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Mike Freiman writes:

I'm rather curious about the origin of Sarah Caps, seeing as how there's a Davy Rakowski font out there (dated 1990) that's the same, except for being somewhat squatter. A version that's only upper case is here (more complete versions and several variants [bold, ital, exp] are out there)

Surely neither of these fellows copied the other, so they must have had the same inspiration. Which came 1st? Perhaps I'll try and contact Mr. Wang myself some day.

Since you gave only the Macintosh version of Sarah Caps, here's a link to a Windows version. This file comes sans documentation. The website lists the creator as "Fantazia Font & Sounds". I think Fantazia put out one of those knockoff CD's. The font itself, however, has no copyright when viewed. There is only an encoded trademark (Fantazia) in the font's extended info, which most users would never see.

Fred replies...

We believe that Sam Wang is the original artist to digitize the "Sarah Caps" font. Somehow the other authors got their fonts crossed. Sam's original was posted to America Online in 1988.

It's funny too, that several of the sites you took us to contain fonts that are modified versions of previously created fonts. One site had merely converted all the fonts to Windows and claimed authorship as their own. David Rakowski did not create Windows versions of the fonts, they were Mac Only.

In those days, when Fontographer first came out, there was a mad rush to upload fonts. It seemed like it was a race to see who could upload the most fonts on both CIS (Compuserve) and AOL. Most of the fonts at the sites you took us to are digitized versions of font sets shown in the Dover Books series of "Alphabets" by Solo. I had all the books myself (still do) and was able to identify those fonts as they came along.

In reality, none of those fonts were created by actual font designers or developers. They merely scanned from the Dover books and then vectored them in via Fontographer. David, Sam, and just a few of the others did superb jobs of the vectoring, however in the case of fonts like "SHOWBOAT" and other "illuminated" fonts, they 'autotraced' them and are actually very crappy!

I was an 'original' AFA for America Online, one of the first in fact -- having been a design consultant for Apple, on their ground-breaking project to bring a "graphical" interface to the online world. Their project was "ALPE" (Apple Link Personal Edition) which was soon sold to Quantum Computers in Vienna Virginia. I went along with the deal as a forum developer in the User Group community. In 1988 Quantum decided that "online" was "cool" after all and decided to change the name to: America Online. I actually vectored the first ever logo of America Online, working from the ad agency art. Don Rittner and I, under the direction of Kathy Ryan and Steve Case launched the first ever "DISK" program for AOL through the User Group community.

As part of my "pay" for being a developer, I could stay on AOL as long as I liked. I downloaded ALL the fonts as they were uploaded. During the '89 to '94 years there was very little PC activity on AOL, and 99% of the fonts and graphics were Mac. I created and uploaded 119 different EPS vector clip art files myself, including a digitized version of "Handle Gothic" and one I called "Showker" -- based on the ITC font Machine. Both fonts have disappeared -- I don't even have a copy myself. Those were the last fonts I created because of the time and tedium fonts required.

After you get directions to the Loading Dock, you can download both Macintosh and Windows versions of this Sarah Caps.

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