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. The new OpenType version of Bensgothic allows you to access the ligatures easily. In applications that support OpenType features, enable “discretionary ligatures.” Type your text in ALL CAPS to automatically use the ligatures as available. Type in lowercase (or MiXeD cAsE) to… continued
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.” Shahn used this lettering to represent the speech of the common person, and it blended perfectly with his pen work Shahn also lived to see his work–itself… continued
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. Includes upper and lowercase, numbers, punctuation, and international characters.
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. Each font includes caps, punctuation, numbers, and international characters.
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…. continued
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. I have since learned more about the original font which “goes back all the way to 1933…when it was designed by K[arl] H[ermann] Schaefer for the German type foundry Schriftguß AG… as Fatima Versalien [Versalien = uppercase]. In the same year, Fonderie Typographique… continued
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. Formerly called “Fulton Artistsamp.” Each complete font includes uppercase, numbers, punctuation, and international characters.
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. Bob Trogman writes, “I worked on the Alcoa font while working for Saul Bass. The Alcoa project lasted over a year and a half. Half way through the project a presentation was made to the board in Pittsburgh and one of the board members said the logo looked too much like ALCAN’s logo and we started all over. Don Handel did the actual… continued
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. Named for the region from which my father’s father’s family emigrated. Includes caps, lower case, numbers, punctuation, and international characters.
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. I invented missing letters and numbers, then created two additional weights, Demi and Bold. Always grateful for posts like this: “Thanks for digitizing Aeolean for posterity. The original tradename was Façade, and it was introduced by the Boston Type Foundry in 1881. John F. Cumming cut certain… continued