Sunday, March 2, 2014

R'lyeh Runes

What the world really needs now is a new Lovecraftian font. 

Here are some sample glyphs from one I've started working on.  It's based on recreating the kind of runes you would find inscribed in the stonework of sunken R'lyeh.  With that in mind I'm trying to use organic forms reminiscent of deep sea life, with call backs to claws, sea shells, and jointed exoskeletons. 

Based on my experience so far I have a new found appreciation for typographers.  Making a font is hard.  Every time I finish a glyph I like I get a nice warm glow...and then realize I have about fifty more characters to go.  That doesn't take into account the technical process of actually laying out the font.  Designing and digitizing the glyphs is a formidable process, but then the technical details of kerning and alignment rear their complex heads.

I'll keep you updated as things progress.  When it's finally done I think it will be a great resource for propmakers.


Zero Mostel said...

I am definitely Looking forward to more of this. I collect Fonts and have been using them in my Mythos Documents

gekitsu said...

that’s absolutely true! designing typefaces/making font files is a monstrous job.

designing a single glyph is childs play. designing a small number of them for a word or a small statue inscription isn’t too hard either. but making every character, and have them employ a consistent vibe, but not so consistent as to make them lose their identity, and set up their bounding boxes so they make up a homogenous-looking whole when set next to each other, and tweak the kerning of pairs where the bounding boxes don’t do their job well enough… that is a whole ton of work. i love type a lot, and i absolutely can revel in beautifully drawn letter shapes. but damnit, if the work that goes into just a simple font isn’t super daunting.

and we didn’t even touch on how much richness such a fantasy script could gain from custom ligatures!

Propnomicon said...

@ Zero Mostel

Thanks. There have been some fantastic Mythos-inspired fonts like Glyphis and Cthulhu Runes. If I can make something half as good as those sets I'll be a happy man.

@ gekitsu

How right you are. As with everything else, someone who's good at it makes it look easy. And then you start doing it yourself and you suddenly realize just how steep the slope is.

Anonymous said...

I was a complete novice at making fonts four days ago. It really was difficult but if I didn't want to cut and paste each of my glyphs to spell out each word letter by letter, necessary to learn so I can provide decent art for my projects. Finding a good program was probably the trickiest thing, with some from sourceforge (and thus free) utterly doing my head in I didn't hold out much hope. It was a tough learning curve but to illustrate my themonomicon it just had to be done. I wasn't aware that there was a huge demand for new occult fonts - having put together three alphabets in a few days maybe I've found a new calling. I've sent them into you for review -but now I have a question - what do you look for a new font? Is it just something that looks really cool, old-worldy, alien, magical? Because I'm pretty sure I could custom-make them on demand for a living.