My first shot at a face...graffiti roots

aaron_russell's picture

I've only ever, like a graffiti writer, worked with words and not tried to do an entire face. Recently, I couldn't stay asleep without seeing what the other letters from a wordmark I made would look like. So here is the illustrator file. I've been thinking about the numbers too?

application/postscriptIt's been dubbed Q-Bert
aarons 3d (273.2 k)

pablohoney77's picture

hey aaron!
i'm not sure about everyone else, but i don't have the appropriate version of illustrator to check out yer work. maybe you could me a favor and post it as a pdf?

aaron_russell's picture

Sorry about that. I'm always fighting my tools. Try this, I hope it goes ok so you can look at this display type font idea.

q-bert.pdf (84.5 k)

pablohoney77's picture

WOW! now that's rad! the q and the v are a bit unreadable to my eyes, however. do you plan on somehow converting this to a font format?

Jon Whipple's picture

Aaron, that sure is cool. I love the e y and t. I'm with Paul on the q and v. On some letters the vertical stems (or are they posts or columns in this case?) look too thick, like on the p, the q and the y. The shapes of s and z are really nice but maybe they can ascend higher in their imaginary cube (or is it qube?).

Nice and original.


Grant Hutchinson's picture

Aaron, nice to see you on Typophile.

I think I mentioned the same thing that Paul stated above when you first showed me this face - I wondered how it would translate to a standard font format as well. Maybe it can't translate. Perhaps it's destined to be a cut and paste modular system for motion graphics or other such application. The flavor of this type of experimentation recalls some of the work that has been presented in Rick Valicenti's Playground or in his faces like Handsome.
I really like the way that some characters feel vaguely Cyrillic.

If this were to be developed as a standard font, you might be able to create different weights for each side of the three-d shapes (x-axis, y-axis, z-axis). That way you could customize the colour and shading of the text by overlaying and adjusting the various weights.

Anyway, bring on the numerals.

Oh, and an @ sign too.

cerulean's picture

Neat. The only thing I see as a "must fix" is that a v shouldn't have a tail; it defeats the effort of distinguishing it from the u. Other comments: A traditional lowercase q might look better. It bothers me some that the s and z are "flat." I would want to depart from the template a little to give the j a curve; I realize that means introducing a blue-to-red gradient.

cerulean's picture

Actually, after looking at it again, I think the whole thing would look infinitely better if the x-height of everything else were extended to be consistent with the a. Sort of like a blackletter lc.

bryska's picture

awesome looking font!

c_acker's picture


I really like this. The only comments I have are pertaining to the character widths and heights of some. I thnk the "e" and "s" would benifit from some more negative spaces. they feel kinda squat because of the vanishing point effect. and Conversely I would close up a bit of space on all of the descenders and a couple other characters; g, n, k, m, p, q, w, and y. Because of the vanishing point some characters feel much wider and more open than others. The forms themselves are great though. I think that making the spaces a little more equal will only help to make it more usable.

For a more traditional black/white type approach, check out CUBA at for a similiar TreeDee effect. although yours is peculiar because it has the rounded aspects that work best with the gradient. those will unfortunately be lost in b/w.

Nice work.


okty's picture

this is pretty good.. more than graffiti 3d lettering.. this work reminds me of Q-Bert, the 80's video game

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