Friday, February 7, 2014

Creating the Karloff Typeface

Here at Tyler, we are often encouraged to make our work conceptual.  If we were asked to make a typeface could we do it with this approach.  Peter Bilak argues that there is no such thing as conceptual type however he went on to explore the idea in creating the typeface Karloff.  In creating this font he found the most beautiful and most ugly fonts in history and set out to combine the two to create a coherent font.

For the beauty he chose Bodoni and Didot.  Both are classic typefaces, created by masters of type in their times.  Bodoni laid down the four principles of type design: regularity, clarity, good taste and charm.

This is the ugly.

This typeface was designed to defy the readers expectations.  It was called a typographic monstrosity and a degenerate.  In his project Bilak wanted to show how closely related beauty and ugliness really are.  He says the difference between the attractive and the repulsive forms lies in the contrast between thick and thin.

He designed these two versions of the typefaces and then combined them.

So in the end, we have a positive, negative and neutral version of the Karloff typeface.

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