Faux Type Fabulous

hrant's picture

I got a mailer with an amazing application of faux type.
Here's a detail (there's a ton more on the mailer):

It's not a font, it's all hand done - but to me it's
still so much more satisfying than calligraphy.
BTW, that "s" makes me think it was done from
memory, and not copied from a font.

It's from a company called Exclusive Resorts, and
their website has the same style going* although it
doesn't work nearly as well as on the mailer.

* http://exclusiveresorts.com


Stephen Coles's picture

Yay hand rendered letters!

russellm's picture

yeah, I like it.


typerror's picture

And a practiced calligrapher could have made it look much better... or is it that you like dumbed down forms?

edit: pardon me, unsophisticated taste may be more "pc"


Stephen Rapp's picture

Hrant, is there any reason you seem to dislike calligraphy?

I studied calligraphy for quite some time and find it's not only enjoyable, but a good way gain an understanding of both type and form. I know calligraphy is not in style like it was years ago, but I think there is still a solid place for it in the design world. There are a number of lettering artist and calligraphers who do beautiful work that is still contemporary.

Where I work I have to do both refined lettering/calligraphy and also very naive looking letters as in your sample. These days I do a lot more of the naive styles because the "regular Joe" style of handlettering is popular, but visually I like both ends of the spectrum when done in an appropriate context.


hrant's picture

I think calligraphy can be beautiful and compelling. But faux type simply
turns me on much more. That's just a personal preference - nothing more.

But also, practically speaking in this piece at least calligraphy
would have made it just-another-pretty-face, while faux type makes
it much more novel and perhaps arguably more appropriate as well.

I'd suggest asking them for a copy of that mailer - it's a very nice piece.


typerror's picture

I think he was beaten with a broad nib pen as a child Stephen!


Stephen Rapp's picture

I had a look at the way they used in on the website. The flash portion on the left was handled very gracefully and had a more striking contrast. The heading on the top of the paragraph on the right side was not. I thought it looked a bit too bulky and tight for the space.
One of the things that I do find compelling about these faux type settings is when the designer uses it like as if it were fine type. The contrast it sets up is compelling. Some of the hand rendered faux type and scripts that Chris Sickels of Red Nose Studio does are wonderful. He does 3d illustration and his lettering compliments it well.


nina's picture

Mm, I really dig this. It also feels quite interesting and appropriate in the context.

Actually, I think this approach could well carry more of the design; it would be exciting to see them play with the concept some more. Like introducing an element of imperfect sketching to the photography, maybe. And I wish they'd set those beautiful letters bigger!*

* On the web site, I mean.

Sye's picture


Nick Shinn's picture

BTW, that “s” makes me think it was done from memory, and not copied from a font.

It looks like part of the design, with the two "halves" of the outline crossing each other--compare in the adjacent "e".
Faux naïf.

hrant's picture

Not impossible, but perhaps too much to hope for!


faraqat's picture

I realy like the first "g", it looks like it's part of an animated illustration, I can almost see it moving :)
the rest of the letters, I think, could be a bit better...

eliason's picture

Reminds me of this

hrant's picture

So I had emailed them to ask who did the design,
and they were kind enough to send a prompt reply.
It's Leo Burnett in Chicago: http://www.leoburnett.com/


Nachos's picture

to me it’s still so much more satisfying than calligraphy

It is to me too hrant. Every calligraphy-based typeface that comes out makes hand calligraphy more obsolete. Whether it is based on a font or not, hand lettering is supposed to have variations and imperfections just like our everyday handwriting. That's what makes it interesting and compelling.

My taste is for appropriate and beautiful communication. If that means using "dumbed down forms" then so be it. Sorry calligraphers, ITC Fine Hand put you out of the job.

typerror's picture

"Sorry calligraphers, ITC Fine Hand put you out of the job."

Damn, I better shut down my shop and apply for unemployment : )

No time at the moment, I have work to do!


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