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Hieroglyphica historical fonts

Hieroglyphica historical fonts

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AnkhEgyptian hieroglyphs have fascinated people since the days of ancient Rome, when wealthy Romans were perhaps the world's first tourists, visiting pyramids and temples that were older then than the Roman Colosseum is in the modern day. Even today, over a millennium and a half since the last scribe died, they are part of our art, our movies, our books ... and our games.

MeduWhether in pulp and adventure, fantasy, Lovecraftian horror, or even science fiction games, hieroglyphs are used all over the gaming realm. Naturally, there's a need for a suitable font to produce hieroglyphic text and inscriptions as needed for handouts and art. The existing hieroglyphic fonts, however, are either geared toward completely popular uses -- "write your name in hieroglyphs" -- or are meant for writing scholarly papers, not game adventures. There is no hieroglyphic font for gamers. Or at least there wasn't, until now.

Tcarved cartouchehe Hieroglyphica package consists of three fonts: Medu, authentic Egyptian hieroglyphs, complete with determinatives; unlike any other hieroglyphic font, the short characters can be stacked for a proper appearance (the free TextJiggler program can do that for you, too), and wrapped in a cartouche simply with italics. Glyphic, a readable font that appears at first glance to be hieroglpyhs, and is otherwise very much like Medu; and Hieroclipic, a collection of all of the more pictorial characters, such as scarabs and birds, from the other two fonts, handy for use as clipart. All of these fonts come in both Normal and Carved forms. As a general rule, Carved looks best at 60 point type or better, due to the level of detail; Normal looks good at even small sizes. (it was used for the overlay text on the obelisks in DarkCity)

There are a total of 14 files: 8 for Medu (Regular, Cartouche, Determinative, and Determinative Cartouche, all in plain and Carved), 4 for Glyphic (Regular and Cartouche, Carved Regular and Carved Cartouche), and 2 for Hieroclipic (plain and Carved). That's a lot of hieroglyphic fonts!

carved text

In addition, there is a PDF manual giving some historical information about the fonts, complete instrucions on how to use them, and character maps for all three.

Don't forget to pick up TextJiggler, Wintertree's free capitalization tweaking software. It makes setting up properly stackedhieroglyphs on papyrus hieroglyphs as easy as typing in what you want, selecting Medu or Glyphic as desired, clicking "JIggle", then copying it into your word processor and switching to that font. TextJiggler can do a lot of other things, too, which are handy, but it's invaluable for the hieroglyphic fonts. It makes setting up text like you see below trivially easy. And did I mention free?

If you want to really make it look authentic, you can print out your hieroglyphs on papyrus! Historically, hieratic would generally have been used for writing on papyrus (which probably means there needs to be a hieratic font) but hieroglyphs look awesome. The image to the right is an excerpt from a full page of hieroglyphic text printed in Medu, via an Epson Artisan 835 printer, on a sheet of genuine papyrus.

Of course, you can always just use papyrus-design paper from the craft store (or Amazon); it would certainly behave better in the average printer! But the picture to the right (and the bigger one on the Wintertree blog) show that it is indeed quite possible to run real papyrus through at least one model of inkjet printer with quite good results.

There are more details in the Discussion section below.


FONT LICENSE INFORMATION: Wintertree fonts are licensed as ordinary commerical fonts. This means you can install the font on your computer to use with programs such as word processors, design tools and similar applications, and use it for creation of print or PDF documents, images (JPEG, TIFF, PNG, etc.) and logos. In other words, you can use the Wintertree fonts to make things with and sell the things you make, but you can't sell the font itself in any way, or use it as a web font (@font-face). Credit is gratefully appreciated but not required.

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Reviews (1)
Discussions (1)
Customer avatar
Clint W February 13, 2018 9:21 am UTC
Being a collector of Fonts, i have come across several Hieroglyphic fonts. Some good, some bad, Some I wish I had never bothered with.
This Set of Fonts however, especially with the Text Giggler Program, Blows them ALL away. Unless you are planning on spending a few hundred dollars for a real English to coptic/hieroglyphics translator program. This is More than worth the price.

Take a bit of poetry, maybe an incantation or two. Use the Text Jigger program in Hieroglyphic mode and BAM! You have a nice bit of wording that you can print out onto any papyrus looking parchment.

This is great for anyone playing Call of Cthulhu, Tomb Lords, Lands of Fire or any desert campaign you might run into mummies or Egyptian style undead.

Get creative!
Customer avatar
Jean M February 13, 2018 1:18 pm UTC
Thanks for the comment! It's great to hear how much someone likes my fonts, especially Medu; that's my personal favorite.

Regarding papyrus-looking paper: I have sitting here a package of actual papyrus, purchased from, of all places, Amazon (who knew?). One piece is currently being pressed under some heavy books to make sure it's as flat as possible before I try feeding it through the inkjet printer. I'm not sure how well this will work, because that printer has issues with heavy stock, but I'll report back once I try it. If it prints reasonably well (some irregularity would just make it more authentic-looking!) that would make it possible to take authenticity to the next level.

Either that, or I'll end up taking papyrus out of my printer rollers with tweezers. :p
Customer avatar
Clint W February 14, 2018 6:46 am UTC
Best of luck to you. I tired making the stuff and had rotten luck. Its long, involved and then you need to paint it with your colors. If you can get it to work in a printer, my hat is off to you.
Customer avatar
Jean M February 14, 2018 2:49 pm UTC
I have here in my hand a page full of hieroglyphic text (the Negative Confessions, to be exact, translated to English, run through TextJiggler, and set in Medu) printed on genuine papyrus. I'll get a picture of it online somewhere -- probably on the Wintertree blog, with a small picture on the Hieroglyphica page here -- ASAP.

The darker areas seem to have some issues with the ink spreading a bit -- I'm assuming they're from slightly squishier reeds. It could certainly be improved some if the papyrus was better sealed; I'm going to look into whether something like artists' spray fixative would work. And there are some issues along one edge where it apparently scraped up some ink -- that's on my printer, and fixable with a paper cutter.

Technical details: The papyrus is a 20x30 cm piece from Crafts of Egypt, ordered from; I chose one of the more uniformly colored specimens from the ones I received to do this printing test. I kept it between a copy of the Warhammer 40k rules (I'm...See more
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File Last Updated:
April 30, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on November 28, 2017.