Looking for references: rounded fat faces/1800s slabs

Simon DunfordSimon Dunford Posts: 42
edited August 4 in Education
Hey everyone, hope all is well. 
I am looking for some references for a project I'm working on. I am creating a rounded (or for better: rounded corners) typeface that is based on the "western style" fat faces and slab serifs that were used for posters and display/signage. I am using "HWT artz" house industries' "benguiat buffalo" and "buckboard pro" as a kind of reference for how things looked, but was wondering if anyone knows of any good references that are similar? I want to purchase the book:American Wood Type, 1828-1900, but I'm not sure if it will have what I'm looking for. Im looking for a slab with rounded corners similar to what you would have found with wood cuts from that time period (that kind of hand made look you would find with something like BE block, or other bethold renders) 

Thanks in advance! 
Simon. 

Comments

  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 54
    edited August 4
    By 'rounded corners' do you mean bracketed slabs or rounded corners on the ends of the slabs (in which case it wouldn't be a slab) ?

    Bracketed slabs look something like this, I think this is a typeface called Clarion.



    There is a font which I have just completed called Munson  which is free for you to use or modify if it suits your needs.  Munson was inspired by two Victorian fonts, Consort from 1815 and Clarendon from 1845.

  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 624
    edited August 5
    I was looking for something similar a few years ago. I don't think rounded cowboy slabs existed before the 1960s. I found some with chamfered corners on the slabs but not soft ones like the examples you referenced. There were Tuscans with rounded elements but nothing with that Western slab look.
  • I was looking for something similar a few years ago. I don't think rounded cowboy slabs existed before the 1960s. I found some with chamfered corners on the slabs but not soft ones like the examples you referenced. There were Tuscans with rounded elements but nothing with that Western slab look.
    Yes very soft feeling. I guess that means this style is quite untapped, I'm excited to bring my face to fruition, hopefully it yields some good use and appreciation. I do find the Tuscans have too much of a contrast exaggeration and often the extra protruded elements are a little overplayed. I like buffalo yet I find it too extended. 

  • By 'rounded corners' do you mean bracketed slabs or rounded corners on the ends of the slabs (in which case it wouldn't be a slab) ?

    Bracketed slabs look something like this, I think this is a typeface called Clarion.



    There is a font which I have just completed called Munson  which is free for you to use or modify if it suits your needs.  Munson was inspired by two Victorian fonts, Consort from 1815 and Clarendon from 1845.

    I will check out Munson, thanks for the forward. I'm looking for something that is more stylistic and less conformed to tradition. I guess a Tuscan is a better ref. And more slab without the sharp vertex/joints. As if you were sanding everything down for some soft look so I guess technically you would have brackets. I just don't like to label it as western or Tuscan it sounds very "free/amateur" 
  • 1800s slabs […] I am using "HWT artz" house industries' "benguiat buffalo" and "buckboard pro" as a kind of reference for how things looked
    Buffalo was designed in the late 1960s, Buckboard is from 2009, and HWT Artz was conceived even more recently. If you want to do a 1800s slab, maybe you should consult the historical sources directly, and not look through the filters interposed by other contemporary designers.
  • 1800s slabs […] I am using "HWT artz" house industries' "benguiat buffalo" and "buckboard pro" as a kind of reference for how things looked
    Buffalo was designed in the late 1960s, Buckboard is from 2009, and HWT Artz was conceived even more recently. If you want to do a 1800s slab, maybe you should consult the historical sources directly, and not look through the filters interposed by other contemporary designers.
    I think it's just a lack of understanding how I go about doing that, do you have any suggestions? I merely referenced those for their aesthetic and not their direct depiction of anything, a kind of "basis for style" 
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 54
    If you have some particular aesthetic in mind then sketching it out with a pencil and paper is highly recommended to solidify your ideas.

  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 616
    edited August 5
    Try getting in touch with David Shields. He has spent a lot of time with material from the era you’re interested in, and he might have some ideas of where to look for exemplars.

    You might also be able to find something of interest by perusing the online material at the Rob Roy Kelly Collection at the University of Texas at Austin (which David helped curate).
  • I second what Paul said, drawing is always helpful. For historical sources, the obvious answer is libraries and related collections. The specifics depend on your location and dedication. Buckboard appears to be based on a style that was available from Morgan Press as W-119, W-161 etc., see this online specimen for – admittably limited – snippets.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 616
    P.S. All that rounding and softening in the samples you mentioned are later exaggerations of wear-and-tear associated with a romantic notion of the earlier period. Type makers from the 1800s weren’t trying to make their type rounded; they wanted it to be sharp. They were just confronting physical limitations.
  • Kent Lew said:
    P.S. All that rounding and softening in the samples you mentioned are later exaggerations of wear-and-tear associated with a romantic notion of the earlier period. Type makers from the 1800s weren’t trying to make their type rounded; they wanted it to be sharp. They were just confronting physical limitations.
    Thanks all for the references, I'll look into it. And for the rounded elements: thank for that tibit of information, I understand, and that's one of the main reasons I want to make it rounded, again, purely for the look because I think it's interesting and adds more to the validation of raw and handmade. 
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