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CONTENTS of #161

Featured New Font - InduXtrial
Become a Fontcraft Affiliate
New Offer for Webmasters
Desktop Publishing Options
Edmund Dulac Package Update
Art Nouveau Package Update
Summer Specials
Special Offers on Ebay
Projects in Development
Subscribe to Newsletter



The new format for the newsletter seems to have been well received. We're sticking with it and will continue to increase the emphasis on original content and articles, as well as info on specials and new products. This issue we have news on a major new font release, plus a nice article on font overexposure and all the usual stuff. Read on!

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InduXtrial was developed for a poster project which needed a modern, degenerated look. We actually designed a custom variant of our Savoyard font with some unique characters and a somewhat different look for a number of the characters. We then degenerated the character outlines in Photoshop, ultimately running them through several permutations to produce two different versions of each character for the main font, plus an additional font with stylized initial capitals and customized small caps. Then, just to cap things off we produced a set of drop-cap initials and unique outline characters. The result is just what you need to espress the concept of industrial decay in print. CLICK HERE To download the demo version of InduXtrial. The full InduXtrial family set is available on our ordering site: CLICK HERE





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Become a Fontcraft/Scriptorium Affiliate

I recently had the blinding revelation that while we're always looking for more customers, there are a lot of people out there looking for ways to make their websites produce more revenue or even considering looking for a way to make a personal website pay for itself somehow. A simple and surprisingly effective way to do this is through affiliate programs, and who better to affiliate with than us?

When you become an affiliate you put a link on your website which visitors can use to come over to our site and browse and potentially purchase fonts and other items. If they make a purchase while in our ordering section you will receive a percentage of the sale. Our standard commission rate is currently set at 20%, so if they buy even a single one of our lower priced fonts you will get $2.40, but the potential profit is much higher. You don't have to do any other work for that commission. Their purchase and product delivery are handled by us, and we send you payment for your cut of any sales at the end of the month.

This is a great way to make your website generate some additional income. It's particularly appropriate if you're running a design website or selling products in a related area, or if you're an artist or designer with a website to showcase your work.

To find out more and to sign up as an affiliate, just go to: AFFILIATE SIGNUP

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Free T-Shirt Offer for Webmasters

We know a lot of you run websites - who doesn't these days - and like everyone else we're eager to get people to put links to our site on theirs. Unlike others who come begging, we're coming with gifts, or you might prefer to think of them as bribes. We've done something similar to this once before, but this time we've thought of a new and perhaps more fun incentive - designer t-shirts. If you put a link to our main page on your website in a relatively easy to find position or on a links page, we'll send you a unique and stylish all-cotton item of Scriptorium fashion wear. Assuming supplies last you even get your choice of size and design. The only restriction is that linking websites must be findable on Google. The link should go to our main page or a major sub-page appropriate to the theme of your website. We've even got graphic banners if you want to use one. You can find them at BANNERS. Once you've added the link, just email us about it and we'll send a t-shirt. You get to choose from two basic designs, the Boneyardfonts.com t-shirt featuring art by Harry Clarke (see image to the right) and the Scriptorium Fonts logo shirt (see image below). If you want to take us up on this offer, just put the link on your site and send us an email with your address, t-shirt size and design preference. We have a limited supply of shirts, so we can't guarantee the shirt you want in the size you want, but we'll do our best for you. We'll even cover the shipping within the US. Once you've got the link up and running, just send us an email with this link or from any of our pages - offers@fontcraft.com

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Desktop Publishing Options - DesktopPublisher and CreatorDesktop

I can't even begin to count the number of times distressed customers have called me because they're having so much trouble designing a publication or even just moving graphics around or configuring text the way they want it in Microsoft Word. I resist the temptation to be rude and gently point out to them that even though everyone on earth has a copy of Microsoft Word, that doesn't make it the right program to use for publication design. Word is barely adequate for tasks like writing letters, but despite some poorly implemented features for working with graphics, Word really isn't a desktop publishing or publication design program. Image positioning in Word is a nightmare, you can't do any fine tuning of text and line positioning, and doing anything subtle like overlapping text and graphics is impractical. Telling people this causes immediate trauma from the prospect of having to spend over $300 for a state of the art desktop publishing program (Quark Express - $799 or Adobe InDesign - $349). So I decided to go looking for desktop publishing options which are better than Microsoft Word and offer the essential features of Quark and InDesign at a reasonable price.

