MR KITE began with a 19th-century woodtype font variously known as Jubilee and Gothic Bold. The heavy weight at the top gives it an offbeat character. My original version of that is called Blacktop, rounded out with lowercase. For this variation, I added a distressed texture that suggests a weathered sign or a well-worn T-shirt. Some may say this font has a groovy vibe, given the letterforms. I think this reaction is related to the familiar appropriation of Victoriana and Art Nouveau in the 1960s and 70s. Elements of those styles became so entwined with “mod” pop culture that it’s… continued
BLUELAKEHAWK is a collaboration with my friend, Jason Martinez, an artist and teacher. Jason is inspired by his love of Southwest Pueblo pottery patterns and tribal art. He is a registered member of the Taos Pueblo and takes inspiration from his heritage. I started with 8 letters from Jason and developed the rest. Now Jason is recovering from brain tumor surgery. Please consider making a small donation to his fund when you download this free font. https://www.youcaring.com/jason-martinez-480855
HORSE SENSE is a fun font with all the letters made out of horse shoes. The shoe sizes vary, some are whole and some are cut and “welded” together, as in the original sign that inspired it. And there are many alternates for extra fun. Here’s the original sign, seen in a shop in Cave Creek, AZ.
Blacktop has been tweaked, expanded and reissued in celebration of National Woodtype Day on March 15. The uppercase and numbers were originally inspired by a woodtype font variously known as Gothic Bold, Jubilee, or Skidoo Caps, and completely redrawn for clean edges. The lowercase is my own invention, following the example of certain fonts (Hobo, Publicity Gothic, Broadway) in which the descenders do not go below the baseline.
EVERYDAY PEOPLE is a pair of dingbat fonts inspired by vintage architectural illustration materials. Use them to populate your text and illustrations. Comes in Sun and Shade versions.
ZITZ is my second cartoon font, based on the hand lettering in the King Features daily strip Zits by Jim Borgman and Jerry Scott. According to Robert C. Harvey’s thoughtful Children of the Yellow Kid: The Evolution of the American Comic Strip, “Zits” is a “teenage strip…ostensibly drawn by Borgman and written by Scott…. Borgman produces the final art.” The tall, tight lettering and expressive drawing style of Borgman’s political cartoons has long appealed to me; since 1997, “Zits” has represented a daily dose of his art. The scratchy outlines of the letters reflect both the artist’s pen and the… continued
YARD SALE was inspired directly by the hand-lettered signs of my friend Dan’s anonymous, obsessive neighbor. You can almost smell the Magic Marker! Very closely spaced like the original samples. Version 1.2 features and expanded character set.
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
WILLING RACE is my adaptation of the opening credits of the TV show Will & Grace, originally designed by Number Seventeen. Like those, I’ve mixed large and small caps with roman and italic lowercase, all based on Times Roman. There are alternates of each x-height character for nearly infinite variation. As suggested by Sara, I have added a more accurate (to the show credits) engraved “Modern” style ampersand. BTW, the names in the graphic above were the names projected for 2002 Eastern North Pacific storms. These are all worked out for years in advance with alternating male and female names… continued
TOYNBEE IDEA was inspired by the mysterious Toynbee tiles phenomenon. Like the original tiles, these letters appears to have been cut out with a knife. You may have stepped over this strange crosswalk art and not realized the tiles have been a source of wonder for over 20 years. My photo of a weathered Philadelphia tile is at left; that’s the primary message of the tiles. For more information including a possible explanation, you should watch the 2011 film, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. My font suggests how the letters must have looked when first made. The… continued