F + k (display and text based of graff)

kamz0110's picture

greetings all
here is my beginings on a type set im calling form + kaos.
i am a designer/writer (graff) and this is a class project but
i am very interested in creating faces (not just graff) for myself.

problem 1:
besides general critique i have the problem of the display
face (kaos) not working together when other words are formed,
i plan to create alternate opening letters as well as closing
letters + accents to really capture the whole graff feel. but is
this possible and how.

problem 2:
my teacher said to me, 'you'll never be able to create a text
face from that' and so now i have to create a text face
from that. i tried to really tone down the handstyle to make
it work and am looking for suggestions to have a readable but
graff style text face.

kaos (the display)form (the text)

hrant's picture

> 'you'll never be able to create a text face from that'

Teachers can be so wonderful, no?
Or maybe it's the old "humans can never be automated" romanticism... As if.

It was never impossible to make "organic" fonts (see Mistral for a masterwork, in metal parallelepipedes no less), just admittedly quite tedious, and generally equally tedious to use. But now with the OpenType format some careful table-filling can make for quite elegant solutions:

On the other hand, if he/she is using the term "text face" like me, as in distinct from display face (pretty unlikely), then no, it's not possible, but not because of some lack in you or technology, but because of the way humans are made.


dan_reynolds's picture

Well, I'm not sure what you mean. You can't create a text face from that. Long pages of 10pt text in a blackslanted, loopy style of lettering would never work. Text faces are supposed to be invisible.

But if you meant TYPEface, of course you could develop a typeface from this. In fact, I hope you do! Just keep in mind two differences: the difference between display sizes and text sizes, and the difference between type and lettering.

Typefaces, or more explicitly fonts, are little computer programs, almost machines of their own, which can be used by anyone to form any combination of letters, words, lines, or pages. Lettering is the creation of individual letters, usually by some sort of hand technique. Grafitti is an excellent example of lettering.

In lettering, it is more common than in type for the individual letters to be different. Every time the letter "e" appears in a lettering piece, it is a little different than the one before it. In type, this is usually not the case (although now it is easier to create alternates and ligatures and such which have the potential to make some typefaces more like lettering).

What you are showing here is a design for a display typeface, based on grafitti-like lettering.

I like the big loops that you have in the B and the R. Would it be possible to bring this element into any other letters? maybe numbers? will you be creating an upper and lowercase, or just a unicase (as this seems to be now)?

I also like that you are thinking about a type "family" as is evident from what you have shown here with the 5 different weights.

Keep up the good work. I'm still confused about the whole "text" thing. Are you really saying that you want to create a workable "text" face out of this? What kind of applications would you like to see this used in?

kamz0110's picture

I would like to see this used in coffee table books dealing with
'urban' like topics. the two top images would be the display face
and the bottom one i want to make it 'text face' 12pts and below
and large amounts of copy. there will definitly be various weight.
thanks for the quick responses\

dan_reynolds's picture

Stuart, I don't want to destroy your enthusiam, but I can't see how this would work for long lengths of texts. Maybe it could work with mad amounts of leading...

You should try to prove all of us wrong, and make it work. Post it here, so that we can be astonished (or picky).


kamz0110's picture

man thats embarrassing ...

kamz0110's picture

ok, what do you think would have to change to make it work with large amounts of text, but still have its flavor, upper and lowers? lower x-height?

hrant's picture

> large amounts of copy

Since people don't actually read coffee table books, you'll be OK. :-/
But if you want people to read, and comfortably, you have to give
them what their reading "firmware" needs.

Graffiti might be about freedom, but [text] typography is about subtlety.
Which fortunately is not the same thing as slavery to convention; but the
realities of the the human reading process (as obtuse and complex
as they are) have to be respected.

To make it work, the first thing you need is a lowercase, definitely.
Many typophiles might balk at the backslant, but I'm actually not
sure that's a huge issue.


kamz0110's picture

understood, i will do a lowercase and model it after another face. thanks hhp.

as8's picture

Have you seen that pizzadude fellow 'tag' fonts ?
There is million people who has just sooo good write...
but I dont think they would like to 'sell it.'

p'z !


Tell yo' teacha a gossip on Eminem :

Wes W's picture

I think you are successful at creating a hand written typeface, yet this has no relation to "graffiti "style besides the fact that it is closely kerned. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy seeing attempts at typefaces from fellow "writers."

Although there are no "real" rules to graffiti, consistant style shows experience.

For example:
-M: it seems as if the heavier the wieght, the sloppier it gets.
-B&R: they are both consistant with eachother, but not with the other letters
-G&E: hits weird angles not found in the other letters
-S: too much white space. not a very good rendition of modern graff. Does not follow the condensed feel of the other letters.

...hope this helps.

Wes W's picture

hope I dont offend anyone by saying this but the PizzaDude's "graffiti" font is pretty disrespectful to the artform.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Wes, no need to apologize. I'd personally like to know why you feel that way. Disrespectful in what way. Being that you are someone who is deeply into graffiti I would think that others would appreciate understanding as well. It is too easy to use a graffiti font and think we have hit the so-called inner-city nail on the head, when in fact we might be generalizing in a negative way.

Wes W's picture

man I took forever to reply to this. Sorry Tiff

Pizza dude's stuff is just not accurate in comparison to the level of graffiti handstyles out on the streets.

There are certain things that ameture writers (toys) do, which is try to complicate their letters too much. They see what is going on around them and try to take elements from various artists and mash them together. Of course, in the font/lettering world, its obvious that this is not the normal thing to do...but graff is not broken down to a science, and this is something you learn in the "field."

Just to give some insight on how deep the styles go, graff handstyles used to be regional before the internet came about. Now alphabets are being raped and toys copy the "flavor of the month."

I see many "graff" (note the quotes) fonts out there that do this same thing, not only the pizza ones, but pretty much every other one on the market. There is even a whole site dedicated to selling some really bad grafffonts.

However, check out Joker's font from Handselecta...a foundry that is doing it the right way. Joker's font is pretty true to his handstyle, but taken down a notch so that it will work well as an overall font.

*sorry Kamzo, took this subject in a totally different direction, hope that project worked out for you

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