My criteria in this quest were to find programs which would work on both MacOS and Windows (which OSX has made much more practical) and which could perform certain basic functions, including resizing images by percentages or by dragging, wrapping text around images, changing text spacing and line spacing, superimposing text on images, wrapping text from page to page and working with non-standard paper sizes. Ease of use, versatile menus and control pallettes and ability to work with different file formats were also considerations. Much to my surprise I discovered that despite the dominance of Quark and InDesign in the market there are some good alternatives available at remarkably reasonable prices. The two I ended up most pleased with were DesktopPublisher from Metis International and CreatorDesktop from MultiAd.

Of the two programs CreatorDesktop immeidately creates the impression of being a more professional, more comprehensive package for desktop publishing. It has nice Photoshop-style tool pallettes, and a text control bar similar to the one in Quark Express. Basic desirable features are immediately apparent, and it's fairly easy to figure out how to use things like word wrap. It also offers both the Quark-like text box option and Pagemaker-style free text placement, which is somewhat easier to use. It also includes limited painting and drawing tools for enhancing and touching up documents. However, I did find one major flaw in the program. Although it does offer fairly powerful text scaling options, it doesn't feature control over text tracking and spacing and its implementation of leading control and line spacing isn't quite right. Specifically, when I went to insert a decorative initial of a larger size at the beginning of a paragraph of text, it adjusted the line spacing to fit the size of the initial and offered no option for tightening that spacing up to match the spacing of lines which did not have an initial. There were ways to work around this, but they were clunky and inconvenient. At $99 CreatorDesktop is pretty reasonably prices considering all the features. It pretty much offers everything you need in a DTO package at a fraction of the price of InDesign or Quark. MultiAd also offers a more powerful version of the same package called CreatorPro, but the price is much higher, the features are not all that much better and the bugs appear to be the same. There's a nice working demo of CreatorDesktop available at: MULTIAD SITE

DesktopPublisher from Metis International creates a much less favorable first impression. It doesn't look as good. It doesn't have cute and versatile pallettes. It uses a Word-style header pallette and an old-fashioned Quark-style toolbar on the left. Some of the tool imeplementations are weird and non-standard. For example, at first it seems like it doesn't let you select a font by typing the font name, but once you play around with it you realize that even though it doesn't look like you're doing it, you can type over the name listed and eventually get the one you want. Once I figured out how this works I actually liked it better than other implementations of this feature I've seen. One striking problem is that although it has selection boxes for vital text manipulation features, they left them unlabelled to save space. It's hard to figure out where those features are or what those selection boxes are for, but once you play around with them you realize they handle leading and individual character spacing and do it quite neatly. It also offers drawing-style tools, but nothing like the more powerful paint tools in CreatorDesktop. Once you figure out where everything is, DesktopPublisher is actually remarkably easy to use. It's like one of the older releases of Pagemaker. It does the stuff you need, is pretty efficient and isn't junked up and overcomplicated the way that recent versions of Quark and InDesign are. DesktopPublisher also performed much better than CreatorPro when it came to manipulating text and the key test of putting a decorative initial in a box of text, which it handled perfectly. I was also impressed with the simplicity of the color tool. It doesn't have a pallette, there's just a button you click on that brings up a list of colors, with the option to go to a color wheel for more variety. It's basically the same thing you find in Quark, but with the space efficiency of a button instead of a full pallette. The one area in which it failed was rather unexpected. For some reason when opening files, placing text and placing images there were weird pauses and delays while navigating the hard disk. The delay while using the text import feature was particularly bad, although cutting and pasting text had no such delay. At $19.95 DesktopPublisher is a real bargain. Metis also offers some nice companion programs like the really useful BarCoder program. You can download demos of any of their packages at: METIS SITE

Both of these desktop publishing applications offer most of the features you want with fairly good implementation at pretty reasonable prices. Both programs are available for MacOS and for Windows, which is very nice if you have people working with you on a different OS. What neither of these packages offers are the really advanced professional features which you may not need for most uses. They don't have the Pantone color libraries built into them, for example, but you probably don't need that unless you're printing direct to a four-color press. Overall, DesktopPublisherPro wins out despite its minor problems because of ease of use and comprehensive features. It may seem to be less powerful, but it's a much more practical program to use. Ironically, at $19.95 it's also priced substantially lower than CreatorDesktop's $99 pricetag, so it's a much better investment - hard to beat at the price. And remember, both programs are indinfinitely better than Microsoft Word for anything more complex than writing a memo. As a side note, MultiAd has a much more professional website than Metis International. The Metis site is really crude and amateurish, but I suspect that with the great low prices of their products they can't afford a full time web designer.

