ACT News


Get Marion's elegant, dotty font while it's hot, or cool

Readers! Do you have a breath in your body, a song in your heart, a sense of style? Are you looking for a delightfully appropriate present to give a loved one (including, for the self-centred, yourself) during our city's centenary?

If you've answered yes, then you may want to purchase the Plains Lettering Prairie School Architectural Font (hereinafter in this column called ''Marion's font'') for your loved one's computer.

It is the font based on lettering styles used by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin, Frank Lloyd Wright, and other US architects and designers in the early 20th century. Examples can be seen in many issues of the architectural magazines of the period coming from Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois (where, in Chicago, the Griffins and the towering Wright were based) and Ohio.

You will see echoes of it in and on the Griffins' architectural design, which won the federal capital city design competition, on show at the National Archives of Australia (from March 1).

Marion's font is, like the work of Walter and Marion themselves, elegant and a bit dotty. Its retailers, Will-Harris Studios, explain that the lettering style has been inspired by art nouveau, the arts & crafts style and art deco, and includes personal touches by ''draftsmen responsible for the great lettering of the period''.

At the website there's some exuberant singing of the praises of this Plains Lettering Prairie School Architectural Font.

''If you want to reflect the style and grace of the American Prairie School of architecture, then you need this face,'' the website says. ''If you love the arts & crafts movement, then you need this [font]. If you have a breath in your body, a song in your heart, and any style whatsoever, you want this [font]. Luckily, you can have the entire happy family for a mere $45. Get it while it's hot, or cool, or whatever, but get it while it's still available because there's no guarantee that it will be here tomorrow.''

Your columnist has no pecuniary interest in this but has put his own money where his column is, purchasing the font for home use. I've been e-dealing with the obliging Daniel Will-Harris, who at my request has been quick to correct his website's spelling of Marion's name so that ''Mahony'' no longer has an ''e'' in it. It's time for all Canberrans, too, to do this and to get everything else about her name right without me having to nag. If not, you will stay in after 2013 and write it 1000 times. And in Marion's own font.