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Note to self: come up with a cooler name than “The Stencil Typeface Project”. Sounds like some shitty 70s cock rock band.

Abstract: The goal of this project is to produce a set of stencil-ready typefaces that will be easy and fast to cut out by hand.

Background: Traditional typefaces used for stenciling (army, industry) were designed to imitate normal Roman typefaces, and were cut by machine. Many stencil fonts available online are designed to imitate printed typefaces. Others mimic the look of a sprayed stencil with a grunge/distressed feel. Some are genuinely original, but still fail to account for actual usage as a template for cutting. The main problems tend to be small lines and tricky curves.

I’m targeting an audience of street artists and activists, who don’t have access to a stencil-maker or a laser cutter—just their own two hands, an X-acto blade and some manilla card stock. My fonts will be designed to follow natural hand movements with a minimum of small lines, weak bridges and awkward curves.I’ll be trying several different approaches, and making right- and left-handed versions. All prototypes will be user tested repeatedly.


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