Calligraphic brushy w/ hint-o-asian script on Liam Hearn "The Harsh Cry of The Heron" book cover

This is a case that came up on the WhatTheFont forums, and was marked not-a-font, but I'm convinced it is. There are differences in the letters, but I think it's one of those very nice fonts with tons of contextual alternates. The designer may have done some tricks too like condensing a few letters, moving points, etc. Some letters seem too perfectly identical for it to be done by hand.

Also it's part of a fairly recent series from the past 5 years, so it might be a font that was hip around 2003. Help would be appreciated, I want to buy it if I can find it.


Hand calligraphy for books and film is not uncommon (nor was it in 2003 when contextual alternates were very rare). What reason do you have to believe this was made with a font?

I was wrong about the age of the book, it was published in March of '06...

but in retrospect I think you might be right.

My reasoning was that the e's and the cap H's are too consistent, I superimposed them in photoshop and they're seemingly exact, or as exact as can be figured from this low res sample. So are the r in harsh and heron. The he in "The" matches the other he's, just condensed.

But the strong argument against: The other covers have this same style of calligraphy, and the letters are different yet again from each other and from this over. Like this one has three different s's and none of them match the s in this sample:

So, I guess for now scratch this one. The designer should certainly think about making it a font tho :)

I'm pretty sure that is the work of British lettering artist Ruth Rowland. She does the initial script with a brush but then digitally manipulates it so some letters will be duplicated.

I can't find her website that I remember looking at last year, but here is her flickr page:

wow, I'm really impressed... you recognize specific people's lettering style (as well as fonts I assume)... that's awesome. I think you're right.

There's another case on the WTF forums that's been nagging me for a while, what's your opinion on this:

There are identical letters and nobody found a font for it. Seems unlikely Mrs. Rowland would be commissioned to write this sort of thing.