NCD Brick Stacker (One Grid)

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by djnippa

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This is a teaching exercise in the art of brick stacking (The merging and overlaying of two or more Fontstruct bricks to create an entirely new brick).
The rules were pretty tight as well.
1. Only use one grid space block (except M & W).
2. Make it as readable as possible. 3. Be Creative.
4. Brick stack each character.
The full set turned out fairly readable and worked good with some characters but not good with others.
My particular favourite is Capital 'H' which took 6 bricks to create!
Info: Created on 10th January 2009 . Last edited on 15th June 2010.
License Creative Commons
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26 Comments

I know some characters look ugly with this font, but I'm not going for beauty points.
This is a pure teaching exercise in the art of BRICK STACKING (The overlaying of two or more fontstruction bricks to create an entirely new brick), for those that don't know the technique.
The rules.
1. Only use one grid space block.
2. Brick stack each character (Where possible).
3. Make it readable.
The full set turned out fairly readable and worked good with some characters. My particular favourite is Capital 'H' which took 6 bricks to create! Hope this helps you in your creations.
Comment by djnippa 19th January 2009
Comment by djnippa 19th January 2009
Limitation 3: We can't guarantee that brick stacking will work in future revisions of the FontStructor.

That said, really impressive work, dj.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 19th January 2009
Oh no! That would be an absolute disaster. So far I've used Brick Stacking in every one of my Fonts , apart from the Dot Matrix family. Please please please keep it.
Also in the update are we likely to see any new bricks? If so I hope these are included.
Comment by djnippa 19th January 2009
If enough new shapes are added, I probably wouldn't miss brick stacking that much.

What about existing fonts that have stacks in them? Will they suddenly develop empty spots? :)
Comment by aphoria 20th January 2009
If the new version doesn't have Brick Stacking, then they must surely include some kind of layering feature. Otherwise it's taking away some of the creativity.

ANSWER to APHORIA: That's True.
I'd only be happy if they included ALL the bricks that I usually stack. Looking through my small collection that's about 48 extra bricks!

WHAT EXTRA BRICKS WOULD YOU GUYS USE?Please include the ones that have been brick stacked (if you get time)
Comment by djnippa 20th January 2009
i think the option to "rotate" bricks, would make the palette much clearer arranged...
but thats just an idea.
Comment by kix 20th January 2009
Thanks for the doc djnippa - it's hard to find elsewhere.
Brick stacking should still work in the next upgrade (spacing control). Considering it's popularity, stacking should also be added as a real feature at some point and be easier to use. Either way, older fontstructions using stacking should always work, don't worry about that.
There won't be any new bricks in the next upgrade I'm afraid - it's mostly about spacing.
@kix several people have suggested rotating bricks and it was something we considered when designing the interface. There are a few reasons for having four rotated instances of the same shape. Some people, e.g. very young people and people who don't think very abstractly, find it easier to have the four pre-rotated bricks. There are disadvantages to having the multiple bricks, but it's a little tricky to switch now. Either way, the brick palette(s) will be redesigned at some point.
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 20th January 2009
i've never heard of brick stacking (well, i'm new) but i followed the directions you have here, exactly, i tried several times, making sure to follow them each exactly, but i still can't brick stack, it just doesn't work. any advice? whats the problem?
Comment by Kelsey Ann (WickedTwilight49) 22nd January 2009
That is strange. The instructions are as clear as I can make them.
Are you pressing SHIFT + Z twice at the end?
Comment by djnippa 22nd January 2009
@WickedTwilight49: your browser might be set up in such a way as to not allow brickstacking. Can you copy and paste normal groups of bricks? If not, I suspect it's a browser or permissions problem. I can't brickstack on my work computer, and I can't copy and paste regular bricks either. My home computer works fine. Any tech-savvy person want to comment?
Comment by intaglio 23rd January 2009
MEEK is the guy.
http://fontstruct.com/fontstructors/meek
He wrote the program. He may have an answer. I was unaware of that dilemma.
Comment by djnippa 23rd January 2009
Use CTRL + Z instead of SHIFT + Z.
Comment by aphoria 23rd January 2009
yes, i CAN copy and paste normal blocks, i've tried EVERRYTHING that i could possibly be doing wrong to make it not work somehow, but i don't know, i'll contact meek
Comment by Kelsey Ann (WickedTwilight49) 23rd January 2009
Brick stacking is really fun and useful ! I've been asking myself what it was for a while, and now I've found out. Thank you !
Comment by igorrossi 26th August 2009
By the way I think it would be very useful too to open a tutorials section on Fontstruct, where we would find such explanations as djnippa brick stacking how-to.
Comment by igorrossi 27th August 2009
@igorrossi: Great idea ... worth mentioning on the FontMoot 01 thread.

I know how much I owe to Nippa for putting me on to Brickstacking - couldn't live without it now :)
Comment by p2pnut 27th August 2009
djnippa, I know that in your head that was just an exercise, but I absolutely do not agree when you say this looks ugly. For me this is one of the prettiest little grid font I have ever seen (I prefer the uppercase, really outstanding, though).
There is no need of millions of bricks to make a beautiful font, contrarily to what seem to think most people here who begin to be interested when the grid is giant and the number of bricks used is delirius.
A remark : wasn't it possible to manage a better spacing for the "i" ?
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 8th May 2010
It looks really ugly to me dude, but may be that's what you like about it. Admittedly some letters are nice C,D,E,F,G,M,Q,R,Z but the over all unification is weak, and awkward. I've never used it any of my design work, which is ultimately is standard requisite of a good font.
Also as it's only a 1 x 1 grid, I couldn't do anything with the 'i' as it was half a block, so I've completely changed it, to a far superior looking one.
Comment by djnippa 8th May 2010
With the new STACK feature, this exercise is now redundant. It was fun while it lasted....... well actually it was a pain in the ass, thank the Lord Meek for incorporating it in Fontstruct Version 2.
Comment by djnippa 8th May 2010
Your new i is so cute, thanks !
Ah !!!!!The sentiment of Beauty !!!!!!, so personal, so subjective, I persevere, it is not because because I find it ugly that I think it is good, it is genuinely close to what I feel beautiful. We both may be too much different in our approach and feeling of beauty. That would explain why you did not ever post a comment on my work, and why this is the first time I needed to. But there is place for many creative paths and personalities, not being necessarily compatible. Peace for all in Fontstruct !
I did not yet, but new cute i gives me really the envy to try and use it in some of my artwork soon; we'll see.
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 8th May 2010
@djnippa : just to give you the link to what is for me the best achievement in a very close small grid heavy brickstacking direction : it is called "Symbolism" by designer m12. What I call a true masterpiece. I am sure you will find it ugly but for me it is one of the very VERY most extraordinary designs I saw in ten years of fontcollecting. Maybe he was influenced a bit by your effort here. HHAAA ! Tastes and Colors....
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 8th May 2010
just forgot to say you can find Symbolism by m12 here in Fontstruct !
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 8th May 2010
Brickstacking 'on the fly' with 2.0 is fantastic ... but I can never thank you enough for having made this tutorial available and for pointing me towards it when I was a newbie :)
Comment by p2pnut 8th May 2010
@neurone error. Just checked Symbolism, it's not my thing at all. It's all over the place, with no unification or control. You're right I don't like it.
Comment by djnippa 8th May 2010
@p2pnut I remember your first font, and thought - this guy's got skills, and bundles of creativity. It's always a pleasure to assist really talented people. Glad I could help, you towards designing some spectacular fonts.
Comment by djnippa 8th May 2010

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