#12 Theming with typography for historical and vintage projects.

Theming with type and color are several of the things I really enjoy about design. Here I share my method for historical and vintage projects.

Logo sample from someone else – not mine.

The font above is a knockoff of type foundry P22
Eaglefeather – available in several weights and a dingbat font. It is based on Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural handwriting for his blueprints. (I repeat it is a cheap freeware knockoff. The lower case “o” is not the same.)

So we can understand why the type was selected thematically. But there are other common fonts that would be good historically for the period of the buildings. FLLW was not contemporary to the Victorian era. His designs were considered a replacement for Victorian. So not necessarily a good choice of type vintage. Wrong century (1922). It’s considered a handwriting font.

You can get the regular Eaglefeather weight for free here:


But, as said, it’s not really the best font choice.

The logotype needed is for Rock County Historical Society (RCHS), located in Janesville, Wisconsin. Lincoln stayed there around 1859. This means these buildings were at their prime during the time of the railroad and newspaper booms. Metal type was just coming into vogue and Victorian woodblock type was on its way out. So you could choose from lots of display typographic styles to connote that period. The design strategy is to stay true to the theme vintage when possible and still be readable.

Google search phrase “Free vintage fonts” will win some good type.

A book called “Living Colors: The Definitive Guide to Color Palettes Through the Ages” by Augustine Hope and Margaret Walch (Feb 2003) is available on Amazon for only a few bucks used. It’ll reveal the color palettes used in architecture at the time. It’s a great reference book when theming. This can help a designer be even more true to the history of the project location.

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