Verona

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miles newlyn's picture
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Verona
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Verona is a typeface in development for a corporate client. I’ll soon be creating an italic for it, and am considering an upright script concept. Verona features square punctuation that is shared with a sans serif that I’ve also designed.
I’m thinking of designing the italic/script so that it could be shared between Verona and the sans.
In respect of the use of Verona, I hope it to fulfill the same role that the Apple Garamond has done for Apple.
I’m also thinking about adding more weights, but Apple’s successfull use of one weight leads me to believe that as part of a corporate identity it would be stronger and more identifiable if there were only one.
Ben Mitchell's picture
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Yes, Miles did a great job with 3's type. It's really clean and current, even after six years. Modena is amazing too. Love it!

Simon 'Sye' Robertson's picture
Joined: 21 Jul 2005 - 12:42pm
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yeah, it's a testament to the quality of his design and the trust 3 place in it to still be using it after 6 years, lots of other companies seem to change more often.

Simon 'Sye' Robertson's picture
Joined: 21 Jul 2005 - 12:42pm
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this was fun reading now, especially the talk of apple changing face and also seeing how 3 has used Verona very successfully (to me at least).

nice!

Simon 'Sye' Robertson's picture
Joined: 21 Jul 2005 - 12:42pm
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oh, and i wish Verona was available to buy, i really love it! well done miles!

ole s's picture
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Joined: 1 Feb 2002 - 4:01am
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Nice work Miles. I was expecting a much more funky design being familiar with your work of the 1990’s. I like your new face a lot and would encourage you to design the script and perhaps even a semi serif.

Martin Archer's picture
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In Fellow Designer’s defense: Melior was the first thing I thought of as soon as I saw this design. It really is too close. I don’t normally like to chime in with negative criticism here, but seeing as FD has started I thought I should speak up. If you look at the “weak” letters — meaning the ones that attract the eye for the wrong reasons — like the M, W and Q, it looks to me like the designer has chosen to alter the Melior originals but made amateurish design choices. The lc is more consistent, but when you look at the similarities to Melior, particularly at the tell-tale junction of the thick and thin strokes of the y, and of the myriad similarities in the curves and bowl/counter shapes of the g then what else can you conclude?

Melior is a widely used font, but I don’t think it is so widely used as to result in it’s letter shapes melting into the general unconsciousness of designers by osmosis in the way that a font like, say, Microgramma/Eurostyle has done. You can almost forgive people for perpetually coming out with “new” designs which look like that.

Paying tribute to an earlier designer is one thing — and if you’re going to, then surely you have to acknowledge it — but this seems to me like a blatant squeeze of Melior with insufficient alteration to differentiate it to be able to, in good conscience, call it something original.

Anonymous's picture
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Hrant, dont try to change the subject. The topic here is Verona. Lets stick with it and see where it leads. Miles asked for input.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> dont try to change the subject

I’m not.
Context is everything, and you can’t understand the issues -or arrive at a personal stance wrt Verona- without getting a handle on the big picture. Relativity, baby, not ten commandments crap.

Please, do my list of 3 things.

> Miles asked for input

Are you the same as FD? If yes, then I’m glad you did give your opinion, I just wish it was in person. If not, please do give yours.

BTW, I thought anonymous posting were no longer an option?

hhp

brian jaramillo's picture
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Joined: 3 Nov 2001 - 11:00am
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I’m disappointed to see how this critique has gone. People are way too quick to judge the work of others as being ‘similar’.

Okay, it’s fine to say, “This reminds me of Melior,” but you cross the line by suggesting that Miles Newlyn took Melior and squeezed it or stole some points. Do you all actually believe that? This is cynicism eroding logic, it’s jealousy preying on your common sense. If you people want to play detective and take a bite out of crime, Typophile is not the place.

Surely, criticize what you don’t like, point out similar faces, but we should NEVER make assumptions as to how a face was created.

That’s one of the worst things you can do in a forum like this.

