|A D E C A D E O F R E S E A R C H
The Altemus Collection is not culled from other typographic sources and the designs are not merely auto-traced. We have worked for over ten years drawing and compiling the entire collection, becoming design scavengers who saw potential elements everywhere.
The character designs are all based on observation and exploration, and in most cases on quick thumbnails that capture the essence of the found designs. The rough sketches are then explored and developed. As the forms are drawn in vector format we try various weight and stylistic variations that usually yield a series of new designs.
V A R I E D S O U R C E S
The individual designs are derived from our vast graphic history, inspired by items as diverse as medieval heraldic emblems and 18th-century colonial Portuguese decorative elements. Many historical design movements became the basis for a variety of character designs; Babylonian symbols, Brazilian art deco architecture, Spanish art nouveau, Punk band posters, old printing cuts, American quilt designs and even 1950s American fabric designs.
Many other designs were included because of their traditional usage in printed materials. We scoured flea markets, observing the decorative elements used on old packaging and in period book and signage designs.
M A X I M U M F L E X I B I L I T Y
For maximum flexibility, many of the character designs are provided in several weights or with stylistic companions. The font groupings grew out of an open-ended process once we were presented with the body of individual character designs. In a number of cases there were designs that could be arbitrarily grouped within more than one font, such as our "Stars" and "Bursts" font series. To make it easier to find a particular design we have tried to cross-reference the collection by placing related fonts in the top link-tabs on each showing page.
Because these designs are delivered in font form for use on computers, they can be used just like any other font, and therefore can be expanded or condensed, enlarged or reduced at will. When you set the characters in your favorite drawing or painting programs, these many useful designs can be layered, combined with each other or taken apart and modified, saving you countless hours of drawing.
All the designs in the Altemus Collection are extremely versatile and can be used as dingbats, mixed with text as pointers, and can even be set as charting devices in database or spreadsheet programs. The thousands of designs can be used as bullets, and offer an almost limitless supply of end slugs. They provide the perfect graphic punch to set off a typographic subhead or add a seasonal or thematic accent anywhere a graphic device is desired.