We went looking this year for a Victorian Christmas typeface and found a festive gem in Aeronaut by designer Georg Herold-Wildfellner. Aeronaut is based on a writing style known as textualis, the most calligraphic form of blackletter. Its unusual adornments — pigtails, squiggles, “balloons” and “parachutes” — give it a light, candy-factory look, beautifully 19th-century, without the Gothic heaviness of classic blackletter type.
What we especially like is that Aeronaut comes in two parts — the letters are one part and the squiggles are the other — which means that it can be set (easily) in two colors:
It works like this. Standard Aeronaut has its adornments built in:
So what you do is first set your type in unadorned Aeronaut Base:
Color it, then Copy and Paste the copy directly atop your original:
While it’s in position, select and change its style to Aeronaut Parachute, which is one of its two squiggle fonts, the other being Aeronaut Balloon. I’ve left a ghost of the letters so you can see what’s going on.
What’s interesting is that the squiggles correspond letter for letter to the typeface, so everything shows up in position. If you kern Aeronaut Base for better letterfit, you’ll need to kern Aeronaut Parachute by the same amounts.
To finish, simply color Aeronaut Parachute a deep, Christmas green . . .
. . . and it’s ready for duty at the North Pole. Green and red, of course, are not your only options. Below is a monochromatic rendition; note that its adornments, which look appropriately like twinkling stars, are lighter than the letters:
And once Christmas is over, you have a great, period typeface that’s fun to work with all year: