New Font: BigBlok
A great many years ago when working in game publishing I had a real fascination with doing titles in a strong, super-bold font called Bolt Bold. The truth is I rather overused it. In doing some research I find it on more than a dozen different game books I wrote in the early 80s, all quite collectable and out of print today.
It's the time of year when we do a lot of design for political posters and some of those projects need special fonts. On this kind of work we already get a lot of mileage out of fonts like Aventine and Atinson Egyptian, but we needed [...]
We've done a number of fonts based on lettering by vintage calligrapher and design historian J. M. Bergling, including several with an Art Nouveau flavor like Boetia and Belgravia. Our newest font is in that same tradition, but it [...]
Mephisto is one of our more popular classic fonts. It was designed in the mid-90s and has gone through a couple of updates, but it was past due for being revisited and thoroughly revised. This new version includes more unique arcane[...]
True Golden is one of the cornerstone fonts in our William Morris collection. It is a unique rendering of Morris' Golden type, which he based on samples of early Jensen typefaces. Our rendering of the style has a special, authentic lo[...]
Goodfellow was first released in the spring of 1993. It was based on Art Nouveau period metal type designed for titles and logos. It became a surprise hit when Tim Burton used it as the title font for his hit animated film A Nightmare Bef[...]
Rodrigo is a new font based on a set of 16th century woodcut initials with floral, fruit and animal motifs for decoration. The designs are rather reminiscent of Italian silver work of that period, which brought to mind the lavish din[...]
Semiramis was originally released in 1997. It's an arts and crafts style font based on samples of lettering from books published by the Roycrofters in the early 1900s. It has a truly unique look, the most extreme example of the decorative[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Malagua was originally released in 1999 and has been revised several times since then, culminating in this new release with improved weighting and additional special characters. MAlagua is based on [...]
Leodegar is based on samples of 7th century Frankish hand lettering. The characters draw on the minuscule calligraphic tradition, but are a bit more decorative and somewhat whimsical. They occupy an appealing position somewhere betwee[...]
Some years ago, while traveling in Cornwall I saw some unique hand lettering on a signboard outside of a pub and later I reconstructed the fanciful Celtic lettering style from memory to produce what became the Coverack font. Coverack[...]
Elsene is a new font based on lettering by early 20th century illustrator Clara Elsene Peck, obviously taking its name from her middle name. It's based on her lettering and initials from the book Knocks Witty and Wise. A companion set[...]
We don't normally like to follow the same theme too much with our new font releases, but because we wanted to put together a special package of fonts by J. M. Bergling we're following the release of Beaumains with Bosphoros, another f[...]
Black Cow is a unique original font designed for our Horror Fonts and Art collection several years ago. It's one of the most interesting fonts in the large selection of fonts in that package, but it hasn't had the huge level of popul[...]
Lachesis was one of our earliest text font designs, a unique font deliberately designed to have an antique wood-cut look. It is based on samples of vintage type taken directly from letterpress type blocks found at the type museum in [...]
I was playing around with some paint at our chicken coop and realized I had an opportunity to do some hands-on design work for a brush-style font, so I did a set of sample brush strokes on a piece of the recycled coroplast which cover[...]
Langdon is our first new font of 2012. It's based on samples of hand-rendered poster lettering from the early 1900s by J. M. Bergling. It has a strong, distinctive look with demi-serifs and an art nouveau or art deco look. It's very m[...]
Schoolhand was originally commissioned by the Education Department at a major Christian university, which will remain nameless. It was developed to their specifications in order to teach cursive handwriting to children, sharing some charac[...]
Dromon has been one of our most popular and most successful display fonts. It's a modern, super-bold headline style with some clear ancestry in German gothic type design, but a unique and contemporary look. This new release of Dromo[...]
Swithin was designed to be our featured holiday font for 2003. It is based on samples of advertising lettering from posters produced during the 1920s. The whimsical nature of the characters and the decorative elements make it an exc[...]
We originally released Paleos back in 2002. It was inspired by kinds of titles used for B grade movies in the cavegirl/junglegirl genre. Movies so bad that they're good in a way that appeals to cult movie fans. The concept is that the[...]
Gloriana was originally released in 1999 based on samples of hand lettering in an illustated childrens book from the early 1900s. It was one of several conceptually similar fonts we did during that period, including Gaiseric, Rosalin[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO We have done a number of fonts based on unique, historic movie titles. The most well known and widely circulated is our Captain Kidd font, but we have another historic movie font based on an even more f[...]
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 [...]
Illuminated Initials from Early Manuscripts
In the mid-19th century Owen Jones undertook to catalog historic design and decoration in phenomenal detail and with exacting thoroughness in a series of beautifully illustrated books. The most famous of these is his Grammar of Ornament, which provides an overview of design and ornament from ancient times to the Renaissance. His next most notable work on historic design is his collection of Illuminated Initials from Early Manuscripts, a magnificent work on historic calligraphy and illumination which we are now making available in digital form, prepared with the same kind of care and attention to detail as our digital edition of the Grammar of Ornament.