C’mon now people. Miles deserves some apologies.

bj :(

Anonymous's picture
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I’d like to chime in with two comments.

1. Hrant. I don’t think anyone needs to show evidence of their own abilities in order to critique other peoples work. If that were the case where would all the literary and film critics go? I come here to check out people’s work and draw my own conclusions every day, and I’m a piss-poor type designer.

2. I don’t know if ‘Fellow Designer’ had mischievous intent or not, but I certainly found interesting the similarities between the typefaces. I think it was worth saying, and possibly Miles can benefit from this issue being raised? btw, I certainly wouldn’t think anything less of Miles if Verona is directly inspired by Melior (a typeface I’d cheerily ignored the potential of until now).


Also nice to the ‘Mr Grumpy’ persona of Hrant hasn’t changed since the last time I was signed up to the typo-l 3/4 years ago. I’d say you’re all soft and cuddly under that tough exterior :-)

Martin Archer's picture
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I knew I should have stayed out of this and not made negative comments… But I think Miles should speak for himself now as he hasn’t commented anything since he first posted the design.

Martin Archer's picture
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And if anyone deserves an apology I think it’s Hrant! Why do people keep picking on him?! ;-)

brian jaramillo's picture
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He (Miles) shouldn’t have to comment and why would he want to? We (the Typophile participants) get a top-level designer/thinker in our midst and this is how he’s treated?

Given this precedent, do you think we’ll see any more established type designers like Miles posting work in progress?

Again, do the critics REALLY believe the absurd notion that the Melior outlines were actually manipulated in this instance or are we supposed to infer something else from what they’ve posted?

?

bj :(

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> I don’t think anyone needs to show evidence of their own abilities in order to critique other peoples work.

I agree entirely (a food critic does not need to know how to cook — although it might help), and am sorry if I implied otherwise. I was actually getting at something else: that any work -including that of FD- draws inspiration from “outside”, just in different ways and amounts.

> I think it was worth saying

Agreed again. I just worry -as perhaps I too often do- about *intentions*, as opposed to “results”.

BTW, I actually had some déjà vu when first looking at Verona (maybe because I’d been looking closely at Melior a few months ago), but since I thought it was original *enough* of its own, I didn’t bother investigating.

> I’d say you’re all soft and cuddly under that tough exterior

:-/
I’m a Gemini, so maybe I’m two things, all the time, inside and/or out.

BTW, pick away.

hhp

Stephen Coles's picture
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BJ, have another look at Melior. The lines
appear to be identical. I welcome Miles to
prove me wrong. I might be.

Stephen

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Miles, very nice — although you should know that I have a weakness for narrow, rigid designs.

It’s hard to make significant suggestions to something of such high professional finish (noting for example the slight taper in the lc “v“ ‘s thin arm), so I’ll go into “super-picky” mode — which does however mean that my suggestions might hold [even] less water than usual.

The lc Letterforms:
I like the strong square terminals. And the vertical proportions seem to be well matched to the narrowness. Maybe the descenders could be a bit shorter. The half-serifs seem to be completely flat, as opposed to the full-serifs, which have a slight concavity. Maybe go flat for all. Also, I think either the “a” and “u” foot serifs should be flat, or the “d“ ‘s should turn up instead. The “a” is very classy. The “e” might benefit from a stronger top-right curve, and the strong terminal seems to be closing things up too much. The “g” is one of the best bicameral forms that I’ve ever seen — very elegant — maybe a bit too humanist here? The ear could be stronger. The dots on the “i” and “j” (and maybe even the period) are really too sharp, but I don’t know what would work here — maybe rounding the corners a bit. I like strong tails, so the “j” is somewhat of a turn-off (although it contrasts nicely with the “y”). The “k” doesn’t seem to fit just right: it’s too busy at the base (you might consider giving it the staggered arm structure that the UC has), and the upper arm’s flare on the left seems too humanist here. On the other hand, the “k” you have is a very classy form, which does go with the overall feeling — so if you keep it as is, you might want to make the UC “K” have similar armature (not that I think that type of consistency is critical). The “m” might not need to be so narrow. The “r” might benefit from a stronger beak, and maybe a longer righthand foot serif to go along. The “s” is amazing — like a beautiful boa. The “t” initially bothered me, but now I like it a lot. I think the “x“ ‘s lower-left arm being pulled in like that is unbalancing it. The “y” is superb — my attempt at a “y” of that structure for Patria was a fiasco. The “z” is class.

