Seriatim Uncial

gulliver's picture

Apologies for my long absence from the critique forums. Things got very crazy in my world over the last year, but I'm back in the swing of things typographic now.

Here's the very first draft of the latest member of the huge-and-growing Seriatim geometric sans family. Meet "Seriatim Uncial."

More members of the Seriatim family will be posted to the appropriate forums in the coming days.

As always, criticisms are welcome and highly prized.Seriatim Uncial

GildedCage's picture

love the genre and the overall feel that you've established. more fresh and modern to me than the uncial sometimes allows.

matha_standun's picture

Bravo David.

I see you've been paying attention to the purists and included a dotless 'i'. Good man.

This has a lot going for it but in my opinion there are a few problems.

For the uppercase W, I agree with John: it's pretty illegible.

The H and K could probably do with ascenders

The M and N are too wide.

For the lowercase, the f,h, m, and w are also a little wide.

The ascender on the b is confusing.

The descender on the z makes it look like a g.

If you wouldn't mind humouring me a little and setting a bit of Gaelic, I'll critique it all night. Try this:


capthaddock's picture

I love it, although if I had a copy I'd be using the lowercase by itself.

The "b" seems a little too weird for commercial use.


gulliver's picture

Here are some of the initial changes, notably a new upper case "H" and two variants on upper case "Y".

I haven't yet decided what to do about upper case "W" as yet. See what you think about the glyph in the text setting below.

It's worth noting that the Seriatim family is a geometric sans serif, and Seriatim Uncial is an uncial variation, still within the constraints of geometric sans serif form. To that end, What may seem wide or otherwise out of sorts for a standard uncial font might seem to fit in the context of the geometry of the rest of the Seriatim family (showing in the Sans Serif and Experimental Forums).

Numerals, full punctuation, full standard ligatures, etc. are forthcoming, and will be posted as soon as possible.

Criticisms are still always welcome, even of my poor maligned upper case "W". :-)



matha_standun's picture


I have to say that in both the Gaelic and English settings, it looks great. I think it reads especially well in Gaelic and the only thing that's really jumping out at me is the lowercase 'b'. In this context, the wide 'm' looks just fine and I love the 'a'.
The new Uppercase 'H' and 'Y' are better but I still think an ascender would work better both on the 'H' and 'K'. I won't say anything about the 'W'.


johnbutler's picture

The uppercase W is a very German design. Personally I like it.

The extenders in this design seem unusually long for an uncial. the bottom of the bowl on the lowercase g also could stand to be a little lower.

hrant's picture

John, that's sick.


johnbutler's picture

This thread is about David's font. Feel free to email me privately about politics.

hrant's picture

Such an Ari Fleischer.

Anyway, I would need a year (and for you to be able to travel to places I'd need to show you - no longer an option for you - just stick to Disneyland) to undo the decades of US media you've suffered. You'll have to fix your own head, sorry.


David, I think the font has a problem with spotty color. Some glyphs are clotting a lot - like with the "b", "k" and "r" you could leave the left end of the h-bar disconnected. Also, the "y" seems too big. Lastly, I think those bars on "H" and "K" are too strong.


glutton's picture

David --

I like what I see, but if there's something I'd like more of, it would be for the typeface to have more of a calligraphic feel. The way the bottom of the bowl of the "P" meets the stem seems extremely artificial, and on another font -- perhaps one without such a distinct historical reference -- that might be expected. But my overall opinion is that it's quite lovely.

matha_standun's picture

The bottom of the bowl of the "P" doesn't meet the stem. What are you talking about? And it's perfectly authentic as it is, as far as I'm concerned. Works a treat. Explain yourself, sir.

The other John,
What's German about the "W" ?
And what's all this about politics? Don't be cryptic boys. Do tell.


matha_standun's picture

It's gone all quiet in here all of a sudden.
Any developments on that 'W' David?


gulliver's picture

> It's gone all quiet in here all of a sudden.
> Any developments on that 'W' David?
> Matha.

Some, yes. :-) I like the "W" as is it, but I agree
that it might be too unconventional to modern
eyes to be useful in all cases. So, as happens
with so many of my fonts, I'm creating an
alternates set. :-) I'll have an update showing
new additions, like numerals, punctuation
and ligatures, as well as many of the
alternates that have suggested themselves
so far, posted soon.

I also took John Baichtal's comments to mean
that the bowl of the upper-case "P" closes too
close to the stem, so I opened that up slightly.
I've also taken Hrant's advice concerning the
lower-case "b", "k' and "r", and opened up the
middle crossbar.

As for the upper-case "H" and "K", I'm going to
place the current designs in the alternates set
and try Matha's advice to use extenders
instead of the top bars in the main set.

John Butler's advice on the lower-case "g"
was also taken to heart, although the bowl
problem is largely caused by an optical
illusion due to the lower-case "f". I'm
re-examining the "f", and I may raise its
crossbar off of the baseline.

