Creating a font from a classic comic



Pretty cool assignment. It is amazing how much work Nate puts in to his fonts.

Nicely done! Now do Bushmiller!

Usually I feel like I’m off-topic when complaining about how Boing Boing posts these feature stories with absurdly large fonts, but at least this time the subject’s right!

We’re not blind. Honest.

Here’s a good sanity check when posting something: if you’re making the font larger than the font by which you read email, or post tweets, you’re doing it wrong.

Some more big fonts for you!


At least two versions of each letter were created, so later on, when I moved the project over to Fontlab, I could program Open Type autoligatures for any instance when two of the same letter appeared side by side. (Think of the two o's in the word book.) The autoligatures swap one letter out so that they're slightly different in appearance, creating a more organic look.

Do any font programs have the ability to randomize between versions of letters, not just when they are placed together? With digital fonts in comics I can’t help but always see the same distinct letters over and over (like the Ls in the Elfquest example).

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You’d think that with sufficient exemplars of each letter, a new font format could generate variations automatically, so every single letter is unique.

And a new comic sans rises …

Yes OpenType supports the rand however I don’t know how widely supported it is, and since it seems to work by selecting a random element of a prespecified set of variations of a given glyph, it seems like a lot of work to design a font that uses it effectively. One font that uses it is Punk Nova, however their work seems to based on a Metafont font which might make things easier.

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To think that I should live to see the day…a WARP font…nice work.

Now…some mega rich visionary needs to make Wendy’s Elric project a bonafide reality…

Awww man, all that potential and only one Comic Sans joke? Hey, can we get it in pink?

And Robert Crumb? (If he allows and/or approves?)

while the craftsman in me really enjoyed the play-by-play of font creation in this article, and I appreciate the level of detail given in this process, the artist in me has to point out that computer fonts in comic books look like ASS, no matter how well they’re made. Nothing has detracted more from the aesthetics of comic books in the last 20 years than using custom, handwritten fonts; they are so obviously computer-generated, no matter how much work goes into making them seem “organic” that the ARE distracting; even the best fonts I’ve seen out there, like Jeff Smith’s or Pail Pope’s, don’t compare to their earlier, hand-written comics. I know, saves time, easier to change, blah blah blah. Fine, I get it- but in your quest to save time, you’ve sacrificed something beautiful. 20 years from now, your comics are going to look like early 90’s 3D animation and you will cringe.

I don’t think the fonts will be the sore thumb – it’ll be photoshop’s mathematically-suspect transparencies and gradients

In the intro, you call Nate Piekos a typographer, but it’s more accurate to call him a type designer. A typographer just means someone who uses type, rather than someone who creates it.

Like to see Hugh MacLeod’s font done… best font evar…

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