En Origami: A Very Crafty Font

Some fonts are masters of illusion, creating a sense of space beyond the two-dimensional plane. Other fonts are crafty (like and ) and styled to appear written by hand. Now here's a font that bends over backward to do double duty. Naveen Chandru's is a remastered clone of an earlier attempt to fold letterforms and this time the designer has worked the kinks out.

If you've ever folded a paper crane, you'll immediately recognize the inspiration behind this display font. Angled lines cut back and forth, giving characters the illusion that they are made from thin ribbons of paper. Mountain and Valley folds reverse course to complete M's, N's, and W's. Other letters make use of a different illusion: , layering one form over another to create a doubling-up effect found in paper chains made of tightly folded gum wrappers.

En Origami was created using Fontstruct, a drawing application from typographer Rob Meeks. Letterforms are built by joining together small forms (aka bricks) made of groups of pixels. Several of Naveen Chandru's fonstructions show a textile influence. Canvas, pencil, and stitch textures are among his effects, but En Origami needs no secondary texture to carry its theme. I find the letters totally believable as folded forms. Bring them up in Photoshop and add a drop shadow. You'll see what I mean.

En Origami is a feat of typographic engineering, but it is severely limited as a font. Lowercase characters, punctuation, and numerals are missing. All caps all the time is the order of the day. The TrueType format allows scaling to the heights, so think monumental. LOVE looks particularly swell with its angelic wing-like V. Speaking of love, the designer has generously put this work under a Creative Commons/No Derivatives License. You can use his creation commercially as long as you do not sell the font itself as your creation.

Feeling crafty? A T-shirt for the local origami club might be just the job for En Origami. Really! Who else would appreciate wearing the word PAPER in a style that's anything but flat?

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