Critique on my first typeface, an upright (semi)cursive

Primary tabs

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Ian Tuomi's picture
Joined: 1 Aug 2013 - 6:00am
Critique on my first typeface, an upright (semi)cursive


I got bit by the typography bug last winter and subsequently learned and experimented by making a typeface (lower case only as for now), as I didn't have access to formal teaching. I won't try to classify my influences as they're obvious enough. I'd be happy for any and all critique, as nitpicky or general as you like. I'm also interested in your ideas of serifed upright cursives in general and if the fact that some letters are cursive and some not bothers you.

Link to sample pdf file

Also if there's some other typefaces I could learn from, let me know!
I'm very grateful for your time, thank you!

Danny Hannah's picture
Joined: 3 Dec 2004 - 1:04pm

It has influences of Century School Book! Very nice! Love the curves in some of the letters.

K Cerulean Pease's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2003 - 5:03pm

Very lively and pleasing. I wouldn't ever think to describe it as "cursive", but that is no matter: creation before classification.

I would smooth away the crimp in the tail of |y| and the slight bump on the lower right of |g|.

Craig Eliason's picture
Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm

Some of the quirks are kind of charming. /s/ tries too hard to be horizontal in its spine, and its terminals also look out of character. My eye really catches on that ball terminal in the loop of /g/. /a/'s "puppy-dog" tail looks like it might present spacing difficulties.

Ian Tuomi's picture
Joined: 1 Aug 2013 - 6:00am

Thanks for the suggestions and kind words.

dhannah is right, Century Schoolbook was an important inspiration. I smoothed /y/ and /g/ out as per cerulean's suggestion (great finds!) and reverted /s/ to an older, curvier version thanks to eliason. He was right about it. I'm really attached to the ball terminal on /g/ so I've just made it slightly smaller...

Link t0 sample

Jasper Michael de Waard's picture
Joined: 24 Apr 2008 - 10:32am

If this is really your first font, you've got talent. General advice: Try out all suggestions before ditching them, and add pics to your posts, you'll get more feedback.

- Some of your curves are quirky. Try RMX tools if you want to make this into something worth selling.
- The middle strokes of 'a' and e are too thick.
- The top terminal of a is too small. Make space for it by moving it to the left, and decreasing the size of the bowl.
-The tail of 'a' is cut off at a weird angle.
- Lovely curves in b and d!
- c is falling backwards. Move the top to the right, or the bottom to the left.
- Top right of e is too squarish, not round.
- f is nice, but perhaps a bit wide. Check how it looks next to some other letters.
- Bottom terminal in g still too large. I'd ditch it entirely though.
- Because of your open serif structure, n and h look too wide next to o.
- Nice k!
- Compare the thin part of the curve in n, to that of p.
- o is too light
- You might want to try to enlarge that little spur on the q, to add character.
- The bottom serifs on the inside of p, q, f, and r need to be bigger than usual, to prevent the letter from falling.
- The shoulder in r is somewhat unsatisfying. I think it needs to increase in thickness already before it hits the ball terminal.
- s spine is too thick, and s is top-heavy. Make the top narrower, and compare the serifs.
- t's curve is too sharp, not round. The top horizontal stroke could extend a bit further to the right.
- u is too wide. It sometimes needs to be even smaller than n, but your n is also too wide, I think.
- Serifs on diagonals (v, w, etc.) lack character, and too small.
- Compare the serifs on top of x, to those on the bottom.
- I think you need to push the ball terminal of y to the right, less curvy.
- Nice subtle curves in z! Perhaps try a similar subtlety in k, to tone it down a bit, and make this more suitable a a text font.

Good luck. Don't trust your critiques blindly, but try their suggestions. Take care of details, but don't lose the bigger picture. Look at stroke thickness, some of your thicks and thins are a bit out of tune.

Cheers! jasper

Jasper Michael de Waard's picture
Joined: 24 Apr 2008 - 10:32am

Ohh, and start working on some caps. They'll give you helpful insights for your lowercase, and allow for a bit more creativity. Think of how you want to incorporate the 'cursive' style in the naturally more rigid uppercase.

What you're trying to do with the middle stroke in 'a' and e might be a bit too calligraphic for this style of font.