Please critique/help me review

Graphirus's picture

Hello,

I'm almost done with the basic shapes of my new font and I'm tweaking bits here and there balancing everything. Still haven't decided yet on the style of the serifs and probably some characters will change... for example I'm seriously considering a trapezoidal Д instead of the triangular one I currently have, I don't like al the white space around it.

Please comment, critique, suggest.

Thanks

hrant's picture

{To Follow}

Graphirus's picture

Bookmark? )

Graphirus's picture

I think I found the serif style I'm gonna use for this font. Looking good so far.

Catharsis's picture

The serif seems to have a defect at the top right corner. Several points on top of each other, maybe?

The tops of |a| and |r| look awkward to me. The terminal could use more weight, and the arm leading to it looks stiff.

The |B| as shown above is not very readable; I'd make its cleavage deeper. The middle bar of |E| is too long. The foot of the |k| looks strange.

Graphirus's picture

Hello catharsis and thanks for your comments.

The defect at the top right corner you are referring to seems like the direction arrow in FL, I assure you the serifs are completely symmetrical and the top left side is ok )

Regarding the arms of "a" and "r": they follow the shape and weight of "n". As far as I have read somewhere those curves are born from the "n" and share its characteristics. Am I right or should I tweak those curves to my liking disregarding the curve of "n"? The terminals are something I'm stil figuring out so don't consider them as a final version, but kudos for pointing that out )

I'm gonna try your suggestion of making "B"s cleavage deeper. "E"s middle bar may be needing some shortening as you suggest, something like "F"s, although long middle arms in E do exist. Gotta study the possibilities.

"k"'s foot is fixed already )

Graphirus's picture

I've been having a great time [sarcastic] adding serifs to my glyphs ) Here the latest preview:

Graphirus's picture

PDF with the latest revision in the following link:

www.butterflyphoto.ru/testing/Test.pdf

nrcs's picture

Apart from mentioned, the biggest problem i see is that most stems on lowercase letters seem to have different widths. Try comparing "h" and "f" stems.
"Ss" - doesn't look good because "s" spine is about to have its widest part in the middle.
In cyrillic set i personally have problems with "Дд" and "Уу".
- Slanted bar on top of "Дд" doesn't seem appropriate at all to me.
- "Д" and "Л" come in pair so you just cannot leave triangular "Л" when making "Д" trapezoidal.
- I don't think that two-sided serif on the "У" lower terminal is a good solution. Also there should be a similarity between uc and lc terminals of the same letter and i don't think it's ok to use 2 totally different types of terminals.

Graphirus's picture

Hello nrcs!

Thanks a lot for your comments! Sadly, most of the things you have pointed out no longer apply since I have made a lot of changes to the typeface, I will try to post an updated preview soon.

As for the slanted "Д"... I designed that letter this way as a cross between the triangular and trapezoidal one, a little bit of innovation or creative freedom, if you prefer. Slanted Дд's and Лл's are one of the characteristics of this particular font, something that differentiate it from the rest, so I don't see myself changing it in the near future. Besides, I have only received positive critique for those two glyphs from people who has seen printed tests... you are the first russian to dislike those glyphs =)

Regards!

nrcs's picture

I see, of course it's all subjective. It would be interesting to see the perspective of mature russian typographers.

Graphirus's picture

I agree with you, indeed it would be very interesting to see their perspective, although sometimes old folks reject things when they do not follow conventions. Right now I'm only concerned with readability and so far the typeface is performing well.

Luckily for me my wife is a writer, so I asked her to bring printed texts with my typeface to her writing meetings and distribute it among the other writers for critique and intensive reviewing. Novelists are a tough crowd, if something looks wrong I'm sure they will tell )

Graphirus's picture

A little update to show how the lettering is currently looking:

hrant's picture

There are some nice details. The first thing I would suggest is making the descenders shorter.

BTW, is it possible you used a public-domain version of Times as a starting point?

hhp

Graphirus's picture

Thank you hrant. I will consider your suggestion of making the descenders shorter.
As I said in another post, I believe in this same thread, this font doesn't use any currently available font as a starting point. My inspiration came from some soviet lettering (all cyrillic caps) and I had to adapt everything to the latin script (both upper and lowercase) as well the lowercase cyrillic. It's been an interesting exercise because, as you told me yourself, usually designers begin drawing the lowercase letters and then the uppercase ones, and not the other way.