The UC letterforms:
Very solid, without being brutal. The “B” -always a challenge- is masterful. The “G” might benefit from a double-serif. The “J” was bothering me, but now it’s fine. The “M” has a problem with being too frail and open. You probably want to control its width in this design, but I really think the middle part has to go lower. The “P” is classy, but a bit recessive. The “Q” -which I should probably reserve judgment on until I see it in text- is a sharp attempt (noting the modulation of the body at the bottom-right), and I guess you want to keep it above the baseline, but I’m not sure you can get away without bringing part of the tail inside. The “R” is killer. The “S” seems to be leaning rightward. The “T” is nice and narrow, but the “V” maybe too narrow. The “W” has a milder version of the “M“ ‘s problem, and it also seems to be skewed left on the inside.

The numerals really work, man. The “5” is amazing. Just the “4” is a bit too shy for me. The “fl” seems a bit tight, and I worry about its strong corner (top-right). The BP seems to be leaning rightward. The “@” is surprisingly nice. Have you thought of making the asterisk upside-down (to draw more attention)?

The spacing is probably not finished, but it seems a hair to loose to me (especially in the rounds). And the blank space character relatively too narrow. Nice quote, btw.

I think the single italics idea is really great, but I have to see a working upright one before I’m convinced of that aspect of it. The closest (viable) thing I’ve seen is Majoor’s Seria, and assuming it actually works in context, it still has a slant (which actually varies, between about 1-2 degrees). A couple of *nearly* upright italics (~4 degrees) that do work are Gill’s Joanna and Unger’s Flora. G Noordzij might have made something, but I’d be surprised if it’s non-calligraphic enough to work for text.

Your point about the one weight is interesting. I think it might have great validity for large settings, but for subheads and such it might backfire. One place where multiple weights definitely help is when you’re mixing different sizes together but want to maintain color (like in simulating smallcaps).

Overall, great stuff — no surprise. I hope the client deserves the high craftsmanship.

hhp

brian jaramillo's picture
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I looked at some thumbnails on myfonts, but you’re missing the point.

Miles Newlyn does not have anything to prove!

To you, to me, or to anyone.

He’s been there, done that. To paraphrase Jack Nicholson, “extend some f–ing courtesy.”*

:)

(parenthetical here to say, I’m trying to say this nicely) Miles Newlyn comes in for the first time and you are welcoming him to prove you wrong?

I don’t know what to say anymore…

But while we disagree, please don’t take this personal. That’s not what it’s about. Same thing with Mart, whom I met in person (along with Hrant) last week in LA. (Yes, a secret meeting of the So-Cal Typophiles.**)

I just feel strongly that to suggest plaigarism or point theft, especially to someone of MN’s caliber is harmful and completely inappropriate. Also, there’s something called a Chilling Effect. If every time someone posts something, their post is followed with “This looks like the work of SOMEBODY ELSE” or “is this ORIGINAL” it makes people reluctant to post something, thus a Chilling Effect.

It’s fine to point out faces that are similar, but going beyond that takes Typophile in an unfortunate direction.

just my opinion.


bj


* yes, another JN reference.
** not secret anymore.

ole s's picture
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Hrant obviously spent lots of time studying the work before he makes comments. He is critical, as he should be and clear in his explanations and suggestions. This is exactly the point of this forum.

