Hagmann Goes Uniwidth

hrant's picture

So I just saw Sybille Hagmann's Axia typeface
http://tinyurl.com/aoupbe9
and one notable thing is that both Roman and Italic in all four weights (plus two stencil styles) are what I call uniwidth, meaning a given glyph is the same set-width across the board. I'm a fan of that sort of thing, but I thought that beyond a narrow range of color it backfires (based on my work on Patria, where I made the Regular and Demi uniwidth, but resorted to what I call "fixed-offset"* for the Light and Bold**). Any opinions from users or observers welcome.

* Which is where two fonts become uniwidth when a certain tracking value is applied.

** Which is even pretty light for a Bold.

hhp

J Weltin's picture

That’s what i have done with Mantika Sans, by the by. Consistent width across four weights.
Which is not possible within the Cyrillic script due to some different italic forms, but possible in Latin and Greek.

PabloImpallari's picture

Linotype Office Alliance set of fonts* and Asap by Omnibus Type also have the same feature.

* Metro Office, Neuzeit Office, Times Europa Office and Trump Mediaeval Office

J Weltin's picture

As well as Mantika Sans, except for the Cyrillic script due to the different italic forms.

quadibloc's picture

Ah. You don't mean monospaced, you mean like Linotype.

hrant's picture

Pablo, Jürgen, I'm embarrassed to say I didn't know about those being uniwidth! Thank you.

Linotype has a nice history of "normalization" (e.g. Compatil) and Kobayashi is a major talent so I'm sure they did a good job with those. However Axia's weight range (from Light to Black) is a good deal bigger than those (as well as Asap's and Mantika's), which is why I wonder how well it works. In my experience the widths of the "outlying" weights have to strain too much to accommodate being uniwidth; the Light becomes too wide, and the Black too narrow. But maybe I'm missing something.

you mean like Linotype

If you mean the 18-unit (or later 54-unit) system, not that either; what I mean is that the "a" for example is the same set width in any weight/style. Or maybe you meant Linotype's "duplexing", where the Italic glyphs matched the set widths of the Roman ones; that's closer, but nothing to do with weight throwing a wrench in it.

hhp

eliason's picture

In some cases a bold, rather than an italic, was duplexed with the roman in Linotype matrices.

hrant's picture

Ah, good to know. In those cases were the Italics also duplexed? Or was there only room/need for two at a time?

hhp

eliason's picture

There was only room for two faces on a mat as far as I know. But in some cases both a weight difference and an italic of the same typeface might be offered as the alternate in two different sets of matrices--so for example you could get Memphis Medium duplexed with its Italic, or you could get Memphis Medium duplexed with Memphis Bold. So they'd all share advance widths.

kentlew's picture

But in some cases both a weight difference and an italic of the same typeface might be offered as the alternate in two different sets of matrices [. . .] So they'd all share advance widths.

A fact still in evidence in some of the digitizations — Sabon, for example:

hrant's picture

BTW, just to link things up, here's an older related thread, with links to others too:
http://www.typophile.com/node/61252

hhp

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