An experimental image font made using the
University of Plymouth's unique letterpress workshop.
PlymouthPress uses the OpenType-SVG Image format, a new and cutting-edge font technology. Each glyph has been digitised directly from prints made using our antique letterpress facilities.
Since the font uses bitmap images to render each glyph, the detailed textures present in the original prints have been retained, in a way that is not possible with traditional vector-based fonts.
The font uses OpenType scripting to automatically cycle through a range of alternate glyphs for each character, giving a ‘random’ appearance as you type. Alternates can also be chosen manually in supported applications.
The font is intended for display purposes only, and is not suitable for body text. It exudes character, creativity, and works best when making bold, evocative statements:
The font does not contain a full character set for each typeface variant, is uppercase only, and does not contain any numerals. Many common symbols are also missing, although basic punctuation is present.
PlymouthPress has a much larger file size than standard fonts, weighing in at over 12MB. Although fine for desktop use, this makes it impractical for embedding as a web font.
To strike a balance between image definition and final file size, the original scanned images have been scaled to 550 pixels in height. Exceeding this size may cause a loss of detail, blurring or pixellation. In practice, on a 300dpi document, type can be set at up to 200pt and still appear sharp.
In many applications, type appears black and cannot be recoloured. If you wish to apply colour, gradients or other effects to your type, you must use a bitmap image editor such as Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Designer or Pixelmator.
PlymouthPress is made available under the SIL Open Font Licence (OFL). You are able to use it freely for both non-commercial and commercial uses, under certain conditions.
Install the font in the usual way. You may need to relaunch Photoshop before PlymouthPress becomes available in the font menu.
Apply and edit the font within your designs using the Text Tool, in the same way as any other.
From the Photoshop menu, select Preferences > Type and check that the Enable Type layer glyph alternates tickbox is selected:
This allows you to manually pick alternate glyphs from a flyout when selecting individual characters with the Text Tool:
For automatic selection of alternates as you type, you must ensure the Contextual Alternates option is selected in the Character panel:
Because each character is made from an image, you can't change type colour with the usual Color Picker method. Instead you must do it using a ‘Color Overlay’ Layer Style:
To add a gradient effect to your type, you can achieve this using the ‘Gradient Overlay’ Layer Style:
PlymouthPress was created using the facilties within the School of Art Design and Architecture at the University of Plymouth, UK.
It was developed by staff and graduates from the BA(Hons) Graphic Design with Typography course.