New font designed with Saranac Lake in mind
SARANAC LAKE — When Thomas McAuliffe set out to design a new font that emulated Saranac Lake, he used his experience here to create a feeling for the design. The result was Saranac Hand.
“I wanted to name the font after the village because, to me, fonts are meant to emulate an experience,” he said. “Starting out, I thought to myself, if I’m going to make a font, it’d better be a genuine representation of an experience that I can relate to. Since having spent most of my life in either the Hartford (Connecticut) area or the Adirondacks, I thought it’d be suitable to make a font that stands for the Saranac Lake experience, so that’s what I did.”
McAuliffe said the font’s hand-drawn texture alludes to the village’s craftiness, the thick vertical strokes imply a hardiness in the face of brutal winters, and the soft and slim horizontal strokes exhibit a more welcoming side, in contrast to the toughness of the town.
Growing up in Windsor, Connecticut, outside Hartford, McAuliffe said he spent a lot of time in Saranac Lake, typically visiting his grandparents, Jim and Mary Hotaling, for the holidays.
McAuliffe said the font is made optimally for any materials pertaining to artisan crafts, organic food and nature or travel-related materials. He noted that it’s a display font, so it’s meant to be used in titles and not in paragraph form because it can be difficult to read at small sizes.
The font is available for purchase for $15 through McAuliffe’s website, https://mcletters.co, but more of his work can be found on his Instagram account, @mcletters.
“I actually learned to ski on Mount Pisgah when I was young,” he said. “I still remember the old T-bar system they had; it’s quite uncommon among ski places.”
Although McAuliffe created “Saranac Hand” as a personal project, he is currently a junior at Ithaca College studying communication design, hoping to become a freelance hand-lettering artist and font-creator.