|We’re working on a number of projects based on designs by legendary 19th century codicologist Owen Jones, who is most famous for his Grammar of Ornament. One of those projects is his book One Thousand and One Initial Letters from 1864. We have a lovely copy which was originally in the library of a Catholic monastery in England, which adds a touch of romance and history. The project involves preserving the color lettering and borders in high resolution digital format and also creating selected fonts based on those alphabets which have the necessary characteristics for adaptation as fonts.
The first of these is Alcuin, which is based on a set of 13th century illuminated initials. The letters in Alcuin are typical of early illuminated manuscripts with Irish-influenced uncial lettering, but with the addition of unusual abstract decorations which make each letter unique but are not overly complex, making them perfect for adaptation to font format. Alcuin includes a full upper case of decorated characters, a lower case of the plain characters and several extra variant versions of some of the characters.