Paul: See what you think of the new lower-
case "b". Does it need a spur on the lower-
left? I've been trying to avoid that, but I may
have to relent and include it.

Watch for an image in the next few hours.


gulliver's picture

I didn't get as much done on this today as I'd hoped, but there's enough to show most of the changes and additions. I still have some of the punctuation and reference characters (such as the section symbol and the pilcrow, et al) to complete, and that pesky alternate upper-case "W" (which will probably be a ligature of two "V"s).

Another change is the upper-case "S" and lower-case "s", which are both no longer as squished-looking as they were. They are both based on a circle now, and have essentially been lifted directly out of a yin-yang symbol that has been rotated 45 degrees.

More to come.



matha_standun's picture

Wonderful stuff David, absolutely wonderful.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Hi David. This is great. Once you did the text setting, a lot of the issues I noticed disappeared. Context is king. hmm. I still the the W is a little too odd. --- I wouldn't add any "calligraphy" to this. I think one reason it is soooo refreshing is the fact that it is an uncial without the pen.


glutton's picture


matha_standun's picture

Let me know when it's for sale David. There aren't many fonts out there with a long 'r' and 's'.


gulliver's picture

Thanks for all of the comments!

I finally included an alternate upper-case "W". :-)

Here are the latest versions of Seriatim Uncial and Seriatim Uncial Alternate. The Alternate set has Gaelic characters and accenting as well as alternates from the regular set.

Matha: Thanks, and I will!
Please let me know if I've gotten any of the Gaelic forms incorrect, or if there are any obvious omissions.

(Not all of the characters are displayed in these samples, of course. The regular set has full standard accents, and the alternate set has equivalent characters to those found in the Bunchlo Na Nod font, as well as several alternate characters to the regular set.)



matha_standun's picture

Hold on a second, I've died and gone to heaven !!
This really is incredible stuff, David.
I don't think anyone could fault your Gaelic forms either. Bravo.

There is something you might think about, though, maybe for the alternate set, in relation to the long 'r' and 's'. Nowadays, a lot of people often get the 's' and the 'r' mixed up. I'm working on a font with a colleague at the moment and we're trying to distinguish our long 's' and 'r' from each other as much as possible. Giving a curve to the descender on the 's' is one possibility we've come up with.

BTW apart from Vincent Morely's work, what are you using for sources?


gulliver's picture

I apologize for my delay in replying. Between's connection problems and my own connection problems, coupled with client work, it has been difficult to properly reply.

First, thank you all very much for your encouragement and helpful critiques.

To answer your questions:

I referred to Victor Hammer's fonts (American Uncial, Neue Hammer Unziale, etc.). Karlgeorg Hoefer's Omnia provided the inspiration for my controversial upper-case "W". :-)

The primary reference for my Gaelic glyphs has indeed been Vincent Morely's work. I also made use of the work of Luc Devroye and his complilation of Celtic/Gaelic font web references (

As I have worked on Seriatim Uncial, I have begun to see the usefulness of a Gaelic-only version. Such a font would likely consist of the "purist" uncial forms, and a full Gaelic character set. Are there generally accepted character/keyboard assignments for specific characters in a Gaelic font, such as the long "r" and long "s", et al?

Thanks for all the replies!


matha_standun's picture


I couldn't agree more that a Gaelic-only version would be very useful. Apart from what Vincent Morely is doing, Gaelic typography is very much focused on the past. There is an enormous need for display fonts, screen fonts, fonts for signage, as well as italics, small caps and bold...but everyone seems to be busy digitising old book fonts. Things have gotten so bad that they're using book fonts on street signs.


There's nothing particulary wrong with the font in itself but why not design something specifically for signage? The same is true of anything used on TG4, the Gaelic television channel, websites, brochures etc. Ironically, you'll find more book fonts used for display purposes than in books.

Seriatim Gaelic would be a breath of fresh air.

For any info on character/keyboard assignments, Michael Everson is the man:
I disagree with him on several (mostly philosophical) points but when it comes to encoding, he can't be faulted.


Joe Pemberton's picture

This is great work David, and is a testament to the solidity
of your previous work on this face. What some of you may
not know is David has hidden various versions of Seriatim
throughout the critique boards.

Seriatim Sans:

Seriatim Alternates:

Seriatim Gestalt:

evertype's picture

Five years on, a Mhatha, I wonder what those philosophical points are or were....

Yeah, that's Corgaigh used on signage in Galway. I was delighted to see it—though it's certainly not a signage font.

Michael Everson

jt_the_ninja's picture

Really cool stuff; a modern take on a traditional form.

...but try looking at the lowercase b with your head tilted to the left, and you'll see why I'd change it to a single-loop version, or remove the ascender.


BeauW's picture

Really fantastic font.
I'm glad this thread was resurrected.

More than past time for unicals to make a modern comeback.

Got to love this font choice, no?

peterf's picture

Of course, Americal Uncial has nothing at all to do with Irish or Gaelic, but that's a different thread altogether ;-)

PF Letterpress for Typographers!

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