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W. Heath Robinson’s Illustrations for the Odyssey

W. Heath Robinson was an artist of the first half of the 20th century who started his career as a book illustrator and produced many fantasy and fairytale illustrations, including illustrating Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies. Later in his career he became a cartoonist producing humorous cartoons of fanciful weapons during the World Wars.

One of his little known works was a collection of illustrations for the Odyssey from the Told to the Children series of books. We have featured a illustrations from other books in the series by Katherine Cameron. We have collected Robinson’s Odyssey illustrations and are making them available as a mini-package of high-resolution digital reproductions licensed for you to use in your design projects. The whole set is only $5 and can be purchased in our ONLINE STORE and downloaded immediately.

If you want to see more Robinson art, check out his illustrations for Chaucer.
Click on any previews below to see a screen resolution version of the image:

Walter Crane’s Pan Pipes

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 unique aesthetic into their work. We started with our collection of Crane’s The Baby’s Aesop and followed with The Baby’s Opera, and now we’re going to an even higher level with one of his most ambitious illutrated works, Pan Pipes. Pan Pipes is a collection of popular folk songs of the late 19th century, including many which are still well known today like “Barbara Allen,” “Greensleeves” and “Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes,” all beautifuly illustrated and decorated.

Like the The Baby’s Opera, Pan Pipes includes the complete words and music to more than 30 songs, but they are songs for adults rather than children with beautiful period illustrations and done in a larger format which leaves room for some really outstanding decoration and calligraphy. It is arguably Crane’s most impressive work.

Our presentation of the book follows the model of our other recent Walter Crane package. It includes a complete 60-page print-quality PDF facsimile of the book, plus high-resolution graphics of every page and illustration including the covers, all digitally corrected for superior color quality. In addition there are emblems, borders, decorative elements and other resources which we have taken from the book and cleaned up and made ready to use for other purposes. All of this comes with a license allowing you to incorporate the material in your own designs and creations.

The Pan Pipes package is only $49 and you can order online and download the package immediately — but be warned, it’s a very large download if you don’t have high-speed internet. To see a complete slideshow preview of the book in video format click on the video link at the head of this article. The video doesn’t include the frames and graphics, but some samples can be seen here.

We’ve developed quite a large collection of Walter Crane packages. You can see links to all of them HERE.
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Paul Woodroffe Illustrations from “The Tempest”

woodroffe16At the dawn of the 20th century there was a real boom in the market for high end books.  This created demand for really exceptional book illustrators and many traditionally trained artists brought their skills to publishers and were very well paid for their work.  New printing techniques made it possible to publish very high quality editions of classic works of literature and reproduce illustrations brilliantly in full color.

The most famous artist to emerge in this period was Arthur Rackham, but he was joined by many others like William Russell Flint, Eleanor Brickdale and Frank Brangwyn, some of whom were incredibly talented in their own right.

One standout among these illustrators was Paul Woodroffe, and English artist who also worked in stained glass. He started out illustrating fairy tales and moved on to works on Roman History and was particularly known for his illustrations of Shakespeare.

One of his most impressive works was his illustrated edition of the “The Tempest.”  It features 20 striking illustrations originally printed on tipped in plates.  It’s a great example of Woodroffe at the height of his talents before he turned mostly to working in stained glass late in his career.

We have collected Woodroffe’s illustrations to “The Tempest” and are making them available as a mini-package of high-resolution digital reproductions licensed for you to use in your design projects.  The whole set is only $12 and can be purchased in our online store and downloaded immediately.

Selected samples of the illustrations are shown below.

Decorative Intials Collection

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 characters were used to make a manuscript page more attractive. Most Decorative Initials fonts have their origins in the adaptation of this medieval concept to early typography, limiting them to complex two-color patterns, though in some cases these might be decorated after printing. Decorative Initials fonts are sometimes referred to as ‘Drop Caps’ because they are ‘dropped’ into a page of text.

he Scriptorium Font collection includes a wide variety of decorative initials fonts based on designs from the middle ages through the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements of the late 19th and early 20th century. Many of these initials follow traditional floral motifs, but some are quite unusual, offering unique themes like the nymphs found in Maidens or the arcadian scenes in Campobello. Some go even farther afield, like the wild art deco style of Finestra or Romantica. And not all initials come in the traditional style you’re probably most familiar with, where a letter is superimposed on a box of foliage or other decoration. We also offer initials which are characters drawn or decorated in unusual ways, like the anthropomorphic initials in Netherworld, Otherworld and Boneyard, or the decorated Celtic calligraphy initials of Knotwork and Columba, or the floral decorated uncial capitals of Florimel. Initials in the forms of animals or people were quite common in medieval and early modern design.

