Polargraph Calligraphy


I love typography and i’m a big fan of old illuminated manuscripts so when i was experimenting with the Polargraph i came up with the idea to try to do calligraphy.


calligraphy, illustrator, plotter, polargraph, scripts, typografie, typography

To do calligraphy with the Polargraph you need fonts that are made up of single lines instead of outlines. I found some single-line fonts but the Polargraph cannot handle fonts. In Illustrator you have the option to create outlines of your fonts and, well… it does really create outlines which for a single-line font means you get the same line twice and that doesn’t look nice.

I ended up creating single .eps files for each character, i’ve created some fonts in the past so i had a head start. When some of the characters were done i needed to place them in illustrator. Placing them by hand would be to much work especially when doing complete sentences. Luckily Illustrator supports scripting and i created a script that places a character-eps-file in a separate document for each character in a word/sentence/string. Because you can’t use kerning i defined the width of character by placing an invisible rectangle around the character.

Although the first results look ok, i had some problems with the motion begin to “jittery” i don’t know what causes this but think its the motorshield i’m using on top of the mega. Also the gondola i’m using can do with an upgrade because the pen is not in a straight line with the cords and because the pen (Edding 1255 2.0) is fixed to the gondola its hard to keep it at an angle of about 30 degrees.

The Night Before Christmas