A Face Drawn Using Only Letters From Comic Sans

Each one of these portraits reveals a lot about the character of each typeface it depicts, from Comic Sans to Bodoni to Times New Roman.

Times New Roman looks like he could tear through the Sunday crossword puzzle. Comic Sans doesn’t even look like he can read. Futura may be cool or may be trying too hard–I’ve never been able to decide–and Courier New seems successful enough, but is he happy?

Times New Roman didn’t let the subprime mortgage crisis affect his meticulously balanced portfolio.

These are typefaces as real faces, caricatures drawn by designer Tiago Pinto out of the letters, numbers, and symbols of a single correspding typeface. So a pair of ears may be Cs, 3s, or even quotation marks. An F, J, or & makes a great nose. And somewhere within all these deconstructed portraits lurks the indefinable character of a font.

The project grew out of a little free time and a lot of previous design work.

“Every single job you do requires some thought about the typography you will be using on it. It doesn’t matter if it is a direct mail, a poster, a print ad or even a logo, the typography you choose must be aligned with the brand you’re working for,” Pinto writes. “So yes, for me typefaces have personalities, that’s why you choose a playful, and probably, childish font if you’re doing a mailing for a theme park or a serious font if you’re working on a advocacy firm business card.”

Tahoma got a teardrop tattoo when he was 15, and he’s worried about hepatitis ever since.

I have horrible taste in typefaces, it’s true. In moments of designing anything with type, I’m overwhelmed by options. The serifs blend with the sans serifs, and I can’t decide what any given typeface says about what I’m trying to write.

Pinto’s caricatures aren’t just a charming insider play on fonts–or at least they don’t need to be–these humorous depictions are actually a great cheat sheet for those of us who might not know how to verbalize the retrospectively haughty curves of Baskerville or the innocuous ubiquity of Myriad Pro, let alone what those subconscious design cues say about our own work.

Download them here.


[Hat tip: Design Milk]

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started, a simple way to give back every day.