Otter Disaster Designs - Pop Culture Themed T-Shirts

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bitstrips Coming Font Feature: Possibilities?

This strip by dk1 created a bit of a stir last week:

It got everyone very excited about using different fonts. The feature was quickly disabled due to bugs in how it worked but it got me thinking about some interesting possibilities.

Bitstrips does not currently feature custom objects, but if the new font feature is going to allow a user to utilize fonts installed on their own systems a world of possibilities is opened up. I realize this could be a big 'if'.

Using any number of software packages (like Fontographer) that allow for custom font design or even sites like YourFonts or FontStruct a user could create custom dingbat fonts for use as props in Bitstrips. Their use would obviously be more limited than the proper Bitstrips props, but would still be extremely useful. As a font based object, you would be unable to layer a given 'font prop' the same way that you would the banana prop. I've dummied up an example of how these 'font props' could work. Click image to enlarge:

I would create a detail 'letter' as the lower case, and an outline 'letter' as the upper case. This would allow you to layer the 'letters' to create an outline and/or multi-colored objects. This would get extremely complex in the case of clothing, as you'd have to create 2 'letters' for every pose you would want to use, and even then it would only work for a given body type. In the example above you'd have to make 3 different 'letters' just for the poses shown. If the character faces the other direction, then that is additional letters you'll have to make within the font. If you have a series where you would use the objects frequently it could well be worth the initial work involved. It would also allow a creator to have some very distinct objects to make his or her work stand out. On the other hand, a creator could share his 'font props' via email, or possibly some sort of central site (a wiki maybe?) for download by any interested Bitstripper.

Until true custom objects arrive, this could be a really neat option to add some clothes, vehicles, weapons, even crosshatching and shading to one's artistic arsenal.

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