you can click on the thumbnails for a closer view!

And the short version: there are as many millions of possibilities with this font as there are stars in the heavens, so just play away to your heart's content!


It's just 101 years since the Swedish artist and illustrator Emmy Biberg made a set of verdant decorations for the Year-Book which marked the 25th anniversary of the Swedish Tourist Association, an organisation dedicated to getting Swedes out to explore their native mountains and valleys, lakes and rivers.

The year was 1910: a world which knew Sherlock Holmes, electricity, photography, telephones and railway travel, but which knew little motor transport, no world wars, and only a few exciting experiments in the world of film. But its art and aesthetics are timeless, as fresh and relevant today as they ever were.

Emmy Biberg was highly esteemed as a talented and productive designer of imaginative and elegant book jackets. She took her inspiration from the vegetation special for this northern country - Birch, Wild-Strawberry, Lingonberry - but also the more widely-known Oak, Blackcurrant, Harebell, and others.

David has taken her drawings as the model for four fonts - drop caps, page-fillers, chapter headings and text used in the chapter-headings - and you can download the first two to try out now, though there's still some polishing to do; the other two will be along soon.

Emmy drew her drop capitals complete, with a letter, an ornamental frame and a fill-in decoration using various combinations of leaves, flowers and berries: the 26 latin letters are combined in various ways with eight different frames and nine different verdant decorations.

In my computer font I've made both 'positive' and 'negative' versions:

and I've separated the elements

so you can recombine them in different ways

- and you can even use the frames, fills and backgrounds with caps from other fonts entirely.

Note that the different letters are intended as single drop caps: each is a comfortable unity of letter, frame and background, reflecting the divergency that nature features, but they weren't designed to be used together, and they are different sizes: you decide whether the difference is significant, and whether or not you can stretch things to make them fit as you want to.

SO: you can have

- a filled-in letter on its own - a filled-in letter in a square frame with an empty background - the reverse of that, an empty letter in a filled-in box

— combine two of those to get letter-and-frame in one colour and background in another colour

— combine another two of those to get the letter in one colour and the frame in another colour, with no background

— combine all three to get three different colours

as we saw at the beginning, you can have it the way Emmy drew it originally, a filled-in letter with decorative frame and a verdant fill, like a 'positive' print in photography, though all in one colour
and you can have it reversed like a photographic 'negative', still all in one colour
— then you have the various elements separately, 'positive', as Emmy drew them
— and you can have all those reversed, 'negative'

combining two or more of these gives 34 new variants

— and you can put a box behind your final cap

— you can vary the colours, like light-on-dark and dark-on-light:

— but even dark-on-dark and light-on-light can be effective

You can use them just as decorative capitals, like in the title of this page:

— though they are really intended as proper drop caps, where they take up three or four rows of ordinary text:

and once you get started applying layer effects in a programme like Photoshop, there really are as many possiblities as there are stars in the heavens ...

Then there are also matching ornaments with the same themes - page-fillers for the end of a chapter or section - in the sister-font Emmys Decorations 1910: next off after that will be the chapter headings ...

I've made an 'alphomegon' - something that uses all the letters form A to Z - with 26 different variants of pattern and bevelling, here it is below

If you'd like the alphabet on its own ready-to-use, here it is on the right:

... so now all you need to know is where all the different versions are: and here are three tables you can have by you, one is a key to the essentials, the others are two different approaches to the complete repertoire - the first two are PDFs, so you can zoom in and out all you want to!

Download David's fonts - 63 Mb - last updated 9th March 2011