Dorés Comedia

by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty)

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Part of my "Found Type" project at UWE where we had to design a font for a theme that we chose. I chose Saintly. Throughout my research, I looked at the architecture of churches, the similarities in there designs and how certain shapes could easily be recognised as being linked to that type of architecture. I then started looking at Dante Alghieri's Divine Comedy and the illustrations by John Flaxman and Gustav Doré. At first it became difficult trying to figure out how to implement this into a font, but then I took on a challenge, Would it be possible to get Doré's engravings into the font. Then another thought crossed my mind, how do images look when compressed to low pixel quality sizes and how they are still recognisable. So I did that, I bought a book of Doré's illustrations for the divine comedy, and they started to build into the letters. Each letter also has this Art Deco like area to it which went well for the Stain Glass Window approach I also wanted in the design. It took a lot of practice to get this right, and there was a fair amount of copy and pasting here and there but overall I'm quite happy with the turn out. I hope you all enjoy!


Superb detail. Good to see the UWE are back in town.
You may find this essential tool useful for ay future projects.
Comment by djnippa 29th october 2012
Magnificent! I think Saintly really suits for this kind of design.
Comment by kassymkulov 29th october 2012
Incredible details!
Comment by V. Sarela (Yautja) 29th october 2012
I have some problems to see this big fonts on my screen. This is normal? I see these big decorated fonts with difficulties at big format and they seems not well (blurry) on little format too (here are two samples for that). What can I do, please?
Comment by elmoyenique 29th october 2012
Comment by elmoyenique 29th october 2012
Yeah I've noticed that too not long after I made the font public... I just hope to heck it doesn't show up that way on anything else!

Also thanks for the praise guys, means a bunch!! :D
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 29th october 2012
I believe it's just the preview window, downloaded it should look better (although my computer freezes on it - may be too complex...)
Comment by V. Sarela (Yautja) 29th october 2012
I've attempted to download this... well I managed to but when Installing it types out as some weird trajan lookalike... very bizarre.

I've contacted fontstruct about this buuuuuuuuuuut they're a busy lot!
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 29th october 2012
Can't even comprehend how you did this. it's so good :)
Comment by AmyMelissaSkelton 29th october 2012
It was bloomin difficult I tells ya! xD

I'd love to do something like it again though, I've become somewhat an art deco/ornate-aholic!
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 29th october 2012
A few notes on the preview widget:

· Solid ”black” displays at 20% dark gray. This is a consistent palette throughout that unifies the site (same gray value as background). A side benefit: it softens the starkness and harsh edges of fontstructions and generally makes them look more refined.

· Above a fixed pixel/brick ratio, the previewer applies a 1 px stroke to the outlines of ALL bricks so that no hairline gaps appear between bricks due to rounding errors.

· Clicking “pxl” will give you a pixel/brick ratio of 1 (as long as filters are set to their default values). Shift+clicking the “pxl” button will zoom in by a factor of 2 from its current position.

The first note is of particular interest for illustrated, or grayscale pxl fontstructions. When black is restored to 0% in the downloaded file, the contrast and apparent gamma shift dramatically. Everything gets darker and more contrasty except for white, and this can bring out some ugly aliasing and posterizing that wasn’t noticeable or offensive in the preview widget. Setting the type color to 20% gray, if possible, helps fix the display issue. My InDesign sample below demonstrates this. The pt setting are 128 pt, 256 pt, and 512 pt for the three lines respectively. Which brings me to my final point of consideration:

· Any grayscale “pixel art” fontstruction will render on screen both blurry and full of moiré aliasing if the pt size is not an integer multiple (or factor) of the pt size which renders a pixel/brick ratio of 1. Thus the sample values of 128, 256, 512 (or 64, 32, 16...)
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 29th october 2012
That helped make sense of the total black out problem; glad it doesn't appear when in use on computer software, that would've been disastrous O_O

Would there be any reason why after installing the font onto my computer it won't show up or will actually type out as a completely different font entirely?
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 29th october 2012
For some software, attempting to type glyphs that do not exist in a given font will result in a default font substitution. Once the substitution occurs, all characters after that point will be set in the default font regardless of if they exist in the original font selection. You have to manually change the font back to what you started with. The more common software convention is to use a fallback font for missing glyphs, but the default substitution affects some adobe software, for instance.

In my experience, this can always be determined by checking the character palate or equivalent menu to see what font is actually displaying after the substitution.

