Friday, April 27, 2007

Amateur Type

A growing interest in typography is kindling in my loins... So I'm sharing this little beauty with you today. Found in amongst a bundle of original drawings and artwork it's effectively a font, but hand-drawn. Not perhaps the kind of thing that I'd want to use on the front of a book, in fact, the more I think about it, I can't think of anyway in which I might have been able to use it but there was something mesmeric about the way it was drawn in black ink with one or two corrections in white... and in case anyone is wondering, I've already sold it!

PS. Thank you Thevina for adding comments here there and everywhere, lovely to see you here and even more lovely to have comments on the blog! A very well known blogger with a huge following (including me) recently started a post by saying that he had to revist an earlier topic because he had three or four blog-enquiries which, he said, was the blogger's equivalent of the phone ringing off the hook! He was being modest as his post regularly garner 20-30 comments but it is nice to see a few numbers as I scroll down. I'm glad you liked the photos and as a follow up to the Cockerell marbled paper post I should say that I recently found more sheets in different patterns but not enough of any of them to create even something as limited as Randwick Woods turned out to be. John C. YES... all 44,000 words typed out. I have toyed with the idea of getting OCR software but don't have the budget to get a decent version and I have found in the past that one gets what one pays for with both voice recognition and OCR software. However, I'm also being disingenuous a little, I kind of enjoy the challenge of putting it all onto the computer myself, plus, because of the slower speed of typing something as opposed to reading it, this way I am absolutely familiar with the text I'm publishing... intimately familiar... I like the way that typing the text creates a kind of relationship to it.


Anonymous said...

Please, won't you post the remaining letters? ;-)

John C said...

Beautiful design. I make bespoke lettering quite regularly, most recently for a CD design since the band wanted the title to have the shape of a particular kind of Cyrillic alphabet.

With a good example like the one you have there it's fairly easy (if you know how...) to scan the sheet at high-res, make a large copy of each letter then convert them to vector outlines using Illustrator. Once you've done that you can go on to make a font if you have the relevant software but that's a tricky and time-consuming business. All those metrics details and kerning pairs to take care of.

OCR is very accurate these days, especially for copying from a well-printed book. Many mid-range scanners come with free software packages so you don't even have to buy the application. But I appreciate your dedication! The times I've copied paintings or drawings it's made me realise the greater amount of attention you pay to something in doing so.

Thevina said...

You're welcome, by the way. ;)

I adore that page of hand-drawn letters! Obviously I need to be looking at your stuff on ebay, though I'm not much of a book-buyer. Something like that, such bold type, would have been tremendous to scan in and convert to an actual usable font... since you were kind enough to make "NBtC" into one of your masterpieces, I've played around more with the idea of larger first letters to sections (I'm sure there's a typological term for that, but I don't know it), especially if I get around to putting any of my stories in beautiful formats other than HTML on websites. :P There are some limitations there, though I could get all creative if I really felt like it, but with everybody's monitors being different, different browsers, different fonts on people's harddrives... it's not worth it.

Speaking of NBtC, it occured to me last night after emailing you another gargantuan email, how incredibly fortunate I feel that you are into H/R as a pairing, that you chanced to go to for a story, and that you found mine at all. I felt a sudden chill at how bereft I'd be had any of those factors not occurred, because then I wouldn't have gotten to know you. That thought makes me melancholy, so I scooted on past it, simply grateful that our paths have crossed.

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