I was shopping in my local HEB grocery store this weekend and found myself in the soft drink section, confronted by a wall of cool retro-looking bottles of all sorts of sodas from the Dublin Bottling Works, a company based in Dublin Texas which produces a full line of specialty soft drinks, apparently mostly for distribution through HEB.
They’ve got all the usual flavors like Ginger Ale, Cola and Root Beer and some more unusual flavors, including Black Cherry. The labels are printed on transparent plastic slip-ons which are surprisingly effective at emulating the old-fashioned look of being directly screen printed on the bottles.
The labels are great examples of retro design, and though I may be a bit biased, the coolest by far is the Black Cherry soda label which uses our Folkard font to great effect. It looks great in the stylized design, and it’s nice to see it in a different kind of context from the computer games where it has become somewhat overexposed.
If you like Folkard you can order it online from our ONLINE STORE.
Oh, and the soda is actually pretty good, plus it’s all made with pure cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, so it’s just a little bit healthier to drink.
Yancey is a new font based on a hand-lettered design by Samuel Welo in the late 1920s. It is very much in the tradition of Art Deco designs of that period and designed for decorative titles of poster design uses.
Yancey includes two versions of the character set, one with solid characters and the other with the characters presented as outlines. This approach works well with Yancey because it is such a heavy weight font.
As for the name, we usually try to explain them, but I have none for this font. We don’t have a lot of fonts that start with “Y” and the name just presented itself and seemed appropriate.
Every year we try to amuse with some sort of April Fools prank. This year visitors to the site were first greeted by what looked like a hacker takeover, a modest joke, but we’ve done some even bigger and sillier things in previous years. Here are some examples preserved as best we could.
1998 April Fools Page
1999 April Fools Page.
2000 April Fools Page.
2001 April Fools Page.
2002 April Fools Page.
2003 April Fools Page.
2004 April Fools Page.
2006 April Fools Page.
2008 April Fools Page.
2009 April Fools Page.
2012 April Fools Page
Hope you find them amusing. 1998 and 2002 were probably the biggest hits – certainly my favorites as well. The 2002 page actually results in several calls from churches looking for baptismal fonts every year. Nothing is available for 2005 or 2007 because both of them consisted of joke fonts which did horrible things when you tried to use them.
Citing the boring sameness of their web presentation, the management of social media giant Facebook has contacted us here at the Scriptorium to purchase two new proprietary colors and 3 new custom fonts for $1.2 billion.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg observed that now that his company has topped the $100 billion mark it seemed safe to risk investing in a new look and feel. “With global climate change it’s time for a warmer look and feel,” said Zuckerberg. “We’re thinking something in an orange and pink palette and the look of a 14-year-old girl’s handwriting to help us recapture the youth market.”
In a related story, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Warner announced that they were also considering expanding their color palette and font selection, commenting that “We really want to set ourselves apart, so we’ll probably go with a slightly darker two tone version of whatever Facebook does and a font which appeals to Facebook’s current demographic.”
Industry experts expect Instagram to follow these moves with a redesign using fingerpaints and alphabet blocks to capture the entry-level computer user market.
While I still think it may be some sort of obscure and premature April Fool’s joke, an article called Kerning, Kerning, kerning through the years in the Washington Post presents a mildly humorous presentation of the story of a 14 year old research genius who figured out that switching from a heavier weight font to a lighter weight font for all government documents would save hundreds of millions of dollars a year in wasted ink. The author seemed to think this was a clever new discovery, but this is actually not a new idea. We figured it out back in 2008 and took a rather more aggressive approach to solving the desperate problem.
Some clever Dutch fellows at a company called SPRANQ (of all things) came up with the idea to produce an EcoFont designed to print using 20% less ink and thereby save the entire ecosystem, the world and our children’s future. But after spending about $100 to replace the cartridges in my wife’s photo-quality inkjet which gets used to print a lot of school assignments and paperwork, it occurred to me that just saving 20% may be nice symbolically, but doesn’t do enough for my bottom line.
So, since designing fonts is what I do, it was off to the drawing board to come up with a font which can save even more ink. The problem with EcoFont is that it uses a single line of relatively large white spots to reduce ink consumption. My approach was to effectively pixilate the font by changing it from solid black to a grid pattern of about half black and half white squares, rather like a half-toned lithograph. Instead of just a few large white areas, the average character has about a hundred tiny white blocks. We think that the end result should be a savings of about 40% on ink consumption with a readable font which still looks black at point sizes up to about 36 point. The font is based on our popular font, and works best when used at 9 or 10 point size. You’ll never forget the purpose of the font with the clever name InkSaver.
InkSaver is available in OpenType and TrueType format for MacOS or Windows. A single font probably isn’t going to save the world all by itself, but at least you can spend the money you save on ink on something useful – perhaps on more fun fonts. At a cost of just $18 you ought to be able to save the money to cover your purchase cost for InkSaver in a few months of constant use. Even sooner if you only buy OEM ink.
You can purchase InkSaver in our ONLINE STORE
At the start of every year we put out a special sampler package of the fonts and art which we released in the previous year at a very low introductory price. It’s a great way to try out some of our products.
