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Starting in the 19th century with the explosion of popular entertainment and popular-oriented art forms, one of new form of art was the design of posters and advertisements intended to catch the imagination and generate special interest in the audience. From the advertising found in magazines and decorative fronticepieces in books to the poster art movement in France, a consciousness emerged that type and lettering could be decorative and artistic and eyecatching in a way which had previously never really been considered.

The concept of display and ornamental type started with newspaper and poster designers taking regular text styles and using them in enormous sizes, or developing italic or slightly embellished styles for emphasis within text. From these beginnings designers began to experiment with what they could do to make titles stand out even more, starting with extra bold or exaggeratedly weighted styles and increasingly more decorative and ornamental styles. Many of these early titling faces took on characteristics of traditional calligraphy, because it was the only decorative lettering which many designers were familiar with, or looked like text faces expanded and transformed.

By the middle of the 19th century type designers were experimenting with all sorts of onramental type, particularly for use in advertising and in specialized books aimed at an increasingly intellectual middle class market. Much of this type partook of the characteristics of calligraphy, but it was increasingly complex and decorative beyond the scope of simple pen-strokes.

One of the innovators in this period was William Morris, who launched the Arts and Crafts movement, which included among its interests the development of new and visually striking styles of lettering and typography, such as Morris' own Troy type and the unique lettering of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

In the last two decades of the 19th century Art Nouveau spread across Europe, emerging from the Arts and Crafts movement, but attracting a much larger popular audience. Decorative type and lettering was a major element of the Art Nouveau movement, which had strong ties to the performing arts and other visual arts which required publicity in the form of advertisements and posters.

The Art Nouveau movement spurred a renaissance in font design, but much of the art of the period was expressed in unique designs which were never made into typefaces at that time. Hand-lettered posters and advertising titles by artists like Alphons Mucha were in great demand, and the Poster Art movement grew out of Art Nouveau and the poster became the major new medium for popular art by the turn of the century.

The hand-lettering of Mucha influenced many other artists and designers and when Mucha returned to his native Czechoslovakia he spurred a renaissance of art and design in eastern Europe, which eventually developed into the cubist and futurist movements in art which had a great influence on designers around the world in the period between the two world wars.

Today there is still a great demand for new and unusual display fonts. They are essential to advertising in every media, because they draw attention and give a product a signature look which sets it apart from the competition. Advances in desktop publishing have also made it possible to introduce a greater variety of fonts for titling in publications, both in print and online. As a result display fonts are available in great diversity, offering every kind of look for every kind of use.

Because the basic function of display fonts is to do titles and label things, they may not have the same character set as traditional text fonts. Display fonts often only have either upper or lower case characters, and usually don't have extended punctuation beyond what's normally called for in titles. They are also often designed to be bolder or more ornate than text fonts, often to an exaggerated degree, and as a result they may only really be readable at large sizes and are often poorly suited to text use. Virtually anything can be a display font, from the weirdest degenerated style to the most intricate and complex artistic fantasy.

The Scriptorium's collection of display fonts offers exceptional variety. We have fonts based on Art Nouveau designs, early Victorian styles, hand poster lettering by artists like Alphons Mucha and unique original fonts you won't find anywhere else. We offer over 80 display faces, all of which are available in TrueType or Postscript format for Macintosh and PC-compatible computers. They are available singly for between $5 and $15 each, or as part of discounted packages. We currently have 10 display font samplers available for $25 each, with 8 fonts in each package. We are also offering a new display font CD package for only $129. It includes all of our display fonts, including the very latest releases.

Our single fonts and font samplers can be ordered online, by mail or by phone for delivery online or by mail. The special display fonts CD can only be ordered by mail or by phone and is delivered by mail.

To preview our display font samplers, CLICK HERE

To order the complete Display Fonts collection CLICK HERE

To order single fonts online and receive them by email or on CD CLICK HERE

To order by phone call 1-800-797-8973.

For information on other methods of ordering click on the button at the top of the page.

To get an idea of what our display fonts are like, try out the shareware version of our new Dromon font. It doesn't have all of the punctuation and special characters, but should give you a good idea of what our display fonts can look like on your computer.

Download Dromon for Windows (PKZip). Download Dromon for MacOS (StuffIt).

Fonts in this
collection. Click on
name to see sample.

Abaddon
Academy
Acadian
Adamantine
Adresack
Alcalde
Angelus III
Apollyon
Ariosto
Asphodel
Asrafel
Atkinson
Averoigne
Bad Acid
Balsamo
Baphomet
Basileus
Bassackwards
Bastion
Beaumarchais
Beauvoir
Bedegraine
Bentham
Bernhardt
Big Iron
Bilibin
Black Cow
Brandegoris
Bruges
Bucephalus
Butterfield
Buzzhead
Caesario
Chambord
Chelsea Studio
Cibola
Cipango
Circuit
Coloma
Corpus
Culdrose
Curetana
Del Norte
DemenSwa
Dementia
Descant
Desctructura
Dromon
Dunsany
Earthpig
Eglantine
Elphinstone
Elysian
Engravers Gothic
Engrossing
Ereshkigal
Flaubert
Fortinbras
Fortress
GanelLow
Ganelon-Bold
Ganelon
Gargantua
Gehenna
Goddard
Goodfellow
Harbinger
Helzapoppin
Hermia
Hideous
Hubbard
Hyacinth
Illuminata
Ironclaw
Irzuley
Jambon
Joyeuse
Louisbourg
Lysander
Maginot
Manegrim
Manquo
Marmyadose
Mayhem
Mazarin
Mephisto
Midian
Mondial
Moravia
Munich
Necromantic
Niederwald
Norumbega
Oberon
Odeon
Orlock
Paleos
Pantagruel
Parika
Perdido
Phaeton
Plakat
Plowright
Praitor
Primer
Pullman
Purcell
Quicksilver
Reggio
Reynard
Riudoso
Rochambeau
Rossetti
Rousseau
Samaritan
Samedi
Sanguinary
Sanhedrin
Schoolhand
Semiramis
Setebos
Slava
Slither
Sprite
Squiffy
Starfield
Stonehouse
Structura
Taranis
Tenebris
Titania
Tuscarora
Vafthrudnir
Valdemar
Vasilisa
Vrubel
Walhall
Waziri
Windlass
Yazata