Felt Tip Roman™ is a non-cursive handwriting typeface designed by Mark Simonson in 1992 and released by FontHaus. Felt Tip Roman is a representation of the designers handwriting as if written with a felt tip pen and is available in three weights.
Felt Tip Roman History
Felt Tip Roman™ was originally only released in a Regular weight typeface and the font was released on license to FontHaus, the first retailer of digital fonts in the US and founded in 1990 by Mark Solsburg. Selling online since 1994, FontHaus distributes fonts from a variety of foundries and designers; several of these typefaces were created by Mark Simonson, including Felt Tip Roman.
Simonson opened his own foundry, The Mark Simonson Studio, in June 2000 but still licenses typefaces to FontHaus, including Felt Tip Roman. Simonson had produced a variety of quality fonts many of which are obviously created by someone with an eye for stylish shapes and a very modern feel. In general Simonson’s fonts represent the kind of typefaces you might see in high-end advertising and magazines; Felt Tip Roman however, is a very informal font and although a useful typeface, it has little in the way of elegance and rightly so, as it is intended to be representative of casual handwriting – the kind of writing that you would typically see written on a supermarket label with a Sharpie® or on gift labels.
The Felt Tip Roman typeface is well constructed too; although its appearance may seem very casual, effort has been made to space the letters properly and the apparent randomness of baseline is not random at all; letters are different in height too, but there is order to the chaos. When we write by hand without a baseline to follow as in a lined book, letters tend to be written at different heights and extend upward from an irregular baseline. This variation is just human nature; only those carefully trained can write properly in a straight line. Felt Tip Roman follows that rule and is a literal digitization of the designers own handwriting and contains all the right sort of inconsistencies inherent to human handwriting. This is one of the main differences between formal and informal script; although there are other differences too involving consistency of height and slant.
By his own admission, Simonson had never really intended to release Felt Tip Roman intending as he later said “to see what it would look like, never dreaming other people would want to use it.” FontHaus’ Mark Solsberg thought it was a commercially desirable typeface and seeing the potential it had, released it in 1992. It was subsequently updated in 2003 to add Bold and Heavy weights and has proved a very popular typeface.
Felt Tip Roman Usage
Hagrid from the Harry Potter series has Felt Tip Roman as his handwriting typeface in the published books making this one of the most viewed typefaces ever in a book; the Harry Potter series has sold over450 million copies in 67 languages. Felt Tip Roman has also featured in advertising for Marriott, posters for the film Memento and has been used in Alamo Car Rental marketing collateral too.