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« Cristoforo $10K Promo: Free Dark Symbols Font

With about 48 hours to go (midnight Sunday PDT), my Cristoforo font project on Kickstarter is at about $9,300 in pledges from backers who want to get cool fonts and other swag. As $10,000 is my final “stretch” goal (the point at which I add Cyrillic support to the fonts), I was trying to decide how to both celebrate and encourage the last few pledges I need. I settled on releasing a free font that might be of interest to some H.P. Lovecraft /​ Cthulhu fans: Dark Symbols icons designed by Brennen Reece and Graham Walmsley, fontified by me, released at no charge under the Open Font License 1.1.

Dark Symbols sample

Download Dark Symbols font (Zip archive of .otf).

What are the Dark Symbols? Graham explains them on his blog, but basically these are rough-​edged hand-​drawn symbols, intended for folks to mark up Cthulhu-​related role-​playing adventures.

I may also incorporate the Dark Symbols in my Cristoforo Symbols font; that’s TBD. But in any case, enjoy this free font, and consider supporting Cristoforo in its waning hours on Kickstarter!

9 commentsto “Cristoforo $10K Promo: Free Dark Symbols Font”

  • June 16, 2012
    AKMA wrote

    If funding passes $10,000, what about adding Lovecraftian Greek glyphs?

  • June 16, 2012
    Thomas Phinney wrote


    Yeah, there’s a reason I promised Cyrillic at $10K but not Greek.

    Greek caps are fairly easy. But Greek lowercase is really, really hard to do decently. At least, for me it is. I still have nightmares about the Greek lowercase, attacking in the wee hours with its nasty claws.

    Summary: while I’m willing to do Cyrillic without a net as it were, if I hit Greek lowercase I will need to pay somebody with some serious expertise in that area for a consultation (couple of rounds of review and back and forth). Plus it will take an inordinate amount of time.

    That being said, it is a challenge. I still like challenges. Plus hitting full pan-​European support would be kinda cool. I guess I could put Greek caps at $11K, and Greek lowercase at something higher (after I check on the cost). Firing off a note to Gerry Leonidas right now!

  • June 16, 2012
    Thomas Phinney wrote

    I forgot to ask, do you need polytonic Greek support or will monotonic do? Polytonic is even more work. But since you do biblical stuff, I am suspecting you might want polytonic?

  • June 16, 2012
    AKMA wrote

    Surely you know that we Greek-​users can benefit from any glyphs we can get! All caps would be welcome for titling and display; lower case would be that much more useful; I’m a Koine user, so monotonic isn’t that helpful for me, and I wouldn’t dream of asking for a polytonic character set.

    But thanks for answering — I wasn’t expecting anything from the question.

  • June 16, 2012
    Bill Walsh wrote

    Mister P.,

    If you need any Cyrillic consultations, I’m at least very familiar with the alphabet, if not its typographic conventions.


    Bill Walsh

  • June 16, 2012
    Thomas Phinney wrote

    Thanks for the offer, good sir.

    Luckily, I am reasonably comfortable with Cyrillic, having taken a weekend workshop on Cyrillic type design with Maxim Zhukov, done extended Cyrillic support for my typeface Hypatia Sans, and developed Cyrillic character set standards for Adobe. 🙂

  • August 15, 2012
    James Hammerhill wrote

    You have a job. You shouldn’t be asking for peoples’ money.

  • August 15, 2012
    Thomas Phinney wrote

    Yes, I have a full-​time day job—and several other lines of occasional contract work. All of them have to do with fonts. All those other things are much more financially rewarding than this project. I am keeping my day job and not risking my ability to feed my family or pay the mortgage. I don’t see that as a Bad Thing. Being a starving artist is not a position of moral superiority.

    When you say “asking for people’s money,” you make it sound like I’m begging on a street corner. Like most Kickstarter projects, this isn’t about asking for donations, it’s selling stuff. (Some Kickstarter projects are closer to being charity fundraising, but they are a minority, and this is not one of them.)

    Kickstarter basically allows creative folks to assess the interest of potential buyers, do advance sales, and in some cases (such as this) even to refine what they are offering before it is final.

    If it hadn’t been for Kickstarter, there is no way I would be doing as much extended language support in this typeface, btw. But I am glad of it, as it is both more interesting to me as a type designer, and it feels socially responsible.

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