Higgs Boson Blues font handmade vintage woodtype in the tradition of old American letterforms—the OpenType-SVG extraordinary amount of texture and detail

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.

I love to carve lino, I find it therapeutic, and it gets me away from the computer screen—always a good thing.

What’s lino?

If you have never heard of linocut, its 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 (see below).

One of my Linoleum blocks wth letters carved out.

One of my Linoleum blocks wth letters carved out.

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.

Its 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.

When I say hard, I don’t mean its hard to get a texture. That is easy, but to make an authentic texture, that doesn’t look the same, and repetitive, that is the tricky part.

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.

Higgs Boson Blues combined with a vintage illustration to get that old school look and feel.

Higgs Boson Blues combined with a vintage illustration to get that old school look and feel.

Alternative glyphs

Using that idea, I can create many alternative prints for each letter that look totally random. The characters themselves don’t change its 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.

Higgs Boson Blues Each uppercase and lowercase letter has 3 alternatives that look different.

Each uppercase and lowercase letter has 3 alternatives that look different.

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 trying to get that old etching effect

Higgs Boson Blues trying to get that old etching effect

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.

Fancy a pint of Bitter Creek, why wouldn't you? Higgs Boson Blues perfect for that beer branding project.

Fancy a pint of Bitter Creek, why wouldn’t you? Higgs Boson Blues perfect for that beer branding project.

Higgs Boson Blues Opentype-SVG bitmap font includes:

  • Upper and lowercase characters (Basic Latin only)
  • Numbers
  • Punctuation
  • Symbols

Higgs Boson Blues Standard vector font

  • Upper and lowercase characters (Basic Latin only)
  • Numbers
  • Punctuation
  • Symbols
  • Full support for Western, Central and South Eastern European glyphs

Higgs Boson Blues 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 colour 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 a some of 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 can not be held responsible for its lack of support.

Get Higgs Boson Blues for £12

Get Higgs Boson Blues font
Vintage logo style, this would look awesome on a t-shirt

Vintage logo style, this would look awesome on a t-shirt

That is all.

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