My love of vertical signs sometimes takes me to pretty dark corners of the typographic universe…

Aromatherapy, Burlington

Winnipeg Ghost Signs

I traveled to Winnipeg last week for a family reunion, and was floored by the quantity and quality of painted ads on the buildings. A few of my favorites:

Nutty Club

Del’s Electric

Ghost Signs

Winslow State Park

I love Trail Type. It’s an excellent collection of letters found out in nature, curated by Scribble Tone. Here are two of my recent contributions, from my recent trip up Mt. Kearsarge. I love their dimensionality and the consistency of their bowed, rounded forms.

To Trails

Bungee’s Stacked Accents

Stacking letters gets extra tricky when accents are involved. Bungee’s accented characters are spaced and kerned so that they set well with other letters, even other accents. Here are three examples from Portuguese, Turkish, and Polish that show Bungee’s accent-to-accent spacing.

  • Krężoły: Polish, the name of several villages in Poland
  • Üşümek: Turkish, to feel cold or chilly
  • Coraçao: Portuguese, heart

The ever-hilarious Chris Lewis came up with a great term for this: staccents!

See more Bungee »

Gimlet’s Compact Diereses

Gimlet’s alternate umlauts (OpenType Stylistic Set 08) were inspired by forms found in Schadow Antiqua Fett:

An interview with Peter Glaab

German designer Peter Glaab has been interested in Georg Trump’s typeface Schadow for years. So naturally he reached out when I released Gimlet, which takes many of its cues from the typeface.

First, he took some time to interview me about Gimlet’s design, and also about my new foundry and what other typefaces I have up my sleeve. Then, he wrote an excellent review of Gimlet (in German, translate it here), highlighting its connection with Schadow, its design features, and its alternate forms with an incredible amount of depth.

The icing on the cake: both articles are set in Turnip!

Bungee Pixel

James Edmondson and Eric Lobdell just released Emojigram (GitHub), a fun little tool that converts text into vertically-arranged emoji bitmaps.

Knowing how much I like vertical type, James encouraged me to create a pixel version of Bungee, which he used to create a special version of the tool: Emojigram: Bungee Edition »

I created Bungee Pixel with Monodraw, which has become my go-to ASCII art editor. It takes some liberties with the original design, but retains the same simplified sans-serif structure. It is eight pixels high, with three-pixel stems, two-pixel hairlines, and one-pixel letter spaces. View Bungee Pixel on Github »

Bungee Emoji Alphabet

Vendor Parking

Trying to combat lousy vertical typesetting like this with Bungee!

NEW: Manicotti Cyrillic and Greek

Manicotti Cyrillic and Greek

Manicotti, one of my earliest typefaces, now comes with support for Cyrillic and Greek. I had a lot of fun getting Manicotti to play with these very different scripts, and received helpful feedback from Maria Doreuli and George Triantafyllakos on the Cyrillic and Greek, respectively. Get the full story »

NEW: Bungee


Bungee is a font family that is inspired by urban signs. It wrangles the Latin alphabet to work vertically as well as horizontally, with separately glyphs, spacing, and kerning for each orientation. Bungee comes equipped with chromatic inlines, outlines, shades, and ornaments, making it the perfect toolkit to take your text in a new direction.

I enlisted the help of Chris Lewis and Nick Sherman to create a webpage for Bungee that, like the fonts, will work in a horizontal or vertical orientation. The complete Bungee family is available for download on that page, and Bungee’s standalone styles are also available on Google Fonts.

Thanks to support from Google and The Font Bureau, Bungee is free and open source. I hope you have fun using it, and that you get a chance to experiment with its vertical and chromatic features!

If you want to learn more about the process of making Bungee, check out the video for The Ups and Downs of Vertical Typography, a talk I gave at TYPO Berlin in May. Or, you can read Benedikt Bramböck’s excellent summary of the talk.