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 much material to work with, drawing mainly from Crane’s decorations for Reynard the Fox. The other reason is that the initials turned out to require such complex outlines that we couldn’t put more than 26 characters in a single font file so we had to break them up. We also ended up with both a set of 52 initials and also two more fonts of just the original ornaments used for the initials, plus some additional ornaments which didn’t fit the format.
The basis of the characters is a set of detailed woodcut animal images taken from the characters in the classic French fairytale of Reynard the Fox, including foxes, bears, badgers, lions, stags, snakes and birds. Some of the images are even scenes with multiple animals. These are included in their original form in the ornaments fonts, but in the initials they have been combined with the letters from our Crane Gothic font as reversed text which stands out nicely but also integrates well with the background images.
All four of the fonts come together in a consolidated package at a special price, plus the package also includes several decorative border images from the book as a bonus. All of this together is just $29, an extraordinary price for such an unusual set of fonts. You can order the package from our ONLINE STORE. You can also download and try out the DEMO FONT with a limited character set drawn from all the different fonts.
One of our upcoming fonts is the result of an interesting project, developing original initials based on designs by Walter Crane. We recently acquired an obscure edition of French tales of Reynard the Fox illustrated by Crane with a series of square black and white illustrations of forest animals.
They were just the right size and shape for the backgrounds of decorative initials characters, so we are adapting them to be the basis of a new decorative initials font with the letter forms provided by our Crane Gothic font. The initial character designs look excellent and the font should work really nicely in conjunction with our other Walter Crane fonts.
Look for the new font to be released soon.
We’ve done a lot of work with books designed and illustrated by Walter Crane. Two of the first we did were The Baby’s Own Aesop and The Baby’s Opera. Those two are part of a trilogy of small-format children’s books which Crane designed about the same time and the third of that set is The Baby’s Bouquet, which is a song book with a lot of familiar songs in it, similar to Pan Pipes and The Baby’s Opera.
The Baby’s Bouquet combines decorative borders on the pages with music and full-page illustrations for a total of 56 beautiful illustrated pages. The themes are childhood and bucolic scenes, featuring humorous vignettes and scenes appropriate to the musical content. The images are all high resolution and digitally cleaned up and color corrected to make them suitable for print or web use. As with all of our art packages they are licensed for you to use in your own design projects. To get an idea of the contents take a look at the samples below or the video preview above.
You can order The Baby’s Boquet and download it immediately for $39 from our ONLINE STORE or you can purchase the whole set of triplets and get it in combination with The Baby’s Opera and The Baby’s Own Aesop for a discounted combined price of just $89, also in OUR STORE.
We’ve been collecting illustrated books by Arts and Crafts era designer Walter Crane for several years and we’re now reaching the point where we can start to release some of our Crane material in useful packages for contemporary designers who want to incorporate his unique aesthetic into their work.
Our first Crane release is a package based on The Baby’s Own Aesop, Crane’s hand lettered and fully illustrated edition of Aesop’s Fables originally published in 1887. Each page takes one tale from Aesop and presents it with illustrations, initials, borders, embellishments and decorative lettering. Our presentation of the book follows the model of our release of Howard Pyle’s Lady of Shalott. It includes a complete 60-page print-quality PDF facsimile of the book, plus high-resolution graphics of every page and illustration including the end-papers and covers. 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 package is only $39 and you can order online and download the package immediately — but be warned, it’s a very large download.
We’re going to be following this package with other Crane packages, including a similar treatment of The Baby’s Bouquet and The Baby’s Opera which were companion pieces to The Baby’s Own Aesop. We also have a collection of fonts based on Crane lettering in development, like our recently released Crane Gothic font.
To see a sample of what is in this collection, try out the abbreviated PDF sampler which has lower resolution versions of selected images from the set. To purchase the whole package just order it online.
We’ve put together a special little package of backdrop screens for you to use on your computer based on designs by Walter Crane. They were customized for a MacBook with a 13.3 inch screen but will work great on just about any display. There are 10 images included, all from our recently released Walter Crane Decorations Mini-Package.
