Olicana - On sale now

Nick Cooke's picture

Hi typophiles, (or typenerds as my wife calls us),

This is my first post inviting criticism of my design.

I'm working on this informal script at the moment. I drew it with pen and ink first to get the thick/thin contrast, but I didn't want it to look 'Dickensian' - I'm trying to achieve a naturally flowing style without formal stiffness. I have completed the 'rough' style, and I thought it might look pretty good as a smooth style - so that's what I'm doing now. I'm also going to produce a more refined 'fine' with as-thin-as-I-can-go thins style.

At the moment it is Postscript, but I'm toying with the idea of contextual alternates in Opentype. The FontLab manual is no great help as I find it to be written from a programmers viewpoint, unfortunately I'm a designer and a lot of that stuff goes way over my head. I wish Leslie Cabarga had written the manual, as his 'Learn FontLab Fast' has excellent illustrated step-by-steps, but is a bit brief in the OpenType section.

Does anybody know of any easy to understand intructions of exactly what to do, as I'm very impatient with plowing through the manual to extract the info.

Thanks in advance,

See new pdf. 28 November 2006

Nick Cooke, G-Type.

NewOlicanasample2.pdf136.55 KB
TDC2006.pdf560.59 KB
crossgrove's picture

"Man oh, man— I can’t wait wait to buy this mofo!"

See? We like it.

Nick Cooke's picture

Miss T - No I didn't.

Nick Cooke

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Nick, be sure to contact me when you are getting ready to ship this beauty. I'm assuming it's heading into the G-Type library, correct? I'd love to give it a push.

Superb work, by the way ... is the smooth version still a go as well?

Nick Cooke's picture

Don't worry Grant - I'm sure Joe from FWUK will be in touch soon.

Yes, the smooth version is still a goer, but I've got to finish Houschka Rounded family, Morpeth family and Sovereign Display before I do that.

So don't hold your breath.

Thanks also.

Nick Cooke

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Oy! That's a bit of work you've got cut out for yourself Nick. I’ll await a note from Joe ... but in the meantime, I’d love to see the rest of the work in progress.


Stephen Coles's picture

There's nothing quite like this, Nick. I'd put it on the fast track while scripts are sizzling.

blank's picture

I hope this font is available before I start my senior year of design school (next fall.). What you've produced is exactly the kind of script font I find myself wanting—all the goodies of the high-end script fonts, but with a nice big dose of FUN.

Nick Cooke's picture

Hi Y'all,

Olicana Rough is finally for sale through Fontworks UK and Veer.

You may want to see the new sample; TDC2006.pdf at the top to see how it's looking.
I'm on the smooth style now - about halfway through.

Nick Cooke

sch2525's picture

I'm just confirming what everyone else has already said, but it's beautiful! I rarely come across a typeface that I HAVE to buy right away - but I just couldn't resist. Congratulations!

Nick Cooke's picture

Well thanks Scott, I'm glad you like it. Congratulations to you too – you are one of the first to use it!

Nick Cooke

sch2525's picture

Any idea when the smooth version will be completed/released?

Nick Cooke's picture

NO idea! I've hit a busy spell right now, so it's on hold for the moment. It was progressing quite fast as I had some so-called 'free' time. I reckon there is still about 2-3 weeks worth of work to do on it, but when that will be I don't know.

Nick Cooke

mwebert's picture

Can't seem to find "Olicana Rough" on Veer anymore... what's up?


// love what you do or do something else. //
Michael Ebert -- graphic designer, jazz saxophonist, horror movie devotee

Stephen Coles's picture

I was just about to ask that.

Nick Cooke's picture

There is some contractual wrangling between Veer and Fontworks UK going on at the moment. Veer have removed the entire G-Type collection from their website. Hopefully it will be sorted, and reinstated soon.

Of course it is still available at Fontworks UK

Nick Cooke

carsten's picture

The font looks really awesome. Good job!

lapetino's picture

Nick, I really like this typeface.

How did you go about adding the roughness of texture to the non-smooth version? Did you have a piece of texture used to take "bites" out of the letterforms in Illustrator, or how did you go about it?

Thanks for the help, and great work on Olicana. BTW, is there a place in the US that distributes it?

Nick Cooke's picture

I didn't add roughness and texture - that's how I drew it with a pen originally. I don't like artificial texturing - it doesn't look authentic.

The smooth style came second; I redrew it in a smooth style.

As to your last question - see the above post. I think it has been sorted, and will be reinstated soon.

Nick Cooke

Andy Martin's picture

I love it Nick, absolutely beautiful.

