You’re a big fan of hand-lettered fonts and display typefaces, right?
Really? You’re not?
Damn, this is awkward. Someone told me you were. Look, I’ve already clicked the “Add New Post” button here so just play along, okay?
Well, then! I have terrific news for you: it’s time for the annual New Year’s Day sale at ComicBookFonts.com. If you’ve never heard of this outfit before, you just need to know two things:
1) When I say “They specialize in comic book fonts,” I don’t mean “…like Comic Sans.”
In fact, I mean “So completely unlike Comic Sans that it’s a wonder they don’t have a typeface called ‘Snas Cimoc’.” No, no no. These are true, professional digital handlettering fonts that appear in many of today’s best-selling comics.
2) The term “comic book fonts” also includes the kinds of snazzy display typefaces that you might see in a book’s logo or in its sound effects balloons. So don’t think that “handlettering” is all that ComicBookFonts sells.
Their annual sale is insane. To celebrate the New Year, everything in the whole catalogue is $20.11. That includes the font package that normally sells for $395 and the ones that usually go for $19. Can you blame me for RSVPing my regrets to Barack and Michelle on their New Year’s Eve bash? It’s all about priorities. I can beat the leader of the free world at Apples To Apples any day of the year. If I don’t get in on this sale, I’ll be kicking myself for the next 11 months.
I’ve bought loads of ComicBookFonts over the years. Here are my favorites, plucked straight from my MacBook’s font library:
This is the Star Prize of the sale: it’s their $395 super-professional lettering font. It has real weight…but even at small sizes, it remains readable.
Still a comic book font, but somehow looser and more casual than Comicrazy. It also has the advantage of being more affordable than Comicrazy, which is a rather critical factor the other 364 days out of the year.
Many of these lettering fonts tend to be very “square.” I use FaceFront when I want something whose proportions are a little narrower.
Monologous is a font with a secret. Take a look at the words “meeting” and “arrange” in the sample. Monologous is a font in which the upper-case keys and the lower-case keys produce different versions of the same capital letter. By making a few tweaks here and there, you can eliminate the duplication of forms that makes a digital handwriting font look less natural.
(Monologous isn’t the only font with this trick. Look at the font descriptions carefully.)
Letterbot has been an MVP in my font collection ever since I bought it during my first New Year’s sale a few years ago. I love it. It looks hand-lettered while still evoking a digital-ish sensibility. And its legibility is absolutely bulletproof. I title videos with Letterbot because I know that even when the video’s been compressed for streaming and viewed on a tiny phone screen with a terrible connection, people will still be able to read the text.
One of my favorite “utility” faces. When I need to fit a line of text, when I need a font that won’t distract from the main text, and when I simply want to create a functional label for something around the house, I turn to Marian. It also harmonizes with most of ComicBookFonts’ other typefaces. I often use it as a subtitle font for a line of title text set in Comicrazy.
Bryan Talbot Lower:
Bryan Talbot is my favorite “casual handwriting” font. If I wanted real scrawl, hell, I’d just scrawl it myself. This font wouldn’t look out of place in a schoolroom but it doesn’t look childish or cheap in the least.
Cheese And Crackers:
These fonts may be dirt-cheap but still: twenty bucks is twenty bucks. I try not to buy fonts that are so quirky that I’ll never use them. Cheese And Crackers was a gamble that paid off. It’s a fantastic choice for a title or a headline that needs to make a fast, big impression. It scales way, way up quite handily, to fill a whole page or a big screen in an auditorium.
It’s easy to imagine this font used for the title card in a 1960’s Rock Hudson comedy.
Oh, man: will you ever use the hell out of this font. It’ll be your go-to for every sign you will ever create for every purpose. It could just as easily have been named “Yard Sale Saturday” or “Use Other Door” or “Do not put pathology lab samples in the breakroom fridge unless it’s on a plate.”
Another all-star in my font library. It’s a bold but elegant script face that makes its presence known instead of standing meekly at the back of the room with the harpist and the swan ice sculpture. There’s just no way to “cheat” this effect when you need it.
Oh, I’ve bought lots and lots
more fonts than just these. But these are the ones that I dip into regularly.
They’re so good, in fact, that they actually make my presentations more fun to prepare. My captions and bullet points don’t just sit there on the slide. I actually enjoy the slides as graphical objects. I don’t want to make the slides less pretty by putting in too much text or making the slide too complex. Result: I simplify what I’m saying and thus the actual message is clearer and sharper.
So those are your marching orders. Go on over to ComicBookFonts.com and commence to buyin’. Two final tips: buy the “international” versions of their fonts when available. These include all of the extra weirdo-foreign characters. Normally, ComicBookFonts charges a little extra for those expanded fonts.
Also, be aware that many of these fonts are upper case only. So look before you click. And don’t buy fonts when you’re still hung over from your New Year’s revels. How do you think they came up with the Houston Rockets logo?