Texas Hero is a handwritten script based on the handwriting of Thomas J. Rusk, a politician from Texas.
Texas Hero History
By his own admission, Brian Willson is “obsessed” with penmanship fonts from the early 1800s. His first penmanship font, Texas Hero, lives up to its name; it’s based on the handwriting of Thomas J. Rusk (originally a military and judicial leader of the Republic of Texas till its annexation by the United States in 1845, and later a United States Senator). “I needed to replicate the look of old penmanship in a design project,” recalls Willson. At the time, Willson’s mother volunteered at The Center for American History at the University of Texas, and had access to copies of scores of old letters and documents from the early days of the State. She made copies of the letters of several famous Texans, says Willson, “and Rusk’s penmanship caught my eye.”
Completing the project proved daunting. “First I had to pore over Rusk’s letters, which spanned nearly a 20-year period, looking for just the right sample for each uppercase and lowercase character, each number, and as many punctuation symbols as I could find,” he explains. “Some characters simply did not exist, and I had to concoct them from scratch.” To enhance authenticity, Willson added a suite of alternate characters, ligatures, and a few common word logotypes. “The main challenge with authentic-looking handwriting faces is getting just the right balance between regularity and irregularity, so that the typeset copy suggests the same sort of randomness as words and sentences written by the human hand.”