his font is the digitization and quite elaborate expansion of an uncredited early 1970s Franklin Photolettering film type called Viola Flare. It’s an obvious child of funk, the audio-visual revolution that swept America and put to rest the Art Nouveau period we now associate with the hippy era.
Funk is of course little more than jazz with a chorus and an emphatic beat. Nevertheless, it became the definition of cool in the 1970s, thanks to blaxploitation movies with excellent soundtracks like Shaft and Superfly. Funk began as a commercial audio experience, then later expanded its signature to cover everything, from design to fashion to the later birth of disco, which is really a further simplification of funk. Funk had very strong and unique typographical elements, particularly a kind of titling with an essentially western, wooden core that suddenly changed and flared in unexpected areas until a very individual brand was achieved. Everything that can be tacked on to the alphabet was used towards that individuality. Things like curls, swirls, swashes, ligatures were always plentiful in funk, sometimes giving the titling a specific gender, sometimes bulging, sometimes speeding, sometimes fading in the distance, sometimes doing nothing but crazily aligning with other design elements, but the result was always a fascinating creature that seemed to invariably want to dance and have fun.
Tomato Pro was built in exactly that spirit. The original film type certainly had enough swashes and curls to be an unmistakable funk font in itself, but our further expansion of it cements it further and makes it the definite font for the genre. There are as many as twelve different variants of some forms.
Tomato Pro includes over 650 characters, glued together with OpenType features so you can watch the letters morph and dance as you push the buttons and change the options of your OT palette.
Now you know which font will come to mind when someone says funky.
From $30 USD