Now it’s time to release the sampler for 2013, with a great selection of recent font and art releases. It includes 12 new fonts, including 5 in their full release versions (Crane Ornaments, Demosthenes, Doge, Escargot, Juarez) and 7 demo versions (Crane Initials, Original Django, Eisenstein, Folkard Caption, Ripley, Shane, Startling Stories), plus a great selection of art by Eleanor Brickdale, Arthur Rackham, Byam Shaw and Walter Crane.
The package is available at a special discounted price of just $11.95 from our ONLINE STORE.
Since specialty publisher Subterranean Press has taken over design and publication of new editions of Brian Lumley’s older novels and first releases of his new novels, the quality of art and design has increased, including the addition of new titles which feature our fonts on many of Lumley’s books.
Brian Lumley is best known for his series of Necroscope novels in which powerful supernatural savant Harry Keogh fights the race of interplanetary vampires called the Wamphyri. The series became hugely successful in the late 1980s and took Lumley from being a cult figure in the circles of H. P. Lovecraft fandom to being an international bestselling author. Lumley’s most recent releases include a new series of Necroscope novels plus several collections of outstanding short stories. These books combine supernatural horror with a writing style reminiscent of the taut adventures of writers like Ian Fleming.
The new series of Necroscope novels feature our Abaddon font on their covers, with two books now in print, The Mobius Murders and The Plague Bearers. The short story collections have our Valdemar font on their covers, including on A Coven of Vampires and The Taint and Other Novellas.
Subterranean Press has been expanding their stable of authors with some of the best writers of fantastic fiction in their stable, including Jim Buther, Joe Lansdale, Neil Gaiman, Robern McCammon and Charles De Lint.
The links to the right are to the Kindle eBook editions of these great new Lumley books, each of which sells at a very reasonable price of about $3. A great price for some very good books.
It’s South by Southwest time in Austin and for me that means it’s time for my annual visit to the Flatstock poster show. As always, the show was great, but every year it seems harder to get to than the year before as SXSW spreads out over more and more of Austin with ever more ridiculous numbers of bearded hipsters in attendance.
This time I had to park more than a mile from the convention center and use Uber to summon a pedicab to get me from my parking place to the convention center. Took a while, but it was worth the extra effort.
Many of the same poster designers and publishers were participating as in previous years, including Jacknife Posters from the UK with a bunch of new designs, Voodoo Catbox and the prolific Robert Lee of Methane Studios with some great new posters continuing his series of tour posters for Queens of the Stoneage and Lords of Death Metal.
Some things were very different from previous years. Whether it was conscious selection or coincidence, some of the more unusual artists from past years were not present, including the exclusion of all artists working in more non-traditional media like spraypaint and stencil. Almost everything was silk-screened or digitally printed.
There were also some interesting trends on display. A lot of the collections featured triptychs or diptychs – much more so than in previous years. The subjects were also heavily dominated by certain bands, particularly Queens of the Stoneaage, St. Vincent, the Black Keys, Eric Church, High on Fire and rather surprisingly 80s costume metal oddity band Gwar. Flatstock requires that participants have some posters from rock shows to qualify to participate, but it seems clear that certain bands are much more committed to having cool posters for their shows than others are.
The overall quality of design was as high as or higher than previous years, with artists from as near as Austin and Houston and as far away as England and Germany. Among those who stood out were John Vogl at thebungaloo.com, Carolos Hernandez at carloshernandezprints.com, Billy Perkins and Jackknife Posters from Bristol in the UK.
One interesting oddity among the interesting collage-style posters from John Howard of MonkeyInk was a collection of special posters designed to recognize the work of various project teams at Mozilla, each with a monkey theme and made exclusively as rewards for Mozilla’s volunteer designers – an interesting diversion from endless rock posters.
Another notable trend was the increasing prominence of original art in the featured designs. Unfortunately this included far more reliance on original hand lettering and less use of poster fonts. Sad for us when our fonts were featured prominently in past years. This year the only example I saw was in the novelty Lord of the Rings poster to the right, which features our Scurlock font in the title.
All told a great show with an overwhelming assortment of poster art. If a Flatstock comes anywhere near you take a day to attend. It’s worth the time.
Iphegenia was one of our early designs, a creative advertising script font with a modern, hand-drawn look but regular character forms and a nice even line to it. It has high readability despite its decorative look and works well in combination with a variety of other fonts.
The demo version of Iphegenia with a limited character set can be downloaded for free. If you like it, you can download the full version from our ONLINE STORE for just $24. The full version includes alternate capital letters and foreign language characters.
Walter Crane produced a series of small pamphlets in the 1890s based on popular fairy tales, done in large format with 6 pages of illustrations and about an equal number of pages of text. They were rather like the 19th century equivalent of comic books, in the same vein as what Howard Pyle was doing across the Atlantic at the same time with his Lady of Shalott or what Ivan Bilibin was doing in Russia with his Byliny and Skaski booklets of folktales.
Four of these stories were collected together into a bound volume titled Aladdin’s Picture Book. It includes “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp,” “The Yellow Dwarf,” “Princess Belle-Etoile” and “The Hind in the Wood.” One of several similar collections, all of which are very hard to find.
We’ve digitized and cleaned up all of the images at large size and high resolution and put them together into a beautiful package ready to use for your personal design projects. The images make great screen savers or art prints or resources for many other purposes.