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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

ROBERTA is a digital interpretation of Bob Trogman’s delightful Art Nouveau analog original. This classic font suggests elegance and fun, exoticism and friendliness. Bob’s story: “I originally hand cut this font in 1962. It is based on a Belgian restaurant sign. I named it after my daughter Roberta. Many Mexican food companies used this font, but they didn’t know it was from Europe. Dan Solo was going to digitize it for me, but he retired from the font business last year. Just give me credit for the design and it is all yours to do what you want.” And you… 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

RINGPIN was inspired by the style of body piercing. Not my own style, but interesting to observe. In designing this font, I was rather limited to geometric components, and drew each with a crisp highlight. Most letters take the lowercase form, sometimes with alternates. The letters did not want to align neatly, so they assume a variegated arrangment. Includes 1-3 versions of each letter, plus numbers, punctuation, international characters, and many fanciful extras.

Obviously, RICECAKES was designed to look like grains of rice arranged to form letters. It was my very first font design, planned for an event at Albany’s Rice Gallery, but was not completed in time. The letterforms are patterned after the classic Franklin Gothic, although I did alter the 1 (not gothic enough!) Use it big, reverse it, color it to suggest flower petals, overlap it. Now there’s a second font with white grains on black. Each font includes caps, numbers, punctuation, and international characters. Another one of Dennis’ Font Play creations

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. Font includes large and small caps, numbers, punctuation, and international characters.

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. For fun, I’ve included a few alternate characters in the lowercase positions and created a Solid font without the horizontal lines, and two… continued

REPENT was inspired by the work of Jesse Howard (1885-1983), a folk/outsider/naive artist. I first saw his work in Self-Taught Artists of the 20th Century, published as an exhibition catalog by the Museum of American Folk Art. What is striking to me about Howard’s work is the intense effort contained in his paintings-as-rants, and the overall texture of their deliberate lettering. Howard’s work can be seen in the collection of the Kansas City (MO) Art Institute. Jesse Howard’s obsessively lettered paintings and sculptures are the cousins of these signs (left) which appear from time to time nailed to telephone poles… 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

REBUS FONT is a dingbat font that contains a quirky variety of images in a snazzy retro style. They’re drawn from a couple of 1960s editions of the home version of the TV game show Concentration that featured rebus puzzles that had to be revealed and then solved. The rebus is as old as Egyptian hieroglyphics; a simple picture is substituted for all or part of a word. The new OpenType version of Rebus Font allows you to easily access any of the 130 images by simply typing its name. Easily accessed for use as clip art or to make… continued

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