About Bowling Script
by Ale Paul
There is plenty of lyric and literature about looking over one's shoulder in contemplation. What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now? This is the kind of question that comes out of nowhere. When it does and whether its context is personal or professional make very little difference. It's a question that can cause emotions to rise and passions to run hot. It can trigger priority shifts and identity crises. It's never easy to answer.
Three years ago, I published a font called Semilla. My aim with that was to distill the work of Bentele, a lettering artist from early 1950s Germany. Picking such an obscure figure back then was my way of pondering the meaning and efficiency of objectivity in a world where real human events and existences are inevitably filtered through decades of unavoidably subjective written, printed and oral history. And maybe to pat myself on the back for surviving surprises mild and pleasant.
Having been fortunate enough to follow my professional whims for quite some time now, I took another, longer look at my idea of distilling Bentele's work again. I suppose the concepts of established history and objectivity can become quite malleable when personal experience is added to the mix. I say that because there I was, three years later, second-guessing myself and opining that Bentele's work can be distilled differently, in a manner more suited to current cultural angles. So I embarked on that mission, and Bowling Script is the result. I realize that it's difficult to reconcile this soft and happy calligraphic outcome with the introspection I've blathered about so far, but it is what is. I guess even self-created first world problems need to be resolved somehow, and the resolution can happen in mysterious ways.
Bowling Script is what people who like my work would expect from me. It's yet another script loaded with all kinds of alternation, swashing and over-the-top stuff. All of that is in here. These days I think I just do all that stuff without even blinking. But there are two additional twists.
The more noticeable one is ornamental: The stroke endings in the main font are of the typical sharp and curly variety found in sign painting, while the other font complements that with ball endings, sometimes with an added-on-afterwards impression rather than an extension of the actual stroke. In the philosophical terms I was mumbling earlier, this is the equivalent of alternate realities in a world of historical reduxes that by their very nature can never properly translate original fact.
The second twist has to do with the disruption of angular rhythm in calligraphic alphabets. Of course, this is the kind of lettering where the very concept of rhythm can be quite flexible, but it still counts for something, and experimenting with angular white space in a project of a very dense footprint was irresistible. After playing for a bit, I decided that it would interesting to include the option of using optically back-slanted forms in the fonts. Most scripts out there, including mine, have a rhythm sonically comparable to four-to-the-floor club beats. So the weirdly angled stuff here is your chance to do the occasional drumroll. Everyone knows we need one of those sometimes.