modern typface inspired by L.A. gang graffiti letterstructure

etahchen's picture

The aim was to turn gang graffiti letter structures into a modern typeface.
Any suggestions would help, thank you.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etahchen/6849944416/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Birdseeding's picture

Do you have any photo samples of your source of inspiration here? I much prefer the second V (the first looks like a U) and I suggest you work that tasty diagonal into more letters.

Birdseeding's picture

I just had to Google it - that's quite an interesting lettering style! e.g. http://www.flickr.com/photos/80643375@N00/with/271157756/

And quite suited for a didone treatment. I dare say you'll find better models for the Z and W in the sources, though. I don't think you need to stay as strict as you are to the geometric grid either.

etahchen's picture

hi Birdseeding. Thank you for your suggestions.
Here are some 'N' variations. i was trying to work the diagonal into the middle one
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etahchen/6854857066/in/photostream

riccard0's picture

Second N looks promising.

brianskywalker's picture

This looks like it would make nice versals, although one image on your flickr makes it look like it's be good for titling perhaps. I'm having trouble imagining the spacing. Are you working on this in Fontlab? If so, the letters are spaced too wide on your first example. Have any idea if you will be designing an accompanying lowercase? :)

I'll see if I have time to comment on the letterforms later.

etahchen's picture

This is being done in Adobe Illustrator. I do not own Fontlab.
Lowercase? I guess an accompanying lowercase would be a nice addition to the project.
thanks for the suggestions Brian.

hrant's picture

Etah, good to see you're going for a public crit of this!
I think it's pretty fascinating, especially it terms of taking
something gritty and translating it to a "classy" idiom.

I can't tell how clear the direction is in your head; it seems
a tough thing to settle on. But this has to be done before
we engage in much "this glyph is better than that glyph"
type of refinement. I will say however that personally I'm
very attracted to the especially strange structures, such
as the "E" in your original post. You don't want to go over-
board with that flavor though - some letters will have to be
quite tame in order to produce a nice contrast/balance.

The main thing I'm wondering is: How obscure do you
want this to be? Of course you want it to be decipherable,
but how much effort would you like a reader to put into
actually reading text in it?

BTW: http://luc.devroye.org/BasVaerewyck-RLF-2009.jpg

hhp

etahchen's picture

@hrant
i don't want this to be obscure. the glyphs should be fairly recognizable as to what character is represents. the main objective was to take a foreign letter structure to typography, and turn it into modern type. When i set this into words, i want it to be obvious these aren't regular typographic letters. these are letters from some other subculture. but the treatment of these letters, is a didone one. i feel like i should get these critiqued by gang member or something.

hrant's picture

> i feel like i should get these critiqued by gang member or something.

Sure. Preferably a former one... like the inimitable Chaz
Bojorquez (who spoke at TypeCon-LA) who happens to
be relatively accessible. On the other hand AFAIR he's
not big on fontifying graffiti...

BTW, for inspiration on inventive structures:
- http://themicrofoundry.com/ss_trajic.html
- Ambicase, from our own Craig Eliason:
http://typophile.com/node/75182

hhp

1996type's picture

This is gorgeous! Really interesting project. Keep the alternates coming! I'll try to provide some more detailed feedback later :-)

etahchen's picture

@Hrant. Well, i think i will just get local graffiti writers to look at it.
And those are very interesting glyphs. Those are made up letter forms right?
I thought of this idea, that if i studied non-latin letters, like Armenian, it would somehow benefit me. Because i'd only read them as shapes, and i wouldn't know what they meant.

@1996type. thank you. any feedback is welcome.

etahchen's picture

well, this is pretty much the final. i haven't done the 'J' yet, but I'll get to it when I can.
I can always make adjustments, so if you want to suggest anything, that'd be great.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/etahchen/7026224669/sizes/l/in/photostream/

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