Whomp takes its inspiration from the work of an American master in sign painting and alphabet manipulation: Alf Becker. In 1932, Becker began designing a series of alphabets to be published in Signs of the Times magazine at the rate of one alphabet per month. Nine years later, 100 of those alphabets were compiled in one book that became an enormous success among sign painters. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, many Alf Becker alphabets were digitized with blurbs that falsely credit them as “an Alf Becker typeface”. Alf Becker was not really a typeface kind of guy. He was more of a calligrapher and sign painter. His alphabets were either incomplete or full of variations on different letters, and didn’t become typefaces until the digital era.
This particular Becker alphabet was quite incomplete. In fact, it wasn’t a showing of an alphabet, but a few words on a poster. Alejandro Paul took the challenge of drawing, digitizing, restructuring, and finally building a complete usable typeface from that partial alphabet. The face has been extended through the wonderful possibilities of OpenType. Whomp comes with more than 100 alternates, tons of swashy endings and ligatures, all accessible through OpenType palettes in programs that support such features.
This is the in-your-face kind of font that pays direct homage to the vision of this great American artist.