Kyle Wayne Benson

Alphabets and a little upsets

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Notch Sans

1. INSPIRATION AND SKETCHES

There are a lot of great cut-in style fonts out there to be inspired by. Brothers, United, and Gin have set a high standard in digital type. But it's hard to find old, unique, hand painted references for cut-in because the style was a matter of convenience and time saving—so most sign painters didn't get too creative with it. The cut-in style is defined by E.C. Matthews in How to Paint Signs and Sho' Cards as, "where you paint around the letters, leaving the wording in white."

We no longer design letters in negative space, which has taken away the restriction that made it so interesting and unusual in the first place. For that reason I've always felt there's a lot to be explored there. At the book store I found a few cut-in cousins in the more decorative tuscan style:

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Inspiration like this, though Notch ended up looking nothing like it, helped me think outside of established conventions for the style. Other inspiration included work by Simon WalkerAdam Traseger, and many other letterers who frequent this style.

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2. SPECIMEN EXAMPLES

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3. TITLE CARD

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I decided to release Notch Sans as open-source on github: https://github.com/kylewaynebenson/notch. The Glyphs master files are there, and will hopefully help you dig in and see some of the ways I built out characters, spaced and kerned, and set up the interpolation. It's a work in progress, so if you're up to the task and see some things that could be changed, I'd love to get a few contributors on board.

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