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View Full Version : Best fonts to use on maps?



Robbie
07-02-2006, 07:22 PM
I was looking at patrakis' map and thought it was very nicely done, including his use of font. I've always just used regular old Arial font, but was wondering what kinds of fonts you guys use. I'm looking for some stylistic ones that are easy to read but look good.

Post links to fonts if you really want to be helpful. http://www.dafont.com is a good place to start.

RPMiller
07-03-2006, 12:33 AM
These are from a recent post by Mike Oliver on the CC2-L:

http://www.ancientscripts.com/about.html
http://www.blambot.com/fonts.shtml
:arrow: http://www.dafont.com/
http://www.dingbats-uk.org.uk/download/claeys/bc.html
http://www.freefonts.org.uk/free_fonts.php?free_fonts_name=p&fonts=3
http://www.fontgarden.com/
http://www.fontgarden.org/fontshop/index.php?cPath=21&osCsid=238d05fbe684bdba4770375cf5dcba64

Patrakis
07-03-2006, 12:41 PM
Hello Arcana,

The Font i used on the map is called Poor Ricard. Unfortunatly, i don't remember where i got it. It was just in my list of fonts when i looked for one. :)

Thanks

Pat

Lorne
07-05-2006, 11:54 AM
My choice of font is typically driven by the intended audience. If it's a GM map, I'm more inclined to use less artistic, easy-to-read fonts, while I'm more inclined to use something like Buccaneer, Thomas Paine or Black Chancery for player maps. I think the more historical-looking fonts can make it a little easier for players suspend disbelief.

Robbie
07-06-2006, 10:19 AM
I used colwell from dafont on my Sharnalon final map.
http://www.dafont.com/colwell.font

I'm quite pleased with its mix of stylistic appearance, and ease of reading.

Talamar
08-23-2006, 02:17 PM
This topic brings me one thing to mind agaion: I have definetly too much fonts at hand... :D

okay, I call some hug font collections my own and I am a big collector of free fonts in the web (I am somehow a regular visitor of dafont.com).

When I am doing a map (or sth other rpg stuff) I usually open up a font manager (I use typograf) and go through some font libraries to check what font could be fitting to the project I am doing.

Normally I take some stylish fantasy or antique font for maps, but in some cases I use plain and good readable fonts as well.

One of my favorites is "Masked Marvel" btw, since it is a CAPS font in the typical comic style, but this one isn't suitable for most fantasy maps though.

RPMiller
08-23-2006, 04:08 PM
Where do we find Masked Marvel?

Talamar
08-24-2006, 09:38 AM
oooops sorry, my fault

on dafont, here is the link:
http://www.dafont.com/search.php?q=masked

but as I said, it's a comic style font, not useful for every map that is.

RPMiller
08-24-2006, 12:46 PM
Since I make maps for Champions it's perfect. ;)

Talamar
08-24-2006, 03:06 PM
fine :D

loydb
11-15-2006, 03:47 PM
Thanks, this thread just sent me on a 2-hour font hunt journey. Some nice stuff there on dafont especially. :)

loyd

Robbie
11-15-2006, 04:08 PM
Yeah I used to back up my font directory...not anymore...I just go on font hunts every time I rebuild my machine just so I can find more newer fonts as well as old ones...Dafont rules.

RPMiller
11-15-2006, 04:39 PM
I just edited the post above per the recommendations. ;)

Ishmayl
04-30-2007, 03:47 PM
A site I like in particular for all my fonting needs (not just cartography) is What the Font? (http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/) Now, they don't have font downloads there (or if they do, it's very few), but what they do is help you figure out what font you're looking at. For instance, say you find a logo on some site you really like, but don't know what it is. You can put that picture up in WtF's forums, and within a couple days (sometimes just a couple hours), you'll have someone telling you what the font is, and where to download it. Very useful site, I've found tons of awesome fonts in images (like logos, etc) that I could never figure out what they were, and the guys at WtF figured it out for me quickly. Check it out.

RPMiller
04-30-2007, 05:08 PM
Can they also do standard print fonts such as in a book? I have a book that I would like to find out the font used for the three different fonts used in it.

RobA
04-30-2007, 06:24 PM
Can they also do standard print fonts such as in a book? I have a book that I would like to find out the font used for the three different fonts used in it.

I don't know if that one does, but I have used http://www.identifont.com/ often to figure out a font.

Just keep answering the questions. The bigger the text sample you have the more accurate it is.

-Rob A>

RPMiller
05-01-2007, 12:42 AM
Thank you. I'll give it a shot.

Sir Alain
05-05-2007, 01:39 AM
One of my faves, in case it got missed:

http://www.blambot.com/

NymTevlyn
06-01-2007, 08:11 PM
I prefer to use clean, easy to read fonts for every map. Even if it's just a player hand out. People back "then" needed to be able to read it too. Fancy, flowery lettering wouldn't be something most people would scratch out on a map real quick. Maybe for a commissioned map that someone's paying a lot for they would though.

