Bug Blatter mega grotesk

James Arboghast's picture

It's grotesk!

Five hours isn't enough time to measure anything or work out the spacing properly. I worked by eye, nothing was measured. Helvetica is pretty easy to draw. Ellipses and sticks. Make the inside ellipse very small, then once you've made a simple l and v it's over. You'll be blatting bugs before breakfast.

Bug Blatter only looks good with tight spacing to match the interior spaces. I like how c and C come out. z is knackered. There's a lot of cheating going on with stroke width and counter position.

Ray Larabie's type design axiom: "If you work on a font long enough it will turn into Helvetica"

I'm sure somebody has already done this, going by this magazine cover:

I didn't fake that. Honestly, It's real. Can anyone identify the font used?

I'm too busy with other stuff to draw any more of Bug Blatter. :^) that's good in a way.

No plans to market it or proposition Linotype/Monotype about adding it to Helvetica, but what do people think?

* Would you use it, and what for?
* I figure it would be okay for paperback covers, t-shirts, signage, logos and some kinds of magazine design. It would make good laser-cut perspex letters, 2 inches thick, say.

This looks much better with negative tracking:

All comments welcome!

j a m e s

Quincunx's picture

I find the 't' a bit too Arial-y. Helvetica's is straight on the top. ;)

Ray Larabie's picture

Making a superheavy Helvetica is like painting a fat Jesus.

A: You're altering a revered icon
B: It's so darned cute
C: ???
D: Profit!

Just like the painting mentioned in the first line, you should yank the Beziers to make it a bit more superelliptical. This will fill in the negative space in the "corners" of the round letters. It's that mega-ultra-friggin-bold paradox we discussed back in the days when I Kayoed* something. All that bold-meat has to come from somewhere. The other thing you can do is start cranking the x-height more. So, if you scale the lowercase up a smidge and reduce the weight on the stems or whatever-the-hell-else you feel like reducing, you'll have a pleasingly plump version of a famously dull Swiss font.

*kayo is an extreme-mega-ultra-black where the priorities are weight gain and maintaining the silhouette of the svelties.

Ray Larabie's picture

. . . oh and those overshoots. Tell you what. Here's what we're gonna do. Scale up that lowercase about 5%. Arrow key bap 'em around so the x-height is high and the overshoots are nice. Then just make sure the lowercase stems are about 8% narrower that the caps or they'll look eighties/Meta-ish.

Ray Larabie's picture

Now that I've given it long and careful thought, I think you should include dingbats of famous Swiss things:

  • The Matterhorn
  • A hornussen ball (like a baseball but Swisser)
  • Some Christian knick-knacks like salt & pepper shakers
  • Cheese (do not forget to add circles to represent holes)
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • A Swatch
  • The Mediation Act
  • More cheese
Mark Simonson's picture

The typeface on the old Life cover is Folio Extra Bold.

James Arboghast's picture

Ah, thanks for ID'ing that Mark.

Ray,
It's like painting a fat Jesus alright. (much laughter) It's a work of everweight orthodoxy. Possibly this is a sub-conscious attempt to depict the gluttony and sloth, the moral corruption of the higher-ups within the church.

Cheese sounds great. I was thinking of putting an inline in there but that's a lot more work. But the cheese theme could be done with minimal pain by adding circles inside the letter bodies and half circles on the edges so it looks half-munched.

Aslo try: luring fat hunks of cheese into an enormous wicker basket and torching it.

The overshoots are all over the place. It could take on more more x-height for sure.

More superelliptical, mmmm...

Jelmar,
the detailth maketh Helvetica apart from Arial. Hellvetica hath no fury.

Thanks everyone. I'll try to work on this s'more later in the week, weather permitting.

j a m e s

genericboy's picture

Making a superheavy Helvetica is like painting a fat Jesus.

A: You’re altering a revered icon
B: It’s so darned cute
C: ???
D: Profit!

This might just be the funniest thing I have ever seen on the internet.

Loving the face, although I can't really see where I'd use it. Apart from more fake 60s magazine covers! I don't reckon there's a career in that though...

James Arboghast's picture

Cheers Andi, glad you like it. A revered icon indeed. Ray has a fascination with what he calls "the magical lord Jesus".

Sorry folks, I just can't continue with this one. Only did it for a larf.

I like a larf ;^)

j a m e s

ebensorkin's picture

Even though you are not going to keep going - I would add the opening in the lc o needs be moved up slightly.

James Arboghast's picture

Okay Eben. I will open up the file and adjust everything that needs revising, purely for the sake of perfection, and post the revision---when I can get to it.

Thanks, I'm glad you care about these small details.

j a m e s

dezcom's picture

:-)

Thanks, James!

ChrisL

James Arboghast's picture

Oh Chris, I never knew you cared ;^)

Is this thing amusing for you at all?

j a m e s

dezcom's picture

Of course it is amusing! I was just following your train of thought :-)

ChrisL

ebensorkin's picture

Heh heh. Open it & you will not be able to stop. Then there are so many more things to correct.... Ahahahaha!

James Arboghast's picture

Cheers Chris :^)

It's pretty full stove guys.

j a m e s

piccic's picture

Ray Larabie’s type design axiom: “If you work on a font long enough it will turn into Helvetica”

Well, maybe it's not good to spend too much time in certain things, but surely this "axiom" does not make sense. You need to spend exactly the time required, nothing more, nothing less, no?

ebensorkin's picture

That is an exceptionally silly axiom if you ask me.

James Arboghast's picture

It's not meant to make sense. It's a joke about the generic nature of Helvetica's design and ithe font's sheer ubiquity.

You need to spend exactly the time required, nothing more, nothing less, no?

If you don't understand what Ray means now, maybe you will one day.

I just finished making an Arial clone and matching bold for a large U.K. videogames company, and I only after I had worked on it long enuff did it really look like Arial, I can tell you. Helvetica can be made with little thought or effort in about sixteen hours.

Eben --- typeface design does not make sense. If you think that it does then quite possibly you are taking type design too seriously. Type design as handed down to us by the 16th century Venetians is only meant to make sense, but the rules and conventions are rather illogical and convoluted.

j a m e s

ebensorkin's picture

What I meant by "silly" is that it sounded like an axiom meant to venerate Helvetica in a worshipful and simplistic manner.I am not sure I follow your thought but I would like to. Care to expand on them?

James Arboghast's picture

Sorry for the delay Eben, I'm very busy with work but I will expand for you later this evening Melbourne time.

In essense I mean things like the dual alphabet/dual case conundrum, and Bembo being a corpse. That kind of thing is non-sensical to me.

More later.

j a m e s

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