Roman Inscriptory Fonts

Exploring his favorite historical period, Michael Scarpitti has developed a special collection of fonts based on Roman inscriptory lettering and calligraphy. You may have already seen a few of his fonts on our featured fonts page. While more Roman fonts are planned for the future, with the latest releases we now have enough fonts to release them as a package at a special price.

What we think of as Roman Capitals (the type found on the Trajan column) are really rather rare. Much more common was the Rustica, a less formal, rather free flowing sort of letter that was easier to write. Sometimes inscriptions would include both styles. Vespasiano features both types of lettering. It comes from an inscription dated May 24, AD 70. It was found intact in 1914 at Rome, in the Viale Trastevere, at a construction site, and bears the name of the emperor Vespasian who ruled from AD 69 to 79.

De Bellis is based on the sole surviving fragment of a lost Latin work, de Bellis Macedonicis, and is the first of Michael Scarpitti ancient Roman fonts to come from a parchment. The sample it is based on is the only surviving example of Roman Literary Cursive, which has elements of both rustica and uncial lettering. The date is uncertain, but probably 2nd-4th centuries AD. The original sample was written with a reed pen held at about a 35 degree angle.

Michael’s Roman fonts are based on historical sources from different eras of the Roman Empire and are extraordinarily accurate to the details of the different lettering styles which they represent. These are not modernized abstractions of popular styles like Rustica and Roman Uncial, but grittier, more interesting designs derived directly from ancient manuscripts and inscriptions. This is Roman lettering as it was actually done, not a contemporary designer’s reinterpretation.

Corbei Uncial is a calligraphic font based on lettering in the 5th century Latin gospel manuscript known as the Codex Corbiensis. It features some of the characteristics of more familiar uncial forms of the early middle ages, but also retains elements of earlier Latin lettering styles. One interesting feature is the broken nature of many of the letter forms, which are composed of multiple distinct, separate pen strokes.

Praitor is based on a devotional inscription to the goddess Diana found a short distance from Rome in 1887. It is an early style from before 100 BC and has some characteristics of Etruscan lettering. It’s a rough, strong font which works very well for distinctive titles.

Pomponianus is based on lettering from Roman inscriptions. Pomponianus comes from a 4th century inscription found in North Africa. It is an attractive example of early uncial lettering. Uncial inscriptions are quite uncommon, because although the style was well suited for writing on vellum, the curved letters made it more difficult to carve in stone.

Roman lettering styles have a unique and ageless look which still appeals to the modern eye. The complete collection of Michael’s 8 Roman fonts is available for only $59. It can be delivered by mail or immediate download with an online purchase To order online just CLICK HERE to order online.

You can get a feel for these fonts by trying out the demo version of Falconis in zip archive format and usable on Windows or Mac OSX.

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