Recreating the Django Font
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 lot of research, and in the process I learned more about Django than I ever expected to.
The new Tarantino film draws on a legacy of an entire genre of Django films with a long history which goes back to the original 1966 Django directed by Sergio Corbucci and starring Franco Nero. It was one of the most successful early spaghetti westerns and spawned over 30 unofficial sequels, including A Few Dollars for Django, a quick ripoff which appeared in the same year as the original, A Coffin for Django (1968) and Viva Django (1971) which both starred Terrence Hill, whose more famous Trinity films are very much in the Django tradition. The only official sequel was Django Strikes Again which has a script by Corbucci and in which Nero reprises his role 20 years later. Tarantino’s Django Unchained would be most accurately classed as a tribute to the entire Django genre, borrowing from many different films, including the original Django and They Call Me Trinity. Interestingly, it’s not the first first Django tribute film Tarantino has been involved in. He appeared as an actor in Takeshi Miike’s Japanese tribute to the Django genre, Sukiyaki Western Django in 2007. There were many other Django films and Django ripoffs and they became so iconic that in Italy and Japan the name Django came to be applied to the entire genre of spaghetti westerns.
I had originally thought that I’d have to go to the Tarantino film for source material for a font, but as it turns out, the main font Tarantino uses in the title and on the posters for his film is actually derived from hand lettered titles in the original Django. It’s actually one of several lettering styles used in the trailer and also for the main titles in the film itself. If you wait through most of the scenes in the trailer, it’s the lettering used for the names of the cast at the end, shown in a mustard color rather than the orangy red in the Tarantino film. It’s also the style used in the titles of the film itself, but the quality of the lettering in the trailer is much more consistent than in the film. The facts that the style of the titles predates the Tarantino film and that it was originally hand lettered actually add a lot of appeal to the project, because it makes it a much more interesting and original work of research and recreation.
You can watch the trailer for the original Django above and to the right. If you want to see the whole film you can find it on IMDB and most of the other Django films are on YouTube if you look around for them.
The next step is taking the images of the letters in the trailer and picking the best examples and expanding them into a full character set, using our Madding font as a guide for the general weight and shape of the characters.
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.
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview There's a peculiar style of letters that seems to only show up on some signs and letterpress posters and it caught my eye when I saw it being used in the recent poster for the National Day of the American Cowboy. It's like a western style "egyptian" font with big [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Our Munich font was first released in 1998 and has been revised several times since then. This latest version includes substantial improvements in the outlines of the characters and a new set of simple upper case initials. Munich is based on one of the classic lettering styles used on[...]
Film director Sergei Eisenstein was a major influence on the Constructivist movement through his collaboration with Alexander Rodchenko and by inspiring other artists of the era. Thus it seems appropriate that the final font in our Constructivist Font Collection should be named after Eisenstein, especiall[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Slava is based on lettering by legendary Art Nouveau master Alphons Mucha from his later post-Parisian period when he returned to Prague and did a lot of design work in support of the slavic nationalist movement. The letter forms still have many of the characteristics of[...]
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 designs, like suspicion. These old book cover designs are a great resource for [...]
Butterfield is based on letting from a poster for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. It can be found as part of Psychedelic Fonts Collection package. It has a unique look particularly characteristic of the 60s and especially suited to use on posters. It has a full set of numbers and punctuation, plus custom small [...]
When I was a kid I wasn't allowed to buy comic books, so when I began to earn some money of my own as a young teen, I hit that market right at the peak of the 1970s boom in alternative large-format comics which were much more salacious - with more gore and sex - than the comics I would have read as a kid. I wen[...]
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 follows the naming convention for Mac fonts of that era, being named after a city. [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Roghwork is a unique font which combines a decoarative upper case character set with a simple set of lowercase characters. Designed primarily for use in titles and posters, the uppercase characters are based on samples of hand-drawn master designs for a set of roman-st[...]
Fougasse is a bold title font which has a unique combination of elements, including an unusually heavy weight, some unusual Art Deco period character forms and rough outlines to the character which are not too pronounced, but give it a sort of a naturalistic look which makes the characters stand out more. Foug[...]
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 based on the lettering used in the original Django, a process similar to what was p[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Script fonts can be a real challenge to design, especially when they are designed to have interconnecting characters which require exacting kerning and character positioning. When we first developed Orphiel we did a lot of kerning work on it, but despite a g[...]
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 examples of rough hand lettering from the 17th century. It has characteristics [...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Cosmic Dude was designed as one of the special original fonts developed for our Modern Poster Fonts package. The character forms are based on samples of hand lettering from a late 1970s rock show poster. The character set includes numbers, punctuation, uppercase letter[...]
