The Forge Archives

Inactive Forums => Chimera Creative => Topic started by: Matt Wilson on January 02, 2004, 01:03:42 PM

Title: 9 worlds' design
Post by: Matt Wilson on January 02, 2004, 01:03:42 PM
Hey Matt:

Want to share some details regarding the layout for 9 worlds? What fonts are you using (garamond for body text?) and what spacing?

I think you really nailed it, so I'm curious as to what you did.


Title: 9 worlds' design
Post by: Matt Snyder on February 05, 2004, 09:20:38 AM
Matt --

Wow, I just realized how often I'm missing posts in my own forum. I habitually check for the colored icons for "new posts," but in logging ina nd out, I miss them somtimes. I'm very sorry for the unintentional delay, folks!

Nine Worlds was, somewhat unusually, inspired almost from the "graphical" side of things first. I knew I wanted to combine elements of the art nouveau with Greek myth and astrology (which was a good fit with art nouveau already -- see Gustav Klimt's Pallas paiting).

To put together the design, I really searched for some good typefaces. The most unusual is Moravia, a font created to mimic a poster by art nouveau master Alphonse Mucha. Moravia is the sinuous lettering used in the Nine Worlds title logo and chapter headings. I bought Moravia from the Scriptorium (, which is a great place for designers to get fonts relatively inexpensively. I highly recommend it.

For other typefaces, I settled on the following:

For the body copy, I used Garamond. This face is pretty common, and is one of the finest body copy faces ever created. Garamond is voluptuous, and I think it is therefore a good fit with the art nouveau's natural, winding curves look. The type size is 10 point over 12 point leading.

You haven't seen it yet, but I found a far more suitable sidebar typeface than what I used in the playtest. The face is Goudy Sans, which works beautifully as a kind of art nouveau "sans serif." The face still has lots of little flourishes that make it really unique. It's a condensed face that will work great for sidebar content. I think it'll be set at 9 points with auto leading (120% of 9 pts, whatever that is).

For the sub headings I chose Benguiat, which is another face that has lots of sinuous curves, but also sharp edges. The combination is sexy, and it really makes Benguiat a noticable face. Hence, I think good for headings and the like. I've set the subheadings at a points size of 12 points (thoough 10 for the smallest setting) over 12 pt leading, which matches the body copy leading.

I use Herculanum for "color" (the broadened text below some of the pictures, for example). Herculanum, as its name suggests, has a more ancient feel. Of course, I wanted this "coloration" in the text to mimic the ancient Greek and more modern aspects of the setting.

Graphics & Marginalia
The imagery in the margins of the Nine Worlds layout are really the secret weapon to look and feel. I used Eric Lofgren's artwork as inspiration (and he used art nouveau inspired artists for his work), and I almost literally traced his swirling mists and wonderful frames in illustrator. This took quite a long time of careful "drawing" in Illustrator, but obviously the end result was worth it.

I do need to work on the top bar graphic (on top of the pages), as people have previously suggested. I haven't settled on a solution for that yet.

Overall, the layout works best at the size I originally designed it -- roughly the size of My Life with Master, for those of you who've seen the hard copy. I hope to have it printed with a color softcover for GenCon. The end result will be similar to MLwM in page size and paper count.

Title: 9 worlds' design
Post by: Matt Wilson on February 10, 2004, 09:59:14 AM
Hey Matt:

Thanks for the reply. I had almost forgotten about asking.

I've snooped around Scriptorium before but didn't have any idea as to their quality. Glad to get a reference.

Fonts are cool. I get kind of geeky about them, with the drawback that I can never decide which ones to use.