About this font family
The history of Able’s connection with the Harry Potter phenomenon is really up in the air. It’s a catch-22 in this business - you either promote your own work and negotiate expensive exclusive licenses, or you work with a promoter and sell your designs to anyone and everyone.
It could have been an in-house designer at Rowling’s publisher, Scholastic, or a freelancer who proposed Able for the headings and such. The responsible party licensed it from T26, and JK Rowling’s storytelling made it a star. (I suppose it’s ironic that there’s a whole lot of unwritten history in the typography business.) More…
Able’s rise to fame really is a classic love story between reading and type design. If the books weren’t so popular, Able might still be waiting for some Mexican fast food chain to pick it up for packaging design. The movie deal certainly made the font all the more recognizable, what with its merchandising campaign.
Popularity can also cripple a great decorative face. It’s always being recognized as “The Harry Potter Font.” It might just have to wait a few decades for the Potter phenomenon to subside to be freed from the “Chamber of Pigeonholed Fonts.” In the meantime, I’m sure that a lot of fledgling graphic design apprentices are reading their new Potter books, being charmed by the idea of type design when they’re not turning the pages too fast to notice.