Making typeface with prominent ink bleed

ctbeiser's picture

I did some custom type work for the flag of my school's newspaper; because of the bad paper and the lackluster print quality, I decided to play up the imperfection of the medium by creating rounded and uneven letterforms. I tried to make it look as if the ink was bleeding into the paper substantially, and I was happy with the final result in the newspaper. I'm now thinking of turning it into a typeface, but I'm worried that the imperfections aren't going to scale well. What should I keep in mind to keep the low-fidelity feel without making it repetitive and contrived? I've attached an R and a U. I'm aware there's a bit of cleaning up the lines to be done around the corners, but the uneven shape of the U is intentional.

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5star's picture

I likes it. Perhaps you could also do up a distressed version too?

n.

ctbeiser's picture

I'm just focusing on getting an uppercase alphabet done for now, maybe with a bit of punctuation and some accents. I feel like distressing an alphabet is best done in photoshop in the final product, so that you don't have to deal with the same letter having faults in the same place on every letter.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

A combination of alternate letters and OpenType code can help with the repeated faults.

ctbeiser's picture

What kind of opentype code? Just adding automatic 'ligatures' for different pairs of letters containing different variants, or is there something more refined that I can make use of?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I am talking about a contextual alternate (CALT) feature. There are methods for psuedo randomization, but if you want something that feels real I think it’s better to think “contextually”: i.e. what circumstances makes the ink bleed and what would the next letter look like in that same circumstance?

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