For @Alvy — May 10, 2022
Josh Roshell is dedicated to the enviable design of typefaces; commercials, funny and also for movies. One of the latest commissions that she has received is the project to modernize the appearance of the typography for avatar 2.
Why change that original font? Because as the oldest of the place will remember, Papyrus was used in the James Cameron film, a typeface from the 80s that is not usually described as beautiful. The other place it is used is in the merchandise from… (drumroll) the products of Shakira, the singer.
Ryan Gosling masterfully captured the feeling that many people had seeing the Papyrus in the title Avatar, on promotional posters and even in Na’vi subtitles. It’s a sarcastic sketch of Saturday night Live that a reader recently reminded us of; something that was overlooked in its day and we do not publish it here.
Some will say, not without reason: at least it wasn’t Comic Sans.
On Roshell’s page he tells how he received the commission, they sent him some samples and he designed the entire alphabet. He did it polishing the letters that were sent to him and adding small marks to make them look “ancient”… but not in the Egyptian/biblical Papyrus style. He then completed the variants of all the letters and adapted it to various thicknesses (thin, normal…), also adding small caps (small capital letters). And the job was done.
We’ll see it in December, or maybe much sooner, because the first trailer is already making the rounds. In the meantime, you might as well remember the laughs from the honest trailer for the original.