TheStencil
a variable
typeface

designed with
laser-cutters
in mind

Stencil letters

A stencil has a physical body. Depending on several factors, it could be paper-thin or heavy as a board. Stencils are often used to create intermediate steps that help make marks on other surfaces. You can also create signage with stencils. Signs with cut-out letters are easy to make quickly. They look good, too.

One of the best ways to make a stencil is with a laser-cutter. In his experiments with laser-cutting, Luc(as) modified letter shapes for type size and material thickness. How small can you go before the bridges burn?

Emergency
Exit
Keep Clear

BRIDGES

Bridges serve several purposes: they keep the countershapes from falling out, they stabilize complex shapes, and they are actually design elements themselves.

The spaces between characters, shapes, and diacritics are never smaller than the bridge width, because distances between glyphs are also bridges in a way. The fonts with the biggest bridges have more generous spacing and adjusted kerning.

the font family

TheStencil is a font family consisting of 80 OpenType fonts (each with multiple glyph variants) plus a variable font with adjustable weight and bridge width.

Each weight has 10 different bridge widths, so each weight comes with 10 OpenType fonts. The bridge width is equal to a percentage of the font size. For instance, when the font size is 100 pt and the bridge is 8, the width of the bridge will be 8% × 100 pt = 8 pt.

TheStencil ExtraLight

TheStencil Light

TheStencil SemiLight

TheStencil Plain

TheStencil SemiBold

TheStencil Bold

TheStencil ExtraBold

TheStencil Black

Bridge Size

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
ExtraLight
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
Light
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
SemiLight
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
Plain
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
SemiBold
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
Bold
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
ExtraBold
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
AW
Black

Variable font

With TheStencil in the variable font format, you can have any bridge size in-between, to fine-tune your design.

Font parameters

LASER BEAM

Stylistic sets

A variety of alternate glyphs are contained in the OpenType features. TheStencil comes with several Stylistic Sets, each of which implements the bridges in a different way.

A variety of alternate glyphs are contained in the OpenType features. TheStencil comes with several Stylistic Sets, each of which implements the bridges in a different way.

Default characters

The standard forms of each letter are curated to create a lively rhythm. Unsystematic but coherent.
You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world

Set 1
Horizontal

Letters in this Stylistic Set are bisected by horizontal bridges.
PLATINUM OLDTIMERS
SUNSET BISECTION
fantastic bikini beach
top/bottom horizon

Set 2
Vertical

Split letters in half, or at least into left and right-hand parts.
SKYSCRAPER NEIGHBOR
WATERFALL SPLIT
pitchforks symmetric
aligning left/right

Set 3
Diagonal up

When times are good, you might want lines heading upwards, right?
GREAT SUCCESSES
RISE IMPROVEMENT
triumphal monday
ascending values

Set 4
Diagonal down

Use this Stylistic Set when times are bad and things are falling apart.
DEPRESSION FAILURE
DOWNSIZING BAD LUCK
bitterness nevermore
sad worst case scenario

Set 5
Radiation

These letters are about to explode outward with exponential speed. Take cover!
GEOMAGNETIC
EQUATOR VAPORIZE
quote 96 unpaved
radioactive plutonium

Set 6
Other alternates

A collection of alternate shapes that were too good to be excluded from TheStencil.
big huge hippo dad
deeply hedonistic
bipolar qualified dude
Hafþór hugs dripping

Set 7
Minimum bridges

As few bridges as possible, to stay as close as possible the texture of TheSans.
Studio Sunroof
Laser Wonderland
subtractive fabrication
engraving technique

Set 8
Mix-up

The directions of bridges are mixed and letters appear in seemingly random variations with the help of some advanced OpenType tricks.
TOOLLESS BOOKKEEPER
FLOODDOOR KEENNESS
woof woof woof
millimeter pepper

try it out

Styllistic Sets

Font Parameters

Bridge width is 2.53 px

This is a sample text to try out all the features TheStencil fonts have to offer: activate Stylistic Sets with the checkboxes on the left, and use the sliders to modify font size, weight and bridge thickness. With the Stylistic Sets we play through the main feature of stencil fonts, the bridges, in all possible ways. The abundant glyph variations offer tons of joy to the user.

Character Set

AAAAAAAAAÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆÆBBBBBBBBBCCCCCCCCCDDDDDDDDDÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐÐEEEEEEEEEFFFFFFFFFGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦĦIIIIIIIIIJJJJJJJJJKKKKKKKKKLLLLLLLLLŁŁŁŁŁŁŁŁŁMMMMMMMMMNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOŒŒŒŒŒŒŒŒŒØØØØØØØØØPPPPPPPPPÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞÞQQQQQQQQQRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTUUUUUUUUUVVVVVVVVVWWWWWWWWWXXXXXXXXXYYYYYYYYYZZZZZZZZZaaaaaaaaaæææææææææbbbbbbbbbcccccccccdddddddddđđđđđđđđđðððððððððeeeeeeeeefffffffffggggggggghhhhhhhhhħħħħħħħħħiiiiiiiiiıııııııııjjjjjjjjjkkkkkkkkklllllllllłłłłłłłłłmmmmmmmmmnnnnnnnnnoooooooooœœœœœœœœœøøøøøøøøøpppppppppþþþþþþþþþqqqqqqqqqrrrrrrrrrssssssssstttttttttuuuuuuuuuvvvvvvvvvwwwwwwwwwxxxxxxxxxyyyyyyyyyzzzzzzzzzµµµµµµµµµ000000000111111111222222222333333333444444444555555555666666666777777777888888888999999999$$$$$$$$$&&&&&&&&&

Buy

TheStencil package contains 80 OpenType fonts plus one variable font for only 150 €.

CREDITS

Luc(as) de Groot started the Thesis superfamily in the early nineties and has been continuously expanding and renewing it ever since. TheStencil is the youngest family member, originally designed as a caps-only font for the Victoria and Albert Museum in early 2016 and expanded to a complete font in 2018. Since then, Luc(as) handed it over to Ethan Cohen and Thom Janssen. Ethan and Thom massively increased the range of bridge sizes and added endless glyph variants. The whole LucasFonts team assisted in the project: Jens Kutílek, wizard of font technology, helped with the complex production; Nadya Kuzmina designed and implemented this website, supported by Jan Fromm; Dan Reynolds, Sonja Knecht, and Ethan Cohen aided in the copywriting, while Daria Petrova provided valuable feedback. Lieselotte Schäfer will assist you with licensing questions.