Mediamatic Magazine Vol. 8#2/3 Willem Velthoven 1 Jan 1995

DoorMat FAT

The DoorMat family

For Mediamatic’s Home Issue, Dutch type designers Just van Rossum and Erik van Blokland designed a special typeface. The DoorMat family


DoorMat FAT -

It consists of three members: DoorMat Light, DoorMat Medium and DoorMat Fat. The DoorMats are members of the BitPuIl genus. An approach to computer type that was developed a few years ago by van Blokland and van Rossum, also the inventors of Beowulf (see MM 5#3), the first random type- face. Mediamatic featured several early BitPuIl faces in issue 7#1, see our longer discussion of font issues on page 91 of that issue.BitPuIl is a typical product of these two rogue PostScript hackers who received their formaI typographical training in the 198OS at the Royal Academy in The Hague. BitPuIl typefaces are not on the market because they would drive any designer who’s not a serious geek totally berserk. Some of them might sue van Blokland and van Rossum for mental damage. Technically speaking, every bristle of a DoorMat character is a separate randomised Postscript character. When a designer decides to apply BitPuIl he or she has to enter a special agreement and sign papers that grant the Letterrorists total immunity. Then one receives a special application, The Bitpuller, that will turn any piece of text in a lay-out into total gibberish. The gibberish, when displayed in the proper BitPuIl font, turns out to be a heap of Individual pixels of a so-called bitmap character.

This procedure transforms a couple of trusted tools of the desktop typographer into procedures we still have to find a use for: spell checking becomes pixel checking, character spacing becomes pixel spacing, hyphenation can occur in the middle of an A, word count loses its entire meaning, document sizes skyrocket and so do printing times. What do we get back for all this? Great DoorMats! With individually controllable, randomly shaped bristles! It’s a tasting of what digital typography can become in the future. Letters with a mind of their own, fontviruses crawling over our pages. More magazines that come out months too late...