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Font Fun with Dan Berry

I’m an artsy-geezer who is completely unprepared for retirement. I’m worried about my physical ability to work until I drop dead. That’s my retirement plan. Part of the solution to postponing my physical deterioration is taking care of my hands.

I figure drawing will get more charming, what with the shakes and squiggles, but handwriting… well…it’s already gotten pretty lousy. Even when I get in the flow and manage to make a pretty paragraph, it doesn’t last. I have fallen back on a font I made many years ago, but it can’t do everything I want it to, and I’ve never been a hundred percent happy with it. Then I remembered Dan Berry mentioning he made fonts for comic artists, fonts that not only are based on handwriting, but which mimic the variation in forms of a person’s handwriting. Fonts that act like handwriting! I gathered up what life-savings I had and asked him to fashion such a font to save my hands from a gnarled and painful future.

Dan was very willing to take my money and put me to work. He forced me to write out his absurdist text by hand, as naturally as I could. I suddenly recalled that Dan is also a teacher. I wondered if this was the sort of thing he made naughty students write out on the chalkboard while being held back after class. But, it was a hilarious text, and the assignment breezed by. I showed Dan the result, figuring he’d say it was alright, but that it could use another try. Then I’d get a chance to make it real pretty. But he just took what I gave him and ran with it. A few days later* he sent me a font to try out!

After trying out the font, discussing it on zoom and tweaking it over the summer he delivered a tool I now feel naked without:

It does everything as advertised and I can’t imagine a more professional, friendly, accommodating and fun service provider. I guess that’s Dan though. Just like the voice on his podcast.

As for the naming of the font, this was my thought process:

It’s the address, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where I did some intense handwriting in my teens. It’s also a place in Denmark near Copenhagen where I lived for many years, and sounds a bit Swedish. So it works in all kinds of ways!

Unless, of course, it sounds dorky.

Then I’ll just call it BOB:)

*I don’t exactly remember the timeline, but it was worth every penny.

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