Richard de Ruijter's Tikal font

Fresh typography inspired by ancient South American cultures

Inspired by Inca, Mayan and Aztec cultures, Netherlands-based graphic designer Richard de Ruijter has created a stunning new typeface: Tikal.
"A friend of mine recently took a trip to Brazil and took a bunch of really cool photos there," he recalls. "I proposed that we make a little magazine as a collaborative project. I wanted to do a custom font that had apparent Inca/Mayan roots, but with a blend of modern sleek design."
De Ruijter began by sketching the fonts by hand to get the basic look and feel across, before tweaking them digitally. "It's a lot of playing around, building up and breaking down the fonts," he continues. "It took a day or two to get the thickness right."
Working in the evenings outside of his day job, the entire process took about 15-20 hours. "I love the feel of the type: it's mysterious, and each character works really well in combination with its brother and sister characters," he grins. "I had a few moments when I wanted to give up, but I'm glad I didn't."