Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

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Psymon
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Psymon » Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:23 pm

og-image-thoreau104.jpg
og-image-thoreau104.jpg (345.07 KiB) Viewed 994 times

Hi folks!

There's lots I could say about my new family of fonts, based on the handwriting of American Transcendentalist author Henry David Thoreau, but rather than be redundant you can read all about it (with illustrations) -- and, if you'd like, download it! -- at my web page for it...

http://www.psymon.com/fonts/thoreau.html

To pique your curiosity, though, here's a couple samples from the above link, comparing Thoreau's actual handwriting with the same text transcribed in Thoreau's Hand Oblique...

Thoreau-1837-02-17.jpg
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Thoreau-1837-05-26.jpg
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And here's an example showing Thoreau's handwriting when it was more upright, along with the same text transcribed using Thoreau's Hand Regular...

Thoreau-1837-06-02b.jpg
Thoreau-1837-06-02b.jpg (691.31 KiB) Viewed 994 times

I also threw together a couple "user manuals" (if you could call them that -- ha ha) for some improvements I made over the last few days, which I suppose should be self-explanatory...

Thoreau's Hand New Stuff 103.jpg
Thoreau's Hand New Stuff 103.jpg (630.85 KiB) Viewed 994 times
Thoreau's Hand New Stuff 104.jpg
Thoreau's Hand New Stuff 104.jpg (632.31 KiB) Viewed 994 times

Well, not much else to add, I suppose, that I don't explain already at the website -- feel free to grab 'em and use 'em however you'd like! If you do find a use for them that's shareable, please do share here -- I'd love to see if/when/how anyone might use these fonts. :)

Jonne Haven
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:02 pm
Location: Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Jonne Haven » Sun Oct 25, 2020 2:24 am

Comment On Psymon's Thoreau Hand Font.jpg
Comment On Psymon's Thoreau Hand Font.jpg (273.63 KiB) Viewed 983 times

Psymon
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Psymon » Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:10 am

Ha ha, what wonderful feedback, Jonne -- thanks a bunch! :D

Psymon
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Psymon » Sun Oct 25, 2020 5:55 am

Oh, I forgot to mention... using Thoreau's Hand Oblique (only), type "error404" (one word, no spaces, all lowercase) and you'll get a nice little Thoreauvian correction. So if perchance you were doing something up and REALLY wanted to make it look "real," you could throw in a little booboo. :lol:

Psymon
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Psymon » Sun Oct 25, 2020 9:15 pm

Oh, crap. I was just glancing at those handwriting-font comparisons I posted in my initial post again, and all of a sudden I see the most glaringly-obvious things that need better kerning -- and that doesn't surprise me, that I'm still finding things that could use fixing up (that ALWAYS happens, no matter how "done" you think you are), but rather that I've looked at those handwriting-font comparisons SO many times, and I'm just flabbergasted that I never noticed these now-glaringly-obvious things before.

And so... version 1.05 on the drawing table, and coming soon. :roll:

I can't understand why I never saw these now-obvious things before -- I guess that's just one of the hazards of trying to create a font out of the handwriting of someone who was famous for his illegibility, that all the booboos just sort-of blend in and you don't notice them.

Until you do notice them, of course -- and then you can't not-see them, and they drive you crazy. :shock:

Jonne Haven
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:02 pm
Location: Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Jonne Haven » Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:58 am

Hey Psymon,

I appreciate your font so much I made a mock up of it using an abbreviated form of the Declaration of Independence as you can see here:
Declaration Of Independence Thoreau's Hand 1.jpg
Declaration Of Independence Thoreau's Hand 1.jpg (1.3 MiB) Viewed 921 times
Declaration Of Independence Thoreau's Hand 2 fixed Quotes.jpg
Declaration Of Independence Thoreau's Hand 2 fixed Quotes.jpg (1.36 MiB) Viewed 523 times

Experimenting around with this font was delightful. Your use of ligatures is masterful and I enjoyed turning them on and off for comparison! As I've commented before, I've tried to make my own true cursive font of the same type...'locker' I think it's called?... and so I know how tediously intricate the process can be. So many little Easter Eggs in this font like different glyphs when letters are are doubled up. Different dots in an ellipsis. Different glyphs styling the end of words in particular. In general, more artsy versions of commonly used letter arrangements. That's what this font is. It's a group of beautifully thought out letter arrangements in order to make a visual experience that is like viewing a painting rather than a random collection of individual letters. I'm sure that I've only sampled the tip of the iceberg in this font. I hope you like the mock up, it took a while to make and to find a picture that communicated the same thing to me that the font did. To really reflect the gritty quality of the sculpted glyphs that you have chosen to represent Thoreau's historic handwriting. Just,well,...Super well done. It is a royalty free pic so feel free to use this wherever if you want.

Thanks, Psymon, for your elite contribution to this artform of 'fonts' that we all love!

Blessings,
Jonne

PS - And I also know that kerning a cursive font is SOUL SUCKING work! Yikes! Haha!
Last edited by Jonne Haven on Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:03 am, edited 3 times in total.

Psymon
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Psymon » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:06 am

Omigod, Jonne, I'm speechless! Don't know what to say -- except that I, too, am appreciative that you seem to have picked up on those little details that I hoped someone would, and so it means a lot that those efforts weren't for naught.