I contacted Miles Newlyn directly to get his work up on typophile a few weeks ago. He is one of my own favorite designers in the field.
For anyone not familiar with the work of Miles Newlyn, he has 2 typefaces distributed through Emigre, which is as far as I know the hardest distributor to get work accepted by in the industry, their fonts are all completely original designs, innovative, contemporary and of the highest standards, so I would say it is safe to say that Verona is completely original. I think it is important to consider the end user. It is a corporate client and I think there is a good chance they used to use something similar to Melior and just wanted something similar. Well that would make the challenge to design exactly that, a type face that is something similar and original at the same time. I doubt they would be satisfied with spending $1000’s of dollars for a couple of tweaks here and there.

I think it is valid to ask if a design is original or if it is a modified existing design.
I am still working on Unicratica (which I posted last month) there are signature elements from other sans faces in it but this is intentional, as the design as a whole is supposed to be a hybrid of my favorite sans faces, drawn from scratch.

I would suggest that when a designer places a post it is stated when the design is a revival or a modification as to avoid the speculation of plagarism.

Anonymous's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2002 - 1:06pm
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What a welcome Miles get on this forum. I feel ashamed. Why not ask Miles himself about his departure and arrival for his work in progress?
I for one adore his designs and would welcome his opinion on anything typerelated. I would love to see the sans serif version Miles. If you still feel encouraged that this hostility against your effort can change with your comments upon what is said in this thread, then do it.

And, Hrant, you are of course entitled to your critique. But, there is a time for everything. Let Miles tell us a little about his design, and then he most likely would appretiate some good constructive critique.

Sbo

Anonymous's picture
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While Melior was the first thing that entered my mind when I saw Verona as well, both Fellow Designer and Stephen Coles have made some pretty serious allegations. It may not be necessary for a food critic to know how to cook, but it is still the burden of one making charges like these to supply some evidence of proof of the charges, and “they look similar” isn’t enough to meet the charges. If so, the designer of Apple Garamond may have some explaining to do as well.

Fellow designer makes the allegation that Miles started with Melior and altered it — a very serious charge. Stephen charges that Verona and Melior “have some exact points and curves” in common. Are you sure, Stephen? Were to somehow able to compare the two, point by point? If so, please show the evidence as you make the charge, and we will be able to see for ourselves. Otherwise, it is a baseless, and purely circumstantial on appearance, allegation.

As an established professional designer, Miles deserves at very least the presumption of innocence on this one until proof can be supplied otherwise. With (so far) groundless charges like this hurled at him immediately upon his participation in the Typophile forums, it’s no wonder he hasn’t commented. I wouldn’t blame him if he never returned.

I’m with BJ. I’m disappointed and embarrassed with this critique.

David

Anonymous's picture
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Um, maybe I’m missing something here, but…

It doesn’t matter how high profile Miles is. If you are advocating people walk on eggshells simply because it might embarrass the celeb type designer, then I suggest you reconsider.

If Joe Shmoe posted that face, you would be happy enough to query the Melior connection. The same rules should apply to any poster.

I don’t see that it’s a big deal. If it’s derived from Melior it’s just as valid to me. Emigre were happy enough to release Mrs Eaves after all.

I’m also not sure that ‘Fellow Designer’ made any explicit accusation of nicking the Melior outlines.

a bit of chilling out is in order.

Martin Archer's picture
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I’m with you on this Alastair.
Let him speak for himself before this discussion goes dizzy chasing it’s own tail.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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I have enough battles of my own to fight, so I think I’ll let you guys duke this one out…

Just one question (to those of you won’t refuse to answer because you think Verona is a rip-off): What do you think of the friggin’ font?!

hhp

Anonymous's picture
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I like it. I like the square ‘dots’ and the idea of a shared italic. Would like to see the sans face. A million times nicer than that horrid apple garamond (ugh!). I’d be proud to be bluechip with this hanging off my propaganda.

Anonymous's picture
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I read Typophile for education and entertainment. This thread is proving to be a satisfying combination of the two.

