(x) grunge script - Abigail (similar to Polonaise) {Yves, Mark S}

evan's picture

Does anyone recognize the font on this lovely artwork - sarcasm.

Thank you.

erganza.jpg25.67 KB
Bald Condensed's picture

What a coincidence -- up to yesterday I hadn't seen this typeface ever before. This is Abigail Regular, a TrueType font as found on Microsoft Windows operating systems. The copyright notice reads "© 1996 enStep Inc.".

Mark Simonson's picture

Looks like a (perhaps intentionally) poor autotrace of Polonaise.

Bald Condensed's picture

Well, the version reads "Altsys Metamorphosis". Where does this come from?

paul d hunt's picture

how funny, i have this listed (in a dover book) as Chopin Script. I was sure there had to be some kind of digital version, because it's all over Beck's new album, Guero. Thanks for pointing out Polonaise, Mark!

Mark Simonson's picture

Chopin is most likely the source for Polonaise (note the name). Polonaise is one of Phil Martin's. At least half of the fonts he produced were based on existing fonts, usually with some alteration in the design.

So, more likely, it is an autotrace of Chopin. (Dover type book + autotrace = crap font, the source of many a free font.)

Bald Condensed's picture

And look what Canada Type did to it! Popular style, I say.

evan's picture

You guys are great, you never cease to amaze me how you not only find a font, but some other variation on it as well as the occasional history behind it. I hope someday to be this good.

Mark Simonson's picture

And look what Canada Type did to it!

I see two fonts in there. Not sure what the second one is. (Font + font = grunge font. *sigh*)

Jackie Frant's picture

I have been trying to figure this one out - and would appreciate your help.

Phil Martin is no longer with us (he unfortunately passed away on October 4, 2005) but he did do the original drawings for Polonaise back in 1977 - and actually published a front cover in it... verifying the time he made it.

There is a font going around for free named Chopin. I opened it in Fontographer and found it to be dot for dot, line for line and exact replica of the FontShop font named Polonaise.

One interesting fact I found was from Phil Martin's site - his notes on the face:
"My German distributor sent me a few words in script, urging that it be developed into a typeface. My assistant, George Brian did most of the work to bring it to completion. Turned out woman lettering artist in Stockholm, Sweden who had hand-lettered chapter titles for a book, was furious to find she had inspired a typeface. George and I felt she should have taken it as a compliment."

Now I opened up Dieter's version also in Fontographer - and it is a different set up - more like a scan of the face and retooled - so an original "drawing" and not a switch.

I have been having a private discussion with someone as to the validity of Chopin.

Dieter has no claims - even his "copyright" says the year 2000.
Chopin has no copyright - just the word "Diogene" while
Polonaise has: copyright 1999 by Fontshop

and I don't know what year URW copyrighted it...

Any one with any thoughts, sugestions, comments?

Mark Simonson's picture

I did not know Phil had died. Now I know why I have not heard from him for so long. :-(

I'm among several designers who agreed a couple of years ago to digitize those of his fonts which hadn't yet been digitized. So far I've release one family--Grad, the last typeface design he did, originally for his personal use. I'm still working on two other families--Fotura (to be renamed Frizbo) and Bagatelle.

Regarding Polonaise, you have more information than I do about it. I was just speculating in my comments (above).

The story I heard (from Phil, I seem to recall) is that most of his fonts that have been digitized were done by a font pirate in the early nineties. The pirate was shut down and URW ended up with the fonts and added them to their library. Phil contacted URW and informed them that the fonts were his designs and they paid him royalties on them from then on. (This is from memory, so some of this may not be entirely accurate.)

Jackie Frant's picture

the story has some basis in truth

In the early 90s - an ex-typographer had retired to Florida. He receive
pemission from Photolettering, Inc. to digitize some of their fonts.
They thought he (I don't know his name, sorry) was doing it for his
own personal use -- however, he marketed about 100 Photolettering
fonts (ie. Advertising Gothic, Algonguin, Angelface, Bonaparte, Lennox,
Murray Hill, Vogue Didot, etc. - I think to buy the set back then was
$100.) I remember asking Cosmos (salesperson at Photolettering) how
it had happened. He assured me they were duped - thought they were
helping a down and out typographer - and were trying to do something
to halt the sale. Don't know if they ever did... and now, they are out
of business too...

So if I understand you - it looks like Chopin was the digitized version
they ended up at URW as Polonaise... and for which URW has paid
a fee to have it.

I always thought it was clever to rename Polonaiase to Chopin - for
where else would we know a Polonaise from?

Thank you.

Mark Simonson's picture

Polonaise and the others were given the correct names by the unknown pirate when they were digitized. I believe Chopin was the name given to a pirate film font (pre-digital). There are a few of these in the Dover books. Some of the pirated versions of Phil Martin's fonts had similarly clever or "funny" names: Jolly Roger renamed Happy Jack, Introspect renamed Looking Glass, Threadgill renamed Twistfin, etc.

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