7
2 Comments

FontDiscovery 🖼️ 34: Gets Attention with Graffiti Inspired Disko

I'm Hua, a designer and bootstrapping founder building Typogram, a brand design tool. As part of running Typogram, I create this digestible weekly guide with fonts, colors, and design ideas to help founders, creators, and makers step up their game in marketing and get creative!


Hi Everyone 👋

Hope you are having an awesome week so far! If you are new, welcome! and thanks so much for being here.

Last weekend I took a break and did some doodling in Porcrate (a drawing software). I constantly hear good feedback about this software but have never tried it. It was fun to doodle and experiment without much of an end product in mind. This is a break that I very much needed. I heard a saying recently: it is better for a digital product to be known for a feature than trying to cover all the bases. This is true for Procreate. This software is simple and focused on nailing the drawing aspect of the tool. It was a joy to use with so many brushes you can experiment with. I really love how simple it is.

I also caught up with my co-founder Wenting @wentin, who recently joined me on the indie founder journey. She is writing about her first 30 days as a full-time indie hacker publically in her newsletter. Though she had started many different side projects in the past, starting a newsletter is a new frontier. During our meeting, we talked about her lessons and learnings, which you can also read here. Her learnings really resonated with me as a newsletter creator.

Lastly, a little good news: Our newsletter got featured in this Product Hunt tweet. This definitely made my day. : )

Now, let’s dig into our post this week!

In this issue

  • Theme: Street Talk
  • Font of the Week: Disko
  • Design Idea: Sticking to Your Words
  • Color Inspiration: Psychedelic Poster

cover-1.png

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F2914a1ab-0dcd-4814-938a-0b2668d5a70d_716x462.png

{img: sample of Disko Do you have a friend who could profit from the weekly design tips, just like you do? Please consider forwarding or sharing FontDiscovery with your friend by clicking on the button down below.}


Font of the Week

Lettering in the Street

Look at neighborhood walls, under bridges, and inside tunnels. The chances are, you will find some graffiti. But, what is their story?

It is only recently that I start digging into graffiti's rich, underground histories. The "bubble letter" style of graffiti writing, characterized by fat, marshmallow-like shapes, is known as softies. It was developed by the graffiti artist Phase 2 (real name, Michael Lawrence Marrow) in New York in 1972. Phase 2 also embellished his softies, creating stylistic variations by combining elements such as arrows, stars, clouds, and drips.  Other graffiti artists soon begin to copy and parody the softie, adding their takes in the process.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F7177511d-a92c-4a0c-a53e-a1cbb9e5a6ce_716x462.png

{img: softie on a subway car in NYC; source: widewalls}

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F98c692bb-3fa6-4a0c-a415-a14d55ff2756_716x462.png

{img: Phase 2 with later drip-style softie; source: hippopdx}

About Disko

Disko is a fat, graffiti-inspired font that feels a little old school. The letters, puffy like marshmallows, remind you of softies. At its natural state (if you don't manipulate the letter-spacing), Disko letters overlap to create a hand-drawn vibe. It's a loud, urban outline font.

Font Details

  • Fat strokes with hand-drawn like outlines
  • Letters slightly overlap
  • Uppercase letters only (except i and e)

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Ff9459bdb-85f8-40be-b799-2cf50b932d61_716x462.png

img: Disko’s fat strokes and hand-drawn like outline

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F4d397960-b719-4c45-baf8-e678c72afec5_716x462.png

img: Disko’s letters have a close overlap and mostly uppercase letters

How to use Disko for Logos?

Disk communicates loud, funkiness, urban in a bold and colloquial tone. Because it has a colloquial, urban tone, it is only appropriate for particular brands. For example, those focusing on youth, pop culture, urban spaces, or similar. It may not be right for something that looks to be classic or serious. Imagine setting a research paper in this font, it would be hard to take the research findings seriously!

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2Fb0f02b5b-b5b7-40a0-bedf-8926bc22280c_716x462.png

img: It is hard to take serious news in Disko seriously, and it is even harder to read; article source: TechCrunch

How to use Disko for marketing?

Disko is great for eye-catching graphics and large-size copies. It is excellent for swags like stickers, t-shirts, and posters, where its boldness can add an extra graphic punch.

While the outline and overlapping letters add a fantastic visual touch to Disko, both also make Disko hard to read in small sizes. The outline can break down in small sizes, which makes Disko a poor choice for body copy. Disko can pair with Montserrat because Montserrat is also an urban-inspired typeface.


Design Idea of the Week

Sticking to Your Words

We see stickers every day, but do you ever wonder who invented them?

The concept of stickers can go back as far as the ancient Egyptians (they pasted pieces of paper onto the walls to display prices of goods for trading (source). However, modern stickers may have come from Sir Rowland Hill, who invented the adhesive paper in 1839.  Stickers are a great way to get your business name out there. At conferences and events, you will see stickers all over. Businesses also send them to customers. They are easy to distribute, and people can put them up anywhere. They increase brand awareness.

Stickers are relatively easy to DIY. If you have a printer, you can even make them at home with adhesive paper. While you could be using your logo, the design can also be an opportunity to build up emotional connections with your customers. What if you use a word or catchphrase? What if you create a cute mascot? What if you use custom memes for your brand?

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F1bb6b22a-1c05-483c-b7e9-07f9a8eeb8ed_716x462.png

img: GitHub makes many illustrative stickers featuring its mascot/meme, octocat. source: GitHub store


Color Idea of the Week

Psychedelic Posters

While Phase 2 is revolutionizing graffiti on the streets in the 1970s, Bonnie MacLean was conquering the design world with her ornate psychedelic posters for The Filmore, an iconic music venue in San Francisco. These vibrant posters advertised concerts of famous musicians back in the day.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F89eeffb1-1429-4265-bf40-e41fb0af9868_716x462.png

img: psychedelic posters by Bonnie MacLean


🌱 Jargon Buster!

Font Weight

How thick or thin the character is: the weight of a particular font is the thickness of a character’s strokes relative to its height.


Creative Prompt

Can you draw a plan for your customized sticker? I would love to see what you create via Twitter or Email.


Thank you!

Thanks for being here for another week. Disko s available here. It is designed by Jess Latham.

https://cdn.substack.com/image/fetch/w_1456,c_limit,f_auto,q_auto:good,fl_progressive:steep/https%3A%2F%2Fbucketeer-e05bbc84-baa3-437e-9518-adb32be77984.s3.amazonaws.com%2Fpublic%2Fimages%2F914eccb0-3628-47fb-8df0-9d1527a84ae3_1518x760.png

img: Disko infographic


If you enjoy this series, you can subscribe here:

Have more questions about design and fonts? 
Please email me [email protected] or find me on Twitter at @HuaTweets.
You can also read the past issues on Typogram's blog.

Trending on Indie Hackers
Design & UI/UX takes me so long- am I doing everything wrong? 29 comments How do you decide what idea to work on? 20 comments Looking for feedback on a note-taking tool focused on your personal interests. 7 comments My new self destructing notes app is on product hunt today. Would love some support. 6 comments Help me choose a name for my app 4 comments How and where to find a technical co-founders? 2 comments