Philip Bouwsma’s offbeat mind, always working in mysterious ways, brings us one the unlikeliest syntheses of historical influences in a perfectly fluid, organic, and highly expressive connected script.
Tupelo takes its inspirational root from the handwritings of two of the most influential men in world history: Elvis Presley and Abraham Lincoln. It took a little research and analysis on Bouwsma’s part to reveal that The King’s and the President’s methods of writing shared a common ancestor, a writing system they had both learned as youths during their first school years. While Tupelo’s lowercase maintains the slant, color, texture and flourish of Elvis’s handwriting, its uppercase is the embodiment of Lincoln’s well-versed originality. This is the closest a typeface has ever come, in its timeliness and historic relevance, to making a statement about these modern days’ fusion of politics and popular culture.
Tupelo comes in two main fonts, plus a set of beginning lowercase, a set of ending lowercase, and plenty of alternates and extras. The non-Pro set consists of five fonts, while Tupelo Pro combines the lot in a single font of over 840 characters, which includes programming for push-button swash caps, stylistic alternates, oldstyle figures, beginning and ending letters.