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Edmund Dulac Package Update

As you know, we're always working to expand and improve our collections of both fonts and art. Among our recent acquisitions werer several books of illustration by Edmund Dulac which we had not previously had access to, or even been aware of. Most notably, a customer pointed out to us that our collection of Dulac's illustrations fo The Tempest was not complete. It turned out our copy was a second edition which had fewer than half the illustrations found in the original printing. Embarassed by this oversight we went looking for a copy of that first printing and found one languishing in Australia. It, along with a seto illustrations from Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm make up the main additions to a new version of our Dulac art collection. The Tempest illustrations are particularly nice, but for those who haven't yet seen this package, my favorites remain the exceptional illustrations from Edgar Allen Poe's The Bells. The illustration by the table of contents at the head of this page is from The Tempest and the illustration immediately to the right of this section is from The Bells. You can check out the Dulac package with a full set of samples of all the illos at fontcraft.com/scriptorium/images/dulac

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Art Nouveau Package Updated

We've just updated our popular Art Nouveau font colleciton with the addition of several new fonts - Boetia, Belgravia and Jugenstil Kinsthand - plus the inclusion of a selection of nice Art Nouveau style frames and borders. The info page for the package has been redesigned to go with the new additions. And of course, there's a special offer to upgrade to the new version if you have the earlier release of the package. You can check the page out and see all the details at ART NOUVEAU

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Summer Specials

We've just updated our specials section on our ordering site with new offers for the Summer. The emphasis this time is on multiple CD combo packages including a special offer for our new Colonial/MapMaker package. A few other neat items are thrown in there as well. This is a great chance to get some of our best packages at extraordinary prices since these combos are normally already discounted, but we've marked them down even lower for the Summer. You can find out what's on special by going to SPECIALS

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Discounted Packages on Ebay

Our offerings of selected packages through ebay has had a lot of value as a method of advertising our larger product line and bringing people to the website. As a result we've added some more items to the listings and are rotating the selection from week to week. The benefit of this for you and for some of those who discover us on Ebay get some of our best packages at substantial discounts. Plus the competition of bidding for a good product is kind of fun. To see what we currently have up for auction on Ebay take a look at: EBAY AUCTIONS

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Projects in Development

One of our main projects in development right now is our compilation of the new edition of our Complete Fonts Collection, which features over 30 new fonts, over 80 substantially revised fonts and a format change which we hope will make it easier to work with. When the collection is released we'll also be offering discounted updates to those who have earlier editions, as well as a special collection of all the new fonts from the last year. You can pre-order the new release of the complete fonts or an update from an earlier version from: COMPLETE FONTS.

I mentioned our Walter Crane package as well last newsletter, but I forgot to mention our ongoing work on a new version of our Horror Fonts and Art package. As happened with out Celtic package a few years ago, the Horror package has become too large and unweildy to sell as a single package at a reasonable price, so we're splitting it into two new sub-packages. One will the the new Horror Fonts and Art package and the other will be the Dark Fantasy package. Each will have about 15 fonts and lots of art, including two new fonts which are in development for release this fall. These new fonts are based on the theatrical poster lettering from the Hammer films Dracula Has Risen from the Grave and Taste the Blood of Dracula they've got a great 60s/70s horror look with full character sets expanded from the basic samples on the posters.

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Hope you are enjoying the newsletter in the new format. Look for another issue soon with a new font and more articles and useful links. If you have any ideas or suggestions, don't hesitate to let me know.

---- Dave Nalle, The Scriptorium

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Art & Type
Arabian Nights
Celtic Fonts & Art
Jugendstil
William Morris
Alphons Mucha
Howard Pyle
Arthur Rackham
Russian Folk Art
Horror Fonts & Art
Fantasy Fonts & Art
MapMaker Tools

Art Collections
Borders & Frames
Textures & Patterns
Grammar of Ornamen
Lady of Shalott
William Russell Flint
Eleanor Brickdale
Pre-Raphaelites
Edmund Dulac

Featured Items
Newest Fonts
In Development
Complete Fonts Pkg
Designer Fonts
Horror Fonts & Art
Kidd Font Project
Master Fonts
Monospaced Fonts
New Font Sampler
The Lady of Shalott
New Releases

Contact Info




© 2003 Ragnarok Press
All featured Fonts, Textures and Images Available for purchase.