Bizzle-Chizzle? Fo' rizzle my nizzles!

TBiddy's picture

Hello all. This is a typeface I've been working on as of late called Bizzle-Chizzle. Since this is handdrawn, inconsistencies are part of the fun. I just need to know what can be considered charming, and what simply does not work. Let me know what you think! Click here to view

dezcom's picture

Terry,

I think there is a market in the Graphic Novel arena for this kind of work. I think you should persue it.

Keep the hand-drawn charm going!

ChrisL

Eric_West's picture

Mmmmm tasty... no seriously. it's cake!

dan_reynolds's picture

I does look like cake. But that might be because it is pink. Maybe Sophia Coppola should have used this for Marie Antoinette…

I like the typeface a lot. I don't think that I would change much. It is so personal that I don't know how my viewpoint could possible improve it. I wouldn't say this too often.

TBiddy's picture

Thanks all! Dan, I appreciate that. Personal? Not too personal, the only thing personal about it is that I drew it. But, drawing like design can always be improved upon. If you have any suggestions...I'm certainly open to them. :)

William Berkson's picture

Terry, three things I notice:

1. The shadow in the top terminals of the CcGSs seems to be a different angle than the e etc. Might it work better if it were more consistent?

2. The staight lines eg in the right of the a, the left of the B D are straight whereas the circular lines and other of the verticals have a more hand-drawn feel. These seem like they need more of the hand drawn feel, as they are a little stiff compared to the rest, which has the friendly, hand drawn feel.

3. I wonder about the 'upside down' H, since your E and F follow the traditional model.

Overall, my feeling is that if you liberate this a bit more from the rigidity of a usual sans and make it a bit more playful, it will more fully realize the design.

As a model in this 'formal informal', you might want to look atTempus Sans and other Phil Grimshaw fonts, if you haven't already.

Ratbaggy's picture

Nice one Biddy. I've got a special fondness of hand rendered fonts they have such charm (when done well). can't wait to see wher eyou might take it.

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design, Melbourne
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Little Mischief

Reed Reibstein's picture

I'm not sure if you want to preserve this, but to me, the e, m, t, and u seem to leaning forward as if they're about to tip, and the D, L, M, and S seem to be tilting backward. Especially with the e, I find it distracting from the rhythm of the type. And the ñ's tilde seems a bit high to me. Even with those (quite minor) things, though, it looks really great! I like the "schoolboy-grafitti" feeling I get from it. And I just noticed the daggers, which really pop out from the page.

sim's picture

Just one thing to my point of view. I reduce the a or I increase the e a bit. Nice work btw.

dezcom's picture

Maybe it is just me but I think all of the inconsistancies in this kind of face add to the funk and make it work better. If it were too clean, it would loose that in-your-face fun and charm. I wouldn't change it just like I would never tell Roz Chaste to change her funky cartoon lettering.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

>all of the inconsistancies in this kind of face add to the funk and make it work better.

Chris, I agree that this kind of face needs a lot more freedom and variety in its letter forms. But the question is: which inconsistencies work? I think it is as hard or perhaps much harder to get this free hand-drawn look to work really well. And I think Terry has gone far toward the final result, but my feeling is that he isn't quite there yet.

I don't know how the heck Phil Grimshaw did it, but in the case of Tempus Sans, even with all the lively and varied angles of strokes, splashing over baselines and x heights etc., it manages to have beautiful balance and color anyway. To me that is a worthy goal...

TBiddy's picture

Thanks all for the comments. Good points about the e, m, t. The "e" is a bit narrow, and some letterforms do seem to lean. All this can cleaned up by a little tweaky-tweak here, and a tweaky-tweak there.

My "m" should I widen it a bit?

Bill, nice observation with the "c" I didn't notice that 'til you pointed it out. I think I need to redraw it.

William Berkson's picture

“m” should I widen it a bit?

I think the second arch could be widened a bit, but the clear difference from the first arch I think helps with the hand-drawn feel.

As I said my feeling is that it would help to be a bit freer in the sides of the straight letter forms. I like the treatment of the top of your h, for example, and would like to see more of that kind of taper and dynamism in the lines of your stems.

But I feel it would be good to be boringly consistent in your shadow--so the diagonal lines connecting the corners of the face to the corners of the shadows would all have the same angle. The hash marks on the side of the shadow could still keep your hand-drawn freedom and variety as they do now, so you would kind of get the best of both worlds...

Eric_West's picture

Caaaaaaaaake.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Fun! Love it! Beware of too much thinking, I think (ehe) that will kill this.

TBiddy's picture

Thanks Tiff! Alas, that's the hard part...balancing between fun and just plain wrong. At what point do you know when you're over thinking?

