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Captain Kidd Font in Princess Bride Memoir

I spotted a very appropriate use of our Captain Kidd font while browsing books at Barnes and Noble. It graces the cover of Cary Elwes new memoir in vignettes of his time working in The Princess Bride, which also features a picture of Elwes in his Dread Pirate Roberts costume – hence the connection to the Captain Kidd font.

The Princess Bride is a fantastic movie, and if you haven’t seen it you should rent it immediately. The title of the book is As You Wish which is a reference to the phrase used repeatedly by Elwes’ character in response to Princess Buttercup’s unreasonable requests. It’s a key element of the love story plot which runs through the entire movie.

The appearance of one of our fonts on the cover is pretty exciting, because As You Wish is at #9 on the New York Times Bestseller List and climbing.

You can find out more about the Captain Kidd font at CAPTAIN KIDD.

Holiday Feature: Walter Tittle’s Colonial Holidays

tittle0As a special bonus, this Christmas we’re making available an unusual collection of Christmas images by outstanding American book illustrator and decorator Walter Tittle, an artist most known for his seasonal works.

tittle11These illustrations are taken from his book Colonial Holdays which is a collection of accounts from primary sources of holiday observances in the American colonies before and after the Revolutionary War. Other holidays a touched on, but the material is predominantly Christmas themed.

The collection includes illustrations of colonial holiday scenes – mostly from the Christmas season – plus beautifully decorated full illuminated pages for each of the stories. Tittle’s style is detailed and his color use is sophisticated and the illuminated pages include beautiful lettering and decorations. They make excellent Christmas cards.

You can see samples of most of the art below. Just click on a thumbnail to bring up a larger size image. The package includes all of the images in high resolution, suitable for making Christmas cards or other projects. To get the full package for just $15, you can just ORDER ONLINE.

Holiday Feature Guide

Over the years we have produced many special packages and unique fonts specifically for the holiday season. Many of these were collected into our Holiday Font and Art Collection and others are stand-alone items such as packages of art for Christmas cards or special fonts for holiday designs.

Provided to the right is a short table of contents with links to most of our holiday related articles and packages, as well as some special fonts which are particularly thematically suited to the holidays. As you get ready for the season, use it as a quick guide to large selection of the resources we have available. I particularly recommend taking a shot at designing your own Christmas cards. The art in the Eleanor Brickdale Carols collection is particularly excellent for cards and we have a fine selection of fonts to go with the art.

For the next few weeks we’ll keep this guide at the top of the page and add links to it to some of the new holiday items we’re releasing this year.

Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin

bg0A few years ago I wrote a review of Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin. Blue Genie is still there and going stronger than ever, in fact this year they’ve added additional space and a bunch of new artists. and in just a few years it has come to offer some real competition to Austin’s classic Armadillo Christmas Bazaar.

As Austin grows in population and affluence the market for quirky handmade gifts is clearly growing. Blue Genie offers one stop shopping for hipsters and soccer moms in the Monarch Event Center, a converted movie theatre in the Lincoln Village Shopping Center in North Central Austin at the intersection of Highway 290 and IH-35. It’s scheduled for the whole month of December and stays open late (9pm and then midnight Christmas week). The unusual name comes from the Blue Genie Art company which is the main sponsor, a company which does large-scale art installations for advertising and signage — giant chickens, vegetables, jackalopes, dinosaurs and the like.

bg1The selection of vendors this year was a little different from last year, though there was a similar mix of jewelry, crafts, printed works and original art. Some of the standouts from previous years were still represented. For example Nakatomi which has provided its bizarre toys and objets d’art since Blue Genie first opened its doors.

It was nice to see Lillian Butler’s line of men’s fashion items “by Lillian” represented. She makes enamelware with a science fiction theme, including tie bars and cufflinks.bg8

For the ladies there were “crush” pillows, a cute concept of a handsome man to take home and cuddle with – suitably non-threatening since each pillow only features the head and upper chest – all romance, no sex.bg2

Another interesting new addition of really unusual items were John Self’s Garage Sale Artifacts, bizarre sculptures made of junk put together to make whimsical faces and creatures. I can’t see putting one on my wall, but I can certainly admire the ingenious creativity which went into making them.

Another cool item was the collection of belts and wallets made from used bicycle tires by Ruthless Reuse. A good use of something we have a lot of in Austin, the home of discredited bike hero Lance Armstrong.


I also found Gypsy Harte’s collection of felted animals appealing, because they were so much more ambitious than any I’d seen befo

re, especially Bottom in full jackass form. It was a bit pricey at $650, but the price reflects the enormous amount of work which likely went into the piece.

Laura Schultz offered some amazing designs in cut paper. including a detailed black and white set of Deorative Initials with a dance of death theme.

There were also t-shirts and bags and posters, plus endless jewelry and a surprising profusion of silk-screened hand towels. There was far too much to take in and too much to recount here. In fact, I spent my whole time wandering around browsing and plan to go back to Blue Genie at some time when it is less crowded to make my holiday purchases.

If your in Austin I’d say it’s not a scene to miss, plus it has a full bar and a theatre running classic Christmas films for the kiddies while you shop.


New Font: Sternhagen

Sternhagen is a classically attractive font with a modernized gothic look which combines traditional elements from the high middle ages with a bit of Art Deco style. It will eventually be part of our Gothic Fonts Collections, but for now it is available singly.Sternhagen has a complete upper and lowercase character set and a number of special characters. It should be well suited for titles and decorative uses, although the characters have been carefully tweaked so that they’ll work in fairly small sizes as text. Good look for the holday season. It is based on early 20th century hand lettering by J. M. Bergling.

