capsule review

Bat Country

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At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Bat Country

Communication is quite dull when left solely to the civilized serif/sans serif crowd. Bored? Well, lift a pint to Bat Country, typographer Laurie Jackson's homage to bad boy illustrator Ralph Steadman. This wild, ink-streaked font would be perfectly at home on the cover of a Hunter S. Thompson book.

Following the artist's example, Jackson has spilled his font over the baseline and back, sometimes seeing double. Yet, his tribute has its roots in technique reminiscent of Steadman's beginnings as a cartoonist. The designer hand-drew all 54 characters while a first-year student at University of the West of England, Bristol. Jackson digitized and finessed the electronic version in Fontstructor, in a process he describes as "a solid week in underpants in front of a computer." After Jackson showers and dresses, we'd like to shake his hand for keeping the spontaneity of the original alive in this vector-based format.

The type is in TrueType, a format made for resizing. Bat Country looks very good blown up to screaming heights. Looking to tone down for a simple tete-a-tete? Ha! Numeric and punctuation sets are mostly absent except for the period and comma. Besides, drop below 60 points and Bat Country hits the floor snoring. It's an extreme font for extreme statements.

Note: To use this font, unzip the folder and install the .ttf file in the folder C:\Windows\Fonts. Note that the font won't appear in your applications until you close and re-open them.

--Kate Godfrey

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At a Glance
  • With manic abandon, this font evokes the gonzo stylings of illustrator Ralph Steadman.


    • Full-on gonzo styling


    • Not fit for polite conversation
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