Froggy takes Metamucil, gets regular by takin' the weight off!

dezcom's picture

At long last version 9 PDF below--added most diacritics and the ggy ligature messed with kerning and weight issues.

Here is version 8 with metrics tinkering and fine tuning most glyphs--futzed with the g again and with kerning--see pdf 8 below.
Here is version 7 added, small caps, lining figures, and nom/denom, flattened bottom of g, added most ligs but not the gg yet! I also did more weight and contrast adjustment and changed top of f.--see pdf 7 below.
Here is version 6 added back a touch of contrast and fattened right bowl of g, see pdf 6 below.
Here is version 5 very slightly heavier serifs and some more smoothing, see pdf 5 below
Here is version 4 very slightly condensed and smoothed and lining figures added, see pdf 4 below
Here is version 3 with contrast rteduced a bit more, see pdf 3 below
Here is version 2 with less contrast, see PDF below.
Here is my first cut at the normal weight of Froggy. So far only caps and lower case no ligs or figs yet!

ChrisL

PDF below

AttachmentSize
Some_Evening_Froggy.pdf27.52 KB
Some-Evening-Froggy2.pdf27.19 KB
Some-Evening-Froggy3.pdf42.1 KB
Some-Evening-Froggy4.pdf39.78 KB
Some-Evening-Froggy5.pdf40.45 KB
Julia-Beethoven-story6.pdf38.62 KB
Froggy_Showing7.pdf47.96 KB
FroggyRegularShowing8.pdf48.22 KB
FroggyRegular_9.pdf58.65 KB
Stephen Coles's picture

Not bad! Lookout Clearface.

His 'g' bottom is underwater (or lost too much weight).

dezcom's picture

Stephen,
Thanks!
Did you check the PDF "g" at the smaller size? see if you still think it is too light at bottom?

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

I agree on the bottom of the Stephen g. More, the contrast on the lower case is I think too great for this design--it takes away some of the charm.

Your contrast on the upper case seems right. On the lower case, see the join on the top of your q and bottom of vy for heavier weight of joins that I suspect will work better in general on contrast.

dezcom's picture

Anyone else have any thoughts on the level of contrast in the lower case?

William,
Do you mean the contrast at the joins only is too high or in general? What about the lower case "o" for instance?

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

i looked at this last night and i think i noticed the contrast difference between the UC and lc as well. I think the contrast on the lc is just about right for a display version. a text version might might ask for less contrast.

dezcom's picture

Thanks Paul. I think my funky laserprinter is killing me with toner fuzz.
You are right, I think I need to make both versions. I was just trying to get away cheap :-)

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Chris, I personally don't think it's a matter of display vs text, but what your suits your design best.

I just checked the print-out, and in the smaller size the higher contrast is not as noticeable. But I think this is because of the toner spread, which has percentage wise more of an effect in small size.

I think you might look at the contrasts in Souvenir, and how that has been handled. Your Froggy is a crisper version of the kind of thing that Souvenir and Cooper Black do.

I read in Mac McGrew's book that Benton drew only the medium weight, and Benguiat added the light and popular heavy weights. I don't find the light weight of Souvenir very satisfactory, but the medium and heavy are very good.

On the joins vs other parts, as you know from my TypeCon talk about my Caslon revival, I think that the joins have a different visual logic than other parts, and one can thin the joins more than the rest, as Unger has done in his faces.

And yes, your o is better. But I think also the joins need to get fatter, quicker longer coming out of the stems if that makes sense. That is if you want a very thin join. Also where the thin line coming into the thick line has more space, as in the e, it needs to be more like the top of the o and e, I think. You will need to proof this actually on a high resolution image-setter to get an accurate concept of the effect in small sizes.

Somehow I feel that because your design is quite wide, and the joins are relatively low, you don't really need a sharp join. The top of the mnr will still look clearly separate--particularly with your semi-serif action.

Also I suspect that a light weight just won't work, as Benguiat's light Souvenir flops, where his heavy is a big winner.

