View Full Version : Recommend me.... fonts!

Eliseu Gouveia
08-01-2016, 06:18 PM
Hey, guys,

been working on my pet project whenever I can and now I have come to the single worst part for me - lettering-.
"I suck at it" somehow doesn't even begin to make it justice but perhaps with a lotta practice, I hope one day to chip away 5% of my suckitude.
Maybe even 7%.

... which brings me here (didn't wanna clog the lettering showcase forum with this).
I need font suggestions for my characters.
There's a whole lotta different species in this little run-of-the-mill fantasy story and I'm looking for a specific font for each of them. I have:
- a barbarian warrior race
- a sophisticated elf-like race (something with flourishes, but still readable)
- a peaceŽnŽlove druid-like race
- another set of warriors, but this time a cockroach-inspired race of pirates

So, pretty conventional fantasy tropes there (don't hurt me! :har: )
What have you got for me, gents? :carrot:

08-01-2016, 10:51 PM
Pay a....letterer! :whistlin:


08-01-2016, 11:36 PM


Eliseu Gouveia
08-02-2016, 02:59 AM
LOL, no comic sans suggestions?

Scribbly, I have no $$$ to pay a letterer, I've gotta play all the instruments myself.

paul brian deberry
08-02-2016, 06:15 PM
I'll do it free. It would be my pleasure.

08-02-2016, 07:09 PM
I'll do it free. It would be my pleasure.

In that case I call seconds after OP ! ; ) That's super cool of you.

Eliseu Gouveia
08-02-2016, 08:01 PM
God, this is why I love this place! :)

Thank you so much for your posts, guys, I really appreciate it!
Paul, let me compose myself and clear my table and I'll PM you shortly.
Thank you so much! :)

Cloves Rodrigues
08-02-2016, 08:35 PM
i like for Comic fonts:

Acme Secret Agent
Action Man
Adam Warren
Alex Toth
Anime Ace


Lee Nordling
08-03-2016, 12:26 AM
Best suggestion: don't use a different font for each character. I get why you'd want to do that, and sometimes Walt Kelly used a different font for a character to show how he'd speak differently from the others...but it worked for Kelly because the other characters spoke in one lettering style, not five or six. If you do what you're thinking (and please, please, please believe/trust me about this) it'll look like crap, and be too distracting.

There IS a place for font variations, and there aren't any real rules about it, but what you're proposing won't get you the response you want.

Mark Evanier once told me (and I think he's right) that lettering will bring the quality of your book up or down 10%; this idea brings it down.

That said, there are a lot of great comics fonts out there, and each one brings a different tone to the material.

I'm fond of Dave Gibbons cap and lower, but it really depends on what you're hoping to achieve, tonally.

08-03-2016, 01:36 AM
Hippie Druids and cockroach pirates?? Sold! When can I read this insanity?

Michael Ford
08-03-2016, 02:28 PM
Different fonts and word balloons has never been appealing to me. It may seems like a good way to give characters their own distinct voice but it is like the audio effects films use to make a villain voice seem scary. It doesn't work and it just seems cheap and gimmicky. I am moved more by words than effects. So use the words to make your characters distinct.

Mark Evanier once told me (and I think he's right) that lettering will bring the quality of your book up or down 10%; this idea brings it down.

Actually, Lee, I would argue that lettering can make or break an otherwise outstanding comic. A comic can have bad art that is redeemed through good writing or have bad writing carried by good art. However, if the lettering is bad then I won't know what to read in what order, ruining the writing, or it will cover up the wrong parts of the scene, hurting the art.

Lee Nordling
08-03-2016, 03:09 PM
Okay, so that's a range of 10% to ruined vs. "I can't wait to read this insanity."

Not consensus...but definitely skewing away from "Hey, what a great idea."

Now, situations like this become interesting breaking points for creators, because they have visions for what they want to do, and are faced with criticism, in this case constructive criticism, because there have been explanations for when it can work and why it doesn't work here.

But what's a creator to do?

We have a history of people succeeding in the face of criticism, even derisive criticism (which isn't the case here), so how does a creator know when to shift gears.

Well, let's go back to the opening statement in this case, where Eliseu says he sucks at lettering, so there's self-awareness there, and that's a good thing. (Nobody's great at everything, and a lot of people suck at a lot of things.)

Well, Eliseu can pay a professional letterer to do two versions of a few sample pages, one version with his idea, and the other the way the letterer recommends, then he can take an informal survey.

His goal: to find out if people are responding the way he hoped they'd respond to the story AND to the lettering.

One simple question (among many) could be for the version with different lettering styles: what do you think the different lettering styles is conveying?

Another question can be: which version do you prefer and why?

However it goes, good luck with having your vision for your comic meet your expectations.

Stewart Vernon
08-03-2016, 05:20 PM
Probably the best place I've seen the different-font-for-voice-effect used is on a book like Sandman back in the day... to give Sandman (or other members of the Endless) a distinct voice. It was used sparingly, though, and as memory serves just for the Endless characters... everyone else had a common font for their dialog.

You have to be careful that you don't try and get too "cute," so to speak, for your own good and make the comic unreadable.

08-03-2016, 05:45 PM
Oh I meant "insanity" in a positive way. Not a criticism. It sounds like fun.

But I do agree that it's probably not a good idea to get to cute with the various fonts. I feel like the best lettering doesn't call too much attention to itself. Too many fonts would just give the the impression that the letterer was feeling ignored.

Cloves Rodrigues
08-03-2016, 06:51 PM
I dont know if I was misunderstood
but I just I cited free fonts that I like, dont have to use all in a story, i think

Eliseu Gouveia
08-04-2016, 03:58 AM
Hey, guys,

thank you so much for your comments and advices, I really appreciate them.
I am very fond of the idea of different fonts for different dialects ever since my days of reading Asterix but I can see that too much of it may ruin it all.
Even back then, Asterix only used one different font/word balloon per pages (normans, bretons, etc), not 5 or six.

I'm gonna have to give some serious thought into this, maybe try to find a way to subdue it so the pages don't turn into a mess before scrapping the idea altogether.

Lee Nordling
08-04-2016, 08:59 AM
In for a penny, in for a pound.

Elisea, look at what works, and look FOR what doesn't.

But "subduing" it is avoiding how it will really be perceived by the reader.

Your Asterix example is exactly like my "Pogo"/Walt Kelly example...but note the main characters "spoke" in regular fonts, and the Romans speak in regular fonts.

Try the test I suggested or just pay a letterer to tell you what we've been telling you for free.

But if you're going with multiple fonts, and there's no other editorial reason for doing it (like nobody understanding what anybody else is saying, which could be funny, but that's not what you're going for) then the idea is the idea, whether it's three, four, or five fonts, smaller or bigger; they're there.

08-04-2016, 02:45 PM
Anime Ace is usually my go-to

08-04-2016, 02:52 PM
If you're new to lettering, do what is known to work.

That leaves you free to concentrate on other aspects of storytelling, knowing that you aren't going to mess them up.

If you are going to be bold with lettering, do it with the involvement of a pro, because otherwise, even if your bold idea is the best thing since Babylon 5, your execution may cause it to fail.

Lord Fejj
08-07-2016, 03:17 AM
I'm a shitty letterer but I would vote for a single font as well, other than sound effects.

08-07-2016, 09:29 AM
Every character has his own font in Mazzucchelli's "Asterios Polyp" and I feel it works well there, in the hands of a master. It's all hand-written though, I think, by the same hand, so that might be giving it the much-needed cohesiveness, because generally you should use as few fonts as possible, maybe two for diversity.