new wide sans critique

altmannhaus's picture

Experimenting with a wide thin sans. I'd like to take it to a few more weights and add more glyphs and language support, but would like the get the basic letters and numbers in their sweet spot before tackling anything deeper. Feedback is appreciated.

bvd-sample.pdf293.16 KB
Satori's picture

Hi there, really like the shapes, i have my doubts in the Q in the terms of legibility, and the 4 and 9 seems to me a little narrow. I would try to to make the J wider. Gonna make lowercase??

altmannhaus's picture

Hi Satori, thanks for the tips. I had tried a different Q earlier, but it had worse legibility. I'll play around with it to see if I can help it, but I do like the unorthodox shape. I'll rework the 4 and 9, and now that I'm really studying it after a few days, I think the midline of the 5 is too high as well.

As far as lowercase is concerned, I was planning on repeating the capitals across the lowercase, perhaps as small caps. For some reason, I can't see attractive and wide lowercase forms, and the intent for the uppercase was mainly titling. I'll continue to evaluate and post updates here.


Albert Jan Pool's picture

Instead of changing the Q, I would rather have a take on the J. When we tend to accept that I does not need to be widened to fit in an extended typeface, wy should J suffer from that? The horizontal stroke is already too much for a proper J. Maybe you could try to extend the J below the baseline with a curvature similar to the tail of the Q. As a consequence you might then also consider to give the diagonal strokes of K (down right only) and R. Which could be taken further of course. When this does not fit your original concept (too much curvature?) you might also consider to create two different designs :–)

Birdseeding's picture

I like it, generally! A few random observations:

B suffers from the "bone effect" and needs to be optically compensated. Also the join of the two bowls appears too dark. (D could also use some similar correction, even if it's not as obvious there.)

O needs more overhang.

X looks slightly top-heavy.

C has some strange curves going on, especially the top one. Also, it seems out of style with the easy geometricism of a lot of the other characters, and its terminals are different from G/S. (If that's intentional, what's the rationale?)

S probably needs to be gone over curve-wise as well, doesn't feel entirely smooth and leans back slightly.

Does I have a thicker stem than the other characters? If so, why?

Why is the stem off-centre in the exclamation mark?

altmannhaus's picture

Albert & Johan,

Thanks for the tips and links (very handy). I've been tweaking this face non stop since I posted it here first. Below is the current standing. I won't post the current state of the lowercase, as it will need a significant overhaul on a number of glyphs as I apply your comments to the uppercase. I feel that the current version of the C is much more inline with the overall feel of the face, and I will be changing the B (I expect the P and R are also suffering the bone effect) and reëvaluating the J, K and R.

Satori, the numbers are for you. I've revamped the 8 & 5, and the 4 & 9 are both more fitting with the rest of the widths.

altmannhaus's picture

Revised B, D, P, & R to fix the "boning" (thank you Johan); revised J, K & R to include a bit of curve to align with the feel of the Q (thanks Albert); and made the lowercase presentable (for the first round).


Catharsis's picture

Quite pretty overall! The {g} strikes me as crooked, though. Maybe keep the descender more vertical at the beginning, and prune back the end a bit. The {s} and {2} are a bit flabby, maybe remove the plateau in the spines. The {S} doesn't have that problem, but the upper and lower bend are very different from each other — try giving it a more continuous curve. The {t} looks comically unbalanced to me. It'd keep its ascender and backward spur to a bare minimum, and give it a more grounded foot.

Love the numbers and the {Q}!

altmannhaus's picture

Christian, thanks for the constructive feedback. The /s/ and /2/ were bothering me too. Here is the alphabet with reworked 2, s, g & t.

eliason's picture

This is definitely getting better. I wonder if those gaps particularly in the bowled lowercase letters should be bigger. They look a little tentative. The break from straight to curved in BDPR is too abrupt yet (maybe fixed in the lighter weight 2 posts back but not in the thicker just above?)

altmannhaus's picture

Yeah, you're right. that'll teach me to attempt more than one weight before the forms are done… I'm wondering if there needs to be breaks at all in both upper and lower cases: BPRabdgpq.

Albert Jan Pool's picture

Don’t you think that 6 and 9 tilt backwards a little?

altmannhaus's picture

I'm moving 6 & 9 up to the top of my list of annoying characters. Above S. I agree that they're a bit wonky, will post an update later today.

altmannhaus's picture

I've tweaked the curve-to-straight transition in the BDPR in the 400 weight, closed the breaks in all of the lowercase letters, and re-curved the 6 & 9. My concern now is that the connection of the strokes in the lowercase (where there had initially been a break) looks too heavy.

hrant's picture

Haven't read the whole thread, but: this looks promising.


JayYao's picture

Do you have examples of the kerning? Used in a sentence? It would be interesting to see those.

altmannhaus's picture

Hrant, thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you think so. Jay, here are some words for kerning display. I'm sure they need a bit of tweaking, so pick away.

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