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.
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 Custom Preview There's a peculiar style of letters that seems to only show up on some signs and letterpress posters and it caught my eye when I saw it being used in the recent poster for the National Day of the American Cowboy. It's like a western style "egyptian" font with big [...]
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[...]
Treadway is a new, original design in the tradition of futuristic advertising scripts of the mid-20th century, inspired by fonts like Kaufmann and Gillies, but with a stronger, more clearly defined look, stripped down to its most stylized essentials for a very powerful visual impact. It is the kind of type you'[...]
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[...]
Dahlgren is a heavyweight, square shaped font which works well for titles and display uses. Its an original design, with a standard character set and a set of outline characters. It takes its name from the Civil War era engineer who designed the Dahlgren Gun. You can try the DEMO version of Dahlgren for fre[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview 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 st[...]
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 n[...]
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 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 [...]
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 [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Edifice is a decorative titling font based on samples of lettering by J. M. Bergling. It has an architectural, constructed look to it. Very well suited to sign and poster design. It's stylish but still readable and clear. Edifice includes a full uppercase charac[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview You may recall a couple of months ago when we had some font samples posted on the page to vote on. Well, the winner of the vote by a significant margin was a sample of lettering by Samuel Welo, and now as promised, it is available as our newest font: Carillon. They f[...]
In 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 [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]
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]
If you don't already get our weekly (more or less) newsletter with free offers, discount coupons and links to our articles and new releases, this is the time to sign up. We're constantly putting new articles, new fonts, new reviews and new links to great antique art and design resources on our site. Every [more]
As a special bonus, this Christmas we're making available an unusual collection of Christmas images by outstanding American book illustrator and decorator Walter Tittle, an artist most known for his seasonal works. These illustrations are taken from his book Colonial Holdays which is a collection of accounts from p[more]
A few years ago I wrote a review of Blue Genie Art Bazaar in Austin. Blue Genie is still there and going stronger than ever, in fact this year they've added additional space and a bunch of new artists. and in just a few years it has come to offer some real competition to Austin's classic Armadillo Christmas Bazaar. [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]
The 1960s was a time when creativity flourished, in music, in literature and in the visual arts. This creativity found its outlet mostly in the counter culture, and one big aspect of that was in poster design for concerts at the great nightclubs of that era like the Fillmore. Rock posters of the 60s have a particula[more]
Margaret Armstrong was an artist of the early 20th century particularly known for her detailed Art Nouveau decorated book bindings, but she also did outstanding floral illustration as found in her book Western Wild Flowers, or in floral ornamented borders in books like Love Finds a Way by Paul Leicester Ford. The fl[more]
Holiday Fonts and Art Collection Classic Font: St. Nicholas Holiday Clip Art New Font: Holly Initials Classic Font: Swithin Classic Font: Offenbach Chancery Design Your Own Holiday Cards Better Holiday Font Choices Holiday Bonus: Present Labels Eleanore Brickale's Carols Walter Crane Chris[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]
I was in the Austin airport taking off for parts unknown and felt a need for breakfast. Apparently the only option for a late-morning breakfast taco was Maudie's Tex Mex, so I headed for Gate 11. I got my breakfast tacos, and they were truly awful, but the experience was made somewhat better by seeing their interesting[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]
Too often when looking at antique books we concentrate on the contents and ignore the covers, but some book covers are artworks in their own right and cannot be ignored, this is even more true with eBooks which are more and more causing content to be divorced from packaging. In the early 20th century, before the adv[more]
This is a special collection of borders (and three illustrations) drawn by Louis Rhead for William Morris' translation of The History of Oversea. These are striking borders in Rhead's unique art nouveau style, well suited to various adaptations. The collection contains 13 borders and 3 illustrations, the complete d[more]
When we were renovating our house I discovered ornamental brass fixtures for the doors designed by Charles Eastlake. So I went shopping and found antique Eastlake hinges and knobs for all the doors. Charles Locke Eastlake (1836–1906) was the greatest British Arts and Crafts designer in the period after William Mor[more]
The process of digitizing illustrated works by Walter Crane continues. The latest entry in the collection is Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden a work somewhat reminiscent of A Flower Wedding featuring a combination of poetry and fanciful illustrations of anthropomorphized flowers which are quite lovely. The le[more]
Every year we release a number of new fonts, and at the end of the year we collect them all together and release them as a collection at a great discount price. Through some oversight at the end of 2013 we failed to release our annual collection of new fonts. That means we have a chance to[more]
MAJOR WORKS A Floral Fantasy in an Old English Garden Aladdin's Picture Book Crane Arthurian Art Columbia's Courtship The Golden Primer The Shepherd's Calendar A Flower Wedding Queen Summer Pan Pipes BABY'S COLLECTIONS The Baby's Aesop The Baby's Opera The Baby's Bouquet MINI-PAC[more]
We have an awful lot of fonts. Well over 500 of them and more all the time. Plus we're starting a great new discount when you order multiple fonts at the same time...fonts as much at 50% off. We've just updated one of our most useful reference tool, a graphic preview gallery of all hundreds of our new and feature[more]
For years here at the Scriptorium we've been developing fonts and collecting unique art which is perfect for Halloween and putting it together into packages which we promote through our Boneyard Fonts site. After many years collecting fonts and art we've put together a gruesomely provocative collection of fonts and art[more]
Thanksgiving is almost upon us and it isa great time to celebrate family and the harvest and remember some history. Part of that history can be told in the form of unique fonts, including many which were created for special occasions to add decoration to holiday cards or invitations. Printers have been ornamenting for [more]
- Columbia's Courtship by Walter Crane
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- Renaissance Fonts and Art Collection
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- Celtic Font and Art Collections
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