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How to make a block of text look as if it came from an old newspaper?


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Define "old newspaper"…
My newspaper from last Friday was definitely an "old newspaper" today. ;) (Hm… today being a holiday, there wasn't even any today.)
Anyway… all jokes aside:

A 20 years old newspaper printed in offset on good quality paper and archived in the dark can still look almost as "new" today. So is that "old" enough? Or do you mean a 50+ years old newspaper printed in letterpress?

You may want to upload some examples of what you want to achieve.
Also, what will be your intended output? Print? Web? PDF? Bitmap image?

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Thanks, Lukáš.

I'm trying to achieve the look of newspaper articles printed a hundred years ago. Text that's very slightly blotchy would be nice, and blurred or deformed letter outlines would be nice, but I'd settle for the "ink" appearing to be just a little "uneven," so that within each letter outline there are lighter and darker areas.

Here are some examples I made with no idea what I was doing (the original is at top-left.)

Test.jpg.45fddbe2ebced8c83727301aeb0dccfd.jpg

Using macOS 10.13.6 and Publisher 1.9.3

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In this case, different to 'normal' text, the text maybe treated rather like an image than text. Means the final output format (screen vs. print) and the size (details) could be more important to avoid the impression of 'just bad quality for the delivered image', e.g. by low resolution. An 'antique' font can make it easier, especially if there is no paper to support with olderness.

878987960_oldnewspaperlook2.thumb.jpg.de83505cf70a3c1f629d882df12d3c08.jpg

1398304685_oldnewspaperlookfonts.jpg.d02cf209ef751d46ef6d9eac4f21e7de.jpg

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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@thomaso already gave some great ideas.
Keep in mind, though, that transparency and blend modes rasterize on PDF/X-1 or X-3 output, and adjustments, effects and filters will flatten and rasterize in any other otherwise vector format on export. So use with caution.

5 minutes ago, cubesquareredux said:

more interested in the letter-forms themselves

This is probably the main reason I'm still keeping Illustrator CS5 handy:
The live Roughen filter.
I've been using it on live fonts very often, for exactly this kind of effect.

Here's an example that I've uploaded recently in another thread and in different context, using Gill Sans and Bodoni Poster as fully editable text with Roughen filter applied and with an old cardboard scan as an overlay in Multiply blend mode. You can't do something like this with Affinity (yet; I hope it will eventually arrive!):

ai_fake_spot_overprint.png.2432cba8869002b4a193d45f2321aa53.png

^ The content is upside down because this was a part of a vinyl LP gatefold sleeve inner spread on a print ready layout with a die-cut form.
(Also still desperately needed in Affinity: overprint preview! :/ On the other hand, we already have seamless canvas rotation preview with was a p.i.t.a. in Illustrator.)

Anyway…

There are two somewhat usable methods how to roughen a font outline in Affinity – other than using an already roughen typefaces like Caslon Antique, Block, Averia and the like:

  1. dashed stroke outline
    apu_roughen_typeface_stroke_dashed.thumb.png.e1b405e7084f05eee59899cc3b6df208.png
     
  2. stroke outline pressure
    apu_roughen_typeface_stroke_pressure.thumb.png.8ebdba6c4119407f73dadda57a846f2d.png

Stroke pressure is quite a promissing feature which has the potential of a Roughen filter, but it has a few bugs, causing ugly artefacts on vector export, so use with caution.

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16 minutes ago, loukash said:

will flatten and rasterize in any other otherwise vector format on export

If it's an "old" newspaper (before DTP) a visually recognizable vector format would not really be credible.

20 minutes ago, loukash said:
  1. dashed stroke outline
  2. stroke outline pressure

Quite nice workarounds! 👍

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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2 minutes ago, thomaso said:
31 minutes ago, loukash said:
  1. dashed stroke outline
  2. stroke outline pressure

Quite nice workarounds! 👍

Yes, I like these ideas. Thanks very much, Lukáš!

But a question: Are they available in all the Affinity programs or only in Publisher?

 

Using macOS 10.13.6 and Publisher 1.9.3

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Just now, thomaso said:

a visually recognizable vector format would not really be credible.

That's true, but from technical point of view, a fully flattened and rasterized PDF might then look as a scanned reproduction of the original.
The art of faking an old/bad print is to find the right balance.
I'm still searching for the ideal balance, but eventually I'm getting better with every printed result. :)
The actual "problem" is that the print quality these days is "too good" to begin with, and getting better every year, haha.

3 minutes ago, cubesquareredux said:

Are they available in all the Affinity programs or only in Publisher?

The stroke options are available in all programs. Only in Photo they are somewhat "hidden", as you either have to select an object with the Node tool to add stroke from the context toolbar, or use the Character>Decorations panel for text outline. There is no Strokes panel in Photo.

But that doesn't really matter because the Affinity document format is universal: the file extensions actually only defines which app should open a document by default. But every document can be edited by any other app of the suite, adding its respective unique features, e.g. symbols, linked layers or live filters directly in a page layout. That's the beauty of this concept. (Take that, Schmadobe! I had to do many complex layouts in Illustrator because some tricks just are/were not possible directly with InDesign.)

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11 minutes ago, loukash said:

The art of faking an old/bad print is to find the right balance.

Isn't finding the right balance  always state of the art? 😜

macOS 10.14.6, MacBookPro Retina 15" + Eizo 27"

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5 minutes ago, thomaso said:

Another way to simulate reduced print quality  might be a text fill with a noisy / cloudy image

I was just about to post something similar.
Affinity text objects can be used for clipping, so you can place any odd bitmap texture inside.

Or use a random complex gradient fill:

apu_roughen_typeface_gradient_fill.thumb.png.daf71e99ca1f12e8c716d6dd511d947c.png

There's still no opacity, blend modes or effects involved, so it remains vector in PDF/X-3:

apu_roughen_typeface_gradient_fill_ac.png.9128e2e4532db8a669ed167f2d7ed2f4.png

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