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What typeface says “Bali”?

“BALI” is a word that poses some problems typographically. The wide BA combination makes a lot of white space, while the LI tends to be narrow and sticklike. Furthermore, nobody seems to sure what kind of type connotes Bali. (You can confirm this by searching Amazon for books with “Bali” in the title — not many are great.)

I’m starting to think about this for a book that is more than a year off (maybe this is a way of avoiding current projects!). I like the way the word looks with some of the sans serif faces, like Avenir, but when I tested this on a few readers (notably, the author) none of them preferred this treatment.

Right now (and this is very preliminary) I’m here:

neue hammer uncial

But this is a kind of grotesque solution from a typophilic point of view, because the word is set in all caps in an uncial face (Neue Hammer Uncial) — and historical uncials didn’t really have caps.

But maybe that doesn’t matter?

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UPDATE: Here’s the face in action (combined with an image):

bali image with hammer uncial type

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1 Comment

  1. I’ll always in favor of procrastination. I like the thinner typeface; the thicker type on the poster seems to compete with the image. But I agree – it’s a difficult issue. Why not seek out the advice of some of SF’s excellent calligraphers – Thomas Ingmire for instance or Ward and Linnea Durham. I know that Linnea used to design fonts and Ingmire is one of the foremost practitioners of calligraphy today. Of course, there’s always John Stevens but he’s located in DC and maybe not as available but he’s designed covers for National Geographic and lots of other companies.

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