"I want to surf the web and see my fonts used out there. That’s the real fun in making them. Seeing a font show-up in a cool Winamp skin, that’s a kick for me."

-Dan Zadorozny

Fast Facts:

  • Site: Iconian Fonts

  • Name: Dan Zadorozny

  • Email: iconian@aol.com

  • D.O.B: Okay, so I was around in the late 60’s, but just barely

  • City/State/Country: Dallas, Texas

  • Pets: 2 cats (Lancelot and Jackson)

  • Favorite Pro Sports Teams: Philadelphia Eagles (GO EAGLES!)

  • Favorite NFL Expansion Team Concept: The Honolulu Leas

  • Favorite Music: Classic Rock

  • Favorite Movies: Empire Strikes Back, Mystery Men, A Few Good Men

  • Favorite Book: Machiavelli’s "The Prince"

  • Favorite TV Shows: All My Children (go ahead, giggle)

  • My real Job: Corporate Attorney

  • Favorite Beverage: Sprite

  • Favorite State of Mind: Testy

  • Favorite Form of Government: Imperial

  • Best new Political Party concept: The Disney Party – Mickey Mouse for President

  • Favorite Quote: "Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes." - Walt Whitman

  • Heroes/People I Would Want My Kids to Look Up To: George Washington, Martin Luther King, and hopefully me

  • Favorite Pasttime: Make fonts – now there’s a surprise!

  • Brief Bio: A native Philadelphian, after law school I moved to Dallas to work with an IT corporation. Growing up I loved comic books and made my own super-heroes, which is partially why all my fonts are futuristic looking with super-hero-like names. I’m married to the bestest bride in the world who has been very understanding with my font-making past-time.

The Person

What does a typical Dan Zadorozny day consist of? Wake up, negotiate contracts, get into too many fights at the office, then come home to the most wonderful lady in the world and try to either work on the site/fonts or else read a little.

Do you agree or disagree that your entire life, up to this point, has led to this moment? Indubitably ("You keep using that word… I don’t think it means what you think it means.")

Why do you make fonts? To relax and unwind from a hard day’s work – it’s basically escapism. And it’s the only artistic release I’ve allowed myself the last few years.

What has been the highlight of your life up to this point (and don’t say your wife and/or children, everyone says that)? My wife was already taken? Damn. Okay then, graduating from law school.

What should be the title of your biography? Lord God King Emperor Extroidinaire (sounds better than "Some Guy Who Made Some Fonts")

Do you have any guilty pleasures? I didn’t do it, you didn’t see me do it, you can’t prove a thing. Otherwise, beer and beef jerky.

What makes you laugh? Other than the San Diego Chargers (just kidding Jordan), little kids when they think you can’t see them. That and a good Ben Stiller movie.

What was the last good joke you heard? One day the Lord decided he would visit the earth and take a stroll. Walking down the road, the Lord encountered a man who was crying. The Lord asked the man, "Why are you crying, my son?" The man said that he was blind and had never seen a sunset. The Lord touched the man and he could see and he was happy.

As the Lord walked further, he met another man crying and asked, "Why are you crying, my son?" The man was born a cripple and was never able to walk. The Lord touched him and he could walk and he was happy.

Farther down the road, the Lord met another man who was crying and asked, "Why are you crying, my son?" The man said, "Lord, I am a Philadelphia Eagles fan", and the Lord sat down and cried with him.

What philosophy do you try to adhere to? Fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, and scratch where it itches. And never play cards with anyone named after a city

Do you wear boxers or briefs? I know I answered this last time, but since then I have realized how unbelievably personal the question is – besides, I switched from briefs to boxers.

Iconian Fonts

Why did you create Iconian Fonts? Where did the name originate? The name came from my AOL screen-name. "Iconian" is not based on the Star Trek race (I’m a Star Wars freak), but was chosen because my passion at the time was icons. I created Iconian Font because I was fascinated with fonts and wanted to make my own. And then I wanted to make them available to others.

Iconian Fonts first went online...(when). How has it evolved? Iconian Fonts first went online January 18, 1999 – it’s 2 years old. It started with an initial font count of less than a dozen which has grown to over 190 fonts. My first site was a Xoom account, which was great since it was free and all, but had a lot of restrictions and such. Also, the site used very intense graphics that I loved but caused the site to take forever to download for some people. Thanks to Derek at Shyfonts, I now have a Shyfonts subdomain, my Iconian Fonts Lite Site. It gave me a chance to make a better laid out site with smaller graphics and without the restrictions of most free hosting services. I still maintain the original Xoom site as well since some people do like the snazzy preview graphics. Derek also made all of the Mac versions at my site, allowing me to stop being a "PC-only designer."

