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, with unique art by Manuel Orazi. 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 Marquis Greeking is unreadable. It is supposed to be unreadable, because it is a Greeking Font, a font designed specifically to check layout and overall appearance without the distraction of the actual text. It contains variations of actual characters from our Marquis text font, w[...]
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 Cymbeline was one of our earliest font designs and has been fairly popular over the years, but some of the shortcomings of the font came to our attention after seeing the font on a book cover, so we decided to work it over and see if we could produce an improved version, while preserving the ca[...]
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 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 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[...]
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[...]
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 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 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[...]
In an article last week we explored the origins of the font used in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and a bit of the history of the Django genre of films. That was part of the process of the development of an original font based on the lettering used in the original Django, a process similar to what was p[...]
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 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 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[...]
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]
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]
On a previous vacation with my family I discovered my Folkard font in use for the signage on a restaurant in Bar Harbor called "The Lazy Lobster." This year I was pleased to note new signage with a jaunty lobster, but still featuring Folkard. Bar Harbor is Maine's legendary tourist town. Among the many chic restaur[more]
BUY NOW True Golden is a classic font based on a design by legendary arts and crafts designer and author William Morris. It is a special rendering of Morris' Golden type, based on printed samples rather than digitized steel type, preserving a more accurate representation of the look in print. True[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]
There are only two things we can really be sure of in life, death and taxes. This is the season where we are most reminded of the grim specter of the tax man lurking just around the corner. We can't take away his burdensome presence, but maybe we can making it a bit lighter by reminding you that your investment in fo[more]
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]
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