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Stuart Sandler—The Hamilton Script Font Project

A section of the former Hamilton factory featuring the Hamilton logo mark on which the Hamilton Script font is based. (Ann Sandler/Font Diner)

Sun, Nov. 8 | On a hot day in August 2011—under the slim shadow of a Sundae sign in Two Rivers, Wisconsin—typeface designer Stuart Sandler had a vision that altered the course of his family vacation. Nine years later, his dream of turning Hamilton Wood Type’s famous blue sign into a functional script typeface was finally realized.

Through US Patent Office documents, type cabinets, drafting equipment, and clothes dryers fondly remembered by the 2020 Awayzgoose AV Club, Stuart demonstrated how the Hamilton logotype’s evolution reflected the typographic trends of its times. Starting in the late 1800s with an Egyptian Slab Serif logotype, he tracked the mark’s growth through its innocent years, past its Art Deco phase, & into the shiny promise of post-WWII America—where the letterforms leaned into the future & adopted the magnetic persona that makes this reporter’s treadle foot skip a beat.

Screenshot from Sandler’s presentation.

With the help of Dathan Boardman and Mark Simonson (and a surprise cameo from a Rick Griffith poster), Stuart coaxed the unruly baselines, crossbars, counters & x-heights into a streamlined script that strikes just the right balance of visual correspondence and variety. Decked out with a glyph palette full of spicy alternates and fancy diacritics, this T’Rivers native can speak over 100 languages—and will gladly teach you how to curse in them if you buy it a beer at Berserkers.

Hamilton Script is available from DDC Fonts; half of all sales directly support the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum.

Screenshot from Sandler’s presentation.