Fonts of Wordsmithing

Okay, I’ve been feeling unwell for most of the last two weeks, after having been sidelined by sore wrists and forearms for a week before that, and combined with the continuous, oppressive heat and the numerous errands we’ve been running for various family members this month, I’ve gotten very little work done on The Art of Words. I’m about three weeks behind schedule. I don’t even have the ‘script’ hammered out completely yet. So I’m not happy.

But I HAVE gotten SOME work done. Specifically, I’ve designed most of two (of perhaps five or six) lettersets I’ll be using repeatedly throughout the project. Only the capitals so far, but then, that’s probably all I’ll need from these particular lettersets for this project. I may have to devise some other sets that actually have lower case letters as well, but I haven’t projected for that as of yet, so no worries.

Alright, enough talk. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Arborean Capital Font A sml

Arborean Capitol is brand new, and is the letterset I plan to use for establishing shots in Art of Words, thougth the letters may be thicker and wider, or narrower, depending on the word and its application. Mainly, the plan is to use the letters to frame sections of the illustration like traditional close-fitting comic panels in a polyptych layout.

However, I intend for the letters to fit together as one slapsh page frame, so there will be some business at either the top or bottom to integrate the word into the larger picture. Case-by-case. I’m gonna try to be as flexible as I can be, within certain guidelines, such as reusing specific lettersets for certain kinds of scenes.

I just wanted a stylish-but-even-weighted letterset that would look distinctive from either the top or bottom, so I could integrate the letters into the landscape or skyline without breaking up the illustrations too much. I may have to tweak it some more. The reversed N might lead me to some legibility problems. And I know I won’t be able to use the Q if I only show the top.

Tropical Illusions FontA sml

Tropical Illusions is based on the lettersets I drew for the Tiki Hut Cocktails logo (which started life as the Tropical Illusions logo, you see), before they figured out they couldn’t use that name, and I had to rework my logo concept. I actually wish I had completed the original logo first, so I’d have had a more complete letterset to work from now. I don’t mind extrapolating and creating new letterforms, but I was more inclined to do ‘incorrect’ things back then, and it’s difficult to go back to that headspace to recreate my work all these years later.

Plus, I’m not completely happy with some of my current decisions. The Q is interesting, but the tail isn’t heavy enough, and it’s hard to make it heavier without losing legibility due to it looking like an oddly-shaped lower case A. And the H isn’t wide enough.

I actually have T, U, V & W for the above letterset as well, but the W isn’t right, and the V makes me a little unhappy, so I stopped short of finishing, and don’t want to cut the page from the book until I’ve finished the set. Sadly, the digital camera is being less than cooperative as well, presumably because of the low battery charge, so I can’t even show you that way. As such, I’m gonna go sort out the rest of the set in a bit, before scanning them in and adding them to the above set.

When I get done with all this letter drawing business, I’m debating vectoring and modifying the letters, because many of them aren’t proportioned as carefully as I’d originally intended. Drawing lettersets in sketchbooks instead of on loose sheets at a drawing table does present one with certain technical problems, especially if one is not rigorous in the use of a ruler to block out the bounding dimensions beforehand.

If I do vector them, I’ll have to do a fair bit of layout and composition in Illustrator to design the basic logos and printing them in light blue or something, so I can do the cartoon illustrations by hand. It’s a bit exhaustive and resource-intensive (paper, printer ink, pencils, inking markers, etc…), but I don’t trust myself to be as creative and fluid if I do all of the work in Illustrator.

Okay, enough exposition. Time to resume being unhealthy. Send flowers.


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