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.
AEOLIAN is a narrow, elegant font that was inspired by the lettering on a pipe organ manufactured by the Aeolian Company. My friend Nelson got me started with scans of the various stop labels, like the one at left, found on the amazing Longwood Gardens Aeolian organ which he has worked to restore.
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. Read more…
ALSACE-LORRAINE is an experiment. My idea was to combine aspects of a vertical French script and a German fraktur. For the most part, the top is the German and the bottom is the French. A font “mash-up” before that word was coined.
The 2 ALÚMINO fonts were inspired by font designed for Alcoa, the aluminum company. Sleek, clean, modern, light and flexible. I’ve also made a narrower version with the same stroke weight, although it appears somewhat darker overall.
The ARTISTAMP fonts were derived from scans of a vintage set of rubber stamps I had long admired. Four fonts altogether: “wet” and “medium”, each both aligned and somewhat jumbled as in the animations above.
ATLAS was inspired by the classic analog Art Deco font. My first version of it–the one with stripes–was originally named Farouk, as it was called in the first reference I found, but I later changed it to conform with period sources (left). I’ve also recreated the companion Solid font; both are completely redrawn with very clean edges.
AUTEUR was inspired by the work of Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), the French writer, filmmaker, and artist. At left, he can be seen handwriting the opening titles of his fantastic film Beauty and the Beast (1946) on a blackboard. He also made many drawings and paintings, often including a variation of this expressive, whimsical script.
In researching this font, I looked at hundreds of pages of his drawings and letters. There was a range of clarity and character-formation; I’ve patterned this after his more deliberate lettering rather than that of his correspondence; the latter was useful for numbers and other characters. I redrew each character with the rough texture of pen, brush, or even chalk lines.
BARRIL is my digital interpretation of a “lost” analog font called Barrio. I started with a scan from a dry-transfer catalog (thanks, Jeff). I know it was produced originally by Neufville, but that’s all the information I have. Totally 70s!
For my own amusement, I made a second inline version called Barril Doble. Great for layering.
Baselina is a stylish, squarish font that hugs the baseline, suggestive of Art Deco and neon signs. In four weights: Light, Regular, Bold and Extra Bold. Inspired by the hand-lettered titles of the Fleischer brothers’ animated film “Mr. Bug Goes to Town” (1941)
BENIGHTED is my stab at a blackletter font that has a loose, hand-lettered feel. Sort of an Old English Casual or Fraktur Frisky. I drew all the letters with a Sharpie marker (and I’m no calligrapher) and then autotraced them, arranging them along an uneven baseline.
The BENSFOLK fonts were inspired by the work of the artist Ben Shahn. He was a political activist, a painter, and a calligrapher, among many talents.
One of the lettering styles Shahn used was derived from the work of amateur sign painters. As trained artists often react to the work of so-called naive or folk artists, he found their crude beauty to be “cacophonous and utterly unacceptable. Being so it is irresistibly interesting.”
BENSGOTHIC was inspired by the work of the artist Ben Shahn. (See also Bensfolk)
This style–which Shahn applied to psalms, Christmas cards, posters, and many other item—suggests inscriptional capitals like those of Byzantine mosaics, the Bayeux tapestry, or medieval manuscripts. He made great use of fanciful ligatures, which are included in the font for a totally hand-lettered feel.
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.
BINGO DINGO is a dingbat font inspired by the classic Mexican board game, Lotería. Similar to bingo, with pictures instead of numbers, there’s a fascinating assortment of characters, animals, and other things which I’ve rendered in an engraving-like style. The optional box around the image can be typed with an additional keystroke. 54 images in all. I have not included the names in the designs; label them as you will in any language.
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.
BLOCKED is my reconstruction of a “lost” Letraset font. The original, called “Block Up,” was designed by Sally Ann Grover and was issued in 1974 by Letraset. Block Up is one of countless fonts that didn’t make the technological transition from transfer letters to digital. My digital version was constructed point by point, not autotraced, so it’s very clean. I’ve used all the available characters (except the 4) and rounded it out with more punctuation and international characters. I’m especially fond of my @.
BLOOPER and BLOOP SCRIPT were created to have the look of letters formed by puddles of shiny liquid. The general form of each was inspired by a classic font. Blooper takes after Cooper Black (Oswald Cooper, 1921), Bloop Script after Brush Script * (Robert E. Smith, 1942).