Can a typeface be both beautiful and hideous?

Can a typeface be both beautiful and hideous?

Type designer Peter Biľak has embarked on a seeming impossible challenge: to balance both beauty and ugliness within a single typeface. As I Love Typography notes, Karloff is the result of Biľak’s attempts to demonstrate “just how closely related beauty and ugliness are,” and to combine these two extremes into “a coherent whole.”

According to Biľak, his design process began by studying the generally well-loved “high-contrast Didone typefaces” and the conversely more controversial, reversed-contrast ‘Italian’ typeface.

In our opinion as type-admirers, he has succeeded magnificently, but you can see for yourself below:

From the creator:

Karloff, the result of this project, connects the high contrast Modern type of Bodoni and Didot with the monstrous Italians. The difference between the attractive and repulsive forms lies in a single design parameter, the contrast between the thick and the thin.

Karloff Positive:

Karloff Negative:

The two contrasting versions of this face, Karloff Positive and Karloff Negative, were combined to form Karloff Neutral, serving as a middle ground between the extremes.

What do you think of Biľak’s results? You can let us know your thoughts in the comments and learn more about his process here.

Featured image: Kim Love, Source: NOTCOT

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