William Morris Font and Art Collection

William Morris was one of the founders of the Arts and Crafts Movement and closely involved with the Pre-Raphaelite artists of the mid-19th century. His ideal of integrating art, literature and graphic design inspired a generation of artists like Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Millais and Waterhouse. Morris was an artist, poet, writer and designer himself. He is probably best remembered for his fabric designs and his book designs for Kelmscott Press, especially their edition of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer known as the Kelmscott Chaucer, for which Morris designed all the fonts, borders and decorations and commissioned illustrations by pre-raphaelite master Edward Burne-Jones. He pioneered modern renderings of antique styles of type as well as the production of high-quality home furnishings, including the famous reclining Morris Chair. Morris left behind an enduring legacy of quality and creativity which will continue to inspire artists for years to come.

Our Morris collection includes an excellent selection of Morris’ fabric designs and patterns, plus a collection of original fonts based on his type designs for books published by the Kelmscott Press. We have recently augmented the collection with new fonts, new patterns and the addition of a large selection of decorative borders, emblems and initials.

Morris floral and leaf fabric patterns are excellent for use in web page design. They can be made into contiguous tiles for use as backgrounds on web pages. They also make excellent backdrops for decorative pages in print and great endpapers for books with a classic look. Each of the patterns in our Morris collection is a high-resolution image and suitable for use online or in print. Above you can see the original patterns from the collection. The new patterns added in the latest update are shown to the left.

The fonts featured in this collection are shown to the right. The first three are the original set, and the two in lighter green are our most recent additions. Morris Initials is based on initials done for the Kelmscott Chaucer. The second font is Kelmscott, based on Morris’ Troy type which was used to set many of his books. The third is True Golden, based on Morris’ Golden type which was also widely used in books from the Kelmscott Press. The first of the new fonts is Morris Black Letter, based on hand lettering Morris did as a prototype for what eventually developed into the Troy style. The second is Chaucerian Initials, based on the illuminated capitals in the Kelmscott edition of Chaucer’s works. The relationship between the text faces and the initials is clear to see, and they work very well in combination.

To the left you can see some samples of the newly added borders, frames and emblems from Morris’ edition of Chaucer. These include a wide variety of large and small floral borders as well as unusual initials which include complete words embedded in the decorations of the initial.

Like many of our collections, the Morris collection has now grown to the point where it is only available on CD. The complete collection is only $59. Our Morris collection is also available in a retail package ideal for sale in museums and bookstores. Send email for information on wholesale terms and availability. You can order the Morris collection for delivery online or by mail from our online store.

If you want to try out one of our Morris fonts, give Chaucerian Initials a try. The demo version is slightly different from the final version which is in the Morris package. You can download the True Type version which will work with Windows or MacOS right here.

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7 comments on “William Morris Font and Art Collection

  1. Paul E. Clinco

    Beautiful fonts and borders. I have a Dover facsimile of Morris’s “Well At The World’s End, and the two decorative initial fonts are well displayed there. In the Morris book, the Scriptorium Chaucerian Initials are usually three lines tall, and the older Sriptorium capital font is six lines tall. My CD has not yet arrived, and the downloadable version of my order did not include the originial initials, which I eager to use.
    Morris’s comma (alone and in the semicolon) is larger than the comma delivered with the Scriptorium font, and the single and double quotation marks don’t look appropriate at all. There are no single or double quotation marks in the Morris facsimile. Also, where the Scriptorium provides only an “em”-dash, Morris has “em”-dash, “en”-dash, and a peculiar hyphen for splitting words at the end on lines. Morris also has a leaf character as a text separator when he didn’t wish to make a new line for what came after the leaf.
    These additions would certainly make using the Scriptorium Morris fonts for a book-length work easier and more appealing. There are other “kelmscott” fonts available on line, but none of them are anywhere near Scriptorium quality.

  2. Sirs,

    I am trying to locate a decorative initial font. I thought it was a William Morris design, but it seems not. I’m wondering if it might be included on your WM CD, however, or if you might be able to direct me to the font designer.
    I’ve put a clean scan of four letters up on the web if you could have a look at it:

    If this is a font in your CD, I’d like to purchase a copy.

    Thank you for your time.

  3. Dave

    Edward. I believe that is based on the same Morris design as our Morris Initials font, but they seem to have removed the frame around the characters, leaving only the outlines and not the dark blackdrop of the characters. It wouldn’t be difficult to adapt our font to have that look. Drop me a line at dave@fontcraft.com if you want to explore that option.


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