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Artistic

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Anna 11 months ago.

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September 10, 2013 at 9:31 PM #4120

Anna

Artistic=BelmontArtistic was designed, patented and assigned to MacKellar, Smiths & Jordan by Herman Ihlenburg in 1886 [USPTO D16715]. Although the patent specimen does not illustrate the initial variations, it seems safe to asume that Mr. Ihlenberg (who else?) designed/cut them as well.

Specimens published by the late Dan X. Solo are entitled Belmont#.¹

Artistic=Belmont InitialsBefore the THP revival forums were launched, Star Partners Alan Prescott and Robert Donona had already digitized Artistic=Belmont# for posterity. Robert intends to “ice the cake” with the ornate Artistic Initials.
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¹Solo, D.X.: The Solotype Catalog of 4,417 Display Typefaces (1992), page 15. Decorative Display Alphabets|100 Complete Fonts (1990), page 11. Dover Publications, Inc. (Minneola, NY).


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December 5, 2013 at 11:41 AM #5873

Alan Jay Prescott

I’ve known for some time that Belmont has a lower case but only came across a good specimen recently in Journey. This will be one of my next projects. With Robert’s incredible talent brought to bear on the initials, our efforts might result in a superfont that contains all of it. I will discuss this with him to see whether our character weights can be adjusted to make this a seamless possibility.


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December 22, 2013 at 1:26 AM #6583

Alan Jay Prescott

Belmont/Artistic full font available soon. Some observations:

After working with good scans I made from Inland Printer, it became obvious that Solo’s version is suspect. It is way too heavy, first, which means he either worked with a very small specimen or had a cut that is nowhere to be found. Second, there are significant differences in several letterforms themselves. The numerals are very different, the cap O, the period and comma, etc.

So…for the sake of historicity, I am creating lowercase based on an almost full showing, the caps are based on what I can find, and the ones missing are based on the forms shown in Solo, but half the weight, to match that of lowercase.

The numerals will have alternates that match Solo-style just in case they are real and not something he may have invented. I will create as well a small cap to match the original caps in Inland based in interpolation using Solo’s weight.

Solo’s version will remain “revived,” but I will call it Belmont No. 2, because it really is different enough to almost be a bold. Do I creat a new lower case for Solo? We’ll see if I have the stomach for that, so stay tuned if interested.

Not to detract from Solo’s incredible efforts on behalf of revival, but after numerous examples of curious discrepancies in his output, I have become unafraid of taking a new look at everything I have available from Solotype.


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December 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM #6584

Alan Jay Prescott

Anna, if you have a scan of Belmont/Artistic patent materials, could you send it to my Dropbox? Discovered more issues with the face. I was able to scrounge an authentic ampersand from a random page in Inland Printer…Solo’s is not the real McCoy, alas.

Likewise with “Cocktail” as I suspected.


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December 23, 2013 at 10:08 AM #6601

Anna

I have uploaded the patent specimen plus three commercial ones to your dropbox folder. None shows an “official” ampersand (unless my bleary eyes deceive me). Super-decorative faces like this one frequently omitted such extras as a Mind-Reading Act assuming that none would be needed for the intended purpose.

Have you been “journeying” around The Inland Printer again?¹ Yup, it’s a dangerous book… Even so, Annenberg’s page 116 (June 1886) shows no ampersand that I can find (if I’m mistaken, please recycle the Bleary Eyes Excuse). Where did you find this rare ampersand?

Hhmm… Maybe no ampersand was designed for this face and the one you saw was “fudged” by someone who borrowed it from another font?

You are correct that a lower-case alphabet was intended for Artistic#. How exciting to think of a dual-case revival!
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¹Annenberg, M. [Editor] (1977): A Typographic Journey Through the Inland Printer 1883–1900. Maran Press, Baltimore.


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January 5, 2014 at 9:43 PM #6865

Alan Jay Prescott

Artistic is almost ready for prime time. It contains 2000 glyphs and covers Vietnamese, Cyrillic and Greek, as well as every Latin language and most African languages that use Latin-derived alphabets.

Today, for the first time ever, I wrote code for a features file…through a text editor that I appended to the font before generation. This is because you can’t generate features through Fontographer directly. I know, the FontLab users are laughing their heads off!

But you know what? After about a dozen font creation failures, I made numerous fixes and eventually I loaded the font into FontBook. All 20 features work.

I am simply amazed…it is probably the first decorative revival at THP that has such a vast assortment of glyphs coupled with the power of true OTF functionality using a tool that is basically “bear skins and stone knives.”

Fontographer still rocks after 2 decades. Stay tuned.


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June 15, 2014 at 2:30 PM #10953

Alan Jay Prescott

Below is a JPEG sample of my most recent revival of Belmont/Artistic at Flickr. It was months in the making and represents one of the most complete character sets of any pre-1900 revival; it has almost a dozen OTF features:


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June 15, 2014 at 10:58 PM #10958

Anna

OMG… It’s fabulous!!!
And not merely gorgeous—it sets a new standard for opentype.

****Congratulations****


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June 16, 2014 at 12:08 AM #10963

Robert

Congratulations! Nicely done even with some Swash, Greek and Cyrillic characters as well, the Artistic Initials are almost complete, I have finished A through U so far.

Yours Truly,
Robert


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June 16, 2014 at 7:34 AM #11021

Anna

How exciting to see the full set complete with Robert’s initials—stay tuned!


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June 23, 2014 at 1:50 AM #11709

Robert

The Artistic Initials are finally finished, enclosed is a showing plus the initials displayed in 2-color combinations.
How I created the 2-color effect for the Artistic Initials was on each character I drew around the letter first as one element and drew around the ornamentation second as the second element, thus making them a 2-part element in Corel Draw and exported the entire alphabets as an SVG file format and imported them into Serif DrawPlus X4, nest I selected the ornamentations and made them a different color and then selected the letters and made then a different color as well.

Yours truly,
Robert


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June 23, 2014 at 9:44 AM #11718

Anna

Oh Robert! What a “scoop” for The Type Heritage Project!

Together, you and Alan have NAILED the definitive, comprehensive revival of a typeface nearly 125 years old. Your chromatic separation of the fancy initials works perfectly with his multi-lingual revival of the dual-case Latin alphabet.

The magic of The Internet has united your talents. Without The Information Highway, you two like-minded “needles in haystacks” would never have joined forces. It’s like a Dream-Come-True Miracle!

Thanks again to both you and Alan for your service to THP and to posterity.


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November 10, 2015 at 9:01 PM #25823

Robert

To Miss Anna:

I have placed the Corel Draw file of Artistic Initials in Dropbox named Robert.

Yours Truly,
Robert


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April 17, 2016 at 10:43 PM #27095

Robert

To Miss Anna:

Artistic Initials are now finished and are now a working font.
Enclosed is a png sample.

Yours truly,
Robert


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April 23, 2016 at 3:25 AM #27141

Anna

Thanks SO much, Robert—it’s *perfectly* gorgeous!


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