ecause of their original use and the complexity of the images, decorative initials fonts may present some unexpected challenges for the user. More than other fonts, decorative initials demand at least a 32-bit operating system to function properly, though that isn’t an issue with computers less than 5 years old these days. They also require substantial printer memory and processor power because they are composed of such complex outlines. Generally they will work fine under any version of Windows or the MacOS, but with older operating systems some decorative initials fonts may cause various problems. In addition, because most decorative initials were originally designed to meet the needs of a specific book or document, they may not always feature complete modern character sets. In particular, many of our fonts are based on early woodcuts or hand-drawn initials, rather than actual typefaces of initials. So in a font like Burghers (17th century Dutch woodcuts) or Batten (19th century hand-drawn initials) you’ll find duplicates of many letters and you may find other letters missing. Generally the most popular letters like O, T, A and C are well represented, while less common letters may be missing. Fortunately, in most cases your need for initials will be likely to match the letters which were in high demand in the original, and there is a definite benefit to having a variety of different initials to pick from for a specific letter.

For more information on using Decorative Initials fonts, take a look at our previous article on Designing With Decorative Initialsll of our decorative initials fonts are available in both True Type and Postscript format for Macintosh and Windows computers. They are available individually or in a special collection with all the initials for $79.00. Our single fonts and decorative initials font packages can be ordered online, by mail or by phone for delivery online or by mail for internet delivery or delivery on CD by mail.

To order the full collection online and take delivery online or shipped on CD, CLICK HERE. To order by phone call 1-512-656-8011. To browse individual decorative initials try THIS LINK.

To get an idea of what our decorative initials fonts are like, try out our special Initials font which combines characters from most of our decorative initials fonts into a single font. Just CLICK HERE to download it.

Illustrated Fairy Tales from Heart of Oak

goldlocksIn our endless acquisition of graphic arts resources we come across oddities from time to time. One of those is this collection of classic fairy tales told through illustrations by Frank T. Merrill, which were published in a series of children’s books called Heart of Oak.  They are here free to download as a bonus for loyal fans of our website and products.

Columbia’s Courtship by Walter Crane

columbia-fpAs 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 with each verse part of a full-page of illustration and decoration. It is one of Crane’s most unusual and striking works.

Columbia’s Courtship is one of Walter Crane’s rarest and hardest to find works. It has never been reissued in print or digital format and because of the limited size of the original printing, copies of that edition are extremely difficult to track down. As far as we know, the eBook version we recently released through Amazon is the only reprint in existence.

That eBook is also included as part of a new mini-package available here for just $29. It includes high resolutions versions of all the illustrated pages, including the frontispiece, plus both a PDF version of the book and the eBook. The images are licensed for reprint with limited rights. The package can be ordered in our ONLINE STORE.

Floral Borders by Margaret Armstrong

Margaret Armstrong was an artist of the early 20th century particularly known for her detailed Art Nouveau decorated book bindings, but she also did outstanding floral illustration as found in her book Western Wild Flowers, or in floral ornamented borders in books like Love Finds a Way by Paul Leicester Ford.

The floral borders are lovely can be  useful for other design purposes, so we’ve collection some of them together into a mini-package for you to use.  They are full-color, high-resolution graphics and the whole package is only $8.  You can ORDER ONLINE now.  Click on the samples below to see more.

New Fonts of 2014



Every year we release a number of new fonts, and at the end of the year we collect them all together and release them as a collection at a great discount price.

Through some oversight at the end of 2013 we failed to release our annual collection of new fonts. That means we have a chance to make up for it this year with a special release of a collection covering two years of new font releases.

In 2013 and 2014 we released 17 new fonts as featured new fonts and also released them to our Font Club.

These fonts represent a wide variety of styles derived from all sorts of different inspirations. There are fonts based of classic calligraphy like Doge and Sternhagen, revivals of antique type like Carillon and Mannering, fonts based on samples of modern lettering like Shayne and Startling Stories, and  completely original designs like Ripley and Dahlgren. There’s something for everyone, from the medieval to the futuristic.

