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 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.