I’m A Font Lover, And Proud Of It…

July 24, 2008 at 6:42 am (Uncategorized)

Put this in the “now it can be told” department, but I harbor a secret and deep-seated adoration for fonts. I love the damn things, and the way they make a page look. I’ve actually based decisions on buying books around the typeface the print is set in.

Don’t look at me, I’m repulsive.

At any rate, as far as secret addictions go, addiction to True-Type fonts is fairly benign, but I suspect I’m not the only font geek in the world, and so tonight I’ve got a doozy for you, courtesy of Patrick at Popehat. A little back-story is necessary, I suppose: the fonts are provided by the H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society. Who is H. P. Lovecraft? Well, depending on your source, he’s either the great lost source of horror fiction as we know it today…or he’s weird-as-hell hack writer who wrote for pulps in the 1920’s. I loved Lovecraft when I was in high school, but revisiting his work a few years ago left me fairly cold–I just didn’t think his stuff held up for readers familiar with Hawthorne, Shelley, and Stoker, the authors to whom Lovecraft was clearly paying mimicking homage. Still, short stories like “The Rats In The Walls” and “Pickman’s Model” are excellently crafted genre fiction, and Michael Chabon’s a fan, so there you go.

Back to the fonts and the HPLHS. The latter group is a congregation of enthusiasts of Lovecraft’s work who have created one nifty silent film of Lovecraft’s best-known story, “The Call Of C’thulhu”, and have others in the works. In the course of making these films, they created some altogether amazing fonts for use in creating props–telegraphs, diary notes, newspaper articles, etc.–and have made these fonts available to the general public, via this page. They’ve made a number of them available free…and also put an entire huge body of work together for download for twenty bucks. I’m a geek, I splurged, but even if you get the freebies, these are some seriously bitchin’ typefaces.

My favorite free font is this great antique italic font. I love how subtly different it is from regular Roman fonts that we see every day:

I think my favorite font in the pay-pack is this one:

or this one:

One final, unrelated note on famous fonts: The “X” in the X-Files logo is the same typeface as Cheap Trick’s logo. Do with that information what you will.

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