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Abaddon in Maleficent

maleficentAt the very beginning of the summer Disney released Maleficent the first in a series of films retelling the Disney versions of classic fairytales from the point of view of the villain.

Maleficent is a visually stunning film combining high end CGI animation with live actors and Angelina Jolie with unbelievably accentuated cheekbones as the title character. It is somewhat limited by having to work within the constraints of the original film but within that context it does a believable job of making Maleficent into a sympathetic character.


One intriguing aspect of the film is their choice of a title font. They apparently started with out Abaddon font and then modified some of the original characters and some of the alternative characters and managed to come up with a fairly appealing variation.

We were working on revisions to Abaddon anyway, so we decided to incorporate some more alternative characters, including those from the title of the movie.

The new version of Abaddon with all the alternate characters can be purchased in our ONLINE STORE.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

New Font: Mannering

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Mannering is a new font design derived from some samples of an uppercase letter set by Samuel Welo, with additional lowercase characters and numbers added to it in the same style. It is a sans serif font with calligraphic lines and distinctive embellished horizontal crossbars. It’s a great font for titling but also works well for text with high legibility and fairly open character forms. Its name derives from the title character of a novel by Sir Walter Scott.

The demo version of Mannering 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.


Rating 3.00 out of 5

Understanding Font and Image Licenses

I’ve noticed recently that a lot of people seem not to entirely understand the idea of purchasing fonts or images with a license, and I suspect they find the idea intimidating. It’s not surprising, since it’s a bit different from purchasing a toaster or a book, and not something most people do every day.

To help clear up this confusion we’ve rewritten our full EULA (end user license agreement) to include not only the legalistic text of the license itself, but also colored sections which clarify and explain in some detail typical acceptable and unacceptable uses under the license to answer user questions in advance.

The basic idea of a license ought to be easy to understand. While we retain copyright and ownership of our fonts and images, when you buy them we give you a license which includes permission to use those images and fonts within certain parameters defined in the license. Some users get confused because of a superficial similarity with renting something and conclude that this means that there are additional secondary fees, but our licenses are based on a one-time payment and as long as you remain within the terms of the license there are no additional charges. So you pay for the license and as long as you have it you can use the item you bought in the ways it allows.

For example, with a font you CAN:

    Create text and titles in a publication.
    Design logos or business stationery.
    Use in posters or merchandise packaging.
    Make on-screen titles in movie, video or game production.
    Design graphics for publication, online viewing or display in a program interface

But you CANNOT:

    Embed a font in a computer or console game or other software.
    Resell or redistribut the font to secondary users.
    Use the font in the creation of a secondary form of reproduction like rubber stamps, letter stickers or transfer media.

And with an image you CAN:

    Use for illustrations in a publication or media presentation.
    Use for designing logos or business stationery.
    Inclusion as part of an original work of art like a collage.
    Use for personal reference or display by the end user.

But you CANNOT:

    Resell the image in digital format.
    Use the image in publishing prints, postcards or calendars.
    Use ithe image to create a secondary form of reproduction like rubber stamps, stickers or transfer media.

The idea of all of this is to make our products useful to you, while also retaining their value to us and to other users. The license protects our rights, but also protects you by clearly defining what you can do with our products and including in those terms the vast majority of typical uses. If the license doesn’t cover the use you have in mind, we may have a special license to cover that use (embedding, ebooks, stamps, etc) and you should contact us to discuss it.

And also be aware of this important provision in the EULA which exists to protect us and you: “Because this is a software purchase and the product is available for immediate download, the merchandise is non-returnable and we cannot provide a refund, credit or exchange. We will make every effort to make sure you receive your purchase in a timely manner and will provide a reasonable number of replacement attempts if there are delivery problems.”

So when you’re placing an order and the screen asks you to sign off on the license, I hope that the new version of the license, with the explanatory sections will help remove any ambiguity and answer any questions.


Rating 3.00 out of 5

Recasting Typecon

typeconThere are many good things about Typecon and many nice things I could say, but instead I find myself seized with a compulsion to recast Typecon like old metal type that’s melted down and mold into a new font.

I’ve got lots of experience with conferences in a number of different industries, as an attendee. a sponsor, a presenter and a host. I think I’ve probably run over 50 conferences, from book fairs to gaming conventions to political events. They all have common needs and common problems regardless of what the subject matter happens to be.