My preferred font is Copperplate Gothic. Clean and has just enough of a hint of something else to break up the lines.

Sir Alain
06-02-2007, 01:58 AM
Blambot specializes in comic book style lettering fonts, which also lend themselves very well to mapping. Plus several have that "handwritten" look to them...

Ishmayl
08-01-2007, 03:09 PM
That Copperplate Gothic is very nice-looking. Thanks for recommending that one, I'm going to get some use out of it.

And I like the blambot site as well, I've been using it for a few years.

Some of the fonts I like (I am also a big fan of the "clean" look, and don't do much with flowery fonts) are:

Calligraph421 BT
Fantasy One
Goodfish
Quadraat

When I do want something a little fancier, my favorite is "Celtic Garamond the 2nd"

Publius
08-02-2007, 10:36 AM
I am with Sir Alain, Blmbot is very nice as a source for fonts. Lots of really great comic-styles there for the Champions fans.

I generally use different fonts for different projects. The selection criteria isn't all that scientific. One of the fonts I really love for modern building interiors (which ironically is what I do most often despite the fact that I have not yet posted any) is Tekton Pro, which looks like Technical (but is slightly superior to it IMHO, especially since it is an OpenType font)

pyrandon
08-02-2007, 01:30 PM
Publius's last entry just gave me an idea: we should start a thread in the Resources section where all you do is post a pic (not just the name) of your favorite map font(s), with perhaps a word or two on uses, and of course the link to where it can be downloaded!

We could even start a few threads, one for moder mapping, one for sci fi, etc.

Okay, I convinced myself: going over there right now to do just that. Hopefully see you there in a minute!

RPMiller
08-02-2007, 02:34 PM
Excellent idea!

keithcurtis
08-06-2007, 04:37 AM
Blambot specializes in comic book style lettering fonts, which also lend themselves very well to mapping. Plus several have that "handwritten" look to them...

Read the license carefully on Blambot. The free fonts are generally free only for webcomic projects.

Publius
08-06-2007, 09:52 PM
Read the license carefully on Blambot. The free fonts are generally free only for webcomic projects.I agree, to wit:


All fonts Nate Piekos. All Rights Reserved. No Blambot font may be altered or redisributed without the express permission of Nate Piekos.

These fonts are freeware for independent comic book creation and non-profit use ONLY. ( This excludes use by "mainstream" publishers, (Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Oni, Image, SLG, Top Cow, Wildstorm, Crossgen and their subsidiaries) without a license fee. Use by a "mainstream" publisher (or it's employee), and use for mainstream comics, or non-comic, for-profit endeavors incurs a license fee be paid to Blambot. In Essence, this means:

Anyone may use these fonts for non-profit projects.

If you are a self-publisher/creator you may use these fonts for any independently published project, for profit or non profit.

If you are an independent publishing comics through a mainstream company (see above) there is a license fee.

If you are not an independent comic creator and you intend to use these fonts in a commercial project, there is a license fee.I generally do things that fall into the self-publisher/creator category and the language is a bit vague. It says at the top that any non-comic is verbotten BUT it also says any independently published product is okay. Is that any comic-related product or 'any product' like you know any product including non-comic ones that are self-published.

This is a "It depends on what 'is' is" situation... best to email if you are unsure.

I swear that the license used to mention games too, but I may be recalling something else entirely.

HellHound
08-09-2007, 09:56 AM
I can't STAND licenses that don't define their terms properly - in the RPG industry there are some clip art collections with that kind of license ("this excludes use by "mainstream" publishers). At least this one gives a list without a "such as" clause.

From how I read it this license breaks down as follows:

- Mainstream comic publisher - license fee
- Indy comic publisher - no license fee
- Any other published works for profit - license fee
- Any other published works not for profit - no license fee

Ilwan
10-30-2007, 11:48 AM
Currently I am very fond of:

Dominican - http://www.dafont.com/font.php?file=dominican
Middle Ages - http://www.fontstock.net/9166/Middle-Ages.htm
Heidelbe Light - http://www.searchfreefonts.com/fonts/h9.htm

Maezar
02-17-2014, 02:45 PM
Some of my favorites:

Cantoria
Quasimodo
Dungeon Dweller
Unearthed BB
CC Near Myth
Beowulf Modern

vorropohaiah
02-17-2014, 03:43 PM
I love these threads about fonts.

I like the IM FELL family, 'Castellar' and 'Old Style hplhs' and things like 'Godot'


also maybe this should be moved to another part of the site?

ravells
02-17-2014, 08:45 PM
I'm an Il Fell fan too. We have a typeface part of the site here:

http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/743-font-library-fantasy-maps.html

Can we make it better?