Burbank

I’ve had a lifelong fascination with hand drawn character animation. In the last few decades, that medium has been through some rough times. Declining box office revenues, a drive for “automation” and an obsession with the bottom-line have slowly eroded much of the craftsmanship I love. (There are exceptions of course! Your studio does great work!) Being obsessed with typography and lettering, I was dismayed to see that boring, off-the-shelf typefaces have become the norm for title sequences, logos and marketing materials. It breaks my heart to see movies that took four-years of painstaking artistry summarized with the same typefaces that are used to detail mutual fund dividends. So, I decided to make a typeface family that would work better.

Burbank is a typographic homage to the spirit of classic character animation with a nod to mid-twentieth century cereal packaging tossed in for good measure. Burbank was drawn the old fashioned way, with pencil on paper. Only when the forms had the right level of spontaneity were they digitized. This method took a long time, but it ensured that the end result would feel alive.

Early pencil sketches of Burbank.

Burbank was initially developed for use in display sizes, but I determined that a matching family optimized for use at small sizes was needed as well. So, I developed two distinct styles: Burbank Big for use in large sizes and Burbank Small for use in running text.

Burbank took nearly a decade of thinking and drawing. The result is a large family of typefaces for use in sizes large and small. Burbank was initiated as a complement to character animation, but it certainly isn’t limited to that particular usage. Burbank works admirably for every task from automobile insurance advertisements to theater posters to mutual fund dividend reports.

You can order Burbank from House Industries.

Burbank Specimens