Typophiles: What's the Hominis Font Like?
January 7, 2014 9:13 AM   Subscribe

I really like the font titled Hominis. I'd love to know what historical era the style belongs to--Victorian?--as well as what typeface it might have been modeled after, if it doesn't seem original. (I attempted to contact the designer, but was unsuccessful.) Thanks in advance.
posted by whitebird to Media & Arts (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Yes, I tried the contact there. Seems it might be a 19th century revival font.

Thanks very much.
posted by whitebird at 10:03 AM on January 7, 2014

Response by poster: Or Victorian--still a bit unclear.
posted by whitebird at 10:06 AM on January 7, 2014

This looks to me like it was inspired by Victorian railway posters. This is a time period when commercial art really started to evolve. Businesses began to realize the power advertisements had, especially when they could be reproduced in full color as Chromolithography technology became prevalent. Before that color posters were more expensive and time consuming.

So, say you're a Victorian rail tycoon who'd like to drive up business and public opinion about travel. Remember travel for pleasure was mostly limited to the very wealthy, and you needed the government to give you wide access to land and resources. You would have hired an illustrator to paint a grand landscape, (sometimes purely fictional, as they'd never personally traveled to say, the American West first hand), then hire a graphic artist to design some lettering to go over the painting (probably without ever seeing the illustration). The graphic artist would work from type specimen books. You can see a few samples from different eras in this book. You'd have your printer merge or paste up the two together, etch plates, and start cranking them out. The prevalent style was to have very bright, nearly neon colored inks. This led to some nattering about how the bright colors were going to damage children's eyes and they'd grow up to be defective or insane. (Feel free to substitute radio, television, video games or smart phones for your decade appropriate fears.)

Anywho, very few type specimens are attributed to the original artists. The concepts of copyrights as applying to commercial art are in their infancy at this time. Mostly these were viewed as trade tools, and individual artists would first cut their teeth on the specimens, and then eventually grow to make their own.

So, what you're after is probably a mash up of posters and specimens. At the time it would not have been practical to make this typeface into a font. Maybe a few woodblock letters would have existed in this style, but most would have been hand inked.
posted by fontophilic at 10:17 AM on January 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Off the top of my head, I'd say it was a bit later than Victorian... more Edwardian era / very early art deco.
posted by derbs at 10:22 AM on January 7, 2014

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