Here's a quick tutorial on how to use tEggst, my eggcrate display 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's surprisingly few photos of these close-up, but luckily someone put together a homemade version and posted it online (source). Also, eggcrate displays are just walls of lightbulbs, so really this is just a pixel font, no need to work strictly from complex real-life designs.

Step 1: Set up the layers

Make a text-art layer, set the font to tEggst, type in your text, and duplicate the layer once (for the simplest combination of layers: the default/lit layer and the unlit layer). Open the Typography pop-up (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+T). Select the bottom layer and apply stylistic set 1 (ss01/“unlit”). Your text should now look 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 tEggst!

Step 2: Flat colours

Give each layer a fitting colour. I've gone with a pale red for the lit bulbs and a medium dark grey for the unlit bulbs.

Step 3: Glow

Add inner and outer glow to the lit layers—I've used a saturated red.

Final step: Fade

Lastly, I've blurred the unlit bulbs to make them blend into the background a bit vs—and look smaller than—the lit bulbs:

You could do something similar by adding an inner glow the same colour as the background, but that only works well if the background's a flat colour.

Extra options

If your app lets you, you can convert the text to curves, then select and cut bulbs from the lit layer and paste them into the unlit one to represent dead bulbs:

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

Return to top