Higgs Boson Blues font a wood type style typeface

Higgs Boson Blues was hand-carved onto lino blocks, yeah really. I bought a pack of 10 lino blocks mounted onto wood just to create this typeface. 

Now, you might be wondering why I'd go through all this trouble just for a typeface. Well, let me tell you, I find carving lino therapeutic, and it's a good escape from the computer screen—always a good thing, isn't it?

What's Lino?

If you have never heard of linocut, it's basically the easiest way to start printmaking. Linoleum, to give it its full name, is not the same as what's in your kitchen or bathroom floor. Linoleum is made from linseed oil, cork, and resin.

It only requires a few cutting tools, an ink brayer or roller, ink, paper, and a baren or wooden spoon to help with the print. It's like woodblock printing but quicker and cheaper.

Wood Block Style Font

Now, I know I'm not cutting the letters out of wood. Trust me if I had the time and tools I would. The linocut method is almost exactly the same, and that's good enough for me. Using my linoleum, I draw the glyphs directly onto it and then carve away the areas I don't want to be printed. Any lino left will be black when I roll the ink over the lino block. It requires a bit of patience and a steady hand.

Why Do This Just for a Font?

Why go to all this trouble, just for a typeface? Well, that's a good question. First, with a linocut, you are limited to the amount of detail you can carve out, especially when your lino is small. I love that limitation. You get something different than designing in Photoshop or Illustrator. It's too easy to make everything perfect in vectors.

Second, when you print, you get a whole lot of texture. I love that texture. It's hard to truly replicate that printed texture in Photoshop or Illustrator. So depending on the amount of ink used when I print the glyphs, I can get a letter that looks solid, but also one that looks like it's starved of ink.

Alternative Glyphs

Using that idea, I can create many alternative prints for each letter that look totally random. The characters themselves don't change; it's all done in the printing—using that wooden spoon I mentioned earlier. I can then scan in and convert those hand-printed characters to create a whole bunch of alternatives. Those alternatives can then be switched out in Photoshop and Illustrator to offer more variety in your design.

Font Style

Higgs Boson Blues is a bold display typeface. It harks back to the old wood type and letterpress typefaces of the 19th century.

It has a rustic distressed appearance, from the era of gunslingers and steam power. It has been hand-carved and hand-printed so has an eroded, grunge look, but retains a high level of detail. It has three variations of every uppercase and lowercase letter. Using OpenType features, you can switch out letters for their alternatives. This gives you more choice and allows you to create a more random appearance.

Higgs Boson Blues Usage

The typeface is suitable for a wide range of creative designs but works best to create that vintage look. Everything from logos, letterheads, headlines, and t-shirts to retro packaging, book covers, and beer labels.

Higgs Boson Blues Opentype-SVG bitmap font includes:
  • Upper and lowercase characters (Basic Latin only)
  • Numbers
  • Punctuation
  • Symbols
Higgs Boson Blues Standard vector font includes:
  • Upper and lowercase characters (Basic Latin only)
  • Numbers
  • Punctuation
  • Symbols
  • Full support for Western, Central and South Eastern European glyphs

Higgs Boson Blues in Two Different Formats

Higgs Boson Blues comes in two different formats, a standard/traditional vector format and the new OpenType-SVG bitmap font. The standard font will work in all software packages. The new OpenType-SVG bitmap font, as the name suggests, is created using images. It has an incredible amount of detail. Much more detail than the traditional vector format. With the help of Photoshop or Illustrator, you can easily make the font full colour. The font is transparent, so you can easily apply a color layer, that just totally transforms the typeface.

Experimental SVG-Bitmap

This new OpenType-SVG Bitmap font technology is unbelievable but has its limits. This font will only work in Photoshop CC2017+, Illustrator CC2018+, and some other native Mac applications. The Windows OS does not yet fully support OpenType-SVG bitmap fonts. You will not see the letters when you install the font on a PC, but they will still work in the latest version of Windows in Photoshop CC2017+ and Illustrator CC2018+. Adobe Indesign doesn't fully support OpenType-SVG bitmap Typefaces. If you plan on using the font in InDesign, then you do so at your own risk. I cannot be held responsible for its lack of support.

Check out Higgs Boson Blues on my store.