Script akin to Diderot's letters to Sophie Volland

tflavin's picture

I am looking for a typeface to set the following quote:

"I write without seeing. This is the first time I have ever written in the dark…not knowing whether I am indeed forming letters. Wherever there will be nothing, read that I love you."

It's from a letter (roughly mid 1700s). I intend to get this as a tattoo, so I'd like it either professionally set or hand drawn. I'm a competent typographer but for this I need a true artist.

Can anyone offer any suggestion on where I might start?

Thank you so much.

Tim

hrant's picture

I'm no artist, but I'll take a shot (in part because I'm not sure that's what you really need).

First: Which part of your body is it for?

BTW, it sounds like you'll need a budget.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

That’s a lot of words.
How big is this going to be?
Will it spiral round a limb, or be foursquare on the torso?
You will need a layout first, and, as Hrant suggests, that will be informed by a consideration of the terrain on which it will be placed.

tflavin's picture

I realize this isn't something I would expect something to do for free. I'm aware of how much skill this requires. I'd rather it not be set flush left, paragraph style...unless it's done in an unexpected way. I was thinking about wrapping it around my arm, in the style of a (hollywood) Egyptian snake bracelet. I'm also open it it in my side or by back. I'd work with the artist to find the ideal location for the setting.

hrant's picture

If it's going to spiral around a limb legibility can't be central, so I would consider making the line look solid by using all-caps (or uncial). So maybe something like this:
http://typography.net/fontfamilies/view/16

Unless it's important for it to have a French pedigree.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

http://www.fontbureau.com/fonts/sloop/

A script, because the text start “I write…”
The extreme angle would create the effect of a braided armband.
Sloop might be a bit busy/tricky to tattoo, but it gives the general idea.

tflavin's picture

Thank you for your suggestions. I'm not sure I want to go as dramatic as Sloop, even though that might be accurate. My favorite typefaces are meaty serifs like Dolly, Absara, Fedra, Skolar, etc. The era is completely wrong but since it's going to be on my body maybe I'm best off just making something I like? It's difficult to say, really.

Thanks you both!

hrant's picture

Meaty. Funny. What about Sutturah?
http://www.rosettatype.com/Sutturah
Even the name would be appropriate...

hhp

tflavin's picture

Is there a better word? I'm not an expert. Meaty always felt right to me....it's how I describe the contemporary fonts that manage to look both modern and traditional at the same time (I'd go so far as to add Dederon and Malaga but they are perhaps a stretch). I don't have much formal training so I'm afraid I have to make up descriptors as I go along.

Sutturah is a bit meatier than I need :) I'd give that one "Corpulent".

hrant's picture

Funny because it's going to be set on meat.

hhp

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Having seen my share of disasterous "typographic" tattoos, I’d like to suggest picking the final executing artist carefully.

Joshua Langman's picture

I would get it hand lettered.

That said, what about something like Dear Sarah, Olicana, Memoir, ITC Chivalry, or maybe something by Laura Worthington? I'm going in the classic quill scripts direction here. This is about writing, after all.

Nick Cooke's picture

If you really want to replicate the meaning of the text get a calligrapher to write it - in the dark.

riccard0's picture

If you really want to replicate the meaning of the text get a calligrapher to write it - in the dark.

Agreed. But I would advise against making the tattoo artist work in the dark ;-)

Joshua Langman's picture

How about letting the lettering be the negative space? Perhaps there's some way to reverse the text out of hatching or scribbles, like lettering revealing itself out of darkness?

hrant's picture

Nice idea.

hhp

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