Custom Font Design

If you visit this site, the first thing you see is a great many fonts. That makes sense since we’re primarily in the font business, despite dabbling in antique art and other design resources. Seeing all these fonts, it may be a mystery where they come from. Clearly some are based on identifiable sources like historic calligraphy, vintage typefaces and unique hand lettering. Others are entirely original and the work of one of several designers who work with us. Many of these fonts we’ve just designed or developed because we thought they would be interesting or because they fill a specific gap in our collection of fonts. But some were developed for specific projects on commission for clients who contact us looking for custom designed fonts.

Some of these custom designed fonts you have seen here on the site and others you may have seen elsewhere and not even realized that we designed them. In some cases you may have seen a font we designed and you will never know it because we aren’t even allowed to talk about having designed it, having signed a non-disclosure agreement with the company we designed it for. More typically we can boast about our work, but you still may not see the font for sale here because the company we designed it for wanted exclusive rights to the design. In some cases when we design a custom font we get to keep the rights and also sell it to our customers here, sometimes after a certain amount of time has passed by agreement with the client.

When we design a custom font for a client we are often working from material or drawings which they have provided us. This includes projects like making a font which matches a company logo or a custom font as we did for putting serial numbers on the sides of airplane parts, or like Engravers Gothic (top right) which was developed for carving on rings, or like Schoolhand (bottom right) which was designed for a major university as an aid for teaching handwriting, or a font based on samples of hand lettering we did for a cigar company, or (as shown to the right) the font we did based on the runes for the RuneQuest RPG.

Sometimes the client will want a font which is a variation of a font we already have which they may be using in an existing project. For example, we worked with Disney earlier this year to develop custom Russian and Eastern European versions of several of our fonts for video games to be released in that part of the world. At the time it was a big secret, but since the projects are complete and the products have been released and already mentioned in passing on the site, if you happen to need a Russian language version of any of the Tinkerbell fairies games you’ll see our custom versions of Folkard and Brandywine featured in the games. This was a truly original design project in many ways because so much work was involved deriving new cyrillic characters while preserving the style of the original fonts.

Sometimes the client will want an entirely original design or something developed from little more than an idea. This is often a collaborative process as was the case with one of our most famous custom designs, the Beynkales. When the movie “The Corpse Bride” was first released, the main title was a hand-drawn variation of our Tuscarora font. Then when the movie was going to be released on DVD they needed the ability to redo the title in multiple languages, but they only had the letters of the original English words to work with. So they came to us and we worked from the original titles and the Tuscarora font to develop a complete font in the style of the original titles and thus Beynkales was born.

Now, if you’ve ever considered getting a custom font for your company or some special project, we’re here to help. The bad news is that like any custom design work it can get quite expensive. Some original font designs cost as much as $5000. The good news is that we’ve got ways to make it much more affordable — maybe not super cheap, but at least reasonable. Our highest price for custom designed fonts is when the work is almost entirely original and the font is designed for he exclusive use of the client. Prices are much more reasonable for simpler projects where we have good source material or are modifying one of our existing fonts, and we give additional discounts if we get to retain the rights and it’s a font we think we can resell and offset some of the cost that way. As is the case with many things, pricing comes down to a combination how much work we have to do to produce the font, and how much we can offset the cost in other ways. If a custom design can also add something cool to our library then you reap the benefits.

If you have an interest in having a custom font designed, use the contact form under “info” above and send us as detailed a description as you can of the project you have in mind.×400.jpg
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