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.
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 individua[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview 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,[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Malagua was originally released in 1999 and has been revised several times since then, culminating in this new release with improved weighting and additional special characters. MAlagua is based on examples of rough hand lettering from the 17th century. It has characteristics [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview 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 fo[...]
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 Slava is based on lettering by legendary Art Nouveau master Alphons Mucha from his later post-Parisian period when he returned to Prague and did a lot of design work in support of the slavic nationalist movement. The letter forms still have many of the characteristics of[...]
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[...]
Pyle Gothic is based on lettering designed by Howard Pyle, from his Adventures of Robin Hood and King Arthur and His Knights. It combines elements of calligraphy and a simulation of primitive printing techniques.The original characters were carved into wood blocks from which the black and white illustrations wit[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Our original Folkard font has achieved near legendary status as one of the most interesting calligraphic title fonts of the contemporary era. It has been enormously popular and appeared on movie titles, book covers, t-shirts and games. However it is not the only [...]
Hendrix is one of our most classic and most quintessential psychedelic poster fonts. It is based on hand lettering from a number of posters and album covers produced in the 1960s and the early 1970s. It is a very striking font, quite recognizable and identified with the period. This new release has some signific[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO 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 ne[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Grand Concours is based on lettering designed for a poster for the equestrian competition which was held at the Paris Hippodrome starting in the 1920s. The Grand Concours itself started in the 1860s, and is basically the French answer to an American rodeo. The font is unusual [...]
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 [...]
Every year around Halloween we come out with a new font that fits the spirit of the holiday, drawing on all sorts of sources for inspiration. You can find our past fonts in our Halloween Font and Art Collections. The font for this year is Undertaker, based on title lettering from Creepy magazine, the classic h[...]
It's time for politics, with primaries coming up early next year for the presidential elections. That means that candidates and protesters and marching activists all need posters and we have the fonts to make them look good and draw the eye. Whether you're standing outside a milk subsidies townhall or marching for fe[more]
We're constantly putting new articles, new fonts, new reviews and new links to great sources on our site. Every week we send out a short email newsletter called the Scriptorium Update to let people know what's new on the site and with information on special promotions and great discount offers which are exclusive to ne[more]
We have seen many efforts to bring customizable fonts to the web, from primitive rasterized characters in the early days to Macromedia/Adobe's SWF fonts and Google's Webfonts, which are probably the most successful mass market implementations. The goal has always been to take your fonts and make them appear the way you[more]
For 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[more]
BUY NOW Magdelena is one of our earliest and most successful calligraphic fonts. Based on samples of very late medieval lettering, it shows some characteristics of humanistic script styles as well as some unique peculiarities. This new version has a slightly heavier weighting than the original vers[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 wi[more]
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 [more]
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