Attached is a screen grab of Verona juxtaposed with a mechanically condensed version of Melior. While I tightened Melior’s tracking, I didn’t kern any letter pairs.

verona_melior.jpg

Anonymous's picture
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It looks different enough to me. Notice that the x-height is different, the width is different, as are the structures subtly different in the lower case. In fact, while they are obviously visually similar, and Verona was most certainly derived from Melior (and other Zapf designs), on close examination this shows pretty clearly that points and curves are not, in fact, common to both.

Melior was never one of my favorite fonts, and I don’t care much for Verona in its style either, (good fonts, just not my cup of tea, that’s all

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Ole, I guess funky isn’t what it used to be.
Plus, corporate clients are a bit different than young iconoclasts…  :-)

The semi-serif idea is great — and nobody has really made a good one yet. I’d love to see it applied in the italics (conventional italics -besides being too fluid- also have a paucity of serifs), but if Miles will be sharing it between the serif and the sans then that’s probably a no-go. But you were probably talking about a semi-serif *Roman*, and I think that would make for a great “sister” design.

hhp

Martin Archer's picture
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Are we looking at the same font here? “It looks different enough to me…” To me it’s as clear as day. If he didn’t use the actual digital points and beziers, then what he’s done is squeezed Melior digitally then perhaps traced by hand over printouts of the shapes and redigitized, altering the x-height and making the cosmetic changes that we can all see. The subtleties in Melior’s terminals and serifs have been replaced wholesale with a straight-edged and smoother-curved aesthetic, which though artfully done, it has to be said that this is far easier to do than designing new and different curved terminals. And while the curves in the letterforms are not *exactly* the same as the squeezed original, there is no mistaking the DIRECT correlation. The g for instance is uncannily similar: Don’t tell me it isn’t!

On the question of calling it plagiarism, I for one don’t see much wrong in what he has done, save for my observations above that I thought the M W and Q are misfits. Certainly Melior is not one of Zapf’s best pieces of work and is worth a revisit. But I think he should make the Melior connection clear and perhaps he just omitted to say that when posting. Established designer or not, this work is undoubtedly based on Melior and it does Hermann Zapf a discredit not to acknowledge Verona’s origin.

Anonymous's picture
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Of course we’re looking at the same font. When I said that it looks different enough to me, I meant that it looks different enough to disprove the accusations of lifted points and curves. I do agree, however, that it is too close to Melior to not give some attribution to it and Hermann Zapf.

> But I think he should make the Melior connection clear and perhaps he just omitted to say that when posting. Established designer or not, this work is undoubtedly based on Melior and it does Hermann Zapf a discredit not to acknowledge Verona’s origin.

I agree with that statement completely, and as I said before, it is completely clear to me as well that Verona is derived from Melior, just as Mrs Eaves is derived from Baskerville and Adobe Garamond (as well as ITC Garamond, et al) is derived from several of Jannon’s and Garamond’s Romans.

But I think you have illustrated with your first paragraph that the allegations of points and curves being lifted just aren’t true. Were they *derived* from Melior? Looks to me as though they were, but as you seem to agree in your statement below, the points and curves are not identical.

> And while the curves in the letterforms are not *exactly* the same as the squeezed original, there is no mistaking the DIRECT correlation.

The charges made by the anonymous Fellow Designer and also by Stephen Coles of direct lifting of the font itself (changing only a few characters and condensing the rest), or lifting the points and curves, however, are serious ones, as they would indeed constitute plagiarism. I think those charges were made recklessly, especially as they seem to have been shown to be less than accurate.

David

Stephen Coles's picture
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Hey fellas. Interesting discussion brewing here.
I’m not sure that it’s helpful to Mr. Newlyn, but
it’s certainly intriguing enough to stimulate
some impassioned posts.

To be clear, in my first post I said that the
design “does seem to share some exact points
and curves with Melior.” I stand by this
judgment. I thank marcox for making the effort
to show a direct comparison, because, for me,
it adds credibility to my theory.