Ratbaggy's picture

the moment you wonder whether you're over-thinking something!
;)

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Paul Ducco
Graphic Design, Melbourne
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Little Mischief

William Berkson's picture

>At what point do you know when you’re over thinking?

There's productive thinking and unproductive thinking. Here's my effort to sort it out:

1. Trying to figure what can be changed to make it better when you feel something is not right is generally productive, I think.

2. Imaginatively trying to think up new ways to resolve the problems you see is generally productive.

3. Second guessing yourself is, alas, part of type design! When Matthew Carter critiqued the typeface I'm working on, he said: 'If you're like some of us, you change a point one or two units, and then change your mind the next day and put it back. That's what will make the difference as to whether you really achieve a fine typeface.'

4. After a while it gets ridiculous. Then you are overdoing it. I remember James Montalbano wrote one time on Typophile: 'Warning: being a perfectionist and a type designer will cause your head to explode.'

Stop well before that!

So basically I think it is a matter of having a standard for that particular project, a standard short of perfection. That's what will tell you to say: this is finished, publish it, and move on to the next project.

NigellaL's picture

This is tops! I think the spacing is too loose but I grew up in the 70s. How does it look in other colours? The 'a' looks like Gotham, which is one of my favourites. Nice choice to base it on that one!

TBiddy's picture

The ‘a’ looks like Gotham, which is one of my favourites. Nice choice to base it on that one!

Thanks, but its actually not really based on anything. When I sit down to draw, I don't like to look at any reference material. I rely only on my own memory. When I was drawing it I was thinking "geometric grotesque", old school, with a new school twist. If it looks like anything, its probably because it is back there in my memory bank. I look at a lot of type, so its possible Gotham snuck in there. :)

Miss Tiffany's picture

William -- all good points.

Terry -- if this is a fun, loose-style, hand-lettered font (it is, just humor me), then perfection shouldn't be the goal. Maintaining the quirkiness should be. I look at the letters and see a few things I might change, but then wonder if those changes would regularize it too much. For instance:

- the crotch of the "a" seems too high
- the shadow of the 'g' seems too heavy, same with the 'k'
- the shadow on you the 'đ' seems backwards on the top curve.
- the shadow on the 'AE', 'D', 'Q', 'O' slash, 'o' slash all seem a bit heavy too
- the bowl on the 'b' is squashed

But you know what, I think the style allows for imperfections, heck, it even needs them.

dezcom's picture

I think Tiff is right. What this font needs is MORE irregularities-- Perhaps using opentype substitutions to get contextual alternates working? I like that the 3d effects are different and that the stems are varied. The greatest danger I see in this font is making it to much like a normal font and not just in-your-face fun.

ChrisL

TBiddy's picture

Contextual alternates...hmmm. That could be fun.

ebensorkin's picture

Yes my son, contextual altrenates is what you need.... (Sesame St. Count style laugh) heh heh heh heeeh!

Actually I think it would help you add an even greater spontinaity to the face. Which would make it EVEN COOLER. :-) Feel free to contact me if you want to chat about it. I have been thinking about it a lot.

My only comment is watch out for shadows that close glyphs. The 'e' is what I am thinking of. It;s the shape of the terminal. And in the overthinking category. The e is rotated right where most characters are rotated left a bit. This makes for a nice rhythm but I would dink with it to see what I thought if it was me. If you are using contextual altrenates one thing you could do is make sure the tilts change contextually so maybe one letter tilts this way the next will be this way & so on.

Congradulations!

Some crazy ideas: What if you did a companion that looked cartoonishly chiseled out of rock?

Perhaps this will be a Fontesque for the Aughties? It's usually in the 6th year of decade that defining culture for that decade emerges...

-e.

duncan's picture

Very nice!

Contextual alternates is a great idea for a face like this. Especially with the hand lettering style alternates could provide allow more of the indispensable irregulatities that make the style appreciable and appealing.

Take 'em or leave 'em, but these are some things I noticed.

- e, m, t and w seem to tip forward
- the / and \ seem to tilt at different angles
- amongst the capitals, the R seems to bow down making it feel inferior to the letters around it to me.

Duncan

cabbage's picture

I think the complete face looks fantastic and, like the above comments, I'm sure there's room to improve parts of it, though I would lean towards understated changes as I think you've captured something great as-is.

Aside from that, the comment I wanted to make was about the Solo version. I was flipping through the .pdf at a relatively small size on the desktop and while all the Complete samples read well at smaller sizes, when I flipped to the Solo page it looked distinctly darker and more muddy. I'm not imagining that you would be setting pages of 10pt text in this - but while Solo looks great at larger titling sizes (where you can really see the detail), the thin lines of the shadow seem to close up pretty fast as it goes down in size. I'm sure it's the light/dark contrast of the Compete cut that helps it read so well - and without that contrast the Solo letter and shadow seem to blur together. Increasing the thickness of the white lines would seem to be away around that - but certainly not a quick or easy way around it.

