Occult (Typeface)

Over the course of 2019 and 2020 in my spare time, I designed the new typeface to accompany my illustrations. Occult is a modern blackletter based on old Germanic typefaces from the 12th to 17th century and was designed in Adobe Illustrator and Glyphs. Collectively, my typefaces have been downloaded and used over 200.000 times.

Client

Personal

Industry

2019-2020

Duration

±12 months

Role

Lead designer

An Ouija board layout, using the Occult Typeface

Occult is a blackletter font in the likes of Old English and Fraktur. Blackletter typography, often referred to as Gothic script, has been used in Western Europe between the 12th and 17th century predominantly for printing press typefaces.

The alphabet, spelled out in the Occult typeface

Lowercase set of Occult

Occult has been designed for digital prints, specifically to be integral part of illustrations. I designed Occult because existing typefaces were too embellished, too  antiquated, or too illegible. I wanted to use a typeface in my work that was contemporary, but still addressed that old Gothic feel.

A rough sketch, showing one of the initial ideas for the Occult Typeface
A very early sketch of Occult

Blackletter scripts are historically created by brush strokes, that's why the ascenders, descenders, and terminals have the iconic square shapes. Initial sketches of Occult were made using different types of contemporary calligraphy pens. 

The word Sulphr XVI, written in calligraphy

One of the initial calligraphy ink sketches on paper

After paper sketches and calligraphy ink experiments, I decided to formalize the typeface in Adobe Illustrator and Glyphs. The initial set was completely created in Adobe Illustrator before converting and fine-tuning it to a usable typeface.

Occult typeface, a digital lineart sketch

A more formalized sketch in Adobe Illustrator

Each individual letter was kerned in Glyphs and fine-tuned according to a large test set of words and phrases. Lowercase and uppercase letters have been designed to retain its blackletter feel while still being readable at smaller type scales.

A screenshot of Glyphs software, displaying the Occult typeface

Occult typeset in Glyphs

Below you can find some practical examples of the Occult typeface in text and illustration. The typeset has over 80 different unique glyphs. You can also find more use of Occult in my illustrations.

A poem from Macbeth, written in the Occult typeface

Occult used as a typeface, nothing is specifically kerned for this text (Macbeth, Shakespeare)

Currently, Occult is not publicly available. My other fonts are available for download here, they are free for personal use! If you are a foundry or want to use one my fonts, please get in touch with me!

An illustration using the occult typeface: Azazel, created by Sulphr XVI
An illustration using the occult typeface: Infernus, created by Sulphr XVI
An illustration using the occult typeface: Lucifer, created by Sulphr XVI