Type choice for this project needs to balance the historical content with a modern context.
I researched, on pinterest, some “Western” style movies, as these are the closest in style to The story of the Kelly gang.
A selection of posters from the last 20 years or so include:
While these are modern in style, they still reference typefaces of the time, or at least evoke something similar.
Having read the transcript and also some of the original Jerilderie letter, which was dictacted by Ned Kelly to fellow gang member Joe Byrne, I was struck by the handwriting itself, so evocative of the period.
I searched the transcript for the word “Kelly” and found only one reference, mid-way through. I downloaded a high resolution scan from the State Library, and located that word, as well as a couple of other instances of the letter “K”, in order to establish style.
I felt that using this would be a strong link back to something written by the gang. This would give a stylistic and literal focal point for the title itself.
I then matched the handwriting style to a few typefaces:
I feel that Houston Pen is probably most likely, followed by Memoir.
To match these, I tried some condensed and/or bold sans faces:
I didn’t feel any of these were close enough to evoke the period. In research I had noticed the ‘wanted’ poster from the period when the Kelly gang was still at large:
This condensed typeface is quite similar to modern Helvetica variants, however I wanted a close match and isolated the word “Reward” and put it through a font identification website, which indicated a great match in Bellfort:
In particular, the “rough” variants seemed good.
Taking these samples, I applied some of the type weights as very early combinations with two of the script faces identified earlier:
While there is some work to do, I feel this is an appropriate match. The primary decision is which script face to use. The “K” on Memoir font (shown on the left of this preview), is not quite as easy to read, so perhaps some modifications may help. I feel that overall it is the better choice of the group.