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 Potsdam was one of our earliest font releases, first produced in 1992 based on samples of 19th century decorative German type. It was one of our first fonts designed for MacIntosh computer users and follows the naming convention for Mac fonts of that era, being named after a city. [...]
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 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[...]
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 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[...]
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[...]
It has taken a lot of hours of development, but we finally have our promised Walter Crane Initials font. Or should I say FOUR fonts, because in the process of developing the font it turned out that we ended up with more than we bargained for. One reason that there are four fonts is that there was so[...]
I don't know what came over me one Halloween, but I couldn't get the idea of dancing skeletons out of my head. The classic dance of death, but a bit more expressive, with the skeletons working together to form the letters of a font. This resulted in the design for the Bonyeard font, where each letter is made [...]
Wolfram is a great example of early 20th century type design. It is bold and intended for use in posters and signage, but it has rough outlines for a mock antique look. It also has an unusually wide footprint for a very striking look.We originally produced Wolfram in the mid-90s, and it has been somewhat revise[...]
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[...]
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 Custom Preview Squiffy is a fun font. It has a background in arts and crafts style font design, but rather than the regular, architectural character forms and arrangements, the characters are wild and irregular and highly varied. There are two distinct versions of every character, with[...]
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 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 [...]
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 chara[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]
Here'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 o[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]
"We are saddened by the death of legendary type designer Hermann Zapf at the age of 96. His classic fonts like Optima, Palatino and Zapf Chancery set the standard for type design for the 20th century. Zapf's long career as designer and teacher was an inspiration to type designers around the world and made all of our l[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]
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]
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