By the way, I know some people hate Souvenir, but they are wrong. My local library uses it on all signs, and it works great. It projects a friendly, welcoming image, while being very readable and disciplined. Your version is more hip and more crisp, but in the same space emotionally, with its warmth and touch of informality.

dezcom's picture

Thanks William. I think I understand what you are saying about the joins. BTW, what is the name of that imagesetter output place you told me about near you? I lost the paper where I wrote it down.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Regarding Souvenir, It had a very big "in-crowd" usage in the 80s when it was considered to be a hip font. Cooper had a big hot time earlier than that. Both may suffer from the been ther, done that syndrome and harken back to earlier times. Souvenir always looks art nuveau to me, maybe others have their own reasons. U&lc certainly used it like crazy!

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

aha. i think i understand what william is saying and i agree, if what he's saying is that the joins are fine, but the stroke needs to fatten up quicker coming out of the joins. is that what you meant, bill?

dezcom's picture

Paul, that is my take on what he said as well, "get fatter quicker".

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Yes, Paul and Chris, that is what I was trying to say.

But as I also noted, more pointed joins (which is what you will get) may conflict with Chris's wonderful design, as it exists in the thicker weight. The medium may work fine with a more uniform branch, so the branch doesn't come to a 'point' when it joins the stem. This is the way Souvenir medium is--not pointed.

Oh, here's the link to The Word Express, where you can get your stuff proofed for reasonable price. Pretty cool flash intro, no? Or is this out of fashion now?

dezcom's picture

Thanks William! I looked at the very "Flashy" site. I will give them a call.

ChrisL

Nick Shinn's picture

You should lighten up the right side of v, w, and y.
I think the contrast is too great -- in particular for the major thin stems that have no terminating serif.
But if you are worried about it lacking finesse, do a lighter weight.
As William says, Souvenir would be a good reference for stroke contrast -- and I actually quite like its Light weight.

dezcom's picture

Thanks Nick! I'll get to work on it.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I just added some weight in the thins to reduce the contrast some, I also added weight the the lower bowl of the g. See 2nd pdf.

ChrisL

Nick Shinn's picture

You shouldn't make the right stroke of the w as heavy as the right side of the o.
The reason being that it's OK in the o, because its left side is far away. However, the w has closely spaced strokes. (The principle is kind of like the building density allowed by bylaws.) You could perhaps keep the w strokes the same width, but you would have to make the whole character much wider.

dezcom's picture

Nick, I see you said lighten up, I erred and went the opposite!
Your logic makes much better sense as stated in your most recent post. Thanks again dude!
How is thge rest of the contrast now?

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I just posted a revision as PDF 3 with contrast reduced even further and the w adjusted as per Nick.

Below is a graphic comparing a Souvenir, Froggy 3, and Froggy Bold:

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Regarding the Souvenir above--the stock light was too light and the medium was too bold to examine the contrst that both William and Nick suggested. I made a quick blend between the two to try and get close to the weight of Froggy Regular. I also opened the spacing some in it to try and make a closer comparison. While my Froggy regular still has a bit more contrast than the Souvenir blend, I would not want to go any further with it. To me it seems right, other opinions welcomed?

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I added lining figures and slightly condensed the font a tad. See PDF 4 above.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Chris, I think your new version is an improvement; it gets more the look and charm of the bold. I am wondering whether narrowing the lighter version a bit, so counters are more like the bold, would be a plus also?

Also I am still feeling that the loop of the g needs some weight somewhere. doesn't your bold version have a little more weight proportionally on the left of the loop compared to the light version?

paul d hunt's picture

i like this new version, but i still like the original concept with more contrast for display. i think the part of the g that needs more weight is on the right portion of the bottom loop. i disagree that the regular weight needs to be any narrower.

dezcom's picture

Thanks guys!

I have just posted a 5th version with the serifs a tad heavier and assorted tinkering to lowercase and figures.

William, i did narrow it a tad but don't feel it needs more. I think Paul is right about where to fatten the g. I'll try that next.

