Ancient and Arcane Fonts
While developing more traditional fonts based on historical material, we have occasionally hit upon historical oddities or lettering styles of exceptional antiquity which have interesting qualities and in which there is enough interest to justify the effort needed to make them into fonts.
As a result, our collection has come to include a substantial number of fonts based on the earliest ancient languages as well as fonts based on a variety of magical, fantastical and arcance lettering styles.
Languages like Ugaritic, Chaldean and Phoenician may have become extinct long ago, but they are still of interest to scholars and have a suprising attraction for many graphic designers who want to use lettering in a decorative way to create an arcane appearance without using any comprehensible modern language. Ancient scripts are perfect for this, because they give the appearance of genuine writing, while not being recognizable to the lay viewer. Our selection of ancient scripts is large and growing, focused on the more obscure lettering styles, though we also offer fonts for more familiar languages like Greek, Coptic and Cyrillic.
Down the centuries, mystics and kabbalists have sought to understand the universe by learning the secret scripts which would unlock the door to arcane knowledge. We have a number of fonts based on the languages of demons, angels and mad alchemists of one kind or another.
In addition, we have several fonts which
feature regular characters, plus arcane symbols as special characters, and art fonts with mystical images, including fonts like our Marseille Tarot font where ever letter is a card from the Major Arcana of a classic Tarot deck.
The worlds of the ancient past and magical aracana are not that far from the worlds of pure fantasy, which explains why we have such a large selection of completely fantastical fonts.
Most of these are drawn from the intricately developed background of the Ysgarth roleplaying game, which has gone farther than most games in exploring the details of fantasy world language and society. You can find out more about Ysgarth at the
Regardless of the use you put them to, there is a special fascination to these strange and arcane fonts. We’re planning on developing more of them in the future, including heiroglyphic, demotic and other lost languages. Plus, if you like this sort of font, check out our calligraphy page, because at there is a point at which calligraphy crosses over a line into the bizarre and magical when the artistry of the lettering overwhelms the pure representational aspect of the characters.
These fonts are all available collected together in our Arcane Fonts package which you can ORDER ONLINE and download immediately for only $59. You may also be interested in our Russian and Cyrillic fonts collection. All of the fonts are also available individually. Just do a search for them by name.
To get an idea of what our arcane fonts are like, try out the shareware version of our new Malachim font. It’s based on an alphabet which purports to be a version of the script used by angels. It should give you a good idea of what our fonts can look like on your computer: Download Malachim
New Font: BigBlok
A great many years ago when working in game publishing I had a real fascination with doing titles in a strong, super-bold font called Bolt Bold. The truth is I rather overused it. In doing some research I find it on more than a dozen different game books I wrote in the early 80s, all quite collectable and out of print today.
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Our Munich font was first released in 1998 and has been revised several times since then. This latest version includes substantial improvements in the outlines of the characters and a new set of simple upper case initials. Munich is based on one of the classic lettering styles used on[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Quicksilver was designed as one of the original featured fonts included in our Psychedelic Fonts Package. It was developed into a full font from a sample of lettering from Quicksilver Messenger Service's live album Summer of '68 and posters for shows associated with it [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Roghwork is a unique font which combines a decoarative upper case character set with a simple set of lowercase characters. Designed primarily for use in titles and posters, the uppercase characters are based on samples of hand-drawn master designs for a set of roman-st[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview 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 biblic[...]
In the week leading up to St. Patrick's Day it's all about Celtic design, so our featured classic font has to be something with a Celtic theme. That being the case, there's no better choice than our bold and beautiful Padstow font. It's named after the town with the most famous festival in Cornwall and has a uniq[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Startling Stories was a pulp-era science fiction magazine known for its lurid covers by Earle K. Bergey and its eye-catching title designs. It was a companion to Thrilling Wonder Stories and Fantastic Stories. The magazine was very successful in the immediate pos[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Cosmic Dude was designed as one of the special original fonts developed for our Modern Poster Fonts package. The character forms are based on samples of hand lettering from a late 1970s rock show poster. The character set includes numbers, punctuation, uppercase letter[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Escargot is based on lettering from the cover of an early pulp novel I came across a couple of months ago. It's a strong example of a distinctive style of sign and poster lettering from the 1930, characterized by super high contrast between the weighting on the le[...]
