Left — Original La Fiesta rub-on lettering from Chartpak. My winning design in Chartpak’s 1988 International Typeface Competition.
Right — A few samples of the hundreds of examples of the font being used that I have come across so far
Whether online or in the physical world, it’s always interesting to see how my creative work is being used. Some of my work -- like my education clip art and some of my art for websites -- has taken on a life of its own (and, frustratingly, not always officially sanctioned).
Another creation that has lived an interesting life is my font, La Fiesta. Hand-drawn with pen and ink, it was a winner in Chartpak’s 1988 International Typeface Competition, and often pops up on websites, products, menus, and signs around the world. As one of the winners of the competition I was given a certificate, a small payment, and had the typeface produced as rub-on lettering and sold at art stores and through graphic arts catalogs.
Once used heavily by graphic arts and architecture professionals, rub-on, or pressure-sensitive transfer lettering, made creating attractive designs for publications easier and more affordable. If you needed a fancy or unique look for your work you just drew a baseline using a non-repro blue pencil and burnished the type down on your art board — one — letter — at — a — time. No need to try and hand-letter the type or run around town looking for a typesetting company with just the right font. This was a great cost and time saving tool back in the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.
Of course, typos were not easily corrected. And underestimating the right number of sheets it would take to produce an ad with lots of body copy could be a big problem also. Likewise, hazards like pets, small children, heat, tape, and various liquids could ruin your rub-on type sheet (and your day as well.)
Then in the 1990s, with the growth of personal computing, everything changed. With this change came the rush to market of fonts for desktop publishing. Many fly-by-night software companies began copying and selling typeface collections. These unscrupulous companies often changed the font names and gave no credit (or money) to the creators. Thus, somewhere along the line, La Fiesta’s name was unofficially changed to Tijuana.
|A second typeface I created was chosen as a winner in Chartpak’s 1989 International Competition. Named Crayon, it was pretty popular as transfer type but faded when desktop publishing came along.|