Fake Empire font dirty, distorted, misprinted and grungy
Why strive for excellence when mediocrity will do. Those are the words of Paul Arden taken from the book It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.
Yup, I’ve been reading those things again, what are they called, oh yea books. I’ve been reading books.
Mr Arden was a much wiser man than me (lets face it that’s not difficult). He had a point. A good point. Perfection is overrated. The world would be a boring place if everything was perfect—right?
Was punk seeking perfection? Nope. Far from it and they were one of the most influential bands in history. Oh, the filth and the fury.
At this point I’m rambling, but it should make more sense once you see my font.
Thinking too much
I was listening to a song by The National called Fake Empire. I’ve listened to it a lot over the years.
For some reason, the lyric “We’re half-awake in a fake empire” struck a chord with me. Perhaps it was Brexit and Trump and the fact that world seems a weird place to be at the moment.
Weird shit on the news, that just washes over you. Until you notice it.
Half awake in a fake empire
I’m watching the news, probably too much. Post truths and alternative facts are a thing now—I’m feeling we are sleepwalking into some Orwellian future.
Either I’m half asleep or the politicians are just disregarding any kind of objective truth. Trump, for instance, seems to have the extraordinary ability to announce the absolute opposite today of what was said yesterday.
Hilary is a criminal, I love you Hilary. WTF.
The scary thing is how increasing intolerance in public debate or disagreement is evolving. If someone disagrees with an objective truth, then that argument is shut down or alternative truths are told.
Since when was an alternative truth a thing? Shit off, Those alternative truths are lies.
Just as in 1984. And now the slogan War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength is rattling around in my brain.
Now that’s quite heavy for a post about a new font.
Fake empire font
With fake empire, I tried to strip it all back to basics. Paper, glue and scissors. It’s the old punk ethos of learning 3 chords and forming a band—but with fonts. Okay it’s not quite the same, but you know what I mean.
I first created the font and then printed it out. I enlarged that print so I could see the dot pattern.
Then taking the prints and ripping them up. Literally with my hands tearing the paper into thin strips. I then glued them back together with Pritt Stick and scanned them into the computer.
Took those new versions, printed them again but this time I cut them up with scissors. I ended up with 3 versions of the uppercase A-Z letters.
Scanning and cleaning
I then took the scans into photoshop and converted them to grayscale images. I then used image/adjustments/levels to remove the paper texture so it was just black and white. I then removed any obvious dust and scratches, now its ready to be traced in illustrator.
Converting to a font
I did a bit of trial and error with my illustrator auto-trace, and eventually found a setting I liked.
It’s a balancing act to try and keep the detail but with as few points as possible. You can see my illustrator trace setting above. It had lots of points so don’t say I didn’t warn you. Normally I set it to far fewer.
I saved the setting and applied it to all the other scans.
I converted the font using fontself maker. Super handy extension for illustrator that really speeds up my workflow.
After I exported the font I took it into glyphs app for kerning and other minor adjustments.
Fake empire a unicase font
Fake Empire is a unicase font, so it only has uppercase letters. However, the lowercase letters have alternative uppercase letters in them. To give a unique handcrafted look to your designs, each A-Z glyphs have 3 versions. This means you can manually substitute any A-Z character. This helps it look less repetitive.
Perfection is overrated
Nothing about Fake Empire is perfect. It’s dirty, distorted, misprinted and grungy. Like a damaged and dirty poster from the 80’s. It’s distressed like crazy but still legible.
It would be best suited for large headlines, posters and display type.
If this font was a celebrity it would be more Sid Vicious than Sid James.
Buy Fake Empire for £10
You can buy my Fake Empire font for just £10. The font format is .OTF and in total it has xxx glyphs.
Fake Empire font includes;
- One weight
- 3 versions of each A-Z
- Uppercase letters only (lowercase are uppercase alternatives)
- Punctuation & Symbols
- Western European characters
- Central European characters
- South Eastern European characters
That is all.