It's time for something new and strange, our new and original Monstrous font. Monstrous is a titling font which offers a striking look and special features which make it truly unique. The characters are stylized and super-bold, but what really sets the font apart is that there are two complete character sets w[...]
Vasilisa is based on Russian folk art lettering from the pre-revolutionary period. It is included in our original Russian Fonts and Art package. It is very readable in English but also includes elements of Cyrillic lettering. It is evocative of rural Russian life and fits well with the hand crafted peasant wood[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview We've featured some articles on the designs of pulp novel covers from the mid-20th century, including s look at the fonts used in those designs. We've also released fonts based on those designs, like suspicion. These old book cover designs are a great resource for [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO We have done a number of fonts based on unique, historic movie titles. The most well known and widely circulated is our Captain Kidd font, but we have another historic movie font based on an even more famous movie, our Locksley font which comes from the titles of the Adventures of [...]
Engrossing is one of our earliest fonts, originally released in the early 1990s. It is based on one of the very first examples of printed type in a script style. The historic source design was derived from common 17th century calligraphy, simplified for conversion to type and it became the precursor of all of t[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Doge is a new font based on samples of late-renaissance period lettering from Venice, preserved and reproduced by early 20th century calligrapher and designer J. M. Bergling. It has some similarity to some of our other fonts based on lettering from the same period[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Script fonts can be a real challenge to design, especially when they are designed to have interconnecting characters which require exacting kerning and character positioning. When we first developed Orphiel we did a lot of kerning work on it, but despite a g[...]
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 distri[more]
At 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 accent[more]
Our newest release is our collection of Constructivist Fonts based on poster lettering from the early post-revolutionary period in Russia, including designs based on the styles of famous designers of the period like Alexander Rodchenko, Mikhail Vrubel and Sergei Eisenstein. These are typical of the m[more]
As the blazing heat of and endless Summer begins to fade, what could be a better deal than a sale on single fonts to start the new season? For two weeks, through September 25th, if you place an order for an assortment of single fonts of your choice, the more you order the bigger the discount, as listed below. Your s[more]
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 [more]
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 o[more]
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 ar[more]
As 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 w[more]
Click any font to see a larger sample. The new second edition of our Arts & Crafts font collection features 15 fonts based on designs from the Arts & Crafts movements of the late Victorian period. They are derived from designs from several branches of the movement, and demon[more]
There 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,[more]
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 [more]
Our buccaneer font is peculiarly popular for pirate themed designs, which explains why it is prominently featured on the absurdly named "ARRR BARRR" pirate inspired nutty chocolate bar with a "Scandalous Activity Kit" inside. I admired the packaging in the store but not enough to sample one of the curious confections.[more]
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 li[more]
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?[more]
I'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 [more]
It's been a while since we released any new art from our collection of fairytale books illustrated by Charles Folkard. So it's about time we make available this collection of his illustrations for Grimm's Fairy Tales. This mini-package includes 8 beautifully drawn and colored images from stories by the Brothers Grim[more]
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[more]
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[more]
Our gothic font collection is a compilation of our most interesting fonts based on gothic type and late medieval calligraphy. It covers the range from the historical styles in which gothic printing had its inspiration to the ornate heights of complex gothic fonts from 19th century Germany. This includes fonts in the[more]
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[more]
For TypeCon we produced a special collection of Walter Crane Fonts and Art on a Flash Drive shaped like a business card. We have some of these left over after the event and nothing to do with them except sell them as a special item on our web page. The package contains five original Walter Crane fonts, including one[more]
- Jugendstil Collection Updated
- Classic Font: Ulalume
- Oscar Silveira: Thanks Mark, glad you discovered it useful. :)
- Font/Image Licenses
- New Font: Carillon
- Special Item: Walter Crane Collection Flash Drive