Ratbaggy's picture

very nice indeed

Paul Ducco
Graphic Design

jlt's picture

Nick, is the smooth available in the US yet?



jlt : http://www.hewnandhammered.com

AGL's picture

This is very good. I love the rough version.

Nick Cooke's picture

Hi Joshua, no it isn't available in the US at the moment due to Veer pulling my entire collection. As Veer have an unreasonable new contract this situation will probably not be resolved, so it will probably be available through another distributor soon. It's silly really, as it was doing so well, especially after being named as one of Typographica's Favorite fonts of 2007. Anyway, It is available through Fontworks UK (see Nov 7).

Nick Cooke

jlt's picture

Nick, Stephen filled me in on Veer's ridiculous new terms, handed down to them by their new owners. I think it's horrible that one of the most forward-looking American type vendors has allowed themselves to be hobbled by new ownership. It's really too bad.

Since they've obviously neglected to live up to their side of their contract with you, are you looking for another American vendor?

hrant's picture

Now that's a goddam shame about Veer.
What will take its place?

Somebody start a thread or something.


Stephen Coles's picture

To clarify JLT's comment, I don't know where the new terms came from. I was simply reacting to what Nick said in his last post above.

Katharina's picture

Do I spot ink stains from "DEAD MAN Blotting" on the images? - Just curious.

Nick Cooke's picture

No you don't - they're all mine. Why would I want to copy ink blots?

“DEAD MAN Blotting”? - say what?

Nick Cooke

Katharina's picture


Sorry, Nick, as I am too lazy to make my own ink stains I kind of assumed that everyone uses prefabricated ones ;-)

ill sans's picture

I do too, Katharina, but I'm quite lazy as well ;-)
Isn't that what they're there for in the first place?
Kudos to Nick though for making his own!

Nick Cooke's picture

Really - it's no big deal. I didn't carefully draw them you know!

Nick Cooke

vintagesignman's picture

Beautiful font. I was lucky enough to find it on Veer before they pulled it. Looks great in one of my stores! I'm glad I happened upon this.

Nick Cooke's picture

Is that an altered Fl ligature I see there Dave?

Never mind, thanks for using it anyway. That's BIG handwriting alright!

Nick Cooke

imageWIS's picture

Nick, let us know when it’s back on sale in the US.

Nick Cooke's picture

Maybe soonish. Sorry, can't be any vaguer than that.

Things in the pipeline at the mo.

Nick Cooke

Goran Soderstrom's picture

It is really looking great, Nick!

On of the best script fonts I've seen so far.

imageWIS's picture

I understand. It’s a font worth waiting for.

Salvatore's picture

I have been moved by this typefce to make my first post - this strikes me as a magnificent creation Mr Nick.

I have found almost all scripts to be a problem in one way or another based on my particular prejudices, and can think of only one or two instance of using one in my work over the last 11 years.

I am currently working on a Heritage project and this face would be ultra suitable for this so am keen to know when it becomes available. I have created a defacto face for the display implementation by digitising an original sample of a gothic face printed within the local area in 1851. Olicana will work beautifully in key paragraph settings and will add some real humanity to the various applications.

Sorry to hear about your legal trevails.

Lyttelton, New Zealand

ballbea's picture

I have bought the Olicana pakage, but cannot install it.
When I try to install it it installs as Calisto, but Calisto writes like Calisto, not Olicana.
I was looking thru my font library, and noticed that none of my fonts end like Olicana does in .otf. Most other fonts end in .ttf
Any advice?
I have a Mac

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

Can't help with your install problem but .otf stands for open type format, so that is a good thing. :-)

Miss Tiffany's picture

How are you installing the font?

dezcom's picture

Empty your font cache and reboot. You can use the utility "Font Cache Cleaner"
now called Font Finnagler



joe graham_typespec's picture

Chaps, I must clarify matters as some of you seem a bit confused. Olicana is, and always has been, available from Fontworks and our type.co.uk website http://www.type.co.uk/index.php?p=eCD&let=*&id=31311 so there's no waiting necessary, go and buy it today!

Nick Cooke's picture

Beatriz, I'm sorry that Olicana isn't working for you, but unfortunately I have no idea why this should be. I have never heard of anybody having this problem before. Are you using FontBook? I never have any problems with that, and I've generated, uninstalled, regenerated and reinstalled Olicana many times when developing it. Did Chris's suggestion work? Have you tried uninstalling Calisto and then installing Olicana? I don't see why there should be a clash, if indeed there is one.

Nick Cooke

joe graham_typespec's picture

Olicana now has a thinner new family member of a more delicate disposition, Olicana Fine. Sample, PDF specimen etc here:

Syndicate content Syndicate content