Plan 9 typeface – Fall 2005

Plan 9 typeface specimen sheet

From the beginning, I knew I wanted a typeface which spoke the sensationalist language of B-movies (as a sidenote: you would be surprised how many subtle sub-categories there are under the theme of "B-movie typography"), but I didn't want it to be blatantly garish or cliché. I would have felt it a cheap shot to create a face with blood dripping off it or claw marks ripping through it. Instead, I chose a more subtle approach of allusion which would allow a more diverse range of possible settings (ie, I didn't want a one-trick dog).

I decided early on the general forms I wanted—bold, rectilinear characters with slightly rounded corners and square-ish, less rounded counter forms. From my research, this style spoke the language I was looking for perfectly without going overboard (see examples below).

Red Planet Mars poster
I think the Rs in this poster are what sparked my idea for this typeface in the first place.
I Married A Monster From Outer Space title screen
It Came From Outer Space title screen
Title shot from my favorite 3-D movie

Invasion of the Saucer Men poster
Robot Monster poster
This is one of my all-time favorite posters for so many reasons
I really could go on and on and on here with awesome examples from my "research", but I will stop now for the sake of time… I like to believe I have more important things to do than scan old horror movie posters which exemplify a certain style of lettering.

Not only was Plan 9 From Outer Space a perfect subject for dedication, it also featured lettering in the title sequence which was in line with the style I had been "researching".

Vampira headstone from Plan 9's title sequence
Written / Produced / Directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr.

From there, development of the face happened rather quickly—to meet deadlines etc—so I still consider this face a work in progress (keep an eye out for Plans 1–8 in the future)…