.
Calico Cat is a whimsical script font. It’s like a young girl’s playful but but earnest cursive handwriting. Special letterforms are included as ligatures, automatically creating nicely linked script. Calico Cat was inspired by one of the various Hello Kitty logos.
One of my popular early fonts is Captain Howdy, inspired by the lettering on a Ouija board, a rather jolly woodtype font with curved serifs and engraved highlights. Now there’s a whole new font, CAPTAIN HOOK, that marries the classic caps to an all-new lowercase. Because sometimes you just need lowercase.
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.
SAGEBRUSH is a decorative font with a Western flavor, its distinctive dots and curves and suggesting silver conchos, sheriffs’ badges, cowhides and spurs. In reality, it was inspired by the logo of the legendary NYC punk club CBGB OMFUG. When you learn that CBGB stood for “country, bluegrass, blues,” it’s easier to see what they were going for with this design, so far from punk typography.
LOVE SHACK is a playful font with the handmade texture of roughly painted sign. To design the letters, I tore them from construction paper, giving them a quirky design and an irregular edge. The original inspiration for the font came from the logo for Rubio’s chain of restaurants. I loved the casual letterforms and the crunchy edge.
SHOEMAKER is designed to look like top-stitched letters, great for a fun, friendly, hand-crafted look. The basic letterforms were inspired by the classic Windsor fonts, favored by Woody Allen (most all his films’ title-cards) and Timberland (logotype). I’ve reduced it to a carefully “stitched” outline. Includes upper and lowercase, numbers, punctuation and international characters. For more fun, I’ve included top-stiched versions of some Harold’s Pips (below, with key locations in red).
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 \.) If you like this font, please see my Celtic Knot Monograms. According to Rollin Smith’s “The Aeolian… continued
Playful, beachy ROAD JESTER was inspired by the logo of Trader Joe’s, the offbeat grocery chain. My challenge was to carry the somewhat naive, hand-lettered style throughout the alphabet, numbers and punctuation. Then after going to Bilbao and seeing all the wonderful Basque-style typography, I added an alternate A and I for extra flavor. More of a good thing: A stencil font for an exotic shipping crate feel! Don’t use this font to create your own “Trader Joe’s” merchandise as that would certainly be trademark infringement. We finally got a TJ’s here in Albany. One of the things I love… continued
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. We no longer have A&P stores here, but they sell the coffee everywhere, now with a new logotype and style. I redrew the letters from vintage examples, such as coin banks. Very strong impression of 1930s art deco; italicized it can take on a science fiction feel (below). Includes caps, punctuation, numbers, and international characters. … continued