Western Grit a new typeface

Hey there, quick heads up about this blog post – it's a bit outdated. I've made some changes since this was published. I've left my job to focus entirely on creating fonts. Because of this shift, the font mentioned here is no longer available for free.

Howdy partner, Western Grit, a new hand-drawn font with a free version that you can download and try out. This time I’ve gone all western on your ass. I’m apologizing now for the amount of western puns that I'm about to inflict on you. Yeee hawww! Eroded and distressed typefaces seem to be very popular at the moment—I don’t know about you, but my Pinterest account is full of them. I love them, and that’s why I created western grit—if you want to know more read on, pilgrim.

How it came about, partner

The inspiration has come from the old American style fonts, cowboy films, seeing the remake of True Grit, printing presses, and woodblock typefaces I didn’t want a clean looking design, fonts don’t have to be all clean lines. I wanted something dirty. I wanted something messed up, distressed and with bags of character. Like an old scrunched up piece of paper. There is a natural beauty with old printed fonts that I love.

Creating the Western grit

I’ve come to realise that drawing all the letters is the enjoyable part. It's fun and creative—converting to a typeface is the real ball ache. It's so tedious. Anyhow. With a pencil, I draw two simple guidelines then I use my trusty Faber castell pens to draw the letters. The first drawing is normally quite bad. I mull it over and use it as a template for the next attempt. Gradually everything starts to take shape, and I’m ready to scan in and add texture.

A job for photoshop

After a quick level adjustment to get rid of my pencil guidelines, it's time to apply some texture. I pulled together a few crumpled textures and got to work. My aim here is to give the work more texture and thus more character. If I see something that looks wrong I will normally fix it now in photoshop. I really like adding texture, its fun and you can get creative with your distress marks. If you are a fellow texture nerd, you’ll know what I mean. Once I was happy with the look and feel, illustrator auto trace, and paste into glyphs app, a bit of tweaking. Job done.

Hows it looking?

You can buy the full commercial version in my shop includes basic characters, western European and central European characters, numbers, symbols, punctuation and a whole lot more. In total, it contains 323 glyphs. The font format is .otf.


This is the conclusion to my blog post. I’m not sure what to write, but let's give it a go. Don’t restrict yourself to drawing vectors. A font doesn’t always need perfect lines and curves. Shut down your computer and get your pens and paper out. Draw, scribble, and whatnot. So what if it's not perfect. Embrace the quirks.

That is all.