Font Friday

Font Friday: “Spirited” – a set of 3 hand-made fonts

The ‘Spirited’ type family is an all-new set of 3 hand-made fonts from the pen of the highly talented, UK-based Set Sail Studios. With a distinctive retro-friendly style, this font set is spot on for anyone looking to creating hand-lettered quotes, logos, or printed designs with a rustic, personal touch.

The full set consists of Spirited Script (a set of uppercase and lowercase cursive characters with plenty of OpenType alternates), Spirited Serif (an upper-case only, narrow serif font), Spirited Sans (upper-case again, but wider than the serif version) and a set of 10 swashes, frames and containers.

The typeface family is available to buy as a complete set from Creative Market, or for more options including webfonts or individual font purchases you can also grab it from You Work For Them.

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Fonts: Spirited (Set Sail Studios)

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Font Friday: Ten of the best letterpress, stamped and printed fonts for authentic vintage design

As designers we spend a long time trying to make things look authentic, and nothing says ‘authentic print’ like worn, weathered, irregularly-inked type…

We don’t all have access to letter-press machines or screen-printing facilities, and the effect can be time-consuming to create digitally from scratch. Fortunately there are many many typefaces that perfectly capture the rough, inky, tactile look of hand-printed lettering. Thanks to the power of OpenType many automatically vary their textures as you type to keep things organic, while others come packed with alternative shapes, shadows and effects which when layered with colours can give some satisfying print effects

I’ve rounded up ten of my favourites here, which between them should cover every eventuality and satisfy even the most demanding hand printing fans!

Brandon Printed

Brandon Grotesque has been something of a runaway success for designer Hannes von Döhren since it was launched back in 2010, so its no surprise he should consider creating a hand-stamped version of the font. Not to say HvD hasn’t got previous form in this area of course, as the foundry behind the equally successful Cheap Pine, the 2011 wood-block effect font so beloved of craft breweries and wood-fired pizza restaurants up and down the land.

As you might imagine then, Brandon Printed is an expertly produced, detailed and stylish example with loads of extras, ornaments, lined options, shadows thrown in to the mix.

brandonprinted

Butternut

Ryan Keightly is a fairly new addition to the type world, but he proved himself to be bang on-trend with his warm and endearing Sparkle Script, released back in September. He’s added to this with his latest font “Butternut“, which takes a hand-drawn old-style italic serif font and passes it through all manner of print processes. Butternut’s hand-finished style would make it perfect for packaging, and works well with chalky colours on a darker background.

butternut

Roper

Roper from Andrew Footit is a Western-influenced font, with crossbar spurs giving it that distinctive American feel. Available in both serif and sans serif versions, each has a solid and letter-pressed style. The solid versions are nice enough, but to my mind the font really comes alive with the letter-press alternatives. While not as flexible in use as some of the others here, sometimes that Wild West look is the only thing that will fit the bill!

roper

Lulo

Yellow Design Studio are another foundry with a solid track record in producing weighty, ink-heavy stamped fonts. Their Veneer regularly gives HvD’s “Cheap Pine” a run for its money, and their iconic Thirsty script family fast became the professionals’ preferred “Lobster” alternative.

Lulo is a new offering from the designers and takes a slightly different approach to some of the alternatives, with a fabric-based texture giving more of a screen-printed effect to the lettering. A subtle difference, but one that changes the feel of the characters completely. Clever layering options and well-realised shadows give a great 3D effect when combining colours across the full font family, and a good value combined price for the full set makes it a commercial font worth adding to the toolkit.

lulo

Appareo

Appareo has been featured here before, but worth including here again since it gives a different take on things to many of the others featured here.

Where most are clearly display fonts – that is, fonts that are really only intended for small blocks of text and headlines – Appareo takes a lead from period book-type and vintage printing presses. This makes it perfect for slightly longer passages of text, labelling, menus, and works perfectly when going for a more “antique” style. The font does an expert job of reproducing the quirks and ink-flows of vintage mechanical printing, and some advanced OpenType trickery means textures are automatically varied as you type to keep things looking authentic.

appareo

Microbrew

Microbrew from Jay Hilgert of Albatross is one of my favourite fonts to have been released this year. With 16 font styles, extras and quirky retro ornaments at under £30 it represents great value for money and the combination of shadows, inline versions, different textures and different printing techniques makes it far more versatile than might be expected for a type family like this.

The condensed shape of the characters also gives a nice contrast to the wider letter shape of the likes of Brandon and works well alongside other families, and the canny font buyer could always download some of Jay’s free alternatives from the complementary “Signyard” font to further extend possibilities!

microbrew

Nexa Rust

Fontfabric’s Nexa Rust is a vast, sprawling font family of scripts, slabs, ornaments and sans serif faces, all designed to work alongside each other in a cohesive, structured way. With over 80 fonts in the family, acquiring the whole set is an eye-watering prospect and probably best left for commercial projects. But individually there are some great options in there not found in other families, and Fontfabric’s professional expertise guarantee an excellent finish, flawless execution and high detail at large sizes.

nexa-rust

Gist Rough

Back to Yellow Design Studio and their increasingly popular 2014 Gist font… Gist Rough is the printed, textured version of the typeface, and retains the monoline, swirling, late 70’s/early 80’s-influenced aesthetic of the original. While the texturing is a bit on the rough side compared to some of the other fonts featured, the distinctive shape, ligatures and style of the lettering makes this ideal for poster design, packaging, T-shirt logos and anywhere you fancy a blast of retro-contemporary chic!

gistrough

Emblema Headline

Corradine Fonts have taken a slightly different approach to many of their peers with their Emblema Headline font. Where most have gone down the 1800’s wood-block route with simple shapes and uniform dimensions, Corradine have opted to take the Deco path. The now-standard layering, shadow and inline effects are all present and correct, but paired with elegant proportions, 20’s-style vintage curves, small caps and a range of aesthetic quirks that set it apart from many of the alternatives.

