Why Impact? A list of grunge fonts/original?

Renaissance Man's picture

Why are so many grunge fonts based on Impact?

321 Impact / Impact
Killer Ants /Impact
Punkass bitch / Impact
Smudgers / Impact
You are loved / Impact

Is there any interest in starting a thread of Grunge fonts and the fonts they're based on to be included in the list of lists at http://typophile.com/node/81517 ?

HVB's picture

Probably because it's a generally available font that's heavy enough to act as a scratch pad for people to scribble on, re-fill, etc.

Nick Shinn's picture

Grunge was imaginative 20 years ago, but not now.

5star's picture

Ya, what HVB says seems bang on. Impact also has a powerful condensed tension.

Interesting to note that Impact is gaining traction in the hip hop rapper scene ...ungrunged.

n.

gillo's picture

This is actual beat-up old wood type. Digitally distressing Impact is probably the easiest way to get something that looks like an old show poster (or a new show poster, Hatch Show Print often uses a similar condensed gothic: see here.)

Interesting aside: brief research pulled up this old typophile thread in which the very creator of Impact shows up to answer questions! Unfortunately he died not long after.

riccard0's picture

That would be a nice compilation. If only Typophile had some tool to manage visuals a little better.
Listgeeks lacks images too. Tumblr isn't good for browsing through entries... Anyone can suggest a tool for the task?

Renaissance Man's picture

How I recently used original and grunge fonts.

Impact with Killer Ants/Killer Ants Bold:

Oklahoma with Bleeding Cowboys:

Old English Text MT with Blood of Dracula:

5star's picture

Nice stuffs!

The last time I did a grunge graphic was wayyyyy back in '07 for farm aid. After that I kinda got ungrunged.

Wayyyyy back in long time I did a tutorial on how-to distress a letter shape ...I wonder if I can find it. The coolio part of my technique was that it could distress the letter shapes within a textural context. I'll try to dig it ...prolly on a long time back CD somewhere under dust by now...

n.

5star's picture

Found it...

This distress technique is coolio because it can be tweaked to mimic various textures. The one shown above is of distressed paint. I see I was in love with the drop shadow :)

n.

5star's picture

What would be really awesome would be to have a font with a choice of distresses built in as options. Within a single font the user could choose a distress paint or concrete or liquid etc..

I know for a long time now that there is are awesome PS plug-ins but I'm not talking about distressing an overall graphic. What I would like to use is a distressed font as editable type. Of course you could always create an Action to be applied to the font ...but that's still not what I want to achieve.

This idea needs more thought ...more coffee!

n.

hrant's picture

Yet another cool thing we would have done with Multiple-Master technology. :-(

BTW the amount of outline "borrowing" in many of the examples in this thread bothers me.

hhp

5star's picture

outline "borrowing"

???

MM fonts sound interesting in their flexibilities.

n.

hrant's picture

I meant like the ones here:
http://typophile.com/node/97963#comment-531223

hhp

ahyangyi's picture

I'm curious why the letters in "rv" and "iv" are touching each other. In my Impact they don't.

5star's picture

Huh?

n.

Té Rowan's picture

@ahyangyi – Possibly they were kerned to overlap.

@5star – See @Renaissance_Man's text art upstream.

5star's picture

Oh OK gottcha ...I see now what Yi was referring to ...kerned up to 11!!!!!!!!!!!!!

n.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

BTW the amount of outline "borrowing" in many of the examples in this thread bothers me.

But if Impact was originated in a 50 year old Disney movie, you would have been cool with it though right?

hrant's picture

I'm a shades-of-gray kinda guy. So to me it's all about more/less OK, not OK/not-OK.

hhp

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

You like reading pornographic novels?

hrant's picture

No, I don't have time.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

BTW the amount of outline "borrowing" in many of the examples in this thread bothers me.

But it is unlikely to have been “point piracy”.
AFAIK, the usual manner of creating a distressed font is to set text, distress it, then autotrace a bitmapped image of the result.
Are many of the fonts referred to here entirely vector-produced?
In that case, they may not be legal.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Is copying another piece of lettering as a font really OK as long as it it's not an exact digital copy, or as long as it's over 50 years old?

Karl Stange's picture

Is copying another piece of lettering as a font really OK as long as it it's not an exact digital copy, or as long as it's over 50 years old?

It really depends on your motivation. In the case of digitizing an older typeface or lettering sample, if no other exists and you are open about your sources and motivation (assuming you plan to make it available publically or commercially) and if done well then it can often be a useful excercise and of benefit to people.

HVB's picture

"Is copying another piece of lettering as a font really OK as long as it it's not an exact digital copy, or as long as it's over 50 years old?"

Like everything else, it depends.

Factors include:
. What jurisdiction - European union and USA treat designs and durations differently.
. Previous actions taken - Is the design (or implemenation) patented? Copyright? Trademarked? Has the protection been renewed? Is the original owner alive?
. If the original is protected, how different is the new design - a difficult interpretation.

