Sure, a typeface design should stand on its own.
But when a face is accompanied by the honest story of its development, with all the typically unspoken brain-grating quandaries in between, you’re left with a deeper appreciation for the tools we so often take for granted in the trade—and the creative struggles inherent to them, bearing lessons all their own.
Scott Biersack’s Malice Stencil began life as a blackletter logotype for his studio website, youbringfire. In 2018, Andrew Fairclough of True Grit Texture Supply contacted Biersack about creating an exclusive typeface, and the two agreed to build upon the youbringfire work, which has even deeper roots in Biersack’s studies at Type@Cooper.
As Biersack details, “The goal of Malice was to create something very true to the pen/brush and the motions of my (left-handed) calligraphy.”
The full story of the typeface is well-worth a read here. Suffice to say, Biersack spent swaths of time working on Malice intermittently. He got stuck—“nearly all of the capital letterforms gave me grief.” Lowercase entry strokes were too sharp and light. Glyphs were possessed by odd optical flaws. Friends weighed in. He forged on.
Ultimately, Biersack emerged with a calligraphic blackletter-inspired typeface that is simultaneously traditional and modern, supporting 200+ languages, with a textured companion developed with the support of a custom Robofont extension created by Andy Clymer.
Biersack describes the final product best:
“The undulating stems and soft rounded forms give the stencil a soft touch while still able to throw down in the mosh pits. You can let Malice Clean hold its own while Malice Rough does the heavy lifting on grungy band posters, Halloween decor or occult book covers.”
And the name? It’s inspired by the band Bad Omens’ song “Malice,” which pairs nicely with the typeface’s “evil” emojis, drawn with the same Zig calligraphy marker at the roots of the font.
So break out a raven. After all, while the typeface is good year-round, Halloween is right around the corner.