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Sinister Visions Font Quartet

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Sinister Visions Font Quartet

Any font collector with a dark side needs at least one Chad Savage creation at the ready. With Halloween approaching, why not make that four? Sinister Visions Font Quartet offers up some of Savage's best designs in TrueType format. Unzip the file and say hello to sedate HorrorMaster and its gory cousin HorrorFind; along with ominous Gypsy Curse and creepy Spiderfingers. Next put them to work on your own frightening project with the designer's blessing.

Savage is a virtual horror mogul. His studio, Sinister Visions, Inc., specializes in design and marketing for the horror industry. It's no mystery why his style leans to the dark side, given that he's thoroughly immersed in the genre. Savage bills himself as a "genuine, bonafide fontaholic" influenced by mid-century poster lettering styles. May he never sober up and cross the border to Helvetica.

Here's a quick introduction to Savage's ghastly crew. HorrorFind and HorrorMaster are the oldest designs in Sinister Visions Font Quartet and the only ones that come with a non-commercial license. These two fonts were first released in 2004 and appear to this day in branding for Horrorfind.com, the ultimate search site for all things frightening, which is why they are licensed here for personal use only.

The dual-personality approach found in the Horrors is useful for Jekyll and Hyde text effects: use the gothic, but dagger-tipped HorrorMaster on the outside signage for this year's Haunted House; deliver a grisly surprise on the inside using the slashed styling of HorrorFind. Both styles offer full numeral and punctuation sets. The dollar sign in HorrorFind puts a particularly gruesome spin on admission charges. Unfortunately the punctuation in HorrorMaster is inconsistent in weight and style, while the lowercase in both fonts is merely a repeat of the capitals. You're limited to talking large and loud with these bad seeds.

If setting artful maledictions is more your thing, Gypsy Curse is a fine choice and it's the only member of the Sinister Quartet with an upper and lowercase. Gypsy Curse first appeared in 2005. The original forms were hand-lettered by Savage while watching Clive Barker's Lord of Illusions. As detective Harry D'Amour (Scott Bakula) battled with a demented cult and its leader, Savage was busy with pen and brush scrabbling out a gnarled set of letterforms bold enough to deliver the darkest message.

Your text will be further enhanced by the full numeral and punctuation sets in Gypsy Curse along with a first-rate creepy @ symbol in case you are delivering the blow via e-mail. Best of all, you can sell what you make using Gypsy Curse as long you don't claim credit for the font's design. More about that in the Read Me file included in the font's folder.

Last, but far from least, brace yourself for the frisson of Spiderfingers, hand drawn just after Halloween in 2009. We found this font the most sophisticated of the ghastly crew, a testament to Savage's skill as an illustrator. The forms are jittery and kinetic with leggy styling that swings below the baseline. No vertical is straight; almost every form is in motion. The ampersand appears to be kicking up its legs while the demure brackets appear poised to drop down on dinner. There are breaks in style within the punctuation sets, but since Savage is offering unrestricted use of this font, it would be petty to ask for more. See the Spiderfingers Read Me for usage details.

All in all, Sinister Visions Font Quartet lives up to its name. These four fonts dance to the darkest of tunes played by a skillful fiddler who isn't afraid in the least to poke fun at the art of type design.

Note: To use any of these fonts, unzip the folder and install the .ttf file in the folder C:\Windows\Fonts. Note that the fonts won't appear in your applications until you close and re-open them.

--Kate Godfrey

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Sinister Visions Font Quartet

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