News > nonfontobject
Earlier this year we introduced you to new kind of projects we wanted to release under the Velvetyne umbrella. We gave these projects the name of Non-Fonts Objets or NFOs. Now is time for a new NFO, or Almost Font Object. Let us introduce you to Pilowlava 3D!
Vienna based designer Vincent Wagner of Studio Brot contacted us at the beginning of last summer, offering us something we have never done nore released: to create 3D meshes from one of our fonts and to release them under an open-source license. We were extactic from day one. This project would fit in our project of releasing creative open-source projects that would go beyond fonts while being rooted in our practice. These 3D meshes, as well as our font files, are a tool given to the community. They can be used in 3d renderings, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) projects, video games, or even cast in plastic or concrete if you want to give it a try.
For his first Velvetyne 3D font, Vincent chose to work with Pilowlava. Its bulbuous shapes directly make you think to inflatable ballons and seemed that they would handle well the constraints coming with 3D rendering. Vincent then created independent 3D models for a wide selection of latin glyphs of the Pilowlava font. Note that this work is not like a simple automatic extrusion. Vincent carefully sculpted every glyph, achieving the rounder and puffier rendering you could get. Note how the z-thickness of the strokes is not uniform, increasing and decreasing with the width of the strokes, but not linearly. The achieved effect is such as the one you would get by bending a metal tube. This work brings Pilowlava into the haptic world.
Those 3D glyphs have been modeled for subdivision. Each single glyph is made from 76 to 786 polygons. This work is released under the Free Art License, meaning that it’s freely usable for any personal or commercial use as long as you credit its author, and modifiable as long as you share the modifications under the same license.
Files are available under the .blend .c4d .fbx and .obj formats.
All images above by Vincent Wagner
When we released Karrik, we also published quite confidentially a little interractive fiction to go with it. I was thinking about to write one for a long time, because it seemed a fun way to show what a font can do in small size and what is its real texture while you read. And Karrik—because of its background (a custom font made for the issue of Cercle magazine dedicated to the topic of Ghosts)— was a good candidate. This family was intended to look as an old-fashioned sans-serif, bringing the clumsyness from both vernacular typography and obscure early 20th c. foundries. Karrik comes from the “bad” typography of ghost towns and half erased road signs, and I thought it would do a good job setting the mood of a murder story in a countryside village with some supernatural twists. In the end we didn’t communicate a lot about it because it was only one small piece of the promotion materials, but we all felt this game had some potential of its own. So when I posted it on reddit to have some feedback from the community and Gibbo contacted me to offer to edit and proofread it—we thought it was about time to level up and make a nice upgrade.
We hired Gibbo to edit and proofread the text. He made a very good job, correcting grammar and spelling mistakes, but also making the story more smooth. He suggested a tons of micro-improvements that, just like in type design, can seems very small one by one but make the whole a lot better in the end. With such a good text in our pocket, we felt we needed to enhance it again. So came the idea of illustrating it. One big beautiful image to have a kind of cover, like an actual book.
One of our very dear team member (Julien Imbert) suggested to contact John Grümph, a table top rpg writer and a skilled illustrator, to make this image. But after a few exchanges it appeared that Le Grümph had the time (and the motivation) to make more than one image. Like many. He played the game, choose key moments, and delivered nice clean black and white drawings that match perfectly the mood of the story. I can’t show them all, because you need to discover them in-game, but geez, look at this.
We announced them earlier, here is our first NFO (Non-Font Object). This particular project is a new hybrid model of license created by our dear member Anton Moglia and now carried by the whole foundry. Welcome the Velvetyne Fellowship License!
Why another license?
As a graphic designer collaborating with other designers and creating fonts, I often need to share work-in-progresss creations with friends and collaborators. The problem is that, until now, I didn’t know how to control this practice. Sometimes, these creations (such as fonts) were shared without my knowledge and then I lost control of their distribution. I have occasionally seen my unreleased fonts reappear somewhere on the internet. How did these people get there? Friends of friends shared them seamlessly, since there was no license attached.
I thought it might be interesting to encourage this practice, and that it could energize the way people share fonts. “I can give you that font if you want! You can share it with your friends, it’s meant to be.”
So I realized that it might be a very good way to distribute some of the fonts that I had in my folders. The idea was born: we can share some fonts, in a demo version, with friends. They can share them with their friends. It can give a little life to typefaces that would otherwise never be released. It’s also a way to get early usage examples of a font, which in turn can lead to more enthusiasm towards that font. The only restriction is that the files cannot be publicly released. It has to be something that is shared from hand to hand, like an old hacked movie on a USB drive.
So, what’s the deal?!
The Velvetyne Fellowship License allows you to make digital fonts and other creations available to your friends through peer-to-peer sharing. It encourages the distribution, within a defined framework, of any kind of digital creations, that otherwise would remain in designers’ folders. These creations can thus spread organically from one friend to another and can be used normally as long as they are not released on a public distribution platform.
This particular licence allows users to employ these creations in commercial and noncommercial projects alike. However, it prevents anyone to post the licensed creations on any website or online repository whatsoever. The only way to obtain their files would be from another fellow. This licence also allows modifications of the creation, but only after asking their original designer. In this sense, this licence is different from traditional open source and libre licences. Any modification can be shared afterwards as long as they are still under the Velvetyne Fellowship License.
It’s a distribution model in which each holder of the licenced creative files becomes in turn a distributor and guarantees their availability and conservation.
Why should I use it?
→ You produce digital creations in your free time, as part of your studies or a professional activity.
→ You would like to share them with friends, wether they are students, graphic designers, designers, architects or your family.
→ You are used to sharing ongoing creations with your personal and professional network, but you haven’t been able to control the distribution of these files by using a license.
The fellowship license is intended to help you manage this practice.
How to use the Fellowship License?
This repository contains a demo folder to help you create a structure which will contain your creation files and which you can then send to your friends.
This folder also contains the logo of the Velvetyne Fellowship Licence which must appear in the creation files to guarantee its authenticity.
If you share files published under this licence with a friend, feel free to briefly explain its specificity.