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New Font: Tantalus

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Tantalus is a display font for titles with a basic Roman design and elaborately embellished characters. It features the more decorative versions of the characters in the upper case positions and a plain caps set in the lower case positions.

It’s a neat whimsical font and if you need a compatible lower case character set of additional characters it works well with the Diomedes font. The font takes its name from the the son of Zeus who was condemned to Tartarus where he had to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches, with the fruit ever eluding his grasp, and the water always receding before he could take a drink.

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

L. E. Wright Borders

border1Here’s a little something from a more innocent age, a set of three decorative floral borders designed by L. E. Wright for the book Mary’s Garden a collection of nursery rhymes together with explanatory/elaborative stories also by Wright.

There are just three borders, so it’s not exactly enough for a package in its own right, so we’re just making them available here to download for free.

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Flatstock 48 at SXSW

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bandofskullsFor the fifth year in a row the SXSW festival in Austin has featured the Flatstock poster show with some of the best original gig posters from around the world on display and for sale. I’ve attended each of these and filed a report: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014.

In previous years I went with the intention of providing a broad review of the show, purchased quite a few posters and gathered info on a lot of artists.  This year I went with a more focused intent.  I decided to limit my goal to the purchase of only three posters, the three best on a common theme, but of different styles.  As I viewed the posters the theme I settled on was depictions of women smoking.

zombiesI braved the SXSW traffic, paid the exorbitant parking fees and made my way into the Austin convention center for the very crowded Flatstock show.

The show was actually smaller than in previous years, having to share space with a band gear show.  Nonetheless there were still some great artists there, including some of the best from previous years and some new ones as well.

Interestingly, as I went through the hall and selected my three favorite posters, they all turned out to be made by British designers, two of them ones I had seen last year and wanted, but not bought.  A poster for Band of Skulls by WeThreeClub from Leeds, a triptych design for The Melvins by JackKnife Studio of Bristol, and a trippy poster for The Zombies by Mishka Westell, a British expat living in Austin and designing in the traditional Austin poster style, notable for her series of posters for legendary Austin musician Roky Erikson.

melvinsThe three posters I selected really are outstanding, with images that are at once dramatic and alluring, as well as showing impressive artistic originality. Great examples of the poster designers art and great additions for my collection.

Flatstock has always been exclusively for poster sales, but there were a couple of interesting exceptions this year, like the booth for the Adventures in Design podcast, which held live interviews right in the middle of the show. It was a deviation from the usual program, but a good one and the podcast is worth checking out if you like to hear insights about the business of poster design from people in the industry, including the current round of shows direct from Flatstock 48.

Now Delivering Fonts on Custom Flash Drives

kingghidoraThe Compact Disc has had its day and the world is moving on. It had a pretty good run in computer years, remaining relevant for well over a decade. But now its day is done. Apple stopped making laptops with CD drives a couple of years ago and most Windows computer makers are following along behind the trendsetter as they usually do.

Our business is software delivery and more and more that means an instant download for maximum consumer convenience. But not everyone is comfortable without a physical copy of their software and not everyone has enough bandwidth to download the hundreds of megabytes in some of our packages. Fonts aren’t usually much of a problem. They’re very compact, but image packages are monsters.

So when the CDR/W drive on our oldest Mac gave up the ghost, a new solution was called for. You can see the answer to this dilemma artfully being modeled by the legendary King Ghidora.  It’s a 2gb, custom imprinted flash drive which we can load any of our products onto for convenient delivery through the mails.

It means a slight surcharge on mail orders, but for more compact, durable and up to date media it’s well worth it. A download is still the cheapest and most efficient way to get products, but if you need delivery by mail we have an option for you.

Classic Font: Sprite

boticellisI was out to dinner for my daughter’s birthday and we went to a nice restaurant in downtown Austin called Boticelli’s. Much to my surprise the logo of the restaurant was strangely familiar. It was in our Sprite font, shown to the right.

In this new edition we have improved the kerning and spacing, expanded alternate characters and added a custom bold weight of the font.

You can order Sprite and Sprite Bold together or get them in our Art Nouveau Font Collection. You can try the DEMO version of Sprite Bold for free. The demo has a limited character set. Or you can ORDER the full version of both fonts for only $24.

