Several years ago I designed my first font to mimick a style that I and others have painted freehand on many a yacht. I designed it in CorelDraw, a program that I am very familiar with and very comfortable using. Because I did all of the work in CorelDraw without importing the finished font into a professional font editing program it could not be marketed. The problem with simply designing the letters of the alphabet but not utilizing a professional font design program is that you can’t select the font and use it to type a sentence. This didn’t bother me much because I was using the font I designed called Yacht Roman almost exclusively for boat names. The names are short enough that I could simply drag and drop the letters I needed on a baseline, adjust the spacing between each letter and viola, I was ready to go.

Anyways, what made Yacht Roman different from other Roman style alphabets was the very long serifs. This was a letter characteristic I picked up from Steve Smith, aka Kaptain Krunch, a sign painter from Deltaville, VA. And there were others whose work I saw in the various local Marinas that had the same long serifs that Krunch’s boat lettering had. What separated my work from their’s was the general shape of my Roman boat lettering. In this I was greatly influenced by the single stroke Roman brush lettering of Larry Ottino, a world renoun type designer in the early 70s.

A boat done in the 80s using a freehand style of Roman lettering developed by myself with influence from others

Fast forward to today. I have a rather large collection of sign and lettering books dating back to the late 1800s. They contain original hand lettered alphabets, showcards, signs, window lettering; you name it. As much as I love lettering, I really love vintage lettering so I decided to create a vintage style font based on a picture in one of these books. The picture is of a showcard used to advertise the 1934 film, Morocco, starring Gary Cooper and Marlene Dietrich.

Part of a page from a 1934 sign book

So far I have created all the capitals and about a third of the lower case characters. Before I even started I invested in a professional font design program. I am still designing first with pencil, then scanning into CorelDraw to convert into a digital image and will then import into the font design program. I have ideas for several more fonts after I publish this one. I may even revisit the Yacht Roman font I never finished.

So, what do you think? Do you believe Morocco could be a cool vintage font?

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