Less Condensed Blackletter Seeking... Found

mica's picture

I'm working on a guitar inlay that has 10 large letters across the fingerboard. The client wants a blackletter similar to Letraset's "Old English" but what they provided as their concept sketch is squooshed down to fit the shape of the fingerboard.

Lots of the blackletter fonts naturally have a more condensed look to them, are there any that are more extended in their native form? I'd like to get them the look they are after, but without some horrible scaling. Any leads?

nina's picture

Sounds like a really nice project!
It might be a good job for Moyenage, which comes in a pretty impressive variety of widths (and weights).

mica's picture

Oooh I do love Storm, but I'm afraid Moyenage is less blackletter-y than I'm looking for. This is heavy metal, so think Black Sabbath, etc.

If I wind up drawing it from scratch, there's some good hints in Moyenage for getting away from the smashed down look. Thanks!

Paul Cutler's picture

Look at Letterhead.

wrenfern's picture

Seconding Brokenscript!

Dan Gayle's picture

I just finished my interview with Storm about Moyenage, and he specifically mentions designing it because he wanted a blackletter style for a black metal album cover that he was thinking about.

IMO this is awesome:

nina's picture

Wow, I never realized Moyenage can actually be used in all caps!
Awesome. Thanks for posting the sample Dan.
Can the interview be read somewhere?

Dan Gayle's picture

Not yet. I'm waiting back on Storm.

As to the all caps, one thing Storm mentioned was that part of the problem with blackletter is that the caps are darned near unreadable to modern readers. So he "latin-ized" them. And small caps to (jack)boot!

I'll post a link when it gets published.

mica's picture

New English at Lettherhead looks interesting, Paul, but it's a little more condensed that I was hoping to start with. LHF's Hindlewood and Divine are also cool. Good for my shopping list but not this project.

Stephen, Engraver's Olde English Bold will work well! I will still be forced to squish it a little, but since I'm redrawing it and reducing the contrast a little (thin lines are too thin to cut from mother of pearl without breaking), hopefully it won't look squished when I'm done.

Shame I can't use the Storm Moyenage. It's exactly the legibility that precludes it from this project. Another one for the shopping list.

Thanks for the help, everyone. I will post pics when the project is done, and if I'm allowed by the client, I'll post some of the design before we cut the letters.

Dan Gayle's picture

>>It’s exactly the legibility that precludes it from this project.

Wow. Never thought I would read that on Typophile :)

mica's picture

First time for everything! To a typophile, Moyenage is certainly blackletter, but to a guitar player not so much, at least in the words of this particular inlay.

Don't fret, we used Storm Solpera as an engraving on another inlay, and it's perfectly legible :)

mica's picture

Here's the S:


just rough cut with a jeweler's saw in black mother of pearl. A little more refining to do, but so cool to have something like this you can hold in your hand. Until it goes into the fingerboard anyway.

Dan Gayle's picture

For those interested, my interview was published on I Love Typography: http://ilovetypography.com/2009/05/18/moyenage-blackletter-for-a-modern-...

mica's picture

Here's in inlay in black mother of pearl in a Maple fingerboard:


The only letter I had to be really mean to was the D, but the customer was really pleased with the end result!

Dan Gayle's picture

Wait, is that actually for Tenacious D? That's freakin' awesome if it is!

mica's picture

We made 2 of these guitars, one for Jack Black and the other for Kyle Gass of Tenacious D. There's a little story of the project on our website and another picture just for Typophile:

Dan Gayle's picture

Oh, if only the scribes who originated that blackletter knew that their progeny would be used on the "Love Giver" guitar… Hyuck hyuck hyuck.

mica's picture

That is pretty funny!

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