FontDiscovery 🖼️ 63: What is a Western-style Font?

FontDiscovery 🖼️ 63: What is a Western-style Font?

I'm Hua, a designer and bootstrapping founder building Typogram, a brand design tool. As part of running Typogram, I create this digestible weekly guide with fonts, colors, and design ideas to help founders, creators, and makers step up their game in marketing and get creative!

Hi Everyone 👋

I hope you had a nice weekend! How is your week so far?

Last weekend I worked on my tax, which is a huge relief knowing that is finished, at least for now. Why is tax always so painful? I wish there is a way it can be more fun and I'm actually looking forward to doing it.

Rest of this week, I am working on our product launch with my co-founder. We are going to launch next Tuesday. Here is a plan and sneak peek

Now, let's get to this issue!

In This Issue…

  • Font of the Week: Smokum
  • Design idea: Design Tool of the Past: Creating Wood Type
  • Color Inspiration: Calm Colors,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

img: sample of Smokum – Do you have a friend who could profit from the weekly design tips, just like you do? Please consider forwarding or sharing FontDiscovery with your friend by clicking on the button down below.

Share FontDiscovery

Font of the Week

What is a Western-style font?

Specific fonts remind us distinctively of American Old West. These decorative, bold styles with heavy serifs are found in western movies, restaurant signage, and wanted posters. Many are also “Wood Type, ” letters curved on a woodblock, then used on a letterpress. Looking at them brought memories of wagons, cowboys, dusty trails, and horsebacks.

Smokum has the charm of this Old West style. It resembles something seen on a wanted poster from a western flick or at your local barbeque joint.

img: Old West Style fonts found on the streets of America; source,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Font Detail

  • Reverse stress
  • Large stroke contrast
  • One weight only,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Specific Usage Tips

How to use Smokum for logos?

Because Smokum has a significant stroke variation, the thinnest part of the letter breaks down when the logo is displayed at a smaller scale. Therefore, it is not suitable for logos at its original design.

How to use Smokum for marketing and branding?

Smokum is a display font excellent for attention-demanding graphics. Though it is Old West influenced, it can be used for other things, as long as it is appropriate for the content’s tone. For example, it is not appropriate for serious subjects, like news headlines. Also, avoid using it for paragraphs because it is not for text.

img: internal magazine at Medium uses a large contrast slab serif Maelstrom, a font similar to Smokum; source,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

img: display font makes attention-grabbing design when used at large sizes ; source,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Design Idea of the Week

Design Tool of the Past: Creating Wood Type

A remnant art of past technology, wood type creation is becoming a disappearing craft. In this video, the last wood type cutters (workers who convert letter design into working wood type by carving letters into wood blocks ) of Hamilton Wood Type, once the largest wood type company in the world, share their stories.

Color Inspiration

Calm Colors

This week, please enjoy this calm color palette from a lovely lotus flower illustration.

Blush Pink #D9B2BA | Blush #FFC9DD | Laurel #C7D1BD | Sage #8EA18C,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Jargon Buster


The space between individual letters or characters.,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

Want more? check out the jargon buster glossary page.

Creative Prompt

Create something with Smokum!

Thank you

…for reading and hanging out here this week! Smokum is available here.,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/

If you enjoy this series, you can subscribe here:

Have more questions about design and fonts? Please email me or find me on Twitter at @HuaTweets. You can also read the past issues on Typogram's blog.