Wednesday, 22 August 2012

rough fonts

I was reading the Boing Boing post about fonts that look like graphs. More interesting was the link to "postscript hacks to render slightly differently every time". I followed up, and discovered the Beowolf font family, with parameterised roughness, caused by adding some randomness to the PostScript rendering process:

Beowolf family, from MyFonts 

What's great about this site is the number of different kinds of text you can choose to display the various fonts.  I find the mid-rough R22 style most pleasing to my eye. 

A 2008 post on the Typographica blog gives some interesting historical background to this family.  (There's a blog all about fonts!?!  I may never get anything useful done again...)

This reminds me of "roughness", which is one of Christopher Alexander's 15 "generative properties", from his Nature of Order work, used to produce architectural structures that exhibit "wholeness".  We did some work a while back trying to formalise a few of the other properties, through BlobWorld, and were interested to discover an optical illusion that led to an appearance of roughness emerging.  Rough brickwork, or rough wall alignment, okay.  But rough fonts?  Neat.

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