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Masters of Design 2008

A Behind the Scenes Peek at Making the "Typographreaks" Font

The designers at House Industries offer a show and tell of how they created the "Typographreaks" font to accompany the article we wrote about them for Masters of Design. They were inspired by Rick James's red boots.

A Behind the Scenes Peek at Making the "Typographreaks" Font

So here's a behind the scenes peek at one of the most ridiculous lettering jobs we've done to date. When the editors at Fast Company told us they wanted to call their House Industries article "Typographreaks", naturally we had to venture to the source of all freaky goodness, Mr. Rick James.

Rick's Red boots = Awesome.

The thumbnail sketch. Ken and I knew a fluid script was in order. Then we noticed a tongue-like tail on the "s"...

Went back and forth on the composition…a full page lettering extravaganza or an in-your-face double page spread??? By this time the juicy Lubalin-esque script was starting to come to life. In typical House Industries typo fashion, it took us a few sketches to get our head around the "ph" spelling in phreaks.

Once we figured out the form, a raw character was passed off to Chris to figure out the best way to capture that glossy red Rick James boot magic.

Tighter pencils. When it comes to materials, no expense is spared at House. Ken Barber demands most bobo of dollar store mechanical pencils for such lettering jobs. This was also the portion of the program where we thought having the type licking itself might have made Rick proud.

Once the executive decisions were made about how much tongue, direction/size of spit splashes, how many gathers and depth of drop shadows, the velum was handed back to Chris for inking.

He did most of the brushwork at home so the only shot I have is of this Sharpie overlay where the "wet look" was realized. Scanned it all, picked colors and sent it to Fast Company.

This was one of those projects when we not only entertained ourselves (the main goal at House) but were fortunate to have a client that had faith in us being serious about not being serious.