I certainly feel that everyone who posts work
here should be respected, regardless of their
reputation or experience. I believe I wouldn’t
do Mr. Newlyn justice if I wasn’t honest about
how I see his work. By posting Verona here
he’s asking for feedback. I expressed my first
impression and concerns.

That said, I think it’s a successful design. It
would do any organization good. It’s unique
and useable. If incorporated well I’m sure it
could lend to brand recognition and esteem.
The notion that it’s derivative of Melior (in some
way) might not be a problem. If points were
copied there may be legal issues, but we need
to remember that this font isn’t for retail sale.
Surely it wouldn’t be the first time a company
customized an existing digital typeface for its
own use.

Stephen

Some questions: When does a “revival” become
ethically unsound? How different must it be?
Can we only reissue a design that wasn’t
available digitally? Can we only revive type of a
certain age? How old must it be? 500 years? 100?
50? I’m sure these questions have been asked
and answered before. Anyone know of a good
reference?

Anonymous's picture
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Stephen:

I agree with the vast majority of your last post, and I think it puts the discussion in the proper context. I’m not sure this is a particularly creative design, nor do I think that it is necessarily particulalry ethical, especially considering that it does derive so much from a font while that font’s designer/estate still holds a copyright, and to date we still haven’t seen any attribution.

But I also think that if the two fonts were laid transparently one on top of the other, the points and curves would not match precisely. (Check the bowl of the lc “b” and the structure of uc “H”.) Technicality? Absolutely. *Should* it be legal to do? I’m not sure, but probably not, even for non-retail work, as I suspect that the original designer (Hermann Zapf) will see no compensation for this extremely close use of his work. But in taking this approach, as far as I can tell, Mr. Newlyn hasn’t done anything different than was done in the design of Adobe Garamond or the design of a custom version of any existing font for a magazine, television network, or any business.

I still stand by my criticism that the original critiques made allegations that were careless and unsubstantiated. As the discussion has worn on, those critiques have become more refined, and that has been my intent in making my posts. I think that can only help Mr. Newlyn’s work as well.

David

Anonymous's picture
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this is melior (squashed) in orange laid over verona.
rge

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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> When does a “revival” become ethically unsound? How different ….

New thread, please (in “General Discussions”).

hhp

Anonymous's picture
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Cheerfully adding another pint of petrol to the bonfire…

For me, equally telling are the similarities in letterspacing in the comparison sample. Most of the pairs that seem a little loose in Melior (mb, bu, on) are equally loose in Verona. This would seem to point to Melior being used as more than just “inspiration.”

(Here’s where the food critic analogy holds true — there may be an obvious technical reason for the similarity that I can’t see because of my unfamiliarity with font creation software.)

Joe Pemberton's picture
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As far as Apple’s Garamond… it’s undeniably a
very recognizable asset for Apple, which is a
good thing. It is also interesting that they’ve
managed to stick to one weight of it in all their
varied applications. (Billboards to CPUs). The
actual face longs for an update, but who would
dare touch it? It’s an institution now, like
Campbell’s, Coca-Cola or the GE mark. I
mean Apple is so entwined in that face you
would have a difficult time elegantly making
the switch.)

Stephen wrote:

> When does a “revival” become ethically unsound?
> How different must it be? Can we only reissue a
> design that wasn’t available digitally? Can we
> only revive type of a certain age? How old must
> it be? 500 years? 100? 50? I’m sure these
> questions have been asked and answered before.
> Anyone know of a good reference?

The TypeRight Guide to Ethical Type Design
is a good starting place to an obviously sensitive
subject.

miles newlyn's picture
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Jeez,
38 messages!
I havent had a chance to read them all yet (at work) but I can clearly see that there are issues
with Melior. I need to point out that the client is a global licencee of Melior and that it was a starting point from which I saw a need to create something that was more suitable for retail/brand recognition use. I need to read all the messages and get back to the forum.

