capsule review

Capture it

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Capture it

Navigating city streets doesn't leave us much time to admire the latest spray typography from the local Public Works Department, but we found a lot to brake for in Capture It, Hungarian designer Koczman Bálint's stencil typeface. Although SFPWD has serious spray-down cred, they have yet to match this designer's gritty urban look.

Two typefaces are included in this free download: Capture It is the positive--the letter you get when you spray paint through a paper stencil; Capture It 2 is the negative--the stencil itself in black with the letter knocked out. Both faces share the same distressed styling, providing a full-on spray texture to asphalt commands like STOP AHEAD. The letters are transparent in Capture It 2, leaving the forms open for additional background textures. Unfortunately, staying true to form has its drawbacks. The solid surround mimicking the stencil card cancels out any possibility of tight letterspacing, unless you resort to rasterizing the characters and trimming them down manually.

Just like its flat paper inspiration, Capture It is made for immediate signage, but not the subtle styling of prose. The lowercase is absent. In fact the lowercase positions contain a repeat of the same uppercase characters with the exception of a stemless B and an ultra-distressed R. The K in both cases is mysteriously sedate--no spray there. The lack of texture was intentional, according to the designer, who appears to be a solid K kind of guy.

Capture it does not stick to the traditional stencil model of 26 caps and 10 numerals. Both version of the typeface remain a work in progress as Bálint tweaks spray patterns in Photoshop and adds new characters using High Logic's FontCreator 5.6, which has the ability to convert scanned images to editable outlines for output as TrueType and OpenType fonts. Capture It's current character count is close to 200. Full numeral and punctuation are included along with math, monetary, and even diacritics. We applaud the punctuation. Accents count when "One Way" in the designer's home country is spelled "Egyirányú." (The phrase isn't currently used on Hungarian street signs, but with this font available, perhaps it should be.)

The design itself is copyrighted, but the designer has generously licensed his creation for personal and commercial use. You can use the font for a single TOWAWAY ZONE sign for your garage door and then go on to sell extra prints online, but don't claim the font design as yours. Mr. Bálint deserves all the credit and more for his witty, gritty Capture It.

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

--Kate Godfrey

At a Glance
  • Street style goes digital with this double-file download from Hungarian designer Koczman Bálint.


    • Download includes a positive and negative version


    • Tight letter spacing is not an option
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