Recently I was looking up info on calligraphy… it’s something I kinda wanted to take a class on when I was at school, but either the class ended up filling up or there was something else scheduled at the same time I wanted more (can’t remember since it was several years ago at this point).
Anyway I ended up coming upon the Zanerian Manual of Alphabets and Engrossing, which is very interesting to leaf through if you have the time (That link goes to an archive.org copy of the 1924 edition).
Along with your standard different forms of blackletter (German, Italian, English, French, etc) there are sections that just include samples of original design, as inspiration for coming up with your own lettering styles. One such design was this portion of William Cullen Bryant’s poem, A Winter Piece:
I was quite taken with this somewhat old-fashioned sample, with its branch-like ornamentation and charming little squirrel illustrated beneath. I wanted to try to take the airy, tall and curly characters and translate them into a pixel font. It’s not quite the same proportion as the original text, and the size constraints meant most letters are somewhat different (not to mention the fact that the text above doesn’t contain every character) but I’m quite satisfied with the result. To compare against the sample above, consider the same text typeset in the completed font:
(Did you notice that the word “Beneath” was spelled wrong in the original sample? I corrected it when I made my version.)
Final note: the name “Cartridge” comes from nowhere at all. I just thought that that word looked particularly nice in this font so I used it for the name.