Note: We take time out of our regularly scheduled program of matching typefaces to talk about how to create scary type that matches Halloween.
Halloween is a time where we are inundated with type clichés. You know, type that looks like blood dripping, or type that looks like it has been scratched into the surface of wood, maybe type made from bones.
Cool, but done to death (and not in the good Zombie living dead sort of way)
The question is, how do we create “scary” type that is a bit less cliché? Well, the answer lies in using more “normal” typefaces in creative ways and sometimes contrasting those with unassuming typefaces. For instance. I took Futura Extra Bold and sliced it up to create the image below for a very high profile client of mine (my local church). It feels “Halloweenie” (is that a word? Halloween-esque? like Halloween?). The varied baseline helps add a chaotic feel, too.
Making a mash up of two typefaces can also be effective. Below is Rosewood with News Gothic. It creates a bit of a schizophrenic look, without resorting to the look of a ransom note.
Another idea is to add a few subtle quirks to an existing typeface. Below is Rosewood again, but with some small “thorns.”
Typographic puns (or typograms) work, too. Here’s one that evokes a jack-o-lantern.
The above examples took, obviously, a few minutes each. For more refined inspiration the Chase Design Group has some great typographic logos that have a sense of the macabre. Here are a couple of links to their site. Look especially for [ Vampire Diaries ] and [ Charmed ], which are beautifully done.
Let’s make “scary” more intriguing and less predictable.