Friday, 18 February 2011

Piel Script

I stumbled across this beautiful (and very extensive) typeface, Piel Script recently and immediately let the shop know about it. Andrew purchased it straight away. With so many requests for lettering, and invariably the request coming with the proviso for it to “be pretty”, and with so much script lettering being so time consuming, this was perfect. For $98, this typeface pretty much pays for itself with one or two tattoos.

Alejandro (or Ale) Paul is a graphic and type designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Some more of his exquisite work can be seen here on Behance.

He’s done a stunning amount of work on this. The choices are almost overwhelming. In some instances letters have dozens of variants, some for at the start of words or phrases, some at the end, and lots of options in between. All the accented characters as well, heaps of ligatures, lots of individual swooshes to add the finishing touches.

My completely half assed attempt at a tattoo script.
I wonder how much it would cost to get that tattooed across my back. I kid!

I added a swoosh to the bottom left of the X, the loop on the top of the P got a swoosh, the dot of the I got a swoosh, the swoosh on the left hand side of the T got moved over to the right to make it fit. It offers a LOT, but it still requires a bit of tweaking to make it all work. It does most of the work for you, but you still need to do some work to get it all the way there. That took me a little over an hour, hour and a half. And most of that time was just trying to figure out which characters to use. 

I’m not a calligrapher, and I’m quite certain that someone who actually knows what they’re doing is appalled at my amateurish efforts. But this is still infinitely better than I could do by hand, took me a fraction of the time that approach would have taken. And I suspect that if I really get to know this face and study all of its variants and options, I can do a much better job in future. And I don’t believe for even a second that anyone drawing something similar by hand could get lines as clean as what the lines on this will be.
Another one I did last night. Had to fudge a bit by moving the top of the G down a little so it didn’t interfere with the curlicue above it. The right hand terminus of the C and the left hand terminus of the bar of the T needed to be moved apart so there was no unsightly overlap.
This is what I got, up to a point I thought it was okay....
...and then I did some more tweaking to it. Swoosh added to the top right hand side of the J, the bottom right terminus of the J moved to the left, bottom left hand terminus of the I moved to the right, terminus of the F removed, dot of the I changed, left hand terminus of the R moved to the left, bars of both Ts altered, and where the swoosh of the T and R meet moved so they join.

Then I went to bed. Like I said, this face does a lot for you, but you still need to have an understanding of vector drawing programs to take it all the way.
I’m having so much fun with this, I opted to have another go at another name. Initial set up....
..and the refined version. Mainly it consisted of moving swooshes over to make room or fill room. And I also changed the upper left terminus of the Y. Swapped one out for another.
Another version, which shows some of the variants of letters available. I could easily have done another two or three versions, and likely not have repeated any letters.
Moved the bottom of the last A up a little bit, and then added and swapped around decorative bits.

Still merely a pretender to the throne of calligraphic greatness, but really getting into playing around with this stuff. I ordinarily find lettering like this a bit gauche, but...I’m starting to appreciate it a bit more.

(And no, I’m not interested in doing favours for complete strangers who want me to set their name or their kids name in Piel Script for them for free so they can get it tattooed on themselves.)


  1. I have been trying to buy/download this open type font for ages but I can' seem to on
    Is there anywhere else I can purchase this?

    1. Not sure what to tell you. I just went to Veer, and it allows me to go as far as finalizing the transaction if buying it with a credit card. (not going to click buy, since I already bought it.)

  2. Igot the font, but I dont know how to make all these swoshes and loops?

    1. In Adobe Illustrator, under Type in the menu, you'll find "Glyphs". That will reveal all the extra characters.