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The tradgic story of how Eric made a font oh his handwriting and managed to screw himself out of the only shareware fee he'd ever get.

I always wanted a font of my handwriting, just so I could send hundreds of personal, handwritten letters to all my friends and still use the convience of mailmerge in Microsoft Word. Gee, this musta been a couple of years ago when I did this. Just for laughs, I went to the trouble of scanning examples of my handwriting, learning Illustrator to fix all the rough spots and turn the characters into EPS's THEN bulding the font with something like Fontmonger.

bikybold example
An example of the BikyBold font

After it was done, I got the mandatory chuckle outta my friend John and really didn't bother using it much. (I soon found out that I'm not too keen at looking at my own chicken scratch.) I decided to upload it to AOL and the rest of the world. This was when Truetype fonts were just coming out and I figured that THAT would at least be a novelty. Up it went and shortly I got a stern message from AOL stating to the effect, "very funny Eric, we really didn't appreciate you putting in those HIDDEN characters." (I had burried some vile words on some multiple key combinations. Hell, I figured someone might want to use them someday for emphasis. [grin] They are now back in. This is an original version of the font that is available here online.)

In my public upload, I had included a very sarcastic readme doc that went along the lines of: "This is a freeby font. Do whatever you want with it. Like you would ACTUALLY SEND ME MONEY if I asked for it!! Just some me some e-mail or something if you DO use it." I got a couple of people e-mailing me back how much they liked the font and were using it from time to time. I figured these people were the ones who failed art class back in elementary school.

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O.K., cut to about a year later. I had just woken up and had gone downstairs. The first thing I usually did was to see what had shown up in that days mail. I'm sitting there on this couch in my underwear, half asleep and flipping through this "Tiger Software" catalog. I'm going through the CD-ROM section and I notice this disk called "Font Fun House". I'm looking at it with half-closed eyes going, "hmmmm, ya know, that handwriting looks sorta familiar.." [wait 5 seconds] "HEY!! That IS my handwriting!!"

I call 'em up and go, "Hey! I'm the guy who's font you used on the CD-ROM cover! Am I entitled to one?" (Since they didn't have to pay to use my font.) They said sure, and sent me one. Here I was going, "Damn, I coulda gotten a lousy shareware fee outta them! I had PROOF that they used it! Oh well." I can imagine when they were laying out the design of the cover and had all the marketing guys looking at going, "ya know, we need a font that expressses about Helvetica Condensed? No wait...BIKYBOLD!!" I'm just worried that some homocidal maniac might've gotten hold of my font and is using to sent randsom notes to the authorities.

mac font icon Download: bikybold.sit.hqx (Macintosh Truetype font)
pc font icon Download: (Windoze/PC Postscript font)

8/20/06 update: So I'm walking around the Hawaiian island of Kauai and I come accross this stop sign. Weird seeing your handwriting appear in front of you half way around the globe.

Biky Bold on stop sign Kauai