Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Help Pick My Title Font

I'm in the process of doing some preliminary layout and design work for my Tankards & Broadswords RPG. Part of this, and something I want to do with regards to this blog as well, is to pick a signature "Tankards & Broadswords" font. One font artist I've gone to for a while now, and whose fonts I really like, is a fellow named Dieter Steffmann.

Here is a long list of the fonts Dieter Steffmann has designed.

However, you have to click on a font there to see what it looks like. I've got another website to show you where you can look at Dieter's fonts and see what they look like compared to one another:'s page for Dieter Steffmann.

So I'm asking you, my readers, to visit the page, and using their "custom preview" feature, type in "TANKARDS & BROADSWORDS" (all caps) and give the fonts there a look-over (you can set it so you can view small displays at up to 50 fonts at a time, so you can view them all pretty quickly).

I already have a few favorites that're in the top running, but I'd like you all to give it a go and see what you guys like. Keep in mind that I want the font to be A) fairly clean (so no "high gothic" fonts that look more like illumination than lettering), B) something that says "this is about gaming, but not DEEP, SERIOUS gaming", and C) something that has a "historical/fantastical" feel to it, but doesn't appear tied to one specific time period.

I'll be using this font not only as tht title graphic font for the blog, but for my RPG title page and as the header font for all the sections within the rulebook. I want a font that carries through the character of the game and of this blog - light-hearted, fun, and adventureous, but not "comedic" or "goofy". T&B isn't a comedy RPG, but it is meant to be a not-so-serious adventure game, and as such I don't want an angsty or over-intellectual font face to be its signature.

Have at it folks, and give me your votes in the comments section! I might not choose the most popular, or even one that gets mentioned, but I will definitely take people's feedback and reasoning into consideration. I might even do a few cover page mock-ups with the finalists at a later date and see which looks best when "put on the page", so to speak.


Mik said...

After a mucho exhaustive search through the fonts, my favorite, by far, is Monument. Also, I'd maybe leave off the ampersand and put the word 'and' in there. Just a thought...

CC said...

Having just gone browsing for fonts for an RPG product I'm working on, this post seems timely.

Just a question - why all caps? For a lot of these fonts, it just makes it harder to read. For instance, Benjamin Franklin works really well as "Tankards & Broadswords" instead of all caps; as all caps, it just feels blocky and rectangular.

Anyway, here are my picks:

* Roskell
* Belshaw
* Roman Antique

Unlike Mik, I don't care for Monument, but that's because I've always found outline fonts are harder to visually parse. Monument does have a nice shape, though, so a solid version, if there is one, might be a good pick.

Also, something like Saddlebag, Devinne Swash, or Titania might work if you adjusted the height to make it taller and less square.

Augusta is okay, if a bit florid.

Campanile reminds me of the lettering on the "blue box" basic D&D set (as do a few others, but that's the one that is most readable). If you're trying to invoke that vibe, that or one like it might be a good choice.

Finally, I'd be careful with fonts that have the curved 'T' - those are hard characters to recognize when they start the title. I'd go with a font that has a more traditional capital 'T', even though the curved 'T' feels older.

Good luck!

Chris said...

* Old London (pg1)
* Blackwood Castle (pg5)
* Verve (pg5)
* Quentin Caps (pg6)
* Baldur (pg6)

Lots of kerning required for some of these though...

Badelaire said...

Thanks for the comments folks!

@Mik: I'm curious about your standing on the ampersand. Do you not like it because it's too "D&D", or just because it's difficult to find a font that handles it properly?

@CC: The all caps was just a suggestion - if you think some fonts look a lot better without it (and indeed some of the fonts I've looked at aren't even case sensitive), I'm now looking at the suggestions here (and all other fonts) w/o caps lock.

Also, good suggestion on the curved/not curved 'T' - some look fine, others look rather bizarre.

As for some of the choices, I'm also of the opinion that I'm not really a fan of an outline font either, although Monument and Blackwood Castle are both good looking. Baldur was the original T&B font back when I started the blog (I can't remember which font I'm using now).

Roskell is good, although I like Belshaw better myself. Roman Antique is a good font, but almost a little too character-less. Old London is good - very close to my current blog title font. Verve is cool, but I feel it's a bit narrow. Quentin Caps is, hrmmm, a little too much like the older D&D fonts for me, but it's not bad at all.

Benjamin Franklin is nice, but I'd lean towards Belshaw if I had to pick between the two. Not a fan of Saddlebag, but I really like Devinne Swash. Titania I actually like as blocky as it is - I'm not a really big fan of narrow font types. Augusta is a bit florid, probably as florid as I'd like to go, but I do actually like that one quite a bit. Campanile, while kinda narrow, is rather striking though.

Many thanks for the suggestions - please keep them coming!

Bonemaster said...

I sort of like Deutsche Zierschrift, but to be honest, I'd have to see what the cover looks like.

Panzerblitzer said...

Gabrielle seems to meet the requirements you set out.

Iguana Montana said...

Here's my list (and I used the Ampersand, with both upper- and lowercase):
1. Cardinal
2. Packard Antique
3. Cruickshank
4. Roskell
5. Gorilla