You can try the DEMO version of Sternhagen for free. The demo has a limited character set. Or you can ORDER the full version for only $24.




Psychedelic Font Collection

The 1960s was a time when creativity flourished, in music, in literature and in the visual arts. This creativity found its outlet mostly in the counter culture, and one big aspect of that was in poster design for concerts at the great nightclubs of that era like the Fillmore.

Rock posters of the 60s have a particular, identifiable look to them – united by the wild and freeflowing design ethos, even if many different artists did the actual designs. The lettering on these posters has made more of a mark on the popular imagination than any other relatively recent lettering style, to the point where people have a particular vision in their minds of what looks like the 60s or the Psychedelic era.

Poster lettering in the 60s was heavily influenced by the Art Nouveau movement of the late 19th century, but the most imaginative poster designers took those basic ideas of full, somewhat fabulous lettering to an entirely new level. While you can see the influence of Mucha and other Art Nouveau poster artists in the work of designers like Wes Wilson and David Singer, there’s something more in their poster designs – what might be called the ‘free spirit’ of the 60s.

By the 1970s the free form hand lettering of classic 60s posters began to give way to some standardized fonts and a lot of this unique character was lost in the drab pragmatism of the disco era and then the ransom note xeroxes of the punk movement.

We’ve been working on fonts which capture the spirit of the Psychedelic era for several years and have finally reached the point where we have a large enough collection to be truly representative of the period. This collection includes fonts based on specific samples from classic posters and fonts based on general styles which were popular in the 60s and used by many artists.

Some of these fonts have been previously released as single fonts, but the collection also includes 5 fonts specifically designed for this collection, 3 of which are entirely new releases, plus variant versions of several of the fonts like the custom outlines of Hendrix and Bad Acid.

Pantagruel is the linchpin of the collection. It is the quintessential bridge between Art Nouveau and 60s era design. It is based on an Art Nouveau style which was enormously influential in the 60s and often duplicated directly by 60s artists like Greg Irons and Randy Tuten.

Harbinger and Sprite are also examples of styles commonly used by many poster artists of the period who drew on Art Nouveau designs for inspiration. Earthpig and Bad Acid are based on original poster lettering characteristic of the outrageously spurred and flourished designs favored by many artists of the 60s. They are core designs just begging for augmentation with rays, overlaps, outlines and extrusions.

Butterfield is classic block lettering characteristic of the world of designers like Wes Wilson. Quicksilver and Illuminata were developed from small samples of unique lettering and are most influenced by the designs of David Singer. Taken as a whole these fonts make an excellent representative sampling of the lettering of the 60s.

One of the characteristics of poster design in the Psychedelic era is that the lettering was often manipulated and distorted from its base forms. Fonts by their nature work most practically when they have a simple, horizontal base and characters have regular size and positioning. To achieve the full psychedelic effect you may need to take the base fonts and modify the pure letter forms, as we have done in the header for this page. Photoshop offers some excellent tools for doing this. We’ve found that the wave filter and the distort and perspective tools work particularly well to produce bent and disproportional type.

We’ve just released a new version of the Psychedelic Fonts package with three new fonts. The package includes all of the fonts in a single package for Windows or Macintosh, including both TrueType and Postscript fonts. The total price is only $59 for all the fonts. You can order the package online for immediate download or delivery by mail. Just – CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

Special Font: Turkey Day

Thanksgiving is almost upon us and it isa great time to celebrate family and the harvest and remember some history. Part of that history can be told in the form of unique fonts, including many which were created for special occasions to add decoration to holiday cards or invitations. Printers have been ornamenting for the holidays for centuries, and many of the images are just as useful today as they were when our country was much younger.

The Turkey Day font is a selection of printers ornaments from the early 1900s featuring turkeys, pilgrims and harvest images perfect for the holiday.

You can purchase Turkey Day IN OUR ONLINE STORE.

Classic Font: Phaeton

Phaeton is one of our earliest Art Nouveau designs, a lovely example of period title lettering based on French samples. This new release has some significant improvements to the outlines and additional characters added to the basic set.

You can find Phaeton in our Art Nouveau Collection or order it individually as a single font. It takes its name from the demigod in Greek Mythology who stole the chariot of the sun and went for a joy ride.

You can try the DEMO version of Phaeton for free. The demo has a limited character set. Or you can ORDER the full version for only $24.



Letterpress Fonts in the Austin Airport

maudiesI was in the Austin airport taking off for parts unknown and felt a need for breakfast. Apparently the only option for a late-morning breakfast taco was Maudie’s Tex Mex, so I headed for Gate 11. I got my breakfast tacos, and they were truly awful, but the experience was made somewhat better by seeing their interesting menu and its use of letterpress style fonts.

It didn’t use one of our actual fonts, but the fonts they use are very similar to those in our Letterpress Fonts Collection and the particular effect was very reminiscent of the Letterpress Gothic font.

Louis Rhead Borders Mini-Package

sampleThis is a special collection of borders (and three illustrations) drawn by Louis Rhead for William Morris’ translation of The History of Oversea.

These are striking borders in Rhead’s unique art nouveau style, well suited to various adaptations. The collection contains 13 borders and 3 illustrations, the complete decorations from this short classic. You can see a selection of the borders in the sample to the right.

The small package is easily downloaded and sells for only $12. The borders and illustrations are licensed for use in your own design projects. You can order them right now in our ONLINE STORE.

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