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Alphabetic Inspiration: A-Z Experiments with Letters, Hand-Crafted Type, and More

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This inspirational post is all about creating non-traditional type, letters, and alphabets. Some of these are made to into functional fonts and others serve as realized concepts. Consider doing some experiments with photographing objects made into full alphabets, hand crafting letters, working with 3D, trying unusual mediums, and more. Construct an image based font you can use in Photoshop, build your first pictorial font, or just have fun hand crafting some letters.

This Post is Day 4 of our Illustrative Lettering Session. Creative Sessions

Illustrate the Alphabet Project

For those of you interested in showing off your own illustrated alphabets and letters, jump over to this session's group project Illustrate the Alphabet where you can post an image of your letter creations and get some feedback on your work.


Object Based Letters and Fonts

There are so many real world objects one can collect and use as the basis for a font. Many of these are collections assembled here into letters, whether it's vegetables, metal constructions, ties, iPhones, or any other object. Set up a photo shoot in your spare room and make a unique image based font.

5-A-Day Type, by Jimmy Smith

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PillsType, by Vladimir Koncar

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HAARSPAN_GE, by Maude P. Lescarbeau

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Tie-pography, by Ed Nacional

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Mech type, by Sebastian Gagin

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Paper font, by Jozef Ondrík

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Fuzzy - Font, by Font Soup

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Splinter: 3D Typeface, by Arslan Shahid

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iPhone Font, by urikane parker

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Rock Around the Clock, by DASE Roman Sherbakov

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emotional book, by ShanSan Art&Design

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Made By - Awareness campaign, by Dolly Rogers

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Multisensory Typography, by Alan Murphy

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Hand-Crafted Letters and Alphabets

Wheather it's drawn, painted, carved, or in one case cut up potatoes used to make letters. The hand crafted feel is prevalent in the alphabets below. From watercolor to calligraphy their are a plethora of mediums and disciplines to choose from when creating unique letters.

Potato Font, Sofie Platou

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Watercolor Typography, Sasha Prood

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Deconstructive Typography, Alper YILDIRIM

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I used to Bitch about my shoes until..., Bruno Santinho

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Diploma project1 2005-2006, Balázs Szabó

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Blue Plastic Cup Font | my experimental fonts, Sveta Sebyakina

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Tring Type, Rheannon Cummins

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INK & SIMMETRY :: Tipography, María LaMuy

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Alphabet Studies, Michael Zeyda

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Photographic, Image Based, and Pictorial Letters

The dominant element that makes up these letters below are either photographs or drawn letters made with recognizable images in them. Some are shot from satellites, others are cut up images that are then reconstructed into alphabets. Photography is a medium well suited for those looking to capture unique lettering to use in Photoshop illustrations. Pictorial based fonts are often drawn then vectorized in the construction process, and there are a few of those shown here as well.

We Are Animals Type, POGO

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Google Earth Alphabet, Vladimir Zivkovic

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Photographic light capture typography, by Chris Page

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Typography experiments, Reack

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Typography - Creeps Deco Bold, Moa Nordahl

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Bound Type, Gatis Cirulis

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Keeparty, by Irena Zablotska, Eugene Rudyy, and Keepa

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Sequences, Jónas Valtýsson

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Experimental Letters and Fonts

There are a million and one ways one can create letters. The inspirational projects below are just a handful of additional alphabet experiments in effects, 3D, and even motion in the first example.

Type Experiments by Roy Eventov

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3D typeface, by Jarrik Muller

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Alphabet, by Jan Vitásek

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Misunderstood, by Adeliya Akhmerova

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MEA BODONI, by Jorge Mendez

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Type Experiment, by Oleg Portnoy

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Title, by Artist

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The Roommates, by Giampiero Quaini

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Hand Made Fonts

There are some that have taken image based and experimental fonts to a professional level. If your looking for a high end experimental type foundry, then check out Hand Made Fonts. They have a ridiculous amount of amazing image based fonts, over two hundred of them in high resolution. Some are created from 3D, others from images of light in motion, earthly elements, and various objects. Here are just a handful of jaw-dropping letters they've constructed.

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All images are the copyright of their respective artist.


Further Inspiration


This Post is Day 4 of our Illustrative Lettering Session. Creative Sessions
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