Typecon has some definite strengths. Not surprisingly its strong on visual presentation. Great banners and logos a flashy video – lots of nice stuff to look at. It’s also got a lot of good talent involved as speakers and presenters.

But there are some shortcomings too.

For example, the commercial potential of Typecon is almost entirely wasted. All the major foundries are represented here as sponsors and as attendees. Why do we have a half-assed communal store to sell products? Why isn’t there a well developed exhibit area where font foundries have their own space to show off their fonts, have staff to talk to potential customers and even sell fonts. It seems like an obvious failing. Hell, they could even market their designers with signings like at Comicon.

Going along with that they’ve missed a major part of the potential audience – font consumers. The audience here is mostly people who are in the industry or want to be in the industry, but they could reach out and involve at least higher end font users, buyers for publishers and product designers. They could drop the roughly $300 price and broaden the audience and get bigger attendance. This really is too much of an insider even inbred event. Broader is better. Typecon might not ever become as big as Comicon but there’s a lot of potential going to waste.

They could also improve the schedule by splitting presentations up into smaller events. It seems counterintuitive but having all the attendees attend all the events in a single huge room one after another is not the best way to run a program. First off, not everyone wants find ever topic fascinating. I may not want to attend a session on the fonts of Facebook or an examination of Urdu typography. Second, a huge hall with 300 people in it is not the ideal way to experience some of these presentations. Yes, bring everyone together for the keynote and other prime features, but take the rest of the program and break it up. Run three presentations at a time and let people choose which they will catch and with they will miss. If you worry about people not being able to catch everything they want, repeat presentations. They will definitely go better in a more intimate environment and if a 20 or 30 minute program is worth presenting, its worth giving twice or ever three time.

Not that Typecon is not a great deal of fun. There are good programs and diverting things to do, and there are attractive social aspects to mingling with your peers. But there’s still a lot of room for improvement, though its possible that the font nerds want to keep it just the way it is.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

More from Typecon

I’m back at Typecon and things are in full swing now. There was a long but fascinating keynote presentation from Tobias Frere-Jones last night on type as security in banknotes. It was the main entertainment for the evening and went on an on for a bit. I actually had to cut out before I could ask my question – “Why are the new 100s so damned ugly.” Probably just as well.

imageToday is the first day of the main program. There are presentations all day long, they type gallery is open and the store is selling stuff. The Typecon folks are well meaning but they really have no clue when it comes to retail marketing of fonts or anything else. For example its nice that they have our special Walter Crane collection at the checkout, at least it would be if you could tell that it was the checkout at all. As someone pointed out it looked more like a networked Minecraft game. Also some sponsors seem to have gotten special display space an option which I didn’t see offered and which could have been used more creatively with more font foundries actually selling their fonts.

imageParticularly interesting offerings today were the Silent Auction and the Type Gallery. The Silent Auction includes all sorts of nifty type memorabilia, the most exciting of which too me is a numbered print of Eric Gill’s drawings for Gill Sans Bold Condensed from 1937. I’m currently leading the bidding at $75. The type gallery contains all sorts of interesting entires from the prosaic (ours shown to right) to the fantastical. Some of the entries aren’t really type. They’re more hand drawn riffs on type like the hand drawn poster of Annie Oakley by Chandler O’Leary.

imageAll told I’ve learned some thing at Typecon and one of the biggest lessons is that we need to commit big time for an event like this and go all out with cool items for the store and silent auction and definitely have a presence of the program. Our samples in the Type Gallery were definitely an afterthought and look like it. On the other hand out USB disks of the Walter Crane collection may be too avant garde. Virtually no one has actual fonts in the store and certainly not packaged as conveniently. But because they’re the only item of that sort people don’t know what to make of them so next year will have to bring a few more packages to keep them company and make a bigger splash.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Reporting from Typecon

imageI’m in Washington DC this week attending Typecon. The Society of Typographic Aficionados official convention. There are all sorts of programs and presentations with notable typographers and designers appearing as speakers. As well as exhibits and new products to see.