I still have the contrasy version which I will make some use of. I may push it even further in contrast for pure display use at some point.

Now, it is bed time!

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I fussed with the g on the right side and pulled back with the contrast so it is bit more than last time but not as much as before. I just don't like the more even weight look and the Souvenir thing very much.

Here is a PNG:

ChrisL

sim's picture

Chris, I really like how your Froggy goes. If I compare to the regular version, I'm just wondering if the lowercase g in the bold version should'nt be better if it was less wide, especially on the lower storey . Don't you think there is two kind (one wide and one condensed) of counterspace for your g?

Really good work!

André

Edited: I take a closer look at the bottom of the bold and the regular g version. The bottom lower storey bold version is flat and the regular version is more round or circular. Is there something to improve on that side?

dezcom's picture

Thanks André, you may have something there. I will try it.

Meanwhile, I just posted a new pdf with a touch more contrast added back. The text is a story my daughter wrote as a child of eight. She is 22 now and working on her masters degree in music composition at UC Riverside.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

>i disagree that the regular weight needs to be any narrower.
General disclaimer: that suggestion had a question mark after it for a reason, and similarly I have tried to put everything as ideas to try, not definite judgments. This is not only because of appropriate modesty but because in my critiques on typophile I just look and write the first thing that comes into my head about what might improve the face. But it might well hurt it as well. So they are intended as brainstorming trial ideas, and with no pretense to being expert judgments.

Chris, I really like your latest version in the graphic--I can't open the PDF for some reason. I think you were right to add more contrast back. I suspect Andre is right about about the g--good catch. I can see what is really tricky here is that changing the weight changes the counters and/or the outside, and you can't preserve both. So you have the challenge of figuring out what will preserve the look, or work best, depending on your goals...

dezcom's picture

William, don't sweat it, I know you are trying to help and I never take any comment as gospel anyway. It is always tricky figuring these things out.

I wonder why the pdf doesn't work for you? It is done the same way as the others.

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

I have tried to put everything as ideas to try, not definite judgments

william, i know how the critique section works. i was just weighing in with my opinion and try to present my critiques as just that as well. i hope you didn't think i was trying to discredit you in any way, that was not my intent.

dezcom's picture

Here is version 7 added, small caps, lining figures, and nom/denom, flattened bottom of g thanks to André, added most ligs but not the gg yet! I also did more weight and contrast adjustment and changed top of f.—see pdf 7 above as well as the PNG below.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Thin Froggy got back his croak with the flat g!

A couple of things to try, if you haven't already. 1. Are the weights of the serifs too light compared to the joins? Would thickening the serifs a bit give an nice rich croak? 2. The g feels like its almost there, but still needs a little coaxing. Are the joins on the g too thin? Is the ear of the g too thin or too long or something?

dezcom's picture

Thanks William, I think what the g needs (after so much bezier poking and pulling) is to go through a resmoothing process. The curves get wounded after doing so much battle. Regarding te "thin joins" I think I need a hi rez output to see what effect that is. What I see from my laser printer looks fine, or even too heavy at the joins in small sizes.
While Typophile was down, I did several revisions including heavier serifs. I just thinned them up somewhere between yesterday because the heavier serifs both looked too Clarendon-like to me and gave the font an off balance look. I think a semiserif can't have the same serif weight as a full serif without getting the leaning tower look.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Chris, I agree on serif weight as well as the thin joins on the g, the high-res printouts will tell the story. These small features tend to thicken noticeably in small sizes in lower res print out.

dezcom's picture

I sure wish I could afford one of those $4,000 2400dpi printers that James Montalbano has :-) Meanwhile, I'll try your Word Express guy Bill.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Above is version eight PDF.
Worked with metrics tinkering and fine tuning most glyphs—futzed with the g again and with kerning.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Above is version 9 with the ggy lig finally making it back! Most diacritics are now in with Icelandic glyphs as well.
Reworked spacing and kerning.

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

Is the image representative of the kerning? ;^) The ur pair is too loose and the re pair is too tight. I'll peek at the PDF tomorrow. :^)

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