I find it amazing.
I find it amazing how my interest in magic crosses into so many fields – performing, speaking, writing, consulting, publishing – and now, fonts. Yes, fonts.
In 2007-2008, I had the privilege of working with Mike Caveney and Michael Albright on Revelation, Dai Vernon’s magnum opus on The Expert At The Card Table.
Publishing any book is gratifying. This one, however, was particularly so. It combined superb commentary (Vernon), exquisite design (Albright), and artful bookmaking (Caveney) in a form that is both a joy to read and a pleasure to hold.
I am pleased to report that another by-product of that project has now just come to market: a font designed by Andrew Leman as an homage to Dai Vernon.
In addition to being the most influential magician of the 20th century, Vernon was a skilled draftsman and artist. His handwriting, particularly as expressed in the 1920s and 1930s, was unique.
Albright wanted to incorporate Vernon’s styling in some of the headers in Revelation. His search led him to Andrew Leman who, by sheer coincidence, had been developing a font with similar attributes. Andrew was completely unaware of Vernon and his work.
Albright brought me into the equation, and I sent Andrew samples of Vernon’s handwriting as expressed in his private notebooks and letters so that he could refine his own work and incorporate some of Vernon’s calligraphic flourishes into it. I was also able to arrange for Andrew to meet Dr. Gene Matsuura.
Dr. Matsuura provided Andrew with additional samples of Vernon’s handwriting from his own collection. Fittingly, in June 2008 Andrew scanned Vernon’s original notebooks in the lobby of the Biltmore Hotel, in downtown Los Angeles.
It is one thing to inventory the design of letters; it is another have them dovetail together. Andrew did a superb job. He comments, “Fonts, like movies and radio plays and all other creative endeavors, are never finished, just released.”
You can check out his release here.
I’m sure that Vernon would find it equally amazing.