Thursday, April 30, 2015

Font of the Week #41: Fenway Park

   Hello and welcome back to the Font of the Week posts! For this week's feature we come to one of the most popular fonts from the Jukebox library…

Fenway Park

   Designed in 2001, Fenway Park was one of my earlier typeface designs. It was originally part of the JAW Fonts library sold through that later became Jukebox in 2003 when I partnered with Veer.

   At the time I designed Fenway Park, I had already done another “athletic style” script called Varsity Script (still part of the Jukepox library as well). I wanted to do a design that was a little more refined and more reminiscent of the commonly used script seen in professional baseball team logos and associated with American athletics as far back as the 19th Century. Fenway Park was the result.

   The design inspiration was an amalgam of elements from existing team logos such as the Dodgers and Yankees as well as embroidery designs from companies that make sport jerseys. These all got combined into one cohesive original design that is Fenway Park. Named for the famed baseball stadium in Boston, it just seemed to be the perfect fit for the design.

   Fenway Park has proven to be one of the bestselling fonts in the Jukebox library, second only to Stephanie Marie. It was the first font I ever saw out in the world in a commercial application and I have since seen it on countless products, billboards, commercials, print media and many others. It is a true honor to have created something that has had such a far reach.

   The first known commercial use of Fenway Park was by the Southern Comfort whisky company. I saw one of their billboards on Fairfax Ave. in Los Angeles in November of 2002 and there was my font looking back at me! The company continued to use the font in various ways through the late 2000s. 

   Disneyland has been another heavy user of Fenway Park, having employed the font on much of its merchandise, especially clothing. 

   Fenway Park has also appeared in many TV shows and even film. It is seen on The Food Network in the opening title logo of “Sandwich King” which is chef Jeff Mauro’s show. Mauro was the season seven winner of “The Next Food Network Star”. Fenway Park was also use in the opening credits of the 2006 film “Thank You For Smoking” starring Aaron Eckhart and directed by Jason Reitman.

   This was a really fun font to design! I remember being very excited by the process at the time. I always love working on a new typeface of course, but this was one of those ones that just seemed to be “in the zone” for me. 

  Interestingly the original design contained a swooping “tail” element that could be added on to the end of a word similar to the ones you sometimes see on team logotypes. It never really worked however, because of the limitations of font technology—it couldn't be customized to fit varying word lengths. The swash element was removed when the library was relaunched as Jukebox in 2003. If you have a version with that swash, it is the original JAW Fonts version! 

   As with all of the other fonts in the Jukebox library, Fenway Park is available from Veer in OpenType format.


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Font of the Week #40: Fanfare

   Good morning! I'm glad to see you back here again. This week’s featured font is “Fanfare” from the Jukebox collection.


   Fanfare is a digital revival that I created in 2004, making it one of the earlier Jukebox fonts. The original from which Fanfare was created was an old photo-typositing face called Phoenix that appeared in one of those old Dover type books.

   I was immediately drawn to this font because of its classic 1950s/1960 retro appearance. I thought it would make an excellent addition to the Jukebox collection and has been well received over the years. The modulated baseline adds to its charm and gives the font a childlike look which makes it perfect for any lighthearted subject or use.

   The endstrokes of the letters in Fanfare terminate in a pointed flared serif that give this typeface a vaguely Latin feel making it perfect for the menu of a Mexican restaurant or something similar.

   It also has other typically retro design features like the lower curve of the “S” being smaller than the top curve…the opposite of a more typical classical typeface. Similarly, the crossbars on the “E” and “F” are below the vertical midpoint of the letter, rather than above it.

   These kinds of fonts remind me of my childhood. Although I grew up as a small child in the 1970s, there was still a lot of carryover, especially in urban graphic design, from the late 50s and 60s. Fanfare is very similar to the lettering on the old Denny’s signs I remember as a kid. They have all gone the way of the Dodo much to my dismay. Today’s version seems to pale by comparison.

   As with the all the other fonts in the Jukebox library this was rereleased in 2012 in OpenType format and is available exclusively from Veer. This is a great choice for adding some playfulness to your designs!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Font of the Week #39: Fairy Tale

Hello again! After a necessary hiatus due to family medical issues I am finally back with Font of the Week Feature! This week we will take a look at one of the oldest Jukebox fonts…

Fairy Tale

   Fairy Tale was designed in early 2001 and was originally part of the JAW Fonts library that came before Jukebox. Based on the hand-lettered titles from the lobby posters of an old animated feature film, this font captures both the whimsy and fun of a fairy tale with the influences of old Blackletter fonts.

   It makes use of its Blackletter roots, while still being easily readable. In addition, the design is versatile enough to be either light and upbeat or more serious depending on the context in which it is used.

   Because this is one of my earlier fonts when I was still getting my bearings with the mechanics of typeface design, this font has some idiosyncrasies that add some warmth to the design. Its naiveté makes it more accessible and more flexible.

   Fairy Tale has been a fairly strong seller for Jukebox over the years and I have seen its use on many different venues. Perhaps the most exciting and close to my heart is that Fairy Tale has been the official font used for many years now for all the signage and promotional material for the “Mickey’s Halloween Party” event held during the months of September and October at Disneyland in CA.

   The font even appears on some of the floats that are used for the special Halloween parade that is shown on the nights of the event. To have my font chosen for such a widespread use by a company such as Disney is truly an honor. As a lover of both Disney and Halloween, I was quite excited the first time I saw the signs and brochures a few years ago!

   Fairy Tale is part of the Jukebox library sold exclusively through Veer. It is available in OpenType format.