Here's a quick tutorial on how to use nimoType, my Nimo tube layer font from my Analog Digits packs! I'm using Affinity Publisher, but these steps should be mostly do-able in other layout apps and word processors.

Note: about rescaling graphics

If your app lets you set properties to “scale with object”, then do so!

In the Affinity Suite, you can set strokes to scale with the objects they're on in the stroke menu, and you can set effects to scale with the layers they're applied to in the bottom of the effects pop-up.

Doing this will save some headaches if you ever want to rescale your graphics, but keep the same look.

Step 0: The inspiration

There isn't much info about Nimo tubes out there (they were never very widespread). I based the font on this set of photos I found (originally from a defunct eBay listing, found via twitter).

Step 1: Set up the layers

Make a text-art layer, set the font to nimoType, type in your text, and duplicate the layer three times. Open the Typography pop-up (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+T). Select the second layer down and apply stylistic set 1 (ss01/“distortion”). Select the third layer down and replace the text with an equal number of lowercase “o“s. Select the bottom layer and replace the text with an equal number of uppercase “O”s. At the end, it should look something like this:

Most word processors and layout apps will have some way to access these font features like stylistic sets (if the font has them). You can find more info in your app's documentation or in the user guide for nimoType!

Step 2: Flat colours

Give each layer a fitting colour. I've gone with pale green for the lit layer, mid green for distortion, pale grey-green for the tube outline, and dark green for the background.

Step 3: Glow

Apply a bright green outer glow to the lit layer and a black, edge-aligned, inner glow to the background layer. Add a little blur to every layer except the background (I used a ratio of 1:1.5:3.5 for the blur on the outline, the lit layer, and the distortion, but you probably don't need to be precise).

Final step: Noise

Add as much noise as possible to the background layer.

The Affinity Suite can add noise to any colour (in the colour menu, you can click the coloured circle beside the opacity bar to switch it to a noise bar). This makes this layer look dusty and uneven, just like in the photo. You can also use this to create burnt-in numerals!

Extra options

That's just one way of using nimoType, though—you could add burnt-in or overlapping characters to mimic how Nimo tubes can look during/after use in real life (this image shows the Nimo tube counter rolling over to 25, with a burnt-in 0 appearing over the 2):

The overlapping characters are made by copying the top 2 layers (“lit” and “distorted”) and stacking all the lit layers together and all the distorted layers together (so in this case, the layers go ”lit 4”-“lit 5”-“distorted 4”-“distorted 5”-“tube outline”-“tube background” from top to bottom).

The burnt-in 0 is made using a regular 0 coloured medium-grey, with a lot of noise, about 50% opacity, and a tiny bit of blur.

Hope this helps! If this tutorial caught your eye, you can find nimoType in my Analog Digits font packs, along with other fonts for retro electronic displays.

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