Credit Where Due

One of my perennial complaints about the font business is how little recognition fonts get for the contributions they make to books and other media. In books you’ll usually see a credit for the cover art and for the editing, but how often do you see a credit for the design of the fonts which appear on every page? Even books which make heavy use of fonts to enhance and decorate the pages rarely credit the designer or the font foundry. The same is true in movies and other media. They’ll give a credit to the caterer but won’t credit the font designer whose work appears in the opening titles or the closing credits or on every poster and piece of promotional material for the film.

Efforts to encourage publishers and movie production companies to recognize the sources of the fonts they use generally fall on deaf ears because they’ve been doing things the same way for years and it’s very difficult to force them to print an acknowledgement. Font designers and foundries don’t have a powerful union like the Screen Actors Guild to make sure that credit is given where it is due. We just have to rely on the kindness and conscientiousness of the occasional fan. Designing fonts doesn’t pay terribly well, so it would be nice to get some recognition once in a while.

That’s more than enough whining from the poor neglected artiste.

It seems only fair to give some credit and some promotion back to those few who do go out of their way to recognize the sources of the fonts they use. A recent stroll through the many listings of Amazon turned up some surprise discoveries of books I had never heard of which used our fonts and gave a credit or acknowledgement. Most of them come from smaller publishers who don’t have to answer to a corporate publishing template which doesn’t allocate room for extra acknowledgements, but they do include an interesting selection of publications.

Chainmail Armored Knight is a cool little book/kit from Professor Claude Lamontagne of Ottawa University which provides an informative history of chainmail armor along with materials and instruction to make your own plastic chainmail and familiarize yourself with the basics of armor manufacturing. It uses or Florimel decorative initials font in its glossary.

Another nice small press offering is Small Graces by Anne Sandall which credits all the fonts used, including our Bucephalus font which is used for the internal titles. It’s not a font, but the small press novel Balm of Gilead has a nice acknowledgement for our medieval ornaments one of which appears at the beginning of each chapter. The Celtic fantasy novel Lorcan’s Bane by Kitty Connell uses our Maidens font on the cover and at the start of chapters, plus Durrow and Rossetti for interior titles.

One of my favorites is The Secret World of Fairies, which uses our fonts and images extensively – especially items from our Rackham package – and has a really pretty credits page, in keeping with the rest of the book which is very nicely put together.

And, of course, I’ve always got a fondness for roleplaying games, and the Artesia RPG by Mark Smylie uses several of our fonts and some images, with the most prominent use made of our often overlooked Greek Borders font. They put it in just the right colors, too.

I wish there were more examples to mention here. There are probably many others that I just can’t find. But it’s nice to see book designers who care enough about the work of those who contribute to their final product to provide an appropriate credit and I hope you’ll check out their works and try them out if they seem appealing.

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