Anonymous's picture
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Hrant, you are too clever for me. I am indeed HZ. I was just a bit irate at Miles that he took the job and didnt give me the first shot. Afterall shouldnt I be consulted? But in all due respect to Miles he did concoct a brilliant setup. You took the bait strightaway and ran with it for more than 600 words. The “Dejavu Defence” is rather shabby however. Cant you be more original in your haste to retreat?

Anonymous's picture
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Miles, try this:

You take Melior. You squeeze it slightly.

You change J, M, Q, W, &, g, 2, 5, and ?

New corporate typeface? I don’t think so.

Anonymous's picture
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Wow!
Its all I can say :)

Sbo

Anonymous's picture
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Sbo, cant you recognise an Australian accent?
Do I really sound like Hermann The German to you?
If I were HZ do you think Id use the Aussie word “srtightaway” instead of the British word “straightaway”…or for that matter use double quotes intead of single quotes? When was the last time you spoke with Hermann?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Dear Anonyrat,
Not only am I more clever than you, but I’m also more honorable. But in this case I haven’t had to apply either of those qualities to any measurable extent. I think you should start a separate Hrant-bashing thread instead of trying to sabotage fruitful critiques in this forum — that would focus all your personal attacks, and maybe *then* you could make a dent — these occasional jabs are like a chihuahua repeatedly running towards me and getting kicked back across the room.

In any case, I’ve always had a lot of faith in Miles, and his latest post shows why. Not only is he a great type designer (what are *you* good at?), but he can defend himself just fine. On the other hand, maybe I’m wasting my breath, because you yourself aren’t really here to talk about Verona, or Miles, or even type…

hhp

miles newlyn's picture
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Joined: 28 Feb 2002 - 4:56am
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I must apologise to all contributors.
I’m only able to get to the web perhaps twice a week for the pleasure of surfing and forums like typophile. If I’d have been able to get back here sooner I’d have been able to stop a lot of people’s time being wasted. I was under the impression that the sans/serif etc. forums were a discussion about the aesthetic merits typography, not the issues of originality.
I’ll put a much clearer intro to my posting for Modena on in the sans forum soon.

So here’s the background:
Some years back I was asked to produce a logotype based on Melior. The job never went ahead and I decided to develop the few letters into a typeface. This was called Torino, and after finding that that name had been used for another typeface (a condensed serif, must have been at the back of my mind), I named it after another Italian city, Verona. In not nameing the typeface Melior____ or ___Melior I had obviously considered the design to some degree not Melior at this point, and that has been the discussion here.

The design had been sitting on the hard drive for some years and I’d forgotten about it. When I was approached by the client for which Verona is now intended, I remembered the design, and to my eye it immediately fitted their requirements. Only minor though important changes were made to Torino in aligning some design features with the sans I was also developing for the same client.

In posting Verona here, a far greater number of helpful suggestions have been made than I’d hoped for, and I’m certainly respectful of the focus that it has brought to the source of the design, Melior has some truly wonderful features and I’ve long been a fan of the super-elipse. I also looked at Century, Renault, Monanti and Marconi whilst drawing Verona.

Those are the details that come to mind at present, I bet there’s something important that I’ve missed.

I’m certainly don’t feel worthy of the kind of defense my name has received above, I’m a type designer that works very much as part of a design team, and in that sense I’m not the kind of self sustaining artist that many of my heroes are; Tankard, Licko, Barnbrook, Blockland(both)to name but a few. The thing is, it’s a huge and very confident step to say “I’m a type designer, and I’ll have my own studio and do my own thing, and I hope people will buy it.” I did that in the early ninties, and the typeface’s that came out were pretty abstract, not the sort of designs that I can make a living from. Having said that, those designs and designs of that ilk (Lee Schulz’s work I’m in awe of) are my passion.
In what seems great number of years I’ve been modifying existing designs for clients simply because very few of them have an understanding of the time it takes to do a new design, and throughout this I’ve either arranged the proper licence myself, or have had to pester brand managers in countries that have much ‘softer’ attitudes to licensing to get the proper licence.
Type design is a relatively anonymous art at the best of times, and anyone involved in the creation of new expressions through the letterform deserves credit, those contributors that have raised Melior here are doing exactly that.I doubt we’ll ever get to the wonderful copyright/credit model that photographers seem to have maintained.

