Buffet Script is based on fantastic calligraphy by Alf Becker, arguably the greatest American sign lettering artist of all time.
The Alf Becker series of nameless alphabets published by Sign of the Times magazine in 1941 has attracted letter digitizers for a few years now, so it’s really a wonder that a few of those alphabets are still in the non-digital realm. It is understandable, though, that the basis for Buffet Script was not digitally attempted until now. The page presenting this alphabet shows a jungle of letters running into each others and swashes intertwining. The massive amount of work involved in digitizing such lettering, where scanning is nowhere near being an option, is quite obvious at a mere glance. If anyone was going to commit this particular alphabet to a digital form, it would have to be redrawn stroke by stroke and curve by curve on the computer.
And don’t we love a challenge! But seriously, the challenge was not the main attraction. In a way, the Becker approach to lettering is so far from digital that the imagination is almost forced to work out possibilities and letter combinations to solve problems presented by the scant showings in that magazine. After a few imaginative visualizations, the digital potential becomes clear in the mind, and the eye and hand follow. The result with Whomp (another Alf Becker-inspired work) was an enormous font with a lot of alternates and ligatures. With Buffet Script the imaginative process was no different, but the result particularly shines here, because this is some of the most fascinating flowing calligraphy ever seen. Calligraphy is where the accountability of all the little extra touches, such as alternates and swashes and ligatures, is raised to a higher level than in most other type categories.
Buffet Script’s OpenType programming contains discretionary ligatures, stylistic and contextual alternates, interacting with each other to allow the composition of just the right word or sentence. This font is best used where lush elegance is one of the design’s requirements.