The other scenario I can suppose (knowing nothing about your configuration) might be harder to fix. This is the case that the .ttf file you have downloaded is exceeding some OS-level memory constraint and you are getting a weird system-wide substitution.

What’s your set up?
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 29th october 2012
TNX, will.i.ૐ!
Comment by elmoyenique 29th october 2012
Wonderfully executed with such amazing detail. 10/10
Comment by p2pnut 29th october 2012
@Arty Marty: Please, look at the top of the E for some loose bricks.
Comment by elmoyenique 29th october 2012
I think it's planned that way, that "e" is in font's name: Dorés Comedia.
Comment by kassymkulov 30th october 2012
Hey elmoyenique, yeah the leaf was intended, I was concerned at first if people my think it was a stray brick so it may get changed in the future.

But yeah as Architaraz says, it's the É in Doré. :)
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 30th october 2012
Stunning details!!!...
Comment by cablecomputer 30th october 2012
The detail in this is insane Mart, well done mate! Hard work payed off!
Comment by OliverGabe 1st november 2012
Cheers Oliver, I'm still in awe of yours, I found your creative process absolutely inspiring!

Also does anyone know how to make these fonts work on computers, I install the font but it keeps coming out as something entirely different. :(

I need to have my font accessible because of a type specimin booklet I'm making so any advice you guys can provide would be awesome. :D

Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 1st november 2012
What program are you trying to use it in?
Comment by demonics 1st november 2012
For Windows 7

1) Download the font.
2) Extract the .ttf file (onto the desktop for instance).
3) Open C:\Windows\Fonts
4) Copy/Move or Drag & Drop the .ttf file into the Fonts folder (any way works).

The font should now be installed and ready for use in any application.

If I remember rightly, for Windows XP you find the Fonts in the Control Panel - otherwise the same procedure.

Good luck :)
Comment by p2pnut 1st november 2012
I tried it in microsoft word and adobe illustrator, word showed a different font and illustrator showed nothing.

I have Vista so it works the same way :(
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 1st november 2012

Hmm, you might try installing your fontstruction using third-party font management software. There’s a bunch out there for Windows: FontExplorer X has a free 30-day trial and there are tons of freeware solutions out there.

I had no problem installing Dorés on my mac using FontExplorer. Any fontstructors out there able to install it on a windows machine?
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 2nd november 2012
Have you tried typing (upper case) in Word? I think sometimes a different font will be shown in the menu if the desired font doesn't contain lower case glyphs. The font should still work though. I'm not sure about Illustrator.
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 2nd november 2012
I downloaded and installed this font - but in Word it came out as a generic, default, serif. I am using Windows 7.
Comment by p2pnut 2nd november 2012
Hmmm, interesting. I went back and used the font in Paint Shop Pro and it worked fine. Double checked with Word, but it still gives the generic result.
Comment by p2pnut 2nd november 2012
It also works in Wordpad. I can confirm that it doesn't appear in Illustrator. It might be to do with the complexity of the font. 1.5mB is big. Rebooting is always worth a try, or maybe you could get on a Mac to do your layout work for the project?
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 2nd november 2012
I'll have to use the macs at the campus... might have to nag them to install the font to the servers because the Admins get funny about it... ugh.

All I've got at home is an ancient Toshiba laptop with the processing equivalent of a microwave.
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 3rd november 2012
Hey guys, thought I'd update you all one what we had to do with the font.

Turn a 4 letter word into a 3D model, so I made a light feature!
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 10th november 2012
Fantastic! The stained glass look fully realized. How did you print this? Color transparency? Lasertran decals?
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 10th november 2012
Lol not printed, I used a photo copier to blow up on paper my font, then I placed it under some glass and used it as a trace.

Then I used this new thing I found called Relief Paste which is kinda like Lead Tubing used on stain glass. :D

Then I used glass paint to add the finishing touches :D
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 10th november 2012
Lol, that explains the lack of “pixels”! The photo is just blurry enough I couldn’t be sure if it was digitally colored. Very nicely done – I especially like the subtle dimensional quality of the relief paste.
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 10th november 2012
It's really awesome stuff, can be used on any material and drys like rock.

Also comes in different colours.

I was really desperate to get actual lead tubing, tried ordering some but the only affordable one was in america... and by the time it arrived I would've gone past the deadline.

One thing I learned from this project though, PLAN AHEAD!!!
Comment by Martin Bodger (Arty_Marty) 11th november 2012

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