A Question of Style
Hey folks, first time poster here, long time admirer! I hope this is the appropriate place to post this, as the question is related to map elements, at least in broad terms, I think!
Okay, so here is the deal: The fantasy world I'm working on has an art style fusion of art deco and high fantasy sensibilities. After some time I was finally able to get a style of drawing characters that I think fairly represents both parts, but this has not extended to my map drawing or any of the elements that fill it. I've transposed many of the techniques I used for character design to mapping- and while I've gotten close to a desired effect, I don't feel I've quite captured what I'm going for. My biggest downfall are fonts- they seem to fall flat (fantasy scripts and art deco style are hard to capture in one thing. The closest I like so far is UltraCondensed Sans-Serif.) I'm also looking for suggestions and new routes to follow as far as design goes. I have put in a lot of research into design of both styles through online searches, books, and other materials. At this point I've come to a place where I thought it'd be a good idea to ask for help.
I'd put up what I have so far, but really at this point it's just green solids on a blue background. nothing fancy. I am more than happy to post any resources people may want to see! Thanks in advance.
At my job I deal with 1,200 different fonts a year. Depending on the project we might use 5-40 different fonts in it. When we look for new fonts to use we have searched high and low and usually to no avail. We have found that Dover Press has font books on a variety of genres and styles. You can also get many of these fonts as images on CD from Dover. The URL for Dover is:
I hope this helps.
Nobody ever comes in asking the easy questions. Art Nouveau + high fantasy is a piece of cake, but Deco is tougher.
Trouble is, high fantasy usually implies a hand-crafted look, and Art Deco is all about that regimented, mechanical appearance. If I were making a map in what I imagine to be a synthesis between the two, I'd go for one of the tall, arching typefaces that still have a bit of the Nouveau heritage. Maybe something like Plaza. It's heavy on the mechanical end of things, but I think it still looks like something an elf would appreciate.
You could look into hiring Nate Piekos at Blambot to do a custom font.
Blambot Comic Fonts and Lettering