Simple questions seldom have simple answers.

- Herb

piccic's picture

Personally, I think "grunge" is not such a good term.
If a typeface is altered, as to indicate some effect, there may be various design motivations: "grunge" tells nothing about the design at hand.

Nick Shinn's picture

Right.
Grunge was a music scene.
So using it today runs into the problems we have with “Modern”.
“Distressed” is a more accurate term for type.
Oh well, whatever, never mind.

piccic's picture

Hi Nick,
I am aware of the tendency of calling those "altered" type designs "distressed". It‘s just that I never felt comfortable with both english terms ("grunge" and "distressed"). I never felt at home with the general attitude most english-speaking and dutch designers were using during the early 1990s avant-gardes which let to lettering and type experimentation, because they weren’t related to my personal experiences.
Th biggest problem I have is that "distressed" implies an association with inner feelings which are not necessarily the ones fueling the inspiration.
The reasons may be varied as much as the reasons which prompt to do a new take or experiment on established typographic categories, so the definition should reflect that, without implying certain emotional states or feelings.
Of course, there was a sense of anguish and disorientation in the mid-1990s, for young people which were getting older in that period, but this wasn’t the only (or the main) element of inspiration for producing “distressed” type. Another silly term was “egyptian” but luckily it’s mostly gone… :-)

eliason's picture

As type descriptors go, I think "grunge" is pretty great!
It's almost onomatopoeic.

Nick Shinn's picture

Claudio, I’ve never considered Distressed to mean an emotional state, when applied to type.
Before its use to describe a genre of type, I was already familiar with its long-standing meaning as applied to antiques (furniture etc.) and pseudo-antiques: “Intentionally marred or faded to convey an antique or used look”.
Also, I don’t believe that types have inherent emotional qualities.
Therefore, to use an existing craft manufacturing term to describe a style of type seemed quite straightforward, especially as the design process is one where a perfect shape is corrupted, tainted, or marred.

Grunge has a broader meaning, as it quite often refers to what has never been anywhere near perfection.
Typeface: Amoeba, or anything roughly hand-made.

Deconstruction was another mid-90s method, typically involving a mash-up of contrasting styles.
Typeface: Fudoni, Dead History, Keedy Sans.

All these three terms describe things that are less-than-perfect, but in quite different ways.

What are the words for “distressed”, meaning the antiquing of furniture, in other languages?

mikougnie's picture

hello, sorry for my bad english, but I have need help quickly, I m looking for the name of this Font for my graphic job. please help me. it is verry important. thank you everyone

piccic's picture

Hi Nick, thanks for the explanation.
So it’s just my bad english, once again? LOL

"Distressed", if I get the meaning applied to furniture, in italian should be "anticato" (i.e. "made antique"). Was that the meaning to which you referred?

While I agree on "destructural" (but I preferred "post-structural", as once you "destructured" you must have "reconstructed" to some degree, to obtain something which more or less works), I still think "grunge" is a bit "anything goes" kind of term. I quite liked Jens' Amoeba, and never thought of it as "grunge". Rather I thought it was ingenious, as the idea of parts "washed away" was incorporated into the design. A different approach than, say, the one by Barry Deck.

@mikougnie: Your post has nothing to do with the topic at hand: there is a specific section here on the forums for type identification requests. :-)

Nick Shinn's picture

A fourth category may be the simulation, or the faithful recording—to use Jonathan Hoefler’s term describing his Historical Allsorts—of a roughly printed (compared with subsequent technologies) typeface, where the distress is unintentional, an artefact of the printing process. Mark van Bronkhorst has called this Rustic, e.g. his Celestia Antiqua.

Compare with the architectural term Rustication.

Nick Shinn's picture

"Distressed", if I get the meaning applied to furniture, in italian should be "anticato" (i.e. "made antique"). Was that the meaning to which you referred?

Yes. The faux patina of age.

5star's picture

onomatopoeic

Typophile word of the day.

n.

5star's picture

Isn't the typeface Veneer one of the more popular recent releases in vintage/grunge/distressness?

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/yellow-design/veneer/

In its marketing description both grunge and distress seem almost interchangeable.

n.

Té Rowan's picture

One more meaning of 'distressed' – bent out of shape.

Renaissance Man's picture

Nick said, "I don’t believe that types have inherent emotional qualities."

Of course neither metal or or machine code don't. But surely you believe that types convey emotional qualities, don't you?

Nick Shinn's picture

That’s why I said “inherent”.
A typeface is like a violin, it can play a dirge or a jig.
Distress can signify excitement or sincerity, and so on.

hrant's picture

Typefaces most certainly do have inherent emotional qualities (even though those don't always manifest) because they're made of shapes, and humans are physical creatures in a physical world.

hhp

5star's picture

humans are physical creatures in a physical world.

hhp

Humans are spiritual beings in a physical world. So what you interpret is not that which I interpret.

Capish?

n.

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