Of course, during the making and re-making of some glyphs I have checked lots of fonts for inspiration )

And some other characters. I'm not liking the "pound" one as it is right now. I will try a curved version I guess. Also the serif in the ampersand is not very orthodox (I believe), but I like the detail nevertheless.

hrant's picture

Thank you for the detailed explanation.

hhp

Graphirus's picture

You are welcome. Any more suggestions? Something that you don't like?

hrant's picture

It looks like the overshoots (especially the pointy ones - see the "v") are not enough.

hhp

jcrippen's picture

The belly on Б looks weak compared to the lower bout of В. The middle spines of З and з are spindly, try extending them a bit and maybe flattening off their ends. Also try mixing Latin and Cyrillic together: vгeжзsх, ptбeфgй. Some rogue will probably do this, and it helps if your design anticipates it. You will discover that e.g. the base of s is too thin in such a context, and this will matter because there is a Cyrillic letter ѕ that should have largely the same appearance.

Graphirus's picture

Link to a font's table preview http://issuu.com/juanfranciscogarrido/docs/printfont?mode=window
I think these will be all the characters I'm gonna cover by now... if you think something important is missing please tell me.

Also disregard the little "glitch" in acute and grave accents, it is in fact a mark to aid me in positioning the accents; not an error whatsoever.

As you can see I have adopted many of the suggestions made by people on this forum. As usual critique and suggestions are very welcome.

PS. There are some glyphs I haven't finished tweaking yet, so some accents may be off...

Graphirus's picture

Uploaded PDF with examples of running text in different latin languages. Kerning on.

http://www.sendspace.com/file/fqgevw

Graphirus's picture

Hi guys,

Uploaded a PDF file with text for testing kerning. The file can be printed and I would be very grateful if you can check it out and give me your comments. No ligatures in the text.

Thanks

http://www.sendspace.com/file/konpu0

Number3Pencils's picture

It seems to me like you have a few different styles and tendencies that are all jostling for primacy. For example, the terminal on /c/ doesn't resemble the one on /f/ doesn't resemble the one on /g/ doesn't quite resemble the one on /r/. You can make each terminal unique, of course, but some of these just don't seem thematically related enough to belong in the same font. Terminals are a large part of what gives a font its distinct identity and I think an organized approach to them is a hallmark of a font that works well. The serif on the bottom of /L/ is different from the one on the bottom of /E/. Also contrast /p/ and /n/, looking at the spot where the vertical stroke joins the top of the bowl. They're totally different shapes, and another important part of giving the font its character is the shaping of the curves. The form of the serif is by comparison minor, since it doesn't really show up too well at text sizes. Obviously it's important to get the right shape for the serif, but at least to me, that doesn't seem like as big a deal as the issues of shapes and terminals.

I can't see a lot of detail in this latest image, so I can't say as much as I'd like about the Cyrillic, but I do think the inside point of the /З/з/ should come over a lot further to the left, and the lc /ф/ is much too wide. UC /У/ and lc /т/ are also probably too wide, and in this font the /б/ would probably be better off with the more humanist form (see Minion, for example). The hybrid /Д/д/Л/л/ still seem weird to me (though much better than those bizarre-looking diagonal-topped ones), but a native reader could opine more authoritatively. The roman is a bit better worked out, aside from the thematic and shaping issues I mentioned, but the /s/ could still use some work. Its left curve is too pointy, and the whole letter might just be too wide. The four-way join in the /k/ probably shouldn't be so chunky (that is, I'd reduce it to a point that just kisses the stem). And the very pointy points on /V/W/Z/v/w/z ought to get blunted.

In general, I'd work on making all the letters look more like they came from the same font, and I'd work on matching up the thicknesses optically (compare the hairline of /e/ with the hairline of /s/).

Graphirus's picture

Hello there Pencils!

Thanks a lot for your review/critique! I'm gonna check the things you have pointed out and will do the necessary corrections. I must say that I agree with almost everything you said, some of those problems have been buggin me as well.

Regards!

Number3Pencils's picture

Happy to help! It seemed quiet on your thread so I figured with all the help I've gotten, I should return the favor to the community. I might not be able to follow up much though since I'll be traveling soon.

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