A Plate of Words

Paperclip-in Progress

Bamboo-1For Art 174 – Typography we had to design our own font in Adobe Illustrator. My original choice was a decorative Bamboo font. I designed a few letters by hand that were graceful and elegant, but the rules specified that we had to use a modular system. We had to design bits and pieces that could be combined ad nauseum to build the glyphs out of. In my opinion, the Bamboo needed to be hand drawn to be done properly, so I ditched it and went with my second choice, the lowly Paperclip.

As you can see from the above shot, this exercise was no walk in the park.
I am not even sharing with you the early versions that evolved into what you see here.
Shown below is the bold version (we did not have to do an italic or oblique).


I learned a lot about how Fonts are constructed. One day I would like to do a Font based on the lettering of Shel Dorf. He was a master, and was kind enough to letter several comics for my brother and I (free of charge). It would be great to be able to design a font based on his work and use it in future. Of course he would be given credit as letterer, that way his legacy could continue forever.

In order for it to look natural, there must be at least 5-10 slight variations of each letter. An algorithm could be written to arbitrarily select a letter variation each time the key is pressed. Development of such a system could also benefit ALL script fonts in existence. Scripts are frowned upon because they are too stiff and repetitive to be believable. Randomly generating variations could restore their handwritten credibility as well.


One thought on “A Plate of Words

  1. Pingback: Welcome To The Machine | About Sound and Vision

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