Tierra Nueva - new font inspired by old spanish map - OUT NOW :)

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Dear forum-Members,

------------------- edit July 2010 ------------------

Dear members of this forum – Tierra Nueva is finally out, released in July 2010. You can find more information here, and the final specimen here.

Purchase is available via www.fonts.info and myfonts.com.

As this project was started here on typophile.com, I will leave the text below, from 2005 till now in a as-is state for documentation.


in my leisure-time I am working on a font inspired by an spanish map of america made in the year 1561. The Map has hundreds of letters and a lot of illustration (sea-monsters, native americans, etc.) on it, I think it's made by copperplace engraving (or at least by another form of engraving).

There is enough material to make a roman, italic and capital display font with a lot of ligatures, flourishes etc. of it. At the moment, i am experimenting on the roman and have started selecting glyphs for the italic version.

I guess i have worked too long without feedback (as you can see, i have created many ligatures and diacritics already), so it's over time already to show it somebody...

My method is to select some glyphs from the map (they vary, there is no "typical A"), do a 1:1-redraw, adjust and modify it trying to keep the original impression (with some exceptions). I also added some of the letters that are not availiable on the map, as it is in spanish and latin (missing U, missing Z,z, etc.). The original figures are all lowercase, the uppercase ones are derived from them.

There are certainly some problems with some glyphs at the moment (for example C, S, Z, K, W k, s, w, 2, 8, too wide f-ligatures and/or too narrow longs-ligatures, i am sure you'll find more of them).

I would be thankful if you could take a look at it, comparing it with the original letters, and telling me what you would do different, I just need some feedback before I can go further with it...

Last thing: I am planning to call it "Terra Nova". Objection? Suggestions?

Thanks a lot for your help

ps.: if I am already posting: are there any guides, tutorials, FAQs, frequently made errors, etc. how to start working on a font concerning the technical matters (opentype, ligatures, encoding, etc.)? I am trying to lern a lot about it at the moment, but it's just collecting and combining pieces of information and do trial and error...

peggo's picture

Wow Sebastian..!!
A really great job..!!!
I really glad for your beautiful work.. this give me hopes for keep my energies in this hard way like fontdesign..!! thanks for share your process work here..!!

my better wishes for you and for your work..!!
Pedro [PeGGO]

jepler's picture

Is there a demo copy of this font available now for sale? I'd like to explore its use with a school project I'm working on.

damascity's picture

Does anyone know what happened to this font? If not do you know of a similar font? I'm looking for something representative of 14-16th century Spain.

Sebastian Nagel's picture

just a short update: I am finalizing Tierra Nueva 4 weights (regular, bold, italic and script) right now. it's almost done (and i really mean almost done, it's only bug-checking and finding some not-so-beautiful overlaps in the script to do yet) and i hope to release it within first quarter 2010.

A new pdf presentation will be online soon, likely this winter holidays.

Thanks for your interest for such a long time. This was the first font i started, me and the font have come a long way since then, and it's time to get it out. :)

Vladimir Tamari's picture

Promise, Sebastian? :) I have been procrastinating about releasing my first OT font family of 6 weights too (although two weights are already released in versions associated with a special software). I mention this because it too only needs debugging, and the first quarter of 2010 sounds like a good target date!

riccard0's picture

For those interested (like me :-)* Tierra Nueva was finally released:

* http://typophile.com/node/72128

dezcom's picture


nina's picture

Gratuliere, Sebastian!

Vladimir Tamari's picture

You reached a fontastic new land!

hrant's picture

Congrats on your great result(s)!


Sebastian Nagel's picture

Thanks for all the flowers :)

As things are a bit asynchronous (myfonts, etc.), i wanted to wait to announce it here ...
Anyway, to make it short: it has been quite a journey, but now it's out – I'm proud, I hope I have delivered high quality work, and I am very thankful for your support from 2005 till now, as I have learned a lot from this community. I'm also full of motivation and working on the next project(s) to follow :)

You may be especially interested in the 46 pages font specimen, which is the best overview about the whole family with all its features:

Purchase is for now possible via fonts.info, and soon it will be available on myfonts.com too.


hrant's picture

> the 46 pages font specimen

Sorry to sound 3 decades younger than I am, but: OMG!!!


dezcom's picture

It is a treasure chest of 46 pages! --Makes you long for a lovely printed version with good paper!

Sebastian Nagel's picture

i'd like to have that too, maybe on aged paper. :)
but i guess it would be quite expensive ...

dezcom's picture

Yes, Sebastian. The only way to make it pay for itself would be to write and design a beautiful book based on Spanish maps and drawings. It might sell enough copies to pay for printing?

JanekZ's picture

Congratulations! truely great...


[as it is still in Critique section: I found in pdf one overlapping letter Uogonek, p.16; there are some issues in Universal Declaration of Human Rights, polish translation: "Preamble" ought to be "Preambuła" (I don't know why this error is in official translation?!), there are several hyphens inside words, and You can't leave letter "i" on the end of a line]

Steven Acres's picture

Sebastian: believe me when I say, and I'm saying this quite seriously: this is the best typeface I have ever seen (its nature, design, execution, etc. are what lead me to this decision: I love antiquated maps, cartographic typography, and quirky letterforms) and it's design like this that makes me feel good to be a designer.

When I'm not a poor design student anymore, I plan on buying the full family.

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Janek: thank you for your feedback. You are right in every point, I will do the corrections right away and send them to my label.

Steven: there's a student discount on fonts.info (though it's still not free ...)

JanekZ's picture

Sorry, one thing more: "onz" means UNO so ought to be in ALLCAPS or SC...

dezcom's picture

I see it is now available on "My Fonts"


Sebastian Nagel's picture

Okay, corrections for Uogonek Bold and the specimens are done and on their way. It may take a little time yet to be updated on the server though.

JanekZ's picture

I am impressed!
Good luck Sebastian.

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