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.
I was out to dinner for my daughter's birthday and we went to a nice restaurant in downtown Austin called Boticelli's. Much to my surprise the logo of the restaurant was strangely familiar. It was in our Sprite font, shown to the right. In this new edition we have improved the kerning and spacing, expanded alt[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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[...]
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 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 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 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.[...]
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 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[...]
Sternhagen is a classically attractive font with a modernized gothic look which combines traditional elements from the high middle ages with a bit of Art Deco style. It will eventually be part of our Gothic Fonts Collections, but for now it is available singly.Sternhagen has a complete upper and lowercase charact[...]
"We are saddened by the death of legendary type designer Hermann Zapf at the age of 96. His classic fonts like Optima, Palatino and Zapf Chancery set the standard for type design for the 20th century. Zapf's long career as designer and teacher was an inspiration to type designers around the world and made all of our l[more]
For years we've been adding to what has become an outstanding library of illustrated books by Arts and Crafts era designer Walter Crane, and all that work has come to fruition with the release of selected Walter Crane material in outstanding packages customized for contemporary designers who want to incorporate his uni[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]
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]
I was exploring the listings on eBay recently and stumbled onto a listing for a book of sample type designs from the Ukraine, published in 1930. The images on eBay were not that informative, but I was intrigued, so I ordered it. It took quite a while for the book to get here from the Ukraine, but when it arrived I w[more]
BUY NOW Platthand is a font based on examples of lettering drawn from Elizabethan period maps. The upper case letters are embellished with extremely ornate flouishes, very dramatic. Many alternate flourished versions of the characters are also included. The lower case characters are not embellished[more]
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]
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]
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