Speech Bubbles

The font Speech Bubbles offers a convenient way to integrate text and image. While the font can be used to design comics, it also gives the typographer a tool to make text speak – to give words conversational dynamics and to emphasize visually the sound of the message. The font includes a total of seventy outlines and seventy bubble backgrounds selected from a survey of historic forms. What follows is a discussion of my process researching and developing the font, as well as a few user suggestions.

My work on the Speech Bubbles font began with historic research. My first resource was a close friend who is a successful German comic artist. I had previously worked with him to transform his lettering art into an OpenType font. This allowed his publishing house to easily translate cartoons from German to other languages without the need to use another font, like Helvetica rounded.

My friend showed me the most exciting, outstanding and graphically appealing speech bubbles from his library. I looked at early strips from Schulz (Peanuts), Bill Waterson (Calvin & Hobes), Hergé (TinTin), Franquin, as well as Walt Disney. The most inspiring was the early Krazy Kat and Ignatz (around 1915) from George Herriman. I also studied 1980’s classics Dave Gibbon’s Watchmen, Frank Miller’s Ronin and Alan Moore and David Lloyd’s V for Vandetta. Contemporary work was also a part of my research—likeLiniers from Macanudo and work of Ralf König.

With this overview in mind I began to work from scratch. I tried to distill the typical essence of each author’s or era’s speech bubbles style into my font. In the end I limited my work down to the seventy strongest images.

An important aspect of the design process was examining each artist’s speech bubble outlines. In some cases they are carefully inked, as in most of the 80’s work. In others, such as with Herriman, they are fast drawn with a rough impetus. The form can be dynamic and round (Schultz) with a variable stroke width, or straight inked with no form contrast (Hergé). Since most outlines also carry the character of the tool that they are made with, I chose to separate the outline from the speech bubble fill-in or background. 
This technical decision offers interesting creative possibilities. For example, the font user can apply a slight offset from fill-in to outline, as it is typical to early comic strips, in which there are often print misalignments. Also, rather than work in the classic white background with black outline, one can work with colors. Many tonal outcomes are possible by contrasting the fill-in and outline color.

The Speech Bubbles font offers a dynamic and quick way to flavor information while conveying a message. How is something said? Loudly? With a tint of shyness? Does a rather small message take up a lot of space? The font’s extensive survey of historic comic designs in an assembly that is useful for both pure comic purposes or more complex typographic projects. Use Speech Bubbles to give your message the right impact in your poster, ad or composition.


  • Comes in True Type and OpenType (Postscript)
  • Contains seperate font files for outlines and fill-in
  • Works on all Mac OS Versions
  • Works on all Windows Versions
  • True Type works on iOS 4.0.2 and higher
  • Immediate download
  • Free updates

    All future updates, like extension of the character set, additional ligatures, features, kerning etc. are free.

    You will be notified via email if an update is available.
    Updates are also announced in the monthly newsletter.

  • By purchasing this font you agree to Harald Geisler's End User License Agreement (EULA), which can be viewed here.

    The package also includes an installer for iPhone / iPad to use the font in your favourite apps like Pages, Numbers etc.

    To purchase the font please select the appropriate tier.
    If you are purchasing on behalf of a company, please select the size of your company (number of employees in total).

    (For larger companies please select multiples of 100 employees tier.)

    More about Speech Bubbles:
    How to use Speech Bubbles on your blog or website (i.e. headlines)
    Speech Bubbles are availble as a Webfont through MyFonts


    Returning tangible goods:

    Returns of tangible goods (i.e. prints or plates) must be claimed within 10 days after delivery through email, phone or fax.

    Tangible goods must be send back immediately after claiming the return within the original packaging.

    Shipping costs will not be refunded. The buyer ships the item at own risk and cost. A refund will be made after the returned item arrives undamaged.

    A restocking fee of 25% of the total purchase price applies to returns of all tangible goods.
    A reduced restocking fee of 10% of the total purchase price applies to returned offset prints.

    Returning intangible goods:
    Intangible goods (i.e. font licenses) are not returnable or refundable, for obvious reasons. If your purchase is proven defective and you notify me within 5 days of your purchase, I will either provide a replacement/update to that item or refund your money.

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