For those of you following this blog, you’ve seen my work on the Grant Typeface here and here. Here is a little update:

Heber J. Grant didn’t include any numbers or many Capital letters in the writing sample I have. This has meant that I’ve had to recreate the missing pieces of the full typeface one character at a time, thinking “What would Heber have done?” Here’s some of my work on that:


(the P is his, but the S is mine, notice how the W is so much better than last time‘s attempt?)

I’ve also refined the characters as I work with them more. Can you spot the differences below between the original (top) and the latest one (bottom)?


(hint, all of them have changed! the t sure was droopy)

I also purchased a thin calligraphy pen, and after studying his handwriting for a few years now, drew numbers and punctuation to match the original letters. Heber, I’m sorry if you don’t like the little curl on the 3, but I think it’s lovely and matches your uppercase letter’s swirls:


As you can see on the numbers sample above between the 1 and 9, there is a gap put in which is called a kerning adjustment. Because this is a handwritten cursive typeface, this means that every possible combination between every set of characters must be looked at and adjusted to make sure they join smoothly. This means with 233+ characters to design, making sure they have the right amount of slant, and the right amount of thick and thin in each stroke, I also have to kern 76,360 different options. Yes, you read that right, and that’s why it’s taking me such a long time. I also don’t want it to look too perfect (which I think won’t be a problem!) to keep the feel of it being done by hand, so I intentionally leave in some small pieces of imperfection.

And here is where I’m at as of this evening, the white boxes are the parts that are “finished”, the gray ones are what’s left. Luckily, the gray boxes are the easier characters to finish:


And, don’t you think it’s beautiful in Spanish? Here is a spanish word I made up to demonstrate that:


So what will I do with this when I’m done?

The answer is I’m not sure. I would like to make it available for sale, and recoup some of the costs of my time I’ve spent on this (although I’m not sure if I would ever really break even, I’m well into the hundreds of hours here). But I know what happens to typefaces, one person buys it and then someone else makes a copy for a friend as a favor to them, and so on. Many people just don’t see the point in paying for fonts. And before long, I would see this typeface that I’ve slaved over showing up all over the place—funnily enough in work that people were paid to do by others—which would suck the fun right out of it. So what do you think? Should I make it available for sale?

The other option while I’m waiting to decide, is to design work in the typeface and offer that to the public. This allows me to test the typeface some more as well. I’ve already got a request to do the Proclamation on the Family poster, which I think would be beautiful and also meaningful in the Grant writing. What other things would you want for yourself in this typeface? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


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  1. December 6, 2011  11:18 pm by Anneke

    Please please please sell it! I will buy it! There are so many things I would love to do with this typeface!

    (Also, thanks for all your hard work)

  2. August 4, 2012  11:06 am by elisonet

    copyright it and then sell it ;)

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