Love what you did with the Declaration of Independence, too! Certainly a timely choice of subject -- although you got the closing double-quote backwards at the end of "Thoreau's Hand" in the second pic (you could re-do that and edit your earlier reply with a revised version, if it matters to you). ;)

Indeed, though, Thoreau's handwriting works quite well for that!

And if you like easter eggs, type out "Psymon," but with a long-s instead, i.e. "Pſymon," and you'll get a little surprise (although I can't imagine what use it would be, alongside Thoreau's scribble).

I do love easter eggs in fonts, too, though -- wish I could think of more to add in this one! :lol:

Jonne Haven
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:02 pm
Location: Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Jonne Haven » Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:45 am

Happy to "Amend" the document,

I was actually confused by that open quotation...I didn't think you were the kind of fontographer (sp?) who would ignore that and I almost asked you to go out of your way and fix that... haha! It was just my word processor glitching.

I make Music Lyric Videos. I'm wondering if any of my songs would fit your font :) I'll ruminate.

Cheers and thanks again for your artwork!

J.

PJMiller
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Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by PJMiller » Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:53 am

It is a very nice font, thank you. :D

Psymon
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Psymon » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:02 pm

Jonne Haven wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:45 am
I was actually confused by that open quotation...I didn't think you were the kind of fontographer (sp?) who would ignore that and I almost asked you to go out of your way and fix that... haha! It was just my word processor glitching.
Oh, gee, the opening quotation -- eek! I need to fix that, to! Fer cryin' out loud -- and I see that the closing quote is off with that swashy "d" at the end as well.

Well, I definitely have a lot more checking over to do here -- but I'm certainly grateful that you're inadvertently pointing out these booboos to me! ;)

Also, from PJ...
PJMiller wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:53 am
It is a very nice font, thank you. :D
Thanks, PJ! It does make me very happy that I've created something that you oldtimers (more than I am) appreciate! Kerning issues notwithstanding, of course, I'm rather surprised myself at how it all turned out -- I never thought it would be possible to make a font out of Thoreau's handwriting! :shock:

Jonne Haven
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:02 pm
Location: Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Jonne Haven » Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:03 am

OMG Psymon,
It was absolutely inadvertent! I thought you overlapped those glyphs on purpose...the way Thoreau really may have done it.

I had no intention of impugning you or your font in anyway!

Blessings,

Jonne

Looking forward to what you do in your updates!

Psymon
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Psymon » Wed Oct 28, 2020 3:44 pm

Jonne Haven wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 1:03 am
OMG Psymon,
It was absolutely inadvertent! I thought you overlapped those glyphs on purpose...the way Thoreau really may have done it.
Ha ha, that's one thing I learned about doing a font like this, that it's incredibly easy to miss mistakes because the font itself is like a mess of tangled wires -- you just don't see them! Or, alternatively, you can test for every context you think of, but sooner or later one will arise that you didn't.
I had no intention of impugning you or your font in anyway!
No worries at all! I didn't take anything you said in that way, don't worry. :)
Looking forward to what you do in your updates!
I do have some ready to go, actually, but I'm holding off for a bit -- if I've learned anything, it's that it's inevitable that I'll find more. But I have fixed some rather important things, so the next update should indeed be worthwhile.

I'll post a note here whenever I do upload the new version (hopefully within a week). :)

Jonne Haven
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:02 pm
Location: Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Jonne Haven » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:05 am

Ok, Psymon,

Just thought I'd let you know I did a quick fix on the quotes in the mock up for now and also put in your Easter Egg Signature. Very Cool!!! And a great idea!

Jonne

Psymon
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Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:50 pm

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Psymon » Wed Nov 11, 2020 5:28 am

Oh, nice! I've been working hard on my font(s), fixing up a LOT more things than just the quotes -- although that's cool you did that in the interim.

Re the signature, I've been trying to dig up examples of Thoreau's real, actual signature, and that ended up being a bit more problematic than I thought! Although the lig you get for "Thoreau" (or, rather, "Thorea") in the version you have looks very nice, it would seem that he only wrote it in that fancy way on the back of his college essays (so when he folded his paper in half, then his professor would know it was his on the outside).

Thoreau's actual signature, with his full name (not just his last name), as he wrote it on correspondence, etc., wasn't fancy at all -- indeed, it wasn't even as fancy as what you get with my font with ligs turned off! And so the last name comes out correct for how he did it up on the back of his college papers, but that's it -- skip the first name/initials.

I'm still working on this, but what I've done now is create a whole, separate "signature" font, where you can get several examples of Thoreau's real, actual signature, in addition to being able to make a very fancy, ornate "fake" signature which makes use of that version he did on the back of his papers.

If you're not sure what I mean, it'll make sense once you see it (once I've finished up what I've been working on and uploaded it to the website).

In the meantime, wow, what a lesson I learned here in this process, to make sure you've REALLY looked over everything and found all the booboos (like those quotes) BEFORE you create your oblique (in either direction) and bold versions! Every time I find something that needs fixing up, I have to re-do it in 4 fonts now, not just one -- ugh. :roll:

Jonne Haven
Posts: 423
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:02 pm
Location: Kaneohe, Hawaii, USA

Re: Thoreau's Hand - Based on the Handwriting of Henry David Thoreau

Post by Jonne Haven » Sun Nov 15, 2020 2:11 am

Psymon!

I'd like to use your font in a lyric video! Check your PMs for details!

Look forward to working with you!
Blessings,
Jonne

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