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.
My BOSTON LINE fonts were inspired by Boston Line Type, developed in the 1830s by Samuel Gridley Howe (left) for use in raised-letter printing for the blind. The odd diamond-shaped a, d, and o and generous spacing give the inkless, embossed pages a strange beauty. A variety of books were eventually printed with this distinctive type, including a beautiful Bible of in 1842. Many blind people found Roman letters difficult to read and all such systems were eventually replaced by Braille. Howe’s legacy lives on in Boston’s Perkins School for the Blind, which he founded.
CANTABILE began as a “modern,” Bodoni, or Didot style. I removed serifs and added balls along the lines of a sort of upright, swash italic. I was thinking Postmodern, but it’s more fun than that, vaguely musical. Hence the name, which has four syllables and is an Italian musical term for “singingly.”
DAD’S RECIPE is derived from my father’s hand printing. I used a recipe he had written out for me (for cole slaw specifically, simulated above) and rounded it out with other samples from my cookbook. Dad almost always used a blue ballpoint pen on lined tablet paper, so these shared recipes had a very consistent look.
The DOMINICAN set began with a font from Dan X. Solo’s series from Dover, name and all. Of course it’s designed to look like corroded old type. It’s a good alternative from the overused Caslon Antique. Subsequently I created companion fonts of italics and small caps.
EPICURUS was inspired by Roman manuscripts on papyrus from Herculaneum. I’ve modernized the forms of the distinctive capitals, adding the “new” letters, lowercase and non-Roman numerals. Epicurus has a clean stroke and the feel of a contemporary sans serif.
FRANK THE ARCHITECT was inspired the handlettering in Frank Ching’s classic (now out of print) book Architectural Graphics (1975). I had read that Adobe’s lovely, ubiquitous Tekton was also based on Ching’s lettering, but the book is more beautiful than I’d expected. In these fonts I’ve tried to evoke more of the idiosyncrasies of Ching’s original, including the texture.
Like its predecessor, Gaumont, GAINSBOROUGH was inspired by the hand-lettered titles of an Alfred Hitchcock film. The Lady Vanishes (1938) was produced by Gaumont-British, and is identified as “A Gainsborough Picture” in the opening credits. Another quirky sans serif.
GALATHEA is my digital interpretation of a classic font of the same name. I’ve seen it in several sources (Dan X. Solo books and Alphabets & other signs by Rothenstein and Gooding), always with this name, but not in digital.
The GAUMONT fonts are based on the hand-lettered titles of the film The 39 Steps (1935), a Gaumont-British Picture, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The regular and italic both appear in the opening titles. I’ve taken a few liberties, regularizing the characters but preserving the quirkier letterforms and rounding out the font in the same spirit.
HANGOVER SQUARE is a set of 3 fonts with an early-1960s style. They were inspired by the handlettered titles of the 1964 mad-ventriloquist thriller Devil Doll, set in London as it was beginning to swing. Read more…
JANUARY is my digital interpretation of the analog font Jana. The concave shapes of most characters and the notches on many give this sans-serif an elegant sparkle. There’s another digital version of Jana out there, but mine has been entirely redrawn and is very smooth. I’ve added two weights, Demi and Bold.
The KOMBINE FONTS are experiments in crossing fonts, font mashups. My inspiration was found in Blackletter: Type and National Identity (Cooper Union, 1998, p.33), a most interesting book for anyone keen on fraktur. There was a small illustration (below) of a font called “Centralschrift (C. G. Schoppe Foundry) 1853, a 19th c. hybrid of fraktur and a neo-classical roman”. The upper parts–those which most enable reading–are the more familiar roman, producing a more legible font for those (like me) unfamiliar with the fraktur.
LAPIS LAZULI is a set of 3 calligraphic fonts. Inspired by a simple, elegant font called “Papyrus” in one of Dan X. Solo’s great font books, but unrelated to the familiar ITC font of the same name. Any additional information would be appreciated.
LIBELED LADY was inspired by the hand-lettered titles of the film of the same name (1936). It’s an enjoyable romantic comedy directed by Jack Connolly and starring Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy, art directed by Cedric Gibbons , William A. Horning, and Edwin B. Willis.
The MANUCRYPT fonts were inspired by an unusual example of “Olde English” (blackletter) typing. Preserving the original texture, these fonts have a look that’s much more “Haunted House” than “Wedding Announcement.” There are Regular (“Proportional”, the red screen above) and Monospace (“Fixed Width”, blue screen) fonts depending on your mood.
MEAN 26 was inspired by Alphabet 26, Bradbury Thompson’s famous 1950 proposal for redesigning the alphabet. The idea was that there would be just one case, favoring the uppercase forms except for a, e, m and n, totaling 26. There would be a large and small version of each to use as capitals.
NATIONAL ARCHIVE was inspired by the familiar look of the Declaration of independence. Every school child learns that it was written by Thomas Jefferson, who was actually only one of several who composed the document that began the United States of America.