The collection also includes three special font releases which were not part of the Font Club, Demosthenes, Crane Initials and Crane Ornaments, for a total of 20 new fonts.

If you missed any of these fonts you can see them sampled here with links to buy them, or you can take advantage of a special offer to buy all of these fonts in a single package at a substantial discount. You can get all 20 fonts for just $79, or you can get them in combination with a one-year FontClub subscription starting in 2015 for just $129.

Holiday Feature: Walter Tittle’s Colonial Holidays

tittle0As 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.

tittle11These illustrations are taken from his book Colonial Holdays which is a collection of accounts from primary sources of holiday observances in the American colonies before and after the Revolutionary War. Other holidays a touched on, but the material is predominantly Christmas themed.

The collection includes illustrations of colonial holiday scenes – mostly from the Christmas season – plus beautifully decorated full illuminated pages for each of the stories. Tittle’s style is detailed and his color use is sophisticated and the illuminated pages include beautiful lettering and decorations. They make excellent Christmas cards.

You can see samples of most of the art below. Just click on a thumbnail to bring up a larger size image. The package includes all of the images in high resolution, suitable for making Christmas cards or other projects. To get the full package for just $15, you can just ORDER ONLINE.

Psychedelic Font Collection

The 1960s was a time when creativity flourished, in music, in literature and in the visual arts. This creativity found its outlet mostly in the counter culture, and one big aspect of that was in poster design for concerts at the great nightclubs of that era like the Fillmore.

Rock posters of the 60s have a particular, identifiable look to them – united by the wild and freeflowing design ethos, even if many different artists did the actual designs. The lettering on these posters has made more of a mark on the popular imagination than any other relatively recent lettering style, to the point where people have a particular vision in their minds of what looks like the 60s or the Psychedelic era.

Poster lettering in the 60s was heavily influenced by the Art Nouveau movement of the late 19th century, but the most imaginative poster designers took those basic ideas of full, somewhat fabulous lettering to an entirely new level. While you can see the influence of Mucha and other Art Nouveau poster artists in the work of designers like Wes Wilson and David Singer, there’s something more in their poster designs – what might be called the ‘free spirit’ of the 60s.

By the 1970s the free form hand lettering of classic 60s posters began to give way to some standardized fonts and a lot of this unique character was lost in the drab pragmatism of the disco era and then the ransom note xeroxes of the punk movement.

We’ve been working on fonts which capture the spirit of the Psychedelic era for several years and have finally reached the point where we have a large enough collection to be truly representative of the period. This collection includes fonts based on specific samples from classic posters and fonts based on general styles which were popular in the 60s and used by many artists.

Some of these fonts have been previously released as single fonts, but the collection also includes 5 fonts specifically designed for this collection, 3 of which are entirely new releases, plus variant versions of several of the fonts like the custom outlines of Hendrix and Bad Acid.

Pantagruel is the linchpin of the collection. It is the quintessential bridge between Art Nouveau and 60s era design. It is based on an Art Nouveau style which was enormously influential in the 60s and often duplicated directly by 60s artists like Greg Irons and Randy Tuten.

Harbinger and Sprite are also examples of styles commonly used by many poster artists of the period who drew on Art Nouveau designs for inspiration. Earthpig and Bad Acid are based on original poster lettering characteristic of the outrageously spurred and flourished designs favored by many artists of the 60s. They are core designs just begging for augmentation with rays, overlaps, outlines and extrusions.

Butterfield is classic block lettering characteristic of the world of designers like Wes Wilson. Quicksilver and Illuminata were developed from small samples of unique lettering and are most influenced by the designs of David Singer. Taken as a whole these fonts make an excellent representative sampling of the lettering of the 60s.

One of the characteristics of poster design in the Psychedelic era is that the lettering was often manipulated and distorted from its base forms. Fonts by their nature work most practically when they have a simple, horizontal base and characters have regular size and positioning. To achieve the full psychedelic effect you may need to take the base fonts and modify the pure letter forms, as we have done in the header for this page. Photoshop offers some excellent tools for doing this. We’ve found that the wave filter and the distort and perspective tools work particularly well to produce bent and disproportional type.

We’ve just released a new version of the Psychedelic Fonts package with three new fonts. The package includes all of the fonts in a single package for Windows or Macintosh, including both TrueType and Postscript fonts. The total price is only $59 for all the fonts. You can order the package online for immediate download or delivery by mail. Just – CLICK HERE TO ORDER.

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