Instead of making something that people want, that I could sell, I made this silly experiment: PRETZ. The idea is that each letter has been broken, cut, or chewed out of a conventional twisted pretzel shape. As I only cheated on a couple of characters ($ ¢ ¥ Œ Æ), you have to use a bit of imagination to read them all. It comes in both Salted and Unsalted varieties. Each font contains caps, numbers, punctuation, and international characters.
POPSTARS was inspired by the hand lettering on the cover of the classic Beatles album, Magical Mystery Tour. The B from Beatles is about actual size at left; weren’t vinyl album covers great? This pair of fonts can be used separately or layered as in the animation on this page. Each font includes caps, lower case, numbers, punctuation, and international characters.
PIECES is designed to look like a partially assembled jigsaw puzzle. The letters interlock automatically as you type. Use _ | or \ instead of a space to connect your words. The basic letterforms are my “unicase” takeoff on Freeman Craw’s ubiquitous Ad Lib font (1961). This font has the letters on the white background in the uppercase positions and with the black background in the lowercase positions. TyPiNg LiKe ThIs creates an alternating effect. Due to space limitations, it does not contain the complete character set in both black and white. There’s a separate complete font in Black and… continued
PHARMACY was inspired by the sign at a local (Albany, NY) drugstore. Waiting at the red light, I’d often stared at the sign, admiring its jolly and curious mix of upper and lowercase, and of course the peculiar asymmetrical capital A. This font design has become a crafter’s favorite, as rubber stamps, die cuts and more. I’m still offering it here as a free download. PHARMACY MMX has an expanded character set and other refinements. Includes caps and alternates, numbers, punctuation and international characters. Another of my Albany-inspired fonts is TRUDEAU.
PESSIMA combines elegance and corrosion. It was inspired by the opening titles of the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (the 1978 version, my favorite, directed by Philip Kaufman, titles by Pacific Title). It appears to be a corroded, bold version of Optima*, Hermann Zapf’s classic “serifless roman” from 1958. In the film, the corrosion varies from letter to letter and cleverly suggests the biologic horror to come. This is not the original Optima* of gentle curves, but my jagged re-drawing of it. Despite the battering, the overall shapes are still somewhat recognizable. My font is more striated, less randomly… continued
Like its predecessors Calaveras and Heartland, PEACE is a take-off on the classic 60s flower font Daisyland*. Includes 2 versions of each letter, plus numbers, punctuation, and international characters. Inspired by Albany’s 15 minutes of fame; read about it at thesmokinggun.com. *The Daisyland font appears under that name in the Dan X. Solo font books from Dover. There is a nice shareware version called FLORALIES by Keith Field and a free but bumpy adaptation (called Daisyland and uncredited) in FontPak1.zip. (Thanks to Frogii for the information!)
These are derived from a pattern sheet provided with a set of Japanese wood-carving tools. The only thing I could read on the page: ’82 New Year. There are 22 charming graphics, including a few nice dogs, some handsome calligraphy, and some cute cartoony stuff. Julie tells me the blue character at left means “long life”; any help with the others?
NEUROTOXIN is designed to look like the letters are breaking up or forming from pixels. It was inspired by the Xerox Corporation’s former X logo, designed in 1994 by Landor Associates. The basic letterforms are modeled after a bold Didone-type font. Pairs with a nice Bodoni or even Times Roman. Version 2.0 includes an expanded character set with lowercase and improved spacing and kerning.
Exotic, “Egyptian” MYSTIC PROPHET is my third font inspired by Ouija boards, or, strictly speaking, talking boards. (This one is from another company, Haskelite, from the 1940s.) My friend Wink first brought it to my attention. The planchette (the divining tool) is shown here; you can find much more information at the Museum of Talking Boards. My other talking board fonts are Captain Howdy and Sideshow. Includes caps, numbers, punctuation, and international characters. Planchette image courtesy of the Museum of Talking Boards.
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. Thompson used the distinctive Baskerville for his prototype, and Alphabet 26 owes it much of its beauty to that choice. For my fonts, I’ve retooled public-domain versions of 3 popular text fonts and adjusted the weights in an attempt to balance the big and little letters. Avoid… continued