Behind the Font: Quincy, a Vintage Serif Font by Connary Fagen
Talk to enough type designers and you’ll quickly realize something: there’s a story behind every letterform. That’s because, as much as we try to make sense of the science of typography, it is also very much an art. A practice inevitably infused with the unique little quirks that make us human.
The typefaces you download and use every day capture their creators’ points of view, condense multiple inspiration sources, and are fine-tuned to express specific sentiments. There’s a lot that goes into digital typography and we’re on a mission to reveal the creative process behind some of the most popular font families on Creative Market. This time around, we talked to Connary Fagen — the talented designer behind Quincy.
1. What inspired you to design Quincy? Where does your creative process usually start?
Quincy was the first serif typeface that my foundry released, so naturally the goal was to try my hand at an original serif design. I was inspired by the flowing movement of the typography treatments of 1970 and 1980s movie posters, book covers, and signage, but I wanted to rein in some of the extravagance for a cuter, more modern character. I wanted to capture a mental image I had of golden, undulating warmth, like a stream running through a forest at sunset.
2. Why did you name it Quincy?
I liked starting off with a capital ‘Q’ so I could showcase that letter. I liked the name, too – it sounds nice and has positive connotations in my mind. The name feels warm, smart, and approachable.
3. What’s your favorite feature in this font that may not be readily apparent?
There are many soft, rounded corners and edges in Quincy. They aren’t loudly pronounced, and may only appear when the font is used as a display typeface in a large composition.
4. How has your style evolved since you first started your craft? Would you say you’re headed in any certain direction?
I’m always learning, which is hopefully coupled with growth and evolution. Specifically, I’ve allowed myself to occasionally move away from typeface designs that I think will have broad appeal, spending more time exploring unique, niche concepts. One recent example is Olivette CF, which has a very extreme stroke contrast, with elements of calligraphy. I also revisit older typeface designs of mine and refine them, bringing them up to the quality that I’ve come to expect of myself after 5 years in the industry.
5. Many claim that finding the perfect font feels like falling in love. Describe a brand that would be a great match for Quincy in three words.
Warm. Bright. Honest.
Quincy used by David’s Cookies via connary.com
6. How would you define your typographic design style?
I come from a background in traditional, client-focused graphic design work. Since I started designing type, I’ve always said that I make typefaces that I would use in my own graphic design work. That helps guide my style, in the sense that I aim to create usable, useful typefaces (even the niche ones). I find myself gravitating to clean, sensible designs with strong, consistent structures, even when evoking a humanist warmth with faces like Artifex Hand, which evokes a sense of natural calmness when I look at it.
7. What advice do you have for aspiring typographers looking to build a brand? Any specific resources or tools?
Glyphs, a Mac type design tool, is an excellent piece of software. Don’t be afraid; learn how to use it and other advanced tools effectively. Be sure to test your fonts extensively in apps like Adobe Illustrator. Stress-test your work. Try using your fonts in designs and see if any quirks appear.
As for building a brand, find your specialty and dive deep into it. Don’t try to be everything for everyone. Play to your strengths, but don’t become stagnant. Be humble and keep learning. Let people try out your fonts and be available to your customers if they have questions or concerns.
You can learn more about Connary Fagen’s fonts in his Creative Market shop, Dribbble profile, and Instagram account.
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