The three OBLIQUE TEXT fonts were inspired in part by the font OBLIQ, designed by Ellipsis, 1984, and issued by Letraset. I have taken some liberties with the letterforms, regularizing them somewhat and sharpening corners. My font friend Janet Wilson got me interested in this font when she sent me photocopies of unused rub-down lettering sheets of the Light and Medium; the Bold is my own invention.
Plumber’s Gothic is my digital interpretation of the font formerly used by 3M to brand its products. According to their excellent corporate history, the “boxy, serifed…decidedly industrial” logo and font were designed by Gerald Stahl & Associates in 1960 and used throughout their product line until the late 1970s. “Unfortunately ‘plumber’s gothic’ no longer accurately reflected the image of the more sophisticated, higher-tech company that 3M had become.” (Thanks, John, for getting me started on this!)
PUB SMOOTH was inspired by the classic font Publicity Gothic, which was “based on the sturdy woodcut display faces of the late 19th century.” Remarkable for its fat, friendly letterforms and bumpy outline. Adobe sells a fine version and if that’s what you want, buy it from them, as I did.
QUEER THEORY is my attempt to make a monospaced font with a less predictable feel. I was thinking about fonts like Envision, Democratica and Rotis Semi Serif, with their hybrid letterforms and irregular application of serifs.
RUDLAND HAND is a calligraphic font, inspired by the work of the British artist and designer Peter Rudland. As explained in his book From Scribble to Script (John De Graff, 1956) Rudland was an advocate of this style of script–italic hand–as a way to improve one’s handwriting. So although it may seem like ornamental calligraphy, Rudland intended that ordinary people would develop this beautiful, flowing, pen lettering. You could use the font as a resource for practicing your own script or, if your handwriting is as hopeless as mine, a convenient substitute.
The three SANITARY fonts were inspired by an old (1920s? 30s?) package, pictured here. Rather a Deco text font, mostly sans with a few residual serifs. I made the Regular directly from the sample above, then rounded out the family with the bolder and wider Demi and Bold Caps. I’ve loosened the spacing somewhat and kerned accordingly.
Sleek and stylish, with contemporary curves, SIRENA was inspired by the hand-lettered opening titles of the film I Married a Witch (1942, art directed by Hans Dreier and Ernst Fegté, starring iconic screen siren Veronica Lake.
The SONNET fonts were inspired by Shakespeare’s Sonnets as published by Thomas Thorpe, 1609, just 400 years ago. Working from a facsimile edition, I selected the clearest examples of each character while preserving the overall texture of the original printing. A good alternative to the overused Caslon Antique.
The graceful italics appear only occasionally in the Sonnets, usually to embellish a proper name. To complete the Italic and Swash Caps fonts, I studied a facsimile of the First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, published by Edward Blount and William & Isaac Jaggard, 1623. Complete set includes 5 fonts: Regular, with lining figures; OsF, with authentic old-style figures; Small Caps, Italic and Swash Caps.
Tech Elite is a square sans-serif monospaced font, a stylish alternative to Courier or other typewriter-style fonts. Tech Elite was inspired by one of the styles offered on the classic, collectible Hermes 3000 Swiss-made typewriter. This is completely redrawn; I did not want it to have the uneven texture of vintage typing. I’ve expanded its usefulness with Bold, Oblique and Bold Oblique variations.
THANKSGIVING was inspired by this handlettered “Buzza-type” motto (left). Grandma would have had a couple of these homilies tacked up in little frames. My partner, Al, collects them and I became interested in the lettering on this one in particular.
VALENTIN was inspired by the work of Valentin Haüy (pictured), creator of the first books for the blind. His comprehensive plan, as outlined in Essay on the Education of the Blind, included instruction in both reading raised print and writing longhand with an iron stylus to create indentations; for this dual purpose a cursive style was used. Blind people would learn print their own books and Haüy envisioned the eventual inclusion of other faces similar to conventional type.
WALDORF TEXT is my digital revival of a classic “lost” font of the same name. An elegant blackletter font with details that spell luxury.
Waldorf Text was produced by Barnhart Brothers and Spindler Type Foundry in 1914. When American Type Founders acquired BBB&S, they continued to produce it, including it in their 1934 and 1941 catalogs. And then it was gone, never making the transition from type to film or digital. (Thanks, Bill, for all your help!)
The Wm Blake fonts were inspired by the work of the great English poet and artist. William Blake (1757-1827) wrote, illustrated, lettered, printed, and hand-colored his “Songs of Innocence” and “Songs of Experience”, inventing a new form of printmaking along the way, all very inspirational to me as a printmaker and font designer. These fonts maintain the romantic charm of Blake’s original hand lettering—quite different from typeset—in both roman and italic forms as he used.