The collection consists of all the original illustrations in the Jones book, including hundreds of initials and decorative calligraphic letters. It includes a large selection of ornate initials from different historic periods, plus several complete historic calligraphic alphabets and a selection of decorative borders and embellishments. The designs are extraordinarily detailed with brilliant colors and include examples of illumination from the early medieval period through the gothic period of the high middle ages, including outstanding Celtic, Gothic and Frankish styles.
You can see some samples of individual initials of several different styles here, or click on the sample page to the right to download a PDF with reduced-size versions of all the pages from the original book. The PDF can give you a good idea of the content of the collection, but not the quality of the images in the full package, which are in high resolution and large size with vivid colors and painstaking digital clean-up and color adjustment. These are great examples of the highly detailed, full-color initials which look great, but just can’t normally be turned into fonts. With a few exceptions, as the package also includes a bonus – two original fonts based on alphabets from the collection, Alcuin and Leodegar.
The complete Illuminated Initials from Early Manuscripts collection is available for purchase online and can be downloaded or delivered on CD for just $69 from our ONLINE STORE.
It's election season again and as some of you may remember, I'm a student of political signage. I wrote an article two years ago on political sign design which got a lot of attention and got me interviewed by the New York Times. One of m[more]
Last year we featured an overview article on pulp novel cover design, and since then we've continued to look for other resources on mass market book and magazine cover design from the 30s, 40s and 50s. In a recent search I stumbled on pulpc[more]
Holiday Fonts and Art Collection Classic Font: St. Nicholas New Font: Holly Initials Classic Font: Swithin Classic Font: Offenbach Chancery Design Your Own Holiday Cards Better Holiday Font Choices Holiday Bonus: Pr[more]
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 [more]
W. Heath Robinson was one of the most popular and successful illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th century, known for his ability to draw and paint in distinctly different styles and for his unique drawings of complex fantastical mac[more]
Back in the 1970s my IBM Selectric Typewriter had a great font specifically designed for high readability when typing scripts and speeches called Orator. It has gone the way of most typewriter fonts, but we recently had a client who wanted [more]
Every year we try to amuse with some sort of April Fools prank. This year visitors to the site were first greeted by what looked like a hacker takeover, a modest joke, but we've done some even bigger and sillier things in previous years. H[more]
Our gothic font collection is a compilation of our most interesting fonts based on gothic type and late medieval calligraphy. It covers the range from the historical styles in which gothic printing had its inspiration to the ornate heigh[more]
One of the amusing things about Typeshow, our new font preview tool, is that it logs what people type in as their sample text. This provides an interesting insight into how it is being used and the personalities of the users. The number[more]
We released the Art Deco Borders font as a special Font Club bonus font in 2009 and then somehow forgot to ever release it for purchase as a single font to the general market. A terrible oversight because it's such an excellent font w[more]
As a special gift for our newsletter subscribers and social media followers we're making the very Christamssy Candlemass font available as a free download through midnight on the 25th. To download Candlemass just CLICK HERE And don't for[more]
After quite a few new fonts in a row with a modern look and two based on constructivist designs by Alexander Rodchenko, it seemed like it was about time to do something more antique and historic in character.This set of initials and[more]
Along with Arthur Rackham and Kate Greenaway, Cicely Mary Barker was one of the three great fairy illustrators of the early 20th century. Her Flower Fairies books were enormously popular and influential on illustrators of the period. willy [more]
Rudolfo brings some of the quirkiest character of the Renaissance to visual live and now it does it in an even more dramatic way with a new version that includes three complete separate variants of the font for maximum variety and imp[more]
In 2012 we released 18 new fonts. 14 of these were released as new, "featured" fonts and 4 were special releases as part of packages or promotions. The featured fonts also went out to our Font Club, while s[more]
At the start of the previous century the Rhead brothers (Louis, George and Frederick) were leading figures in the California Arts and Crafts movement. They were heavily influenced by William Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites and are best know[more]
We've released several mini-packages of art by early 20th century illustrator Katherine Cameron, including her illustrated Ballads and Tanglewood Tales. Cameron is not terribly well known, but her illustrations have a romantic quality whic[more]
Eleanor Fortesque Brickdale was one of the great illustrators of the later Victorian era, even though she is not as well known as some of her male contemporaries. She was strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites like Waterhouse and Mi[more]
One of Owen Jones most interesting illuminated books is his 1849 edition of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes published under the title The Preacher, consisting of 35 hand-colored, fully illuminated pages. It is on[more]
Since there seemed to be some real interest in seeing a fully developed font similar to the one used for the titles for the new Tarantino movie Django Unchained, I decided to take it on as a project. This kind of project always involves a l[more]
The Victorian tradition of coupling bad literature with great art and decoration has been a rich source of material for us. We found another resource in this tradition in the book A Checked Love Affair written (badly) by Paul Leicester Ford[more]
Bard's Tale is a venerable computer game which has gone through many versions and updates. In its latest incarnation as a multiplayer roleplaying game App for tablets and smartphones it has gone through a look and feel upgrade, and part of [more]
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