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Decorative Intials Collection

decorative Initials font consists of characters which combine basic letter forms with artistic embellishment, often in the form of floral or geometric patterns used as a background or intertwined with the letter. Decorative Initials have their origins in medieval manuscript decoration where complex and colorful characters were used to make a manuscript page more attractive. Most Decorative Initials fonts have their origins in the adaptation of this medieval concept to early typography, limiting them to complex two-color patterns, though in some cases these might be decorated after printing. Decorative Initials fonts are sometimes referred to as ‘Drop Caps’ because they are ‘dropped’ into a page of text.

he Scriptorium Font collection includes a wide variety of decorative initials fonts based on designs from the middle ages through the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements of the late 19th and early 20th century. Many of these initials follow traditional floral motifs, but some are quite unusual, offering unique themes like the nymphs found in Maidens or the arcadian scenes in Campobello. Some go even farther afield, like the wild art deco style of Finestra or Romantica. And not all initials come in the traditional style you’re probably most familiar with, where a letter is superimposed on a box of foliage or other decoration. We also offer initials which are characters drawn or decorated in unusual ways, like the anthropomorphic initials in Netherworld, Otherworld and Boneyard, or the decorated Celtic calligraphy initials of Knotwork and Columba, or the floral decorated uncial capitals of Florimel. Initials in the forms of animals or people were quite common in medieval and early modern design.

ecause of their original use and the complexity of the images, decorative initials fonts may present some unexpected challenges for the user. More than other fonts, decorative initials demand at least a 32-bit operating system to function properly, though that isn’t an issue with computers less than 5 years old these days. They also require substantial printer memory and processor power because they are composed of such complex outlines. Generally they will work fine under any version of Windows or the MacOS, but with older operating systems some decorative initials fonts may cause various problems. In addition, because most decorative initials were originally designed to meet the needs of a specific book or document, they may not always feature complete modern character sets. In particular, many of our fonts are based on early woodcuts or hand-drawn initials, rather than actual typefaces of initials. So in a font like Burghers (17th century Dutch woodcuts) or Batten (19th century hand-drawn initials) you’ll find duplicates of many letters and you may find other letters missing. Generally the most popular letters like O, T, A and C are well represented, while less common letters may be missing. Fortunately, in most cases your need for initials will be likely to match the letters which were in high demand in the original, and there is a definite benefit to having a variety of different initials to pick from for a specific letter.

For more information on using Decorative Initials fonts, take a look at our previous article on Designing With Decorative Initialsll of our decorative initials fonts are available in both True Type and Postscript format for Macintosh and Windows computers. They are available individually or in a special collection with all the initials for $79.00. Our single fonts and decorative initials font packages can be ordered online, by mail or by phone for delivery online or by mail for internet delivery or delivery on CD by mail.

To order the full collection online and take delivery online or shipped on CD, CLICK HERE. To order by phone call 1-512-656-8011. To browse individual decorative initials try THIS LINK.

To get an idea of what our decorative initials fonts are like, try out our special Initials font which combines characters from most of our decorative initials fonts into a single font. Just CLICK HERE to download it.

2014 Font and Art Sampler

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At the start of every year we put out a special sampler package of the fonts and art which we released or revised 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 2014, with a great selection of recent font and art releases. It includes 23 new or revised fonts, including 4 in their full release versions (Phaeton, Vasilisa, Doge and Carillon) and 19 demo versions, plus a great selection of over 50 images drawn from our art packages by Louis Rhead, Walter Crane, Charles Folkard and Cecily Mary Barker.

The package is available at a special discounted price of just $9.95 from our ONLINE STORE.

You can also get all the details on our other recent samplers at these links: 2013 Sampler, 2012 Sampler, 2011 Sampler, 2010 Sampler, 2009 Sampler, 2008 Sampler.

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Illustrated Fairy Tales from Heart of Oak

goldlocksIn our endless acquisition of graphic arts resources we come across oddities from time to time. One of those is this collection of classic fairy tales told through illustrations by Frank T. Merrill, which were published in a series of children’s books called Heart of Oak.  They are here free to download as a bonus for loyal fans of our website and products.

New Font: Merguez

Merguez is a hand lettered font in the tradition of Speedball freehand calligraphy, but with some unusual flourishes.  It makes an excellent alternative to boring informal hand lettering fonts like Comic Sans.

It includes a full upper and lower case character set, plus numbers and punctuation. We picked the name for it from the popular French sausage made from lamb and spices, which you have to admit it kind of looks like.

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

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Columbia’s Courtship by Walter Crane

columbia-fpAs part of Great Britain’s participation in the 1906 World’s Fair in Chicago, legendary Arts and Crafts artist Walter Crane was comissioned to produce a special commemorative book in a limited edition. The result was Columbia’s Courtship, an epic poem about American history, written and hand lettered by Walter Crane with each verse part of a full-page of illustration and decoration. It is one of Crane’s most unusual and striking works.

Columbia’s Courtship is one of Walter Crane’s rarest and hardest to find works. It has never been reissued in print or digital format and because of the limited size of the original printing, copies of that edition are extremely difficult to track down. As far as we know, the eBook version we recently released through Amazon is the only reprint in existence.

That eBook is also included as part of a new mini-package available here for just $29. It includes high resolutions versions of all the illustrated pages, including the frontispiece, plus both a PDF version of the book and the eBook. The images are licensed for reprint with limited rights. The package can be ordered in our ONLINE STORE.

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