Engraving on a Guitar Inlay

mica's picture

We're getting ready to prepare a fairly large inlay for the body of a guitar. The outside ring is mother of pearl and we're going to engrave and black fill the lettering. Setting the type on an ellipse is really frustrating, there are so many compromises.

The pdf shows the inlay we're working on. Here's a picture of a similar inlay (without the lettering) to give some idea of context:

The MA in MARIE is really irritating, but I just don't see any way around it without grossly large letterspacing. I would be open to other font suggestions, but there's limitations with our hand engraving, and no lower-case with the baseline on this one.

In all likelihood the materials in the inlay will make the efforts of typesetting go unnoticed, but that's OK - the main thing I want to avoid is the type glaring out or overpowering the design in any way.

sweetannmarie_typetest.pdf99.78 KB
riccard0's picture

Unfortunately the PDF didn't attached.
However, I could see the trickiness of MA on an oval path.
My suggestion would be to go with a typeface which offer a fairly square shape of A, either with rounded/squared top or with an additional crossbar on the top.

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Cabarga's Logo, Font & Lettering Bible has a really good chapter on setting type in curves. Check out http://www.amazon.com/Logo-Lettering-Bible-Leslie-Cabarga/dp/1581804369

William Berkson's picture

Any sans with a straight-sided M will help you. Eg. Gill, Helvetica, Neutraface, Gotham.

johnnydib's picture

Don't forget to fix your apostrophe, replace it with a curly one.

mica's picture

Ooops! I forgot the attachment (like in so many emails!) but it's in place now. I have that very book, so I will consult that chapter for a refresher. I plum forgot about that.

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