Problems with Olduvai font

ElleDriver's picture

Hi there,

I was directed here because it appears that the members here are already familiar with the Olduvai font.

I've just purchased a Mac version from Veer, and I'm having problems creating the banners using the Ornaments. When I type in the keys to create the banner ligatures, the characters don't appear properly. (The specified keys to create the ligature are " and '. I've attached a jpeg to illustrate what I mean.)

I feel foolish about asking for help, as I'm sure the answer is pretty obvious - but I'm at my wit's end. Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Florian Hardwig's picture

I don't know jack about Olduvai. Still: What application are you using? I guess this has to do with OpenType substitutions, so make sure your app is capable of that.

ElleDriver's picture

(I did a search in the forum archives, and it seems a number of members have recommended or asked about Olduvai. :)

I'm using Photoshop and Illustrator CS - is it possibly a setting I have to change? Or a Mac issue?

paul d hunt's picture

i'd try contacting veer and tell them the problems you're experiencing. they're always very helpful if you're having font problems.

patternmaker's picture

The wrong glyphs you're seeing are from Olduvai Regular, not Ornaments. Check your font setting in Photoshop.

Randy's picture

Hi Elle,

First of all, thanks for licensing Olduvai. I think I have the reason and solution for your problem:

Hope that solves it. Feel free to post here or contact me if you have any more questions. I'm revising the pdf field guide that accompanies the font to reflect your discovery. Many thanks!

With my monacle and pith helmet I remain,

ElleDriver's picture

Wow, I come to this place asking for font help, and I get a response from the designer of the font itself! :-D

Thanks Randy, it worked when I used the glyphs palette in Illustrator, but apparently no such option exists for Photoshop CS (unless it's been added to the most recent version?)

And thanks again for everyone's input - greatly appreciated again!

Miss Tiffany's picture

I love Olduvai. Please show us what you have done when it is finished.

ElleDriver's picture

To be honest Miss Tiffany, I was actually searching for a different font for a client, but I came across Olduvai, and I decided to purchase it for myself! I've just been playing with the type in Photoshop, but I will come back and post if I end up using it for a project!

Randy's picture

Created in Photoshop CS2. BTW, Illustrator is better for arranging the borders if you're going to be using them in a low resolution file. Rasterize them as a group after. At a course resolution in photoshop, it's difficult to line up the fine details.

I'm curious to see what you're up to as well :-)


ElleDriver's picture

Brilliant - thanks again Randy!

Randy's picture


I've used it for body text paired with Bokka.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Bokka works very well with it.

I've used it on a play. The parameters for the design didn't allow any room for illustration so I had to have the type convey the message. Nothing fancy, but the typeface really did well.

marcox's picture

Tiff, Randy -- lovely stuff!

Seeing nice examples like this makes me wonder if a "type in use" forum or perma-thread in the Design forum would be useful/possible? It could be organized by type style (sans/serif/slab), media (print/online/motion), client/audience.

I suppose the Typography/Composition sub-forum in Critique serves a similar purpose, but I'm imagining more of a gallery for finished work, not a working space.

paul d hunt's picture

sorry my comment wasn't as helpful, but i couldn't see the image posted. in the future can you make sure images are RGB? thnx.

Randy's picture

Tiffany: thanks for sharing that. First time I've seen Olduvai used by a non-family member (haha! merry christmas, here's a font). Veer often presents the font by setting the ornamented initials as words instead of drop caps. It always strikes me as funny since I never intended it that way. Looking good in your hands despite the fact that letterspacing drop caps is explicitly forbidden in the EULA.

Paul: Tiff owes a small part of her layout to you... The Pineapple! If I recall a raven flew up to me and mentioned you were planning to set some POEtry in olduvai. Is that nevermore?

Marc: The in-use thing has come up before, but I think it gets shot down because of the potential for bragging and bashing. I really enjoy seeing the laborious fruit of longtime typophile regulars. It gives you just a bit more of a picture of who they are. I think it could work though. The format I'd like to see is by font in more of a blog-style. So each entry in the post would be an image example, with comments attached to each image (but hidden a click away).

Kind of like this site:
Which is most excellent, and features regularly the exceptionally-lettered illustrations of Kevin Cornell (

Miss Tiffany's picture

Oh dear. Randy, I am so sorry? How much would the extended license be so that I can letterspace the dropcaps?

Stephen Coles's picture

Randy - Don't assume we're going to let that sans serif (setting Exibits A and B) slip by. Is this something of your own on the drawing board?

Stephen Coles's picture

Ok, I've reread the text full of cluse. I anxiously await more developments of this anthropotypographic discovery.

paul d hunt's picture

Is that nevermore?

fraid so for the time being. maybe in my later years...

I anxiously await more developments of this anthropotypographic discovery.

i hope randy doesn't mind me blabbing, but he's told me he's almost ready to relaunch prepare to be amazed! (not that i've seen it, but i'm sure it'll be awesome)

Randy's picture

Oh boy. paul has grown a waxed moustache and is wearing a top hat! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. he he.

Stephen: you're one of the meddling kids in scooby doo aren't you?

Happy thanksgiving all. I'm grateful for Typophile, which is essentially you all.


kentlew's picture

Randy -- Now that you mention it, Stewf does kind or resemble Shaggy ;-)

-- K.

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