The CRAZY HAROLD font set was inspired by a single analog font as reproduced in Paul E. Kennedy’s “Modern Display Alphabets” (Dover, 1974). Of course the name appealed to me, as well as the tacky retro-festive style. (I welcome any additional information about this font that anyone might pass along to me.) Anyway, my font set is completely redrawn with clean edges and rounded points. I’ve incorporated alternate letterforms into separate fonts, and made condensed versions too. Coordinating “Flair” fonts have extra-groovy capitals, making eight fonts in all! Each font includes upper and lower case, numbers, punctuation, and international characters.

CATTLE ANNIE is my unauthorized digital interpretation of the analog font “Les Catalanes.” According to ABZ: More alphabets and other signs by Rothenstein and Gooding, it was designed n 1952 by Enric Crous-Vidal (1908-1987) but was never produced. Other Crous-Vidal fonts include Paris, Flash, and Ilerda from Fundición Tipográfica Bauer. The original source (with an incomplete character set) says Crous-Vidal’s Paris show was “the graphic hit of the ’52 season” and refers to Les Catalanes as “this flamboyant character of Mediterranean inspiration.” You may imagine hooves, horns, heels, hats and moustaches in its distinctive features. Many such wood-type fonts have… continued

BRUCE MIKITA is my digital version of an analog font of the same name. It has a rustic, hand-crafted feel and suggests East Asian calligraphy. The highlight is a distinctive feature; I’ve also made an un-highlighted version, which Dan X. Solo identifies as “Lantern.” At long last, its origin has been revealed to me by Herman: “Since you ask, there is no Bruce Mikita. The type you digitized was issued by George Bruce’s Son & Co’s New-York Type-Foundry. It was patented 12 Feb 1867. It was called by them Ornamented no. 1048. When Phoenix typefounders got some mats they invented… continued

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 @. The Regular above; that’s what the original looked like. I’ve also created a series of four… continued

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.

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 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

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

WIREFRAME was inspired by the “lost” Letraset font BOMBERE, designed by Carla Bombere. Like BLOCKED, Bombere apparently did not make the transition from dry-transfer (rub-down) letters into digital type. Rather than draw this font directly from Bombere, I started again, studying what made it work. I used the basic letterforms of the classic Franklin Gothic, refashioning the G, the 1, and some others. But Franklin Gothic would still make a good companion font. This font uses the principle of the Necker cube, creating a neat visual ambiguity. “A drawing of a wire cube…which spontaneously reverses in depth…was first described by…L…. continued

GOOD VIBES is my digital version of the Letraset font “Good Vibrations” designed by Trevor Hatchett and released in 1973. Janet Wilson, one of my dear font correspondents, sent me a scan of an unused sheet of the Letraset original. In redrawing the font, I’ve maintained the same number of lines per character and the uniform width of the Hatchett design. Not entirely successful here–the gradient stripes can turn to strobing, dithering detail onscreen. It’s much better used BIG in print (>60 pt.) With rub-down Letraset you would have been able to choose to use parts of letters; I haven’t… continued

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