Austin de Croze’s Calendrier Magique
In stumbling around art resources on the internet I sometimes run into amazing resources and collections of art which I never expected to see online or anywhere else for that matter. But there are some conscientious archivists and academics out there who react properly when they see something rare and strange. Too many of their colleagues react defensively and want to hoard their treasures, but some few noble souls realize that unique works need to be shared and that the internet is a fantastic way to do it.
One example of this is Cornell University’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections and their charming online museum of The Fantastic in Art and Fiction, an online collection of historical images on themes of the fantastic and magical, taken from printed works of the 18th and 19th century. There are lots of great images included from various rare books on magic and mysticism. Some of the images are fairly familiar, but what really stands out in the collection is one of the few books they have preserved all the images from, Austin de Croze’s amazing Art Nouveau Calaedrier Magique. It’s a remarkable work of French art nouveau graphic arts design, reminiscent of the best of the Jugendstil movement of the same period. It’s a unique work which was produced in an edition of only 777 copies in 1895 making it rare enough that you’ll likely never see a copy in person much less have a chance to buy and own one. So it’s great that Cornell has preserved the whole thing.
Obviously, it’s a calendar. Producing calendars was a common practice of the art book and magazine publishers of the art nouveau period. In fact, Munchner Jugend produced some very interesting calenders. But nothing I’ve seen is like this work. The integration of unique art, hand lettering, graphic decoration and fantastic themes is phenomenal. Each page is a revelation and at first look I found it hard to believe it was over 100 years old. Some of the designs are so clever and so modern looking that at first I thought it must be a hoax, but by all appearances it’s the real thing. Some of the images are disturbing, some are erotic and all of them are rich fodder for the imagination.
The only thing to do if you’re at all interested in art nouveau design or fantastic-themed art is to go look at it for yourself. You’ll enjoy the tour. Although I suspect the pages could be in better condition, my one real complaint it’s that the images aren’t in higher resolution. I’m guessing the original calendar was about 4 by 11, but with the digital images at only 72dpi I found myself disappointed in the lack of zoomability. But the presentation is nice and you can get a great feel for this fascinating work. If you happen to see a copy in a rare book store, pick it up and send it to me. My birthday is just around the corner.
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 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[...]
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 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 Highball is a bold font in every sense of the word. Yes, its weight is heavy and pronounced in the traditional meaning of bold, but it is also of an extreme height which could be considered bold, and of a boldly progressive style. Highball features a full character s[...]
Butterfield is based on letting from a poster for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. It can be found as part of Psychedelic Fonts Collection package. It has a unique look particularly characteristic of the 60s and especially suited to use on posters. It has a full set of numbers and punctuation, plus custom small [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Our Froissart font was first released in 2000 as part of our Medieval Fonts and Art package. It is an accurate recreation of the Littera Bastarda calligraphic style which was popular in the 14th and 15th centuries as gothic styles were losing popularity and there was a demand for s[...]
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 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 Mannering is a new font design derived from some samples of an uppercase letter set by Samuel Welo, with additional lowercase characters and numbers added to it in the same style. It is a sans serif font with calligraphic lines and distinctive embellished horizontal cro[...]
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[...]
Lachesis was one of our earliest text font designs, a unique font deliberately designed to have an antique wood-cut look. It is based on samples of vintage type taken directly from letterpress type blocks found at the type museum in Barnard Maine, a great resource which closed a few years ago. Over the years La[...]
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 [...]
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'[...]
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[...]
Once again we are calling on the classic early 20th century lettering work of J. M. Bergling to produce a new font with a timeless look which combines elements of text and titling styles for a versatile and elegant effect. Diomedes includes a full set of upper and lower case characters plus an interesting sele[...]
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]
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]
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]
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]
Austin is a great center for the arts, not only music and film and other performing arts, but visual arts and all sorts of crafts. All these events and shows have to be advertised and the traditional method of getting the word out is through posters distributed all over town wherever people gather. I like to go arou[more]
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]
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]
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