The images are great neoclassical scenes in the tradition of Greek painting depicting various mythological themes and stories, presented in ivory on a black background which ends up surprisingly easy on the eyes. Best of all the package of 10 backgrounds is a free item and you can download it by clicking right here.
Even when writing essays on socialism and the philosophy of art, Walter Crane was incapable of resisting an opportunity to add some decoration. In his book The Claims of Decorative Art, Crane embellished each chapter with an intricate decorative header featuring neoclassical and mythological scenes in his usual meticulous and detailed style.
We’ve taken all of the decorations from the book and collected them together into a special mini-package with 22 images. They’re perfect for incorporating into your own designs or decorating a document or web page. You can see some examples to the right and you can ORDER the package for only $15 online and download it right away.
People recognize Walter Crane as a famous book illustrator, but far fewer are aware that he was the philosophical leader of a political movement in the arts in late 19th century Britain, combining aesthetics and socialism and expressing his ideas in his writings promoting the Arts and Crafts movement.
Crane’s essays on aesthetics and politics are collected in several books, including The Claims of Decorative Art which includes several good articles on how art relates to commerce and government. I have to admit to not agreeing with many of Crane’s political beliefs, but his essays do provide interesting food for thought. In his essay “On the Structure and Evolution of Decorative Pattern” he wrote:
“The artist must keep in touch with nature and life; he must keep his eye fresh and his heart open if his work is to touch men and dwell in their memories. And it matters not whether he wield the chisel, the hammer, or the brush, or work at the forge, the carpenter’s bench, the stone-mason’s shed, on the scaffold or in the studio; if he feels his work, if he acquires the skill to make a thing of beauty, he is an artist in the true sense of the word.”
Which sums up the idea behind the Arts and Crafts movement pretty well and touches on some universal truths about art which it is difficult to argue with. If you would like to read some of Crane’s philosophy of art, going far beyond the title of this essay, click on the image to the right to access a PDF facsimile of “On the Structure and Evolution of Decorative Pattern” from The Claims of Decorative Art.
Illustrated books teaching young children how to read were a staple of 19th century education, and Walter Crane was famous for his alphabet books as well as books like The Golden Primer which were designed to teach vocabulary to slightly older children through the use of rhymes and images.
The Golden Primer is one of Crane’s harder to find works. It has not been extensively reprinted and original editions are scarce and highly collectible. We acquired a copy several years ago and in our ongoing development of resources based on Crane’s work we have now created high-quality digital versions of all of the highly decorative illustrated plates in the book.
We’ve made this into a neat little collection with a set of 33 images ready to be used for your design projects. In addition to the 26 color illustrations the package includes Crane’s black and white decorations and the four sample alphabets included for teaching the young readers how to write in different styles.
You can get the full package from our online store at a special price of just $29 with an immediate download. Just CLICK HERE
For a preview of the package, they the PDF Version which includes lower resolution versions of all the color images, but not the black and white decorations or alphabet designs.
Another of Walter Crane’s interesting decorated books is his edition of Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Shepheard’s Calender. It’s not as well known as Spenser’s The Faerie Queen which Crane also illustrated, but it has excellent illustrations and a particularly outstanding set of emblems with latin mottos which accompany the main illustrations. It also has a great frontispiece, decorative endpapers and decorative embossed front and back covers.
As we’ve done with other Crane books like A Flower Wedding and Queen Summer we’ve scanned and digitally refined all of the images at high resolution. We’ve separated out the emblems as well as providing the full original illustrated pages, plus we’ve even made a custom font with letters based on the emblems. We’ve also put together a PDF preview of the book which you can TRY OUT to get an idea of the art in the collection.
All of this is collected together into a mini-package which is ready to use for your projects and designs. It’s available for immediate download from our ONLINE STORE for just $29 and it will eventually be included in our complete Walter Crane collection.
One of the works we have in development right now is a a collection of all of the frames, borders, decorations and illustrations from Walter Crane’s lavish 1898 edition of Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Shepheard’s Calender. It’s particularly notable for its decorative borders and motifs like the two-page opening spread shown above (click on the image for a larger view). In an appropriately seasonal release, look for it to be available this Spring.