BEAD CHAIN was inspired by a book jacket of the 1920s or 30s that featured white pearls arranged to form handsome capitals. I’m using the stately forms of Gill Sans, although some letters had to be reshaped to fit the pearls better.
Then, after seeing Chicago again, I made MARQUEE, a companion negative font. Use them separately or layered together.
PAD THAI is my attempt at a Roman alphabet font that simulates the look of Thai script. The Thai alphabet is syllabic with 44 consonants. Most of the characters include a small loop, there is only once case, diacritic marks are used to indicate vowels and tones, and spaces are not used between words. These characteristics create a striking texture that I have tried to suggest with this font.
PALIMPSEST is an experimental font combining the letterforms of a traditional blackletter font with the texture of a Benday or halftone dot screen. Modern + Medieval. Pop + Parchment. At first glance it appears somewhat blurred or faded but is very cleanly rendered from vector drawings for smooth edges at any size. (Bigger is better.)
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.
PEARLIE is a script font designed to look like a string of graduated pearls. This is the kind of font I wanted a couple years ago for a Debutante Ball; now I’m ready! The basic letter forms were inspired by those of Monotype Script. Links without kerning; looks especially good reversed or with 3-D effects.
The characters of PENSTRIPE and PENCILSTRIPE are each composed of bands of 5 parallel lines, suggesting a sketch, weaving, or even a musical staff. Looks great layered in contrasting colors. In three weights and two textures (smooth Pen and rougher Pencil) which are best seen at larger point sizes.
PESSIMA combines elegance and corrosion. It was inspired by the opening titles of the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the 1978 version, my favorite, directed by Philip Kaufman, titles by Pacific Title). It appears to be a corroded, bold version of Optima*, Hermann Zapf’s classic “serifless roman” from 1958. In the film, the corrosion varies from letter to letter and cleverly suggests the biologic horror to come.
PHARMACY was inspired by the sign at a local (Albany, NY) drugstore. Waiting at the red light, I’d often stared at the sign, admiring its jolly and curious mix of upper and lowercase, and of course the peculiar asymmetrical capital A.
PIECES is designed to look like a partially assembled jigsaw puzzle. The letters interlock automatically as you type. Use _ | or \ instead of a space to connect your words. The basic letterforms are my “unicase” takeoff on Freeman Craw’s ubiquitous Ad Lib font (1961).
Plumber’s Gothic is my digital interpretation of the font formerly used by 3M to brand its products. According to their excellent corporate history, the “boxy, serifed…decidedly industrial” logo and font were designed by Gerald Stahl & Associates in 1960 and used throughout their product line until the late 1970s. “Unfortunately ‘plumber’s gothic’ no longer accurately reflected the image of the more sophisticated, higher-tech company that 3M had become.” (Thanks, John, for getting me started on this!)
POPSTARS was inspired by the hand lettering on the cover of the classic Beatles album, Magical Mystery Tour. The B from Beatles is about actual size at left; weren’t vinyl album covers great? This pair of fonts can be used separately or layered as in the animation on this page.
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.
Instead of making something that people want, that I could sell, I made this silly experiment: PRETZ. The idea is that each letter has been broken, cut, or chewed out of a conventional twisted pretzel shape. As I only cheated on a couple of characters ($ ¢ ¥ Œ Æ), you have to use a bit of imagination to read them all. It comes in both Salted and Unsalted varieties.
Although it may at first look simply broken or blotchy, PROFILER is actually hiding faces. All letterforms are capitals, but in the uppercase position the faces are positive (“black”) and in the lowercase, negative (“white”).
Use BIG for short phrases. Mix cases, especially with repeated letters. It makes great drop caps and handsome initials. Pair it with Antique Olive Bold Condensed or similar.
The five PROJECT fonts were inspired by the hand-lettered titles of the film Project Moon Base (1953). Tucker brought them to my attention with a couple of very clean stills. I only knew the film from a grainy tape of when they lampooned it on Mystery Science Theater 3000. It’s my favorite kind of scifi: laughably dated, fake, and earnest. (Also used in Crash of Moons.)
PUB SMOOTH was inspired by the classic font Publicity Gothic, which was “based on the sturdy woodcut display faces of the late 19th century.” Remarkable for its fat, friendly letterforms and bumpy outline. Adobe sells a fine version and if that’s what you want, buy it from them, as I did.