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 Custom Preview Our original Folkard font has achieved near legendary status as one of the most interesting calligraphic title fonts of the contemporary era. It has been enormously popular and appeared on movie titles, book covers, t-shirts and games. However it is not the only [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Tilbury is based on advertising lettering from the 1930s. It has a unique and stylish look reminiscent of a swashed italic brush script. Tilbury includes a full character set with upper and lower case, numbers and punctuation. It has fully customized kerning and spacing as well.[...]
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 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[...]
Pyle Gothic is based on lettering designed by Howard Pyle, from his Adventures of Robin Hood and King Arthur and His Knights. It combines elements of calligraphy and a simulation of primitive printing techniques.The original characters were carved into wood blocks from which the black and white illustrations wit[...]
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 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 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 Back in 1995 I designed a card game called Quest for the Grail and formed a publishing partnership to produce it called Stone Ring Games. I did a bunch of design work for the game, including designing a unique title font called Marmyadose. Marmyadose was a unique font, but it was too fancy to[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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 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 Pullman is a classic font based on commercial lettering from the 1930s. We originally adapted the font to a digital version in 1999 and it's been languishing neglected until now. So we've dusted it off and made some standard improvements and here it is, ready for the new millenium. Pullman[more]
I was in Amy's Ice Cream with my kids when I noticed a very large man wearing a t-shirt for a local band called The Gourds, and much to my surprise I recognized my Gloriana font on the shirt. I lacked the presence of mind to take a picture of the shirt on the spot, but when I got home I did a little research and d[more]
I recently had an opportunity to visit the Texas Capitol building. It was very busy because the legislature was in session, lobbyists were skulking in the halls and student tours were everywhere. Despite the distractions I had an opportunity to observe and photograph some very impressive antique door hardware. The C[more]
As we did last year, we have compiled figures on font sales through all of our outlets and here are the results for our best selling fonts for the year. Three fonts from last year made it in - Scurlock, Captain Kidd and last year's top seller Albemarle. If you have confidence in the judgment of others, then you sho[more]
William Morris was one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts Movement and closely involved with the Pre-Raphaelite artists of the mid-19th century. His ideal of integrating art, literature and graphic design inspired a generation of artists like Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Millais and Waterhouse. Morris was an artist, po[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]
From time to time I get to do some creative design work for political causes, especially in opposition to efforts to expand cybersurveillance and give the NSA access to your personal information on the internet. This week is the drive to stop CISA, which would make Facebook, Google and even your ISP accomplices in t[more]
In the 1930s there was an explosion of popular literature in the form of pulp novels and magazines, featuring lurid covers and scandalous content in a diversity of genres from suspense to mystery to science fiction to westerns. Pulp novel covers had a distinctive style and that i[more]
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