Anonymous's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2002 - 1:06pm
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Hello,
This thread is really interesting.
One point though that I’d like to correct: the food critic example is not a good choice. A food critic should know at the very least the basics of cooking, even if he hasn’t been to cooking school as really serious food critics have. In order to comment what’s on your plate, not just say how nice or not nice it is but comment it properly, you have to have an idea of how it was made.
Which doesn’t mean that all food critics on the market know how to cook. But only some are good and those do know.
Sorry to change the (exciting) subject but the topic has been brought up, so…
Sophie (food writer and critic)

Anonymous's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2002 - 1:06pm
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I introduced the analogous ‘critics’ argument and stuck to literary and film critics. I’m probably on dicey ground even with the literary example, but film critics are a damn fine analogy.

sort of on topic — 

Jeremy Tankard’s ‘Disturbance’ is derived from existing letterforms (which face escapes me at the moment). It doesn’t matter a sod. The new face has shot off into another sphere. For me, if a typeface has it’s own character, despite it precedents, then it qualifies as an ‘original’.

Joe Pemberton's picture
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Joined: 8 Apr 2002 - 3:36pm
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Miles, welcome to the forray! You always know
you have a healthy thread when there’s more than
3 anonymous individuals (4 here). (Part of the
reason we haven’t disabled anonymous posting.)

Perhaps at some point you could elaborate on
how these licensing arrangements work (as
far as the client being a global licensee of an
existing face and then what steps are
necessary to obtaining appropriate
permissions.)

I’m impressed with your work here. It’s a nice
refresh of an otherwise fairly tame face. My
reaction from seeing the thing at ultra huge
sizes is that the dots on the i and j seem
overly large.

Hope to see more.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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So I guess Verona and Miles are pretty much in the clear. The only thing some people might ask is: Should Zapf have been asked for permission (even though Melior is paid for)? To me the answer is a clear “no”: that sort of thing can hurt type design more than it can help.

BTW, I’m a huge fan of Schulz too: I think his work is a tantalizing glimpse into the future.

BTBTW, if the italics will be shared, it might be nice to have a name for it. What about “Rimini”? It’s a small Adriatic city with a unique sensuality about it.

> the food critic example is not a good choice.

Well, maybe no analogy can be prefect. I just have a weakness for culinary ones!  :-)

Let me rephrase it: A food critic doesn’t need to be a master chef. But you know, even that’s flawed: haute cuisine is like display typography — it doesn’t cover sustenence: the world of text. So maybe I should say: A dietician (somebody who helps his cliencts to balance taste and nutrition) doesn’t need to be a farmer. ?

> we haven’t disabled anonymous posting.

As I’ve said before, I think anonymity does bring a unique flavor to the table. On the other hand, I also think it should be a privilege, not a right — as in something that can be taken away if abused (even though no preventive measure can be fool-proof).

hhp

Sophie Brissaud's picture
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Joined: 5 Mar 2002 - 6:31am
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Hrant,

I do understand you, for culinary analogies are tempting to say the least. But the one you used, thus rephrased, sounds quite allright to me.

Believe me, I’ve worked along duly published (and quite proud) “food critics” who couldn’t cook an egg, and you can imagine what havoc they caused in professional circles. I know a very famous one (in France, he even owns and edits a guidebook) who’s medically deprived of the sense of taste. I’d say that’s the extreme situation. Besides, I think you are right in your analogy between display typography and haute cuisine, I had never thought of it and I like it.

Anonymous's picture
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Joined: 6 Mar 2002 - 1:06pm
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>I think you should start a separate Hrant-bashing thread instead of trying to sabotage
>fruitful critiques in