TBiddy's picture

Some crazy ideas: What if you did a companion that looked cartoonishly chiseled out of rock?

Eben, what do you mean exactly? Could you go into a little more detail?

Thanks all for the comments. I am making a note of all these suggestions and readying them next time I sit down in front of FontLab.

Donnal, thanks for the Solo comment. I will certainly keep an eye on this and try to make a clearer break between the letter and shadow.

Has anyone made a layered typeface before? My next big concern is going to be on spacing all of the layers properly. Any tips or tricks?

William Berkson's picture

I don't know how to do a layered typeface, but two examples you might look at, if you haven't already, are

from Hoefler & Frere-Jones:

http://www.typography.com/catalog/knox/index.html

And from Letterror:

http://letterror.com/catalog/fed/index.html

I don't know about getting into contextual alternates at this point, as you've got a full plate already. I fear you will be making too much trouble for yourself and delay completion to your detriment. You could always add these at a later date if there is a demand.

If you want to vary the angle of the shadow: one way you could do it and get a rhythm in words is to do the vowels and consonants at different angles. Personally I am doubtful about this idea of different perspectives, but of course I don't know what will work.

ebensorkin's picture

Eben, what do you mean exactly? Could you go into a little more detail?

I mean that the typeface you have here here is a little like a very fun version of the 20th century fox letters ( extrududed stone ) - which is mocked by Monty Python here:

http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/6305388458.01._AA240_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

I meant that it would be cool to make a face where the style was cartoony like this one but applied to a face chiseled into the surface of a stone like so:

http://static.flickr.com/90/274160613_3e1db5af00.jpg?v=0

It's just a hybrid I have never seen before & working with the niche theory of type design...

About the contextual thing. I agree with William that you are better off getting the thing out ASAP as long as you feel good about it's being solid etc. But I also think that an enhanced version ( costing a bit more perhaps? ) With the altrenates would be WICKED. Or you could send it on for free later when it's done as an additional inducement to Buy NOW!

Cheers!

dezcom's picture

Eben, do you mean kind of a Flintstones titles lettering as cut from stone? That might be fun. Terry could do a whole series based on different materials from old wooden boards to brick, to junkyard scrap metal.

ChrisL

Eric_West's picture

And it's alternates could have palimpsest.

ebensorkin's picture

Ho ho ho. Yes, I guess there was stuff like that in the Flitstones... Anybody got a screen capture? Watch out Terry you could be making fonts out of plumbing bits next... not sure how much of a market there is for that...

palimpsest

Zing-o! You have been on Flicker no?

TBiddy's picture

Watch out Terry you could be making fonts out of plumbing bits next… not sure how much of a market there is for that…

LOL! These are some interesting ideas though, Chris and Eben! I am also working on a serif face similar to this (more metallic than chiseled) which will have a lot of fun classic ligatures. (I'm still debating on matching italics.) That's after I finish Bizzle though. I still gotta lotta work to do! :)

palimpsest

Whassat?

ebensorkin's picture

It's a Word Hrant used recently - that's the context that I am guessing is behind Eric's comment. I think he meant it as a joke. Maybe not though. Eric? Did you mean it? How would it work? Why?

The word means visual echo or trace of what was there before. See also:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palimpsest

Eric_West's picture

Um, I missed any recent usage...I was serious...kinda...just like the big letters were carved out of something that already had inscription or writing on it. Like some inconsiderate stone carver hacked up trajan's column or somtin. Would work well as headline font, larger sizes so you could see the detail.

Since his system already layers, it would just be another option.

Why not?

TBiddy's picture

Eric, I appreciate the suggestion. But that might make it a tad more busy than it already is. :)

crossgrove's picture

Terry:

When we made the final files for the Chromatic Woodtypes, we saved duplicates of the final, spaced decorative faces, then carefully deleted the fancy outlines from the new file, keeping only the fill outlines. That way, each font file had exactly identical character widths and kerning tables. I know your font has more layers, but maybe you could keep all your various layers in just 2 layers of a regular VFB, save as 4 different VFBs, then delete irrelevant outlines, switch Mask and Outline layers, etc. You would definitely have to have all the spacing etc. done before splitting it up. I don't know how else to ensure perfect alignment (which, you must admit, could be an interesting thing to toss out in a design like this).

ebensorkin's picture

Carl, Thanks for the process hints!

TBiddy's picture

Carl, Thanks for the process hints!

Indeed. Carl, I'll probably be picking your brain about this soon! ;)

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