Squa Tront and Spa Fon (2001)



Around 1999 or 2000, my artist friends (and extremely influential mentors) George Pratt and Scott Hampton convinced me to read more and more of the EC comics from the 1950s for examples of excellent storytelling and illustration (Tales From the Crypt, Weird Science, Frontline Combat, etc). I very quickly became hooked. So much so that I ended up buying hardcover reprints of every title EC ever published, and spending the next two or three years reading every last one.

During this time, I wanted to emulate the lettering of these comics in some of my own projects, but was disappointed to find that a similar font did not exist. The lettering in the EC comics was different from other publishers. It was slightly mechanical looking, but still had a human touch. Strangely sterile, but you couldn't do a convincing tribute to EC without that lettering.

Further research revealed that EC's letterer used a Leroy lettering set, a device popular amongst draftsmen, architects, and the like. It consisted of a stylus and a pantographic lettering form, illustrated below (I love that this illustration of the Leroy labels itself with its own lettering).




I taught myself to use font creation software, and ended up with two rough but functional fonts: Squa Tront to cover most bases, and Spa Fon for bold italic emphasis (like a screaming housewife). 

Some special characters were included in both fonts:

Both fonts are all caps, but Shift-i gives you a capital I with serifs for use with the personal pronoun.
Option-6 will give you the EC comics logo
Option-4 is the cent symbol (¢)
Shift-Option-8 is the degree symbol (°)
Option-8 is the bullet (•)
Option-s is the publishing symbol (particularly valuable to those of us who design record covers)
Option-r is the registered symbol (®)
Option-g is the copyright symbol (©)
Option-2 is the trademark symbol (™)
Option-/ gives you the traditional division symbol (÷)

These are all Mac shortcuts. I'm afraid I don't know their Windows equivalents.

I've always offered the fonts for free in exchange for a copy of any published appearances they may make. In the ten years since their creation, the fonts have been used in works by Michael T. Gilbert, Coop, Ron Liberti, Johnny Sampson, and many other artists. They even made an appearance in the Grammy-nominated packaging for the Weird Tales of the Ramones box set (itself a tribute to EC comics) in 2005.

So, without further ado, please download and enjoy: