DESIGN FOCUS

Typefaces are my obsession. At my day job I’m known as the Font Master. I’m always in search mode for a good font and interesting executions. Dishonored 2, a video game developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda, has a wealth of interesting fonts and brilliant executions of them. It’s a step up from only two fonts in the previous game. I’m in awe how they made so many different fonts work in the UI. Take a look with me at all the typeface families used in the game and how they fit in the world of Dishonored 2.

Dear Joe 5

A nicely balanced script font, that mimics handwriting, with pleasant long ascenders and descenders. It feels like an old-fashioned calligraphic handwriting, yet also being quite legible and not too flowery. As if the writer was an educated person but has fallen on hard times.

FF Justlefthand

Another script faux-handwriting font, this one is a bit more messy, a bit more irregular. It reminds me of common people’s handwriting or maybe scribblings of a witch…

FM Bolyar Ornate Pro

It facilitates the ornate aspect of the look, it adds a level of sophistication and elegance. Yet coupled with dereliction and destruction reminds me of the fall from grace, of things that were.

Nexa Slab

Slab serif fonts were created in the XIXth century, when the newspapers needed more bolder, attention-grabbing fonts. So they’re usually reminiscent of the Industrial Revolution. Dishonored games are stylistically set in a similar era. I find it quite interesting that every instance of this font is always in an oblique form, like it’s always slightly slanted, distorted, bent…

New Age Gothic

It looks like a sans-serif font, but after a closer look you’ll notice it has very thin serifs. They are so thin that they almost feel like spikes or thorns. In my opinion, it adds tension to the text, gives out a feeling of a hidden danger. Which is perfect for a game about an assassin lurking in the shadows…

All these fonts are great choices for this game! I’m not sure if that thought process went into choosing each one of these typefaces, but some of it might have happened subconsciously. I’m really impressed that these many fonts all fit together and create a great-looking coherent whole.
Few notes

All quotes are in-game Heart’s quotes about different characters (in order: Delilah Copperspoon, The Crown Killer, Kirin Jindosh, Aramis Stilton and Luca Abele).

Screenshots of the UI come from a very interesting article “Game UI Faceoff: Doom vs Dishonored 2” by Akhil Dakinedi, where he compares these games’ UIs.