The best way about this?

pisosse's picture

I really like the genuine feeling of the machinetyped letter of MR.X at Duncans

But is the most obvious way to do it, to get a typewriter and photograph the thing or do you know of a font with this kind of detail or what do you suggest?

Thanks fellars!

JamesM's picture

I think some stock photo websites carry hi-res photos of alphabets made using old typewriters. Wouldn't be practical for text, but if you just need to set a headline you could rearrange the letters in Photoshop.

Also I'll bet you could buy a used typewriter pretty cheap. Your public library might even have one still around that you could use.

oldnick's picture

You can also recreate the effect with judicious application of the Gaussian Blur and Dissolve features in Photoshop.

aluminum's picture

There are all types of tips and tricks and filters and techniques and stock art and fonts and...

...but there's no fun or personality in that. Go find a typewriter. HAVE FUN WITH IT!

JamesM's picture

More font options here:

However most of the typewriter fonts I've seen have a high-contrast look to them (like typewriter type that's been xeroxed), and don't have the subtle shading of the real example you posted.

blank's picture

If you need lots of detail you can always fake it by hand. Print the type out at a huge size, distress/tweak/etc with black pens and white paint, scan it in Photoshop, and hide the evidence. Then you can reduce and drop it on top of a texture as needed.

Chris Dean's picture

Primiti Too Taa

And a fantastic NFB animation (which disappears and re-appears very often).

pisosse's picture


I must say that aluminum has a point....But seriously good suggestions fellars!

5star's picture

First step is to distort the letter's edge, and in this case keeping the distortion in the same 'style' as with the desired font manipulation. So I chose to use a brush of shaggy carpet. I used Arial Rounded and stoked it 3px(?) maybe 2px - I forget. Rasterized the text and merged it with the Layer Style. Then I hit it with the Eraser brush of shaggy carpet.

Once I had the edge to where I like it (heavy handed and hurried as my sample is), I duped the layer several times (3) and Gaussian blurred the middle one, and merged all.

Then I grabbed a standard Stipple brush and began to texture as shown. I used three grey tones and I think I used about three different course sizes going from less course to heavy course - background to foreground in my texture layers.

One interesting track mark in the Mr.X image is shown in the up-scaled edge image. A selection of the letter seemed to have been made and contacted (something like 2px or so), then inversed. This 'edge' was then darkened and nudged. And, the Stipplin' and the darkened edge seem to suggest a slight light source direction going on (?)...

Anyways, my hurried attempt is heavy handed sorry about that. A finer Stipple brush should have been used, and the darkened edge is also to thick, and I Gaussian blurred my type too much.

I always crit myself - sick basterd that I am.

Oh ya I forgot to mention that there seems to be some Stipplin' going on out side of the type which also varies in coarseness.

Good luck, hope that helps.

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