I’ve been playing with lasers again! These designs were created as prizes for my office. We’re a bunch of nerdy geeks who create fonts for publishing minority languages. Last year we started taking bits from the ‘team movie’ of The Princess Bride and twisting them to our own silliness. There were actually a few more converted quotes, but these were the ones I chose to design. I etched them on wood as well as several different types of acrylic, but I feel that these turned out the best. Pardon the bits of dust clinging to them! I rubbed silver paint into the etching, exactly like I did for the Obscure Word book.
Most of the font work I do is with FontLab, but lately I’ve been taking time to experiment with both Glyphs and FontForge. I have test fonts going for both, because there isn’t any better way of learning font design software than creating the letters from scratch (merely opening an existing font and fiddling with points doesn’t get you anywhere).
While at TypeCon 2013: Portl&, I took a workshop that allowed me to experiment with many different types of pens and nibs: brush pens, calligraphy nibs, spencerian nibs and sharpies. One of the calligraphy nibs was 3/4″ (19.05mm) wide. It was literally like drawing with a shovel. So fun!! I drew the whole alphabet with it, and decided to use those drawings as the basis for my Glyphs test font “shovel face.”
I don’t have all 26 lowercase letters digitized yet…this is just a side project (and oh, there are many…ha!). But the results are kind of fun, I think! Pardon my poor spacing. It’s all a work in progress…
This was a birthday gift for a huge fan of the radio show/book/movie Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. There is one quote per each of the eight pages, arranged so that when the book is closed the words form a ‘word cloud’. The pages are laser-cut and etched acrylic plastic and are sewn with waxed linen thread using the same method as in my previously posted book. I wanted to create a gradient of sorts using paint in the etched letters, fading from white to black. It mostly worked the way I wanted it to.
Let me just say, photographing this thing was a nightmare. First, smudges! Ack! And then the waxed thread left marks all over the surfaces. Plus having to dodge the reflection made taking pictures super fun. Not. Anyway, I really like the possibilities of laser-etched acrylic…but if I ever do clear again, I will be using non-waxed thread for sure, and waiting to peel the backing off until the very last minute! (Scratches seemed to come out of nowhere.)
For a while now I’ve been wanting to create a project using obscure or old-fashioned English words. I just wasn’t sure how I would do it. Enter the fabrication lab and the laser cutter! I decided to create a ‘book’ of laser cut and etched acrylic plastic sheets, sewn together with one of Keith A Smith’s techniques. Though the bind looks ok, I think I might have to redo it with a modified version. There just aren’t enough pages for the design to look right.
First I sketched the designs on paper, then digitized them in Illustrator. The darker the color, the deeper the laser will etch the plastic. It was similar to the thought process behind intaglio printmaking – the darkest colors will be the lightest, and the lightest colors the darkest. It took a a couple of tries to find the right setting for the laser, but I was fairly happy with the second run.
I tried a couple of different colors of acrylic paint, but settled on white and a shimmery gold. I smeared the paint into the etched lines and gradients, then wiped (or scrubbed, if it had dried) off the excess paint.
Finished size: 6 in x 4 in (15.24 cm x 10.16 cm). I’m planning several more ‘volumes’ of obscure terms. If you’re curious about where I found these words, check out this book: Mrs Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words.
This is from a super-old sketch that I never actually sewed. But I got a new toy (picture below) and I wanted to try it out on a simple test before using it on a real project. The design has only 9 holes, and they’re in a straight line! That almost never happens anymore, haha.