Festive Font Friday (Weekend Solstice Edition)

Not to be confused with my post Festive Fonts (For You) Friday.

Sunday, December 22 at 04:19 Universal Time is this year’s winter or summer solstice! (Former: Northern Hemisphere; latter: Southern Hemisphere.) UT is 8 hours ahead of Pacific Time, so for here in San Francisco the solstice is Saturday, December 21 at 8:19 pm.

Next: science! Wait, don’t run away, this is cool. Due to the tilt of Earth’s axis while we orbit our beloved Sun, we have seasons: periods of greater or lesser daylight and warmth. Combined with other atmospheric phenomena, we have rain, snow, dryness, wind. All the stuff! Yay tilt!

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (“sun”) and sistere (“to stand still”), because at the solstices, the Sun’s declination appears to “stand still”; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s daily path (as seen from Earth) stops at a northern or southern limit before reversing direction.

Below are an orbit diagram and a solstice closeup, for the more visually oriented of us. Scroll to the very bottom for a chart with exact times.

And because I am me, I’ve curated for you three very different typefaces called “Solstice”—or in one case, “Solstice of Suffering.” If anyone can explain that name to me, please feel free. Peak suffering, after which the suffering wanes, only to be reborn again in six months? It all seems a bit dubious. In any case, scroll partway down for those.


Diagram of the Earth’s seasons as seen from the north. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice


Illumination of Earth by Sun on 21 December.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice

solargraph taken from the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment at the Llano de Chajnantor Observatory in the southern hemisphere. This is a long-exposure photograph, with the image exposed for six months in a direction facing east of north, from mid-December 2009 until the southern winter solstice in June 2010.[6] The Sun’s path each day can be seen from right to left in this image across the sky; the path of the following day runs slightly lower, until the day of the winter solstice, whose path is the lowest one in the image. By ESO/R. Fosbury/T. Trygg/D. Rabanus – http://www.eso.org/public/images/potw1039a/, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11610432

So yeah, fonts! Here are three “Solstice” type designs.

https://fontmeme.com/fonts/winter-solstice-font/

Free.

Jagged and heavy, this typeface recalls the dreary days waiting for the light to return. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. This will never end. Oh God I loathe life.


https://www.fontspring.com/fonts/atlantic-fonts/solstice

Single styles from $26.

This bouncy, light typeface is almost certainly a reference to the summer solstice, especially as the font designer has placed the type on a light blue background.


https://www.dafont.com/solstice.font

Free.

Winter solstice, obviously: deformed, hand drawn letterforms, dripping with blood or tar. The designer’s name is Leon Muerte. “Muerte” means “death” in Spanish and is probably not his birth name.


Here are times for solstices (peak light/dark) and equinoxes (days with equal daylight and dark, in spring and fall).

UT date and time of
equinoxes and solstices on Earth[1][2]
event equinox solstice equinox solstice
month March June September December
year
day time day time day time day time
2014 20 16:57 21 10:51 23 02:29 21 23:03
2015 20 22:45 21 16:38 23 08:21 22 04:48
2016 20 04:30 20 22:34 22 14:21 21 10:44
2017 20 10:28 21 04:24 22 20:02 21 16:28
2018 20 16:15 21 10:07 23 01:54 21 22:23
2019 20 21:58 21 15:54 23 07:50 22 04:19
2020 20 03:50 20 21:44 22 13:31 21 10:02
2021 20 09:37 21 03:32 22 19:21 21 15:59
2022 20 15:33 21 09:14 23 01:04 21 21:48
2023 20 21:24 21 14:58 23 06:50 22 03:27
2024 20 03:07 20 20:51 22 12:44 21 09:20

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solstice