I’m merely going as a humble attendee because for all the prominent projects my fonts have appeared in (movies, games, book covers etc.) and despite having designed hundreds of fonts over a 25 year career, I have never really sought the recognition of my peers. I’ve always seen font design as more of a craft than an art and have focused on the commercial aspects of that craft rather than the aesthetic recognition.

But this year Typecon is in DC, where I grew up and where I have family to stay with, so I figured I might as well attend. I didn’t submit any fonts for consideration in the font gallery, but I did arrange to be a sponsor for the convention, for nice-looking Scriptorium brochures to be in the “goodie bag,” an advertisement to appear in the program and a special Walter Crane sampler to be on sale in the convention store.

Some elements of the program are rather eclectic and obviously directed at a very specialized audience. I have to admit to not being a typographic fanboy or attracted to the idea of raising designers to celebrity status. But other elements of the program are pretty interesting particularly a series of presentations called “Type in Twenty” consisting of brief presentations on aspects of type design or particular design problems presented in short form in only 20 minutes.

It’s odd, but I feel like a bit of an outcast among professional typographers. I don’t have the right academic or design credentials, I didn’t study with Hermann Zapf or Matthew Carter, my designs certainly aren’t trendy and I’m hardly prepared to discuss design movements or what’s hot in typography. I know what I like and I know some history, but I’m largely self-taught when it comes to type even if I’ve been doing it for 25 years and have hundreds of designs to my credit. Not to mention that I have 30 years on most of the attendees and lack their devotion to typographically interesting body art.

So in about 10 minutes I’m going to head down to the introductory mixer and mingle. Which may be a disaster and which fills me with dread because I’d much rather be sitting at home in my easy chair with my MacBook on my lap hammering out my latest font and not worrying about what anyone thinks about it or whether it defines the cutting edge of modern typography.

Rating 4.00 out of 5

Russian Folk Art and Fonts Collection

In the early 20th century, before the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, the Art Nouveau movement crept into the failing empire by way of Alphons Mucha and the Slavic Folk Art movement in Czechoslovakia. Russian artists picked up on the ideas of these movements and began producing new styles of art for a growing commercial marketplace, combining elements of traditional Russian decorative arts, subjects from Russian folklore, and ideas from the west.

The leading star of the Russian Folk Art movement was Ivan Bilibin, whose illustrations of Russian folk stories and fiction by contemporary authors like Pushkin were remarkable for their integration of traditional and modern styles. Other artists were also attracted to the movement, including many who went on to achieve fame in more respectable artistic circles, such as Leon Bakst. Many of these artists did advertising art as well as illustration, and a lot of their work was featured in the magazine World of Art, which was the showplace of the movement. Like other folk artists of the period, the work of Bilibin and his contemporaries extended beyond the limits of simple illustration, including graphic design and fascinating hand lettering styles.

rfaThe Scriptorium’s Russian Folk Art Collection includes a selection of illustrations and decorations by Ivan Bilibin and other artists, including decorative borders, emblems, headers and large-size illustrations of Russian folklore. It also features three special fonts based on the lettering of Russian artists, including Ivan Bilibin and Mikhail Vrubel, as well as a recently added set of 10 Russian language fonts. The whole collection is only $49. To order your own Russian Folk Art collection remember the stock number (AT107) and give us a call at 1-512-656-8011 or use our ONLINE ORDERING

If you want to try out one of our Russian Folk Art fonts, just download the demo version of Bilibin using the link below. The full version is in the Russian Folk Art collection.

Download the Bilibin font for Windows or MacOS

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Featured Font: Sanhedrin



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Sanhedrin is a decorative futuristic font, which features two distinct sets of different characters and a number of additional special characters.  It draws some characters from the Greek alphabet and also has some unusual art nouveau character forms and a strange biblical name just for fun.

The demo version of Sanhedrin 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.

Rating 3.00 out of 5

Help Pick Our Next Font

We’ve got five designs were considering for out next font. They all fairly similar so we need some help choosing. Which one would you like to see next?

Rating 4.33 out of 5

New Font: Lyceum

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Lyceum has the stylized shape and look of a font designed for the program at a lecture hall, hence the name. It is super bold but remains highly readable at fairly small sized, though the contrasts are dramatic. It features only an uppercase characters set because the style of the font didn’t translate well in lowercase, but it does have customized numbers and punctuation.

The demo version of Lyceum 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.


Rating 3.00 out of 5

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