What do you want to accomplish with Iconian Fonts? I want fontaholics to have a source of new fonts and to see any given font and say, "hey, that’s pretty good." I want to surf the web and see my fonts used out there. That’s the real fun in making them. Seeing a font show-up in a cool Winamp skin, that’s a kick for me.

What are your future plans for Iconian Fonts? To keep growing. I want to reach that 200 font mark, and after that just keep on going. Choo-choo baby, choo-choo. I also want to go back and update some of my older fonts with better quality and different versions.

What has been some of the feedback you’ve been receiving from your site and/or fonts? Mostly positive. A lot of people take the time to send me an e-mail letting me know what they think or what they’ve done with the fonts, and I want to thank all of them for that – the e-mails make all the difference, and make my efforts worthwhile.

The Fonts

How would you describe your fontwork? While mostly techno/futuristic in style, I have recently delved into other styles, such as dingbats, comic book fonts, handwriting fonts and even historical looking fonts. For the most part, the fonts are basically geometrical – I create a "base glyph" with a certain look and feel and from that extrapolate most of the other characters.

Who would you credit as being your primary inspiration in fonts and design? Ray Larabie was a huge inspiration. Others would include Richard Gast of Grey Wolf Design and Ben Balvanz of Font-a-Licious. And a number of my "chronological peers" continue to inspire me on a daily basis, such as No Images Fonts, Pizzadude and Shyfonts.

Whats going on in the background as you create a font? Usually some music and a meowing cat trying to get my attention.

Where do the ideas for your fonts come from? Just about anywhere – a shape, an angle, a picture, a poster – you name it. Just about anything visual can lead to font ideas.

What letter presents the most difficulties? X, and sometimes M and W can be a little tricky. And the punctuation, like @, % and & - ugh! I tend to skip those (

Which font of your own making do you consider your favorite? Least favorite? Believe it or not, my personal favorite hasn’t changed – I still like Sea-Dog the best, followed by Dodger and Universal Jack. My least favorite? Bunches of them – Keystone, Beta Block, Rad Zad to name a few.

Which of your fonts has received the most accolades? Which has been the least popular? The most popular fonts have been Battlefield, Alien League, Comic Book Commando and Concielian. Least favorite is always tough because people say nothing about fonts they don’t like – I’ll say Beta Block and Keystone again.

What other font sites would you recommend to someone who's just entering the cyber world? True Type Resource, 1001 FreeFonts and Acid Fonts. For the techno lovers out there, try Techno Fonts for a great archive and dustBUST Fonts for original techno fonts.


Tell me about your screensavers. The screensavers are one of several ways I’ve tried to expand the site beyond just fonts. I’ve added to the site for download some original icons, textures, wallpapers and screensavers. The screensavers are especially fun to make because the possible ideas are almost endless. I got the inspiration to make my own screensavers from visiting Ben Balvanz’s Font-a-Licious site where he has made some of his own screensaver work available. I thought that was pretty cool and wanted to make some of my own. I hope to make more, and maybe also to add some original animated .gifs to the site. But don’t worry, I won’t lose sight of what the site is about – fonts will always be the main focus of the site.

What three websites do you consider must-visits? (any subject)

  1. True Type Resource (the font hub of the Internet)

  2. spinwave.com – here is a great image cruncher I use all the time for cutting down the file size of .gifs by half while keeping the same visual quality

  3. FlamingText.com – perfect online tools for logos and such for the graphically-challenged like myself

What really bugs you? Do you have a pet peeve? Bad drivers – Lord give me the strength to suffer them.

If you could be anyone, anywhere, on any day, who/where/when would it be: Me, in Dallas, on my wedding day.

Your Turn: Ask the question you longed to have asked. Just remember, you have to answer that question.

Q - If you could choose to be anything else other than an attorney, what would it be?

A – A millionaire playboy

Optional Commentary:

I got ripped off! As kids, my brother collected baseball cards and I chose to collect comic books. I remember him trading in a few cards and buying stereos. Me? I was told my whole collection may be worth a few hundred bucks. What happened? How come I chose to collect things that wouldn’t get super valuable and he did? WHY DIDN’T SOMEONE TELL ME?!?!?


Interview conducted January 9th, 2001 by Jami of True Type Resource. Interview copyright 1999 - 2001 True Type Resource. All rights reserved. Do not duplicate without written permission. Questions? Email me.