If you grew up in the 1960s (or have seen 1960s television shows), you’ve probably come across the typeface Dom Casual before. From 1960-1964, it was used in nearly all Warner Bros. cartoons as well as the end titles for Hanna-Barbera productions and the show Bewitched. Dom Casual also experienced a revival of popularity in the 1990s, so if you were growing up then, you are likely familiar with it as the typeface used in the logos some of the most popular family and teen shows on television: Full House (1987-1995) and Clarissa Explains It All (1991-1994).
|1990s use of Dom Casual|
Dom Casual is an American typeface created in 1951 by Peter Dombrezian for the American Type Foundry. It was designed as an informal typeface meant to emulate a brush script, an example that resonates today with the logo image at left. It recalls a neat yet relaxed handwriting, with each letter made soft and round with the curve of a paintbrush. There are no harsh edges, nor are there complicated additions to the text. Each letter seems to be made with a few quick and casual strokes of paint, no fierce concentration or attentional to detail required.
Because of its casual feel it has been consistently popular in the world of television. As well as the shows mentioned above, it has been used for many of the signs on the daytime game show The Price is Right. Dom Casual was also used extensively in British television, including the long-running series Only Fool and Horses and the game show Bullseye.
This casual typeface also gives the feeling of being written with a large, felt-tip marker. It can be used to convey the image of something young or trendy, but can also be used for simple logos or relaxed headings. What makes Dom Casual a great typeface (in my opinion) is that it is friendly and youthful without having too much of the preteen feel of a Comic Sans.
The Dom Family is a fairly limited one, with two initial weights and styles creation: Dom Casual Regular and Dom Casual Bold. Since then, more have been added, including Dom Diagonal, and Dom Bold Diagonal by Dombrezian and ones inspired by his typeface, such as Dom Casual Cyrillic, designed by Dmitry Kirsanov in 2008.
If you like typefaces, come to the last installment of our History of Art Series , where Type Designer Jesse Ragan will discussing his design process in “Illuminating Typeface Design:” this Wednesday, March 7th at 6:30pm. $10 suggested donation/ $5 members
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