|Art fonts (sometimes called “dingbats”) have their origins in early printers ornaments or artistic marginalia used to fill space on a page and break up large blocks of type. Traditionally these ornaments took the form of floral or geometric designs, and were inserted when the page was set, just like letter type.
With current technology art fonts are able to reproduce more complex images so they can also draw on the tradition of artists marginalia and other simple illustrations designed to accompany text. Marginalia perform a similar function to printers ornaments, but are usually more specialized and more characteristic of the work of a particular illustrator or the theme of the book in which they originate.
Traditionally most art fonts are fairly primitive, drawing on mostly functional themes, such as international sign symbols or recreating antique printers ornaments. But the medium of digital type is capable of much more, and we try to explore some of those possibilities with our art fonts. They go beyond the primitive concept of the “dingbat” and provide a more sophisticated range of small, versatile illustrations which will enhance
In exploring the potential of art fonts we owe a great debt to Arthur Rackham and some of the other artists who liberally decorated their books with marginal figures and scenes which are visually striking, yet simple enough to work well as characters in a typeface. Rackham was involved in every aspect of the production of many of the books on which he worked, and his role went well beyond the normal scope of the illustrator. He did so much decorative work on his books that we have 6 different fonts based on his marginalia.
We also have many of historically based art fonts, drawn from ancient images and decorative arts, including Roman tiles, Native American pottery painting and medieal heraldry, plus a selection of humorous and whimsical silhouettes.
All of our art fonts are available in both True Type and Postscript format for Macintosh and Windows computers. They can be purchased individually or in a special CD collection with more than 40 of our art fonts for $69.00.
We’ve got a free sample art font for you to try out. It features selected characters from some of our most popular art fonts and you can download it for free. Click here to download the WINDOWS version which will also work on Macs running OSX.
|Fonts in this collection. Click on name to see sample.
Owen Jones Celtic Borders
Rackham Holiday Ornament