Emblema is currently on offer with the full family of 52 for under £10, which represents outstanding value!

emblema

Core Circus Rough

Lastly (but my no means leastly) we have Core Circus Rough from the consistently innovative S-Core foundry. S-Core have taken layered font combos to new heights with their ‘Core’ font systems, with a sense of fun and playfulness not always obvious elsewhere. Core Circus is no exception, thriving on colour, packed with entertaining alternatives and options, and perfect for bold, celebratory designs.

corecircus

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Fonts: Brandon Printed (HVD Fonts), Microbrew (Albatross), Roper (Andrew Footit), Nexa Rust (Fontfabric), Lulo (Yellow Design Studio), Gist Rough (Yellow Design Studio), Emblema Headline (Corradine Fonts), Core Circus Rough (S-Core), Butternut (Ryan Keightley), Appareo (Kimmy Design)

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Font Friday: Appareo

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the vintage-influenced Appareo, a typeface straight from the pages of an antique book…

Appareo is the latest font family from the hand of Kimmy Kirkwood, owner of boutique design studio Kimmy Design. Kimmy offers an eclectic collection of typefaces, from the on-trend retro serif of Station to the hand-drawn whimsy of Lunchbox. All are executed to perfection, with multiple weights and textures, OpenType alternates for a human touch on the hand-drawn characters and regularly come with complementary ornaments and extras.

For Appareo Kimmy has turned to vintage books and the pages within, creating an imperfect, worn serif. The family consists of a range of weights (with italic options), each having a varying degree of distress. The fully set Black has the press and ink fully set into the page while Medium, Light and Extralight are progressively lighter in print, with more obvious textures.

As with Lunchbox, each character has several OpenType variations. This means no two same letters will ever be found adjacent, creating the appearance of an aged printing press. A selection of arrows, banners and flourishes complete the family, making this an ideal package for design-based work rather than simply setting text.

The high level of detail means that Appareo wouldn’t really be suitable for large blocks of small-size text or use as a webfont, but it would be perfect for anyone looking to give a touch of vintage authenticity to invitations, menus, labelling or other print design.

Inspiration this week is an attempt to coax the weather back to the sunny excess of previous weeks, with the promise of long drinks and classic cocktails…

More examples of Appareo in use can be found on Kimmy’s MyFonts store, where the entire font family is currently available for the discounted rate of $21.

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Fonts: Appareo (Kimmy Design)

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Font Friday: The Luxx

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s The Luxx, a bold Deco with a twist

I’d not come across the Valencia-based Resistenza Studio before now, but I’m wishing I had. The duo of Giuseppe Salerno and Paco Gonzalez have been producing some outstanding work for several years now, flitting effortlessly between crafted vintage typography, effortless brushwork and exquisite hand lettering.

The Luxx is an update of a font the studio first released back in the 2010, inspired by Italian Art Deco posters and advertising of the 1930s. The original ‘Luxx’ incarnation of the typeface was true to the authentic form of the era – all perfect geometrics, even weights, truncated descenders and a flat serpentine ‘S’. The simple 2013 addition of ‘The’ to the name however has heralded a whole host of OpenType extras with extra language support, bold ligatures, in-filled letters and lots of edgy alternates. These additions bring things right up to date meaning The Luxx is equally at home in retro or ultra-modern designs, and perfect for print and design work at all sizes.

Musical soundtrack this Friday is courtesy of 80’s hip-hoppers Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, who managed to combine an admirable sentiment with one the most niggling earworms of all time.

More examples of The Luxx in use can be found on Resistanza’s MyFonts store, where the font is currently available at a discounted rate.

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Fonts: The Luxx (Giuseppe Salerno / Resistenza)

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Font Friday: Magnel

Font Friday is a series of posts showcasing new or interesting fonts that have caught my eye this week. This week it’s the bold Didone elegance of Magnel

The Didone has quietly experienced something of a revival in recent years… A splicing of the surnames of French typefounder Didot and the Italian print pioneer Bodoni, Didones are typified by very heavy vertical strokes and ultra-fine horizontal lines, and barely-there hairline serifs.

Didot and Bodoni developed their typefaces independently in the mid-19th century, but the boom in travel brought about by the steam age meant both were soon in common usage across the whole of Europe, fast becoming a staple part of the neoclassical aesthetic. Before every foundry had their own take on the Didone form, and the family soon became so commonplace as to be taken for granted.

It wasn’t until a century later that the Chauncey H. Griffith decided to update Bodoni for large-format use, emphasising the verticals to an excessive degree in his Poster Bodoni, of which the current plentiful crop of ultra-heavy, design-friendly Didones are direct descendants.

To Magnel then, which first emerged in 2011 from the hand of Lithuanian designer Eimantas Paškonis. The font is a contemporary, almost relaxed take on the Didone shape with more space in the counters (the empty holes in letter like “o” or “d”) and shorter descending elements (e.g the tail of a lower-case “g”). It also boasts some lovely ligatures, cheeky OpenType swash variants for any characters at the end of a line, and nicely implemented ball terminals (check out the lower case “f” in particular!). Magnel looks great at large sizes, and lends itself perfectly to typographic posters, headlines or most other display usage.

Inspiration and musical soundtrack this week is Bret and Germaine’s Masterclass in back-handed compliments.

Magnel may be purchased from the MyFonts store, which also features lots more examples of the font in use.

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Fonts: Magnel (Eimantas Paškonis)