Nowadays, I'll fiddle with the spacing between letters at any opportunity. I'll kern when doing logo design. I'll kern when making a birthday card for my dad. I'll even kern when typing an application to Harvey's. However, I look back at the last poster I made and there was such a wide gap between the "h" and "a" in Charlie that I could have moonwalked through it.
For the Beetlejuice poster, I decided, the text shall be spectacular.
Text is usually the weakest element of every Toons On Tap poster. Unless Jeremy or I are outright plagiarizing Kanye West, we barely know how to choose a typeface.
|My apologies to Mr. West.|
To begin, I decided to recreate the title and tagline of the Beetlejuice movie poster. I placed two restrictions on myself: 1) don't Google "Beetlejuice font", and 2) stick to fonts I already had in FontBook.
Of course, I opened the book and learned I didn't know why "&" represents "and". (It is a ligature of "et"- the Latin word for and.) Time for round two.
The biggest mistake I made in my first attempt was stretching a squat font vertically rather than using a more versatile typeface. If possible, I wanted only one typeface throughout the whole poster, with changes in size and boldness. My second big mistake was using a font with a high thick-to-thin stroke contrast. The "N" and "A" especially look too thin to resemble the original.
Next, I went through my serif fonts and found three that fit the bill: the "J" ends with a terminal, the stroke contrast is medium, the serifs are wedge shaped, and the serifs are bilateral (on both sides).
I decided on the font superfamily Arno Pro. Back in elementary school, having the options bold and italic lead to hours of tweaking in WordPerfect. Now, I get to play with "caption" and "italic caption" and "semibold italic caption". It's nuts.
Toons On Tap looked like this in Arno Pro:
Forgetting what I just learned about not stretching type, I did just that:
Next, I studied the tilt and position of the letters in the Beetlejuice title. Before, I had assumed the letters were much more tilted then they were.
I rasterized my text, and one by one tilted and positioned the letters.
In the tagline, I noted that every word was capitalized. Using different font styles, I created slighter bolder, slightly larger, capitals on each word.
To further the movie poster feel, I included the models' names.
|The final image|
Unlike my first attempt, I decided against adding a rough look to the text. Jeremy had coloured the art in a very clean, cartoony style. The text, we decided, should also be clean.
In the end, I have no idea whether my first attempt and final image look noticeably different. If the team and I end up doing an American Psycho night (we've wanted to for a while), I know I'll be the one comparing nearly identical business cards.