Monday, December 18, 2023

Decorate The Tree

It struck me in early December 2023 that my typeface Vinetters, which puts letters on alternating leaves, could be reworked to make a font of Christmas lights with alternating letters. I initially thought the name Christmas Lights would be appropriate but found that name was taken by a typeface that seemed to have little to do with either Christmas or lights. The name DecorateTheTree both captures a Christmas theme and is weird enough so others have not used it for a typeface.


DecorateTheTree is a festive novelty font family that is useful to display a holiday message not just in words but in the lettering itself. The family has two styles, a regular style with clear bulbs and the bold style with filled bulbs. They are designed to be used in layers. Further, the fonts use the OpenType feature contextual alternatives to alternate two sets of letters, one set with bulbs standing up and the other set with the bulbs hanging down. The end result gives the impression of a string of Christmas lights. (The characters on the bulbs are derived from the font SansduskiMono.)

DecorateTheTree is available from myfonts and fontspring.

Friday, May 5, 2023

DecoSpring: a font with flowers

DecoSpring is a decorative art-deco family that was inspired by one word in an advertisement in a 1978 edition of my local newspaper. I could not find a typeface that matched it so decided to create one, which became DecoSpring-Regular. It is caps only, with an alternative set of capitals on the lower-case keys. Characters with very thick stems invite interior decoration and I opted for floral decorations. DecoSpring-Flowers can be used alone or it can be layered on top of the regular style to create colored flowers as shown below. Changing the width of the bolder stem resulted in two more style, the light and thing styles. Another set of four styles, the Simple set, was formed by eliminating the split in the stems by merging the two parts. All the DecoSpring faces are display faces to be used in small doses, and especially the bolder ones, at large point sizes,

Seven of the eight styles are illustrated above. DecoSpring can be purchased from myfonts and fontspring.

Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Vasetters, another alternating-letter typeface family

Vasetters is a novelty font in which the letters are cut from the shape of a tessellating vase. To get the tessellating effect, the two sets of letters (and numbers and some symbols) must alternate, and this is done automatically in applications that support the OpenType feature of Contextual Alternatives (calt). Vasetters is monospaced and comes in two weights. The regular weight is tightly spaced, which should not be a problem at large point sizes. At small point sizes adjacent letters can be colored differently or the character spacing can be increased. The lighter weight can be used alone or layered above the regular weight to create the effect of hollow lettering. Vasetters is fun, bizarre, weird, and obviously a decorative display font.

Vasetters is available from myfonts and fontspring.

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

RensGazet

RensGazet is a decorative blackletter typeface with elaborate upper-case letters and condensed lower-case characters. It was inspired by the masthead of a short-lived weekly newspaper, The Rensselaer Gazette, which was published from 1857 until 1860. I could not find any existing digitized fonts that replicated this old typeface, so I decided to create an interpretation of it. I had samples of few letters in large point sizes and a number of others at a small point size, though these were blurry and not sharply defined. As a result, this typeface is undoubtedly considerably different from the original. Also, my spacing is much tighter than that in the source samples.

RensGazet is available from myfonts.com and fontspring.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

NarrowWay & NarrowPath

In November, after seeing a number of highly condensed sans-serif fonts in use, I realized that my catalog was very weak in condensed fonts. I decided to create one and began with an elongated O. The rest of the letters were based on that width and height. This font became NarrowWay Ultracondensed. From there I altered it with thinner stems (Light Ultracondensed) and then widened it and created three weights for a condensed width. Widening this condensed width, I call the results a regular width, though it is still a very condensed font. None of these has a true lower case, but rather have alternative shaped letters, some based on lower-case forms, in place of a true lower case. I could find only a few fonts on myfonts.com that are more condensed than NarrowWay-Ultracondensed. 

After mostly finishing the 18 styles of NarrowWay, I decided to add a true lowercase to the widest of the three weights, and then also added the lower case letters to the other two widths. I spun these styles out as a new family, NarrowPath. Because they were very easy to create and because some people might find them useful, I added oblique styles for all the upright styles.

Previously the most condensed sans-serif font I had created was PeterPierre-Condensed, which I designed in 1992. It is shown below, above two examples of NarrowPath-Medium at the same point size. The first NarrowPath sample uses the font's spacing, which is quite loose. The second tightens character spacing to make it match more closely with the PeterPierre sample. The NarrowPath sample is smoother and more elegant than the PeterPierre sample.

NarrowWay and NarrowPath are available on Myfonts.com and FontSpring.com.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

OverUnder

 OverUnder is a two font family that plays with the capabilities of the Opentype feature of Contextual Alternatives to alternate two sets of characters. One set is on tall vertical slabs and the other set is on wide horizontal slabs, and when the sets are alternated, the result is a pattern that has a woven appearance. 


It is available on fontspring.com.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Valsity, a squarish slab serif

Valsity is a squarish slab-serif family with five weights and two widths, each with an italics for a total of twenty members. With negligible  contrast, it is almost monoline. It is for decorative uses; it is too square and lacks the contrast to make it a good choice for extensive text.

Valsity began with a blending of two other squarish slab-serifs, Valgal and Kwersity, and its name reflects that ancestry. From there it took on a life of its own, often diverging from its parents.

Valsity is available from fontspring.