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.
When we did a font (and a feature article) recently based on a design by Alexander Rodchenko, the result was a very cool font, but while it was based on Rodchenko lettering, it is not the style most associated with his work. The tall thin look of the Rodchenko font is less typical of his work than the heavier,[...]
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[...]
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 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[...]
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,[...]
Black Cow is a unique original font designed for our Horror Fonts and Art collection several years ago. It's one of the most interesting fonts in the large selection of fonts in that package, but it hasn't had the huge level of popularity which some of the other fonts have enjoyed. It has an all uppercase chara[...]
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[...]
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[...]
In honor of Cyber Monday, which some people are now expanding to be a whole Cyber Week, we're releasing St. Ives, a new modernistic font with unique riser and descender characters which give it an unusual linear look. It will be featured in a new edition of our Futuristic Fonts which will be released late[...]
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 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[...]
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[...]
Engrossing is one of our earliest fonts, originally released in the early 1990s. It is based on one of the very first examples of printed type in a script style. The historic source design was derived from common 17th century calligraphy, simplified for conversion to type and it became the precursor of all of t[...]
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[...]
It has taken a lot of hours of development, but we finally have our promised Walter Crane Initials font. Or should I say FOUR fonts, because in the process of developing the font it turned out that we ended up with more than we bargained for. One reason that there are four fonts is that there was so[...]
For years here at the Scriptorium we've been developing fonts and collecting unique art which is perfect for Halloween and putting it together into packages which we promote through our Boneyard Fonts site. After many years collecting fonts and art we've put together a gruesomely provocative collection of fonts and art[more]
With the premier of the fourth season of American Horror Story this Wednesday on the FX network, a lot of people will be seeing our Chelsea Studio in their high style commercials all over their cable networks. My teenage, horror-obsessed daughter drew my attention to their use of the font in the titles and it was gr[more]
Our gothic font collection is a compilation of our most interesting fonts based on gothic type and late medieval calligraphy. It covers the range from the historical styles in which gothic printing had its inspiration to the ornate heights of complex gothic fonts from 19th century Germany. This includes fonts in the[more]
As a special bonus, this Christmas we're making available an unusual collection of Christmas images by outstanding American book illustrator and decorator Walter Tittle, an artist most known for his seasonal works. These illustrations are taken from his book Colonial Holdays which is a collection of accounts from p[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]
I was in the Austin airport taking off for parts unknown and felt a need for breakfast. Apparently the only option for a late-morning breakfast taco was Maudie's Tex Mex, so I headed for Gate 11. I got my breakfast tacos, and they were truly awful, but the experience was made somewhat better by seeing their interesting[more]
As part of Great Britain's participation in the 1906 World's Fair in Chicago, legendary Arts and Crafts artist Walter Crane was comissioned to produce a special commemorative book in a limited edition. The result was Columbia's Courtship, an epic poem about American history, written and hand lettered by Walter Crane w[more]
- Optical Illusion Skull Images
- Psychedelic Font Collection
- New Font: Sternhagen
- Silent Film Font Collection
- The Colonial Fonts Collection
- New Font: Carillon