David Nalle is the founder of The Scriptorium and is its lead designer of original fonts and adapter of historical source material.
Dave got his start in calligraphy when he was a child, studying old manuscripts and duplicating the lettering he liked. In college he paid expenses by lettering bizarre things, including signs for fraternity parties and even pledge paddles.
His typographic education began with an apprenticeship at Applewood Books, a specialty reprint press in Boston. There he learned to set metal and wood type and took courses in Compugraphic typesetting. After graduating from Franklin & Marshall College, Dave pursued a career in publishing, including editing small magazines like What’s Next, Liberty and Abyss, and working in game and book design. He moved to Austin in 1982 and attended graduate school at the University of Texas, studying Medieval History, including extensive work in Paleography, Codicology and Medieval literature.
In 1991 Dave started designing fonts based on his own hand lettering from old magazine titles, hand lettered signs and maps. In 1992 he released the first of these crude but unusual designs as shareware fonts through America Online.
The enormous success of his first shareware font based on a historical typeface (Kelmscott, from Morris’ Troy font) convinced him there was a market for his typographic work, and led to the creation of the Scriptorium as a commercial outlet for his type designs. Since that time he has produced scores of completely original fonts, plus a huge selection of fonts based on historic type and unique hand lettering, creating the backbone of the Scriptorium collection.
Dave now lives in Manor, Texas, with his wife Patricia, his daughter Caroline, two dogs, a cat, a goose, and four ducks. He enjoys swimming, disc golf, and tennis and teaches the occasional college history course as well.