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.
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[...]
Scrapple is a new font based on the idea of constructing characters from a limited selection of wood blocks featuring round and rectangular shapes. Scrapple has a cool, crude and industrial look. It's all uppercase, but the lowercase[...]
Our new Barnabas font is the result of our Dark Shadows font design project. It's an original font inspired by the original titles for the Dark Shadows television show, but updated for a more contemporary audience with the upcoming re[...]
Engrossing is one of our earliest fonts, originally released in the early 1990s. It is based on one of the very first examples of printed type in a script style. The historic source design was derived from common 17th century callig[...]
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[...]
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[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview We've featured some articles on the designs of pulp novel covers from the mid-20th century, including s look at the fonts used in those designs. We've also released fonts based on those[...]
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[...]
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 [...]
Circuit was designed for a project back in the late 1990s and has languished in our back catalog since then because of its very specialized look, though it is featured in our Futuristic Fonts collection. We were reminded about it rec[...]
On a recent journey to an obscure and near-forgotten French province, I found myself wandering in the storied Forest of Averoigne, just a few miles outside of walled and towered Vyones, near the banks of the sleepy River Isoile. In the da[...]
Bridgeport was first released in 2003 and is one of several fonts based on lettering by legendary artist and calligrapher Eric Sloane, including Queensland and Guilford. Bridgeport has the look of hand lettered capitals, with strong [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Potsdam was one of our earliest font releases, first produced in 1992 based on samples of 19th century decorative German type. It was one of our first fonts designed for MacIntosh computer users and fol[...]
In an article last week we explored the origins of the font used in Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained and a bit of the history of the Django genre of films. That was part of the process of the development of an original font bas[...]
Gelderland is a new font based on some very old typography, taken from samples of brass type from the early 19th century. It is characterized by its very detailed decorative capital letters, with multiple overlapping flourishes which[...]
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 [...]
In working on graphic design projects I've been repeatedly frustrated by the lack of interesting medium-weight script fonts which are simple enough to be readable, but not too plain to be interesting. So with the latest project which neede[...]
It wouldn't be the holidays without a special font designed to capture the mood of the season. As a source for something special I went to our library of rare books on type and calligraphy and found a rare book on calligraphy called Real P[...]
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 [...]
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[...]
Abdiel originated in 2005 as a custom design for a company logo. All they wanted was a few of the letters done in a flourished Renaissance style, but we decided to expand the effort for our own purposes to create a complete font with[...]
When we did a font (and a feature article) recently based on a design by Alexander Rodchenko, the result was a very cool font, but while it was based on Rodchenko lettering, it is not the style most associated with his work. The ta[...]
Optical Illusion Skull Images
Sometimes we stumble on strange backwaters of graphic arts history. One of those is the artistic tradition of creating images which appear normal, but also create a secondary image of a skull, an artistic optical illusion which was very popular it he late 19th and early 20th century, especially in France.
The most famous of these images is C. A. Gilbert’s 1892 sketch “All is Vanity” (see right) which depicts a girl seated at a vanity and admiring herself in a mirror, but if you ignore the details and focus on the whole image the various elements combine to create the appearance of a skull, making a point about the transitory nature of beauty.
As it turns out, Gilbert’s sketch inspired a trend and there are many other images from that period which are done in a similar style and producing a similar illusion, such as “L’Amour de Pierrot” which was produced in France in 1905 (see left). It depicts the characters Pierrot and Columbine and foreshadows a tragic outcome to their love.
When it comes to foreshadowing, none of these images is more on target than the politically motivated French 1894 cartoon “Familie Imperiale de Russie” which shows the Russian royal family inside a skull illusion.
In many cases these skull illusion pictures feature images of children or young lovers, drawing the contrast between youth and life and the inevitability of death, as shown in the examples shown below.
May 25, 2012 | Filed Under Found Art
For a PDF of art samples click HERE Click any font to see a larger sample. Vafthrudnir is a new, original font design which draws on the tradition of Germanic uncial and early gothic calligraphy. It is desi[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]
Click any font to see a larger sample. // he Middle Ages saw calligraphy and book decoration emerge as significant art forms. The[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]
In honor of Labor Day we're offering a special for all the hard working designers and art fans out there. We're offering a special bonus of $20 off of any purchase from our collection of Owen Jones packages. It can be applied to any one i[more]
In the late 19th and early 20th century there was a boom in the popularity of English folklore, particularly in the form of meticulously researched books collecting old stories and preserving them for a modern audience. This included stori[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]
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]
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]
I stopped off for lunch at the cafe in our local Central Market (upscale grocery store owned by HEB) and was surprised to find that among the posters on their walls promoting various events at the store there was a poster for a "Day of the [more]
I notice from our keyword tracking that we are getting a lot of hits from people looking for fonts from the movie Django Unchained. Not surprising give the striking retro-graphics which are common in Tarantino films. I suspect that most o[more]
Sometimes we stumble on strange backwaters of graphic arts history. One of those is the artistic tradition of creating images which appear normal, but also create a secondary image of a skull, an artistic optical illusion which was very po[more]
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]
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]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Bilitis is an original "brush script" style font we designed for a project back in 1998 and released then with some success. It has a strong visual appeal with rough hewn c[more]
As a special offer to round out the fall, we're offering a one-time discount on new and renewal memberships in our Font Club. The Font Club is a unique subscription service where you get the complete versions of each of our featured new fon[more]
hatever holiday you celebrate, it's probably a time of cards and presents and decorations and parties -- that means you're going to need great fonts and art to add elegance and unique flare to your seasonal projects. The Scriptorium Holiday[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 holiday gift to our customers we've put together a special selection of Christmas present labels using traditional art from our collection. There are 13 labels in PDF format, perfect for printing out and using to label your pre[more]
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