At the start of every year we put out a special sampler package of the fonts and art which we released in the previous year at a very low introductory price. It's a great way to try out some of our products. Now it's time to release the sampler for 2013, with a great selection o[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 heights of complex gothic fonts from 19th century Germany. This includes fonts in the[more]
While I still think it may be some sort of obscure and premature April Fool's joke, an article called Kerning, Kerning, kerning through the years in the Washington Post presents a mildly humorous presentation of the story of a 14 year old research genius who figured out that switching from a heavier weight font to a li[more]
Citing the boring sameness of their web presentation, the management of social media giant Facebook has contacted us here at the Scriptorium to purchase two new proprietary colors and 3 new custom fonts for $1.2 billion. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg observed that now that his company has topped the $100 billion mark[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. Here are some examples preserved as best we could. 1998 April Fools Page 1999[more]
It's South by Southwest time in Austin and for me that means it's time for my annual visit to the Flatstock poster show. As always, the show was great, but every year it seems harder to get to than the year before as SXSW spreads out over more and more of Austin with ever more ridiculous numbers of bearded hipsters in [more]
We've got five designs were considering for out next font. They all fairly similar so we need some help choosing. Which one would you like to see next?[more]
There are many good things about Typecon and many nice things I could say, but instead I find myself seized with a compulsion to recast Typecon like old metal type that's melted down and mold into a new font. I've got lots of experience with conferences in a number of different industries, as an attendee. a sponsor,[more]
Our newest release is our collection of Constructivist Fonts based on poster lettering from the early post-revolutionary period in Russia, including designs based on the styles of famous designers of the period like Alexander Rodchenko, Mikhail Vrubel and Sergei Eisenstein. These are typical of the m[more]
For TypeCon we produced a special collection of Walter Crane Fonts and Art on a Flash Drive shaped like a business card. We have some of these left over after the event and nothing to do with them except sell them as a special item on our web page. The package contains five original Walter Crane fonts, including one[more]
Our buccaneer font is peculiarly popular for pirate themed designs, which explains why it is prominently featured on the absurdly named "ARRR BARRR" pirate inspired nutty chocolate bar with a "Scandalous Activity Kit" inside. I admired the packaging in the store but not enough to sample one of the curious confections.[more]
As the blazing heat of and endless Summer begins to fade, what could be a better deal than a sale on single fonts to start the new season? For two weeks, through September 25th, if you place an order for an assortment of single fonts of your choice, the more you order the bigger the discount, as listed below. Your s[more]
In the early 20th century, before the outbreak of the Russian Revolution, the Art Nouveau movement crept into the failing empire by way of Alphons Mucha and the Slavic Folk Art movement in Czechoslovakia. Russian artists picked up on the ideas of these movements and began producing new styles of art for a growing [more]
As part of Great Britain's participation in the 1906 World's Fair in Chicago, legendary Arts and Crafts artist Walter Crane was comissioned to produce a special commemorative book in a limited edition. The result was Columbia's Courtship, an epic poem about American history, written and hand lettered by Walter Crane w[more]
Click any font to see a larger sample. The new second edition of our Arts & Crafts font collection features 15 fonts based on designs from the Arts & Crafts movements of the late Victorian period. They are derived from designs from several branches of the movement, and demon[more]
I'm in Washington DC this week attending Typecon. The Society of Typographic Aficionados official convention. There are all sorts of programs and presentations with notable typographers and designers appearing as speakers. As well as exhibits and new products to see. I'm merely going as a humble attendee because [more]
At the very beginning of the summer Disney released Maleficent the first in a series of films retelling the Disney versions of classic fairytales from the point of view of the villain. Maleficent is a visually stunning film combining high end CGI animation with live actors and Angelina Jolie with unbelievably accent[more]
Walter Crane produced a series of small pamphlets in the 1890s based on popular fairy tales, done in large format with 6 pages of illustrations and about an equal number of pages of text. They were rather like the 19th century equivalent of comic books, in the same vein as what Howard Pyle was doing across the Atlantic[more]
It's been a while since we released any new art from our collection of fairytale books illustrated by Charles Folkard. So it's about time we make available this collection of his illustrations for Grimm's Fairy Tales. This mini-package includes 8 beautifully drawn and colored images from stories by the Brothers Grim[more]
I was shopping in my local HEB grocery store this weekend and found myself in the soft drink section, confronted by a wall of cool retro-looking bottles of all sorts of sodas from the Dublin Bottling Works, a company based in Dublin Texas which produces a full line of specialty soft drinks, apparently mostly for distri[more]
I'm back at Typecon and things are in full swing now. There was a long but fascinating keynote presentation from Tobias Frere-Jones last night on type as security in banknotes. It was the main entertainment for the evening and went on an on for a bit. I actually had to cut out before I could ask my question - "Why ar[more]
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