Sunday, April 03, 2011

A Deco letter all the way from LA

Actually, the title ought to read "A Deco letter all the way from LB", because the school is located in Long Beach. But... LA is far more known than LB, and the title was already in place so I'll leave it there. Long Beach is a little to the south of Los Angeles.

This letter was photographed by John Williams PhD from Los Angeles. The letter B stands for Buffum, as in Buffum Elementary School. The school was named after Dorothy Buffum Chandler (1901-1997) a Los Angeles cultural leader.
I saw the picture on Flickr and my first thought was: this should be mage into a font. Unfortunately there is only this B and nothing else. So the design will have to be made from scratch:

Well, what has to be done, has to be done. The frist thing to do is brush up the B a little, so that it may serve as a template for a complete alphabet. After some twiddling I arrived at:

This looks nice, although I may have tried to round the design a bit too much. For starters this seems OK, but I'll give it some more thought.
Update 1 The first glimpse of the new design. The H is too unclear and the I possibly a little too bold and that O should probably get rid of the flat top and bottom.

Update 1 - As promised the design has been simmering during the week and after a very interesting conversation about typography yesterday evening over a plate of perfect tempura, this is the 2nd result:

Maybe the E and F need some more width, I'll experiment a little with that option. A test with a middle stroke of the E sticking out was abandoned rather quickly. That meant I had to do someting similar to the F, making that character top-heavy.
And yes, I tested the new font with the dreadfull "HiHo", as sung by Snowwhite's 7 dwarfs. That looked like this: