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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Riddle

We need a new soundtrack for the office, something strong enough to pry loose the earworm that is Jingle Bells as we prep for tax season. Our pick? "Only the Lonely," arranged by Nelson Riddle and recorded by Frank Sinatra on an album by the same name. Added bonus: the LP's cover lettering is the inspiration for Riddle, a brush script font that is about to help us stylishly organize a mountain of receipts.

Riddle is the work of designer Mario Arturo, with assistance from Harold Lohner of Harold's Fonts. Between them, the designers captured the spirit of the font's namesake, master music arranger Nelson Riddle. The brush strokes snap on the high notes, bounce above and below the baseline, and still manage to arrange themselves lyrically on the page.

A mere seven letters from the LP cover inspired the 32 characters in this TrueType font set. The final set remains true to the original album art. Picture the face of Frank Sinatra dramatically lit and made up in Pagliacci clown makeup, complete with pink lips and a matching pink tear line streaking over one eye. Match the feel of that tear line with the lettering's extreme verticality. Now carry that inspiration over 25 more letters. No easy feat that, which probably explains why the font doesn't extend into an uppercase, numerals, or punctuation.

Despite its soulful origins, Riddle's mood is far from bleak. There are alternates for six characters, including charming f and r pairs. The characters compose with loopy cheerfulness even as we're typing words like adjusted gross income, mortgage, and alimony. Who needs caps and a full stop when one is trying not to weep over the unfairness of love and taxes? Thanks to Arturo and Lohner, labeling file folders is hip again!

Riddle is licensed for personal use only, but that is not the only limitation. This display font won't sing along with serious text jobs, but it will swing in short bursts at point sizes as low as 24 and really start to sing at 48.

To think that the hunt for a new soundtrack led to a new love! Riddle, you've put the wonderful back into work. We're so happy we took you out for a spin.

Note: To use this font, 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
  • Hip and lyrical, this little TrueType font has big connections.


    • Fifties styling as smooth as a certain crooner.


    • No uppercase, punctuation, or numerals.
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