Movie Style: The Good, Bad Man Gets a New, Old Font

Movie Style: The Good, Bad Man Gets a New, Old Font

Jennifer Hunter
Jul 14, 2014
(Image credit: The Atlantic)

Douglas Fairbanks in The Good Bad Man (1916, restored 2014)

Font nerds know: there's a lot of emotion in those lines and letters. That's why when the silent film, The Good Bad Man (originally released in 1916) was being restored to screen at the San Franscisco Silent Film Festival and was missing its original dialogue cards, the producers turned to type designer Chank Diesel to create a new, "old" type to add just the right flair to the existing film footage. Appropriately called, "Silent Film Font," here's what he came up with.

(Image credit: The Atlantic)

Notice the details: the extra-large capital letter, the wide-set type, the tiny quotation marks and the extra space after the last letter but before the final punctuation, all period-appropriate details.

Although now we recognize the artistry of titling, the letterers of silent films were almost never credited. The 1916 title cards would have been painted and then filmed; Diesel made his homage with Adobe Illustrator and Fontlab.

Although it has a unique style and was created for a specific purpose, we'd love to see this easy-to-read and emotive font pop up elsewhere. So would Diesel. He says, "Of course it has an old-timey feel, and you can't change that. But modern people still talk about old-timey things on the smart-gadgets of today, so I think it'll find a use with somebody."

If you want to screen the movie yourself, make your way to the next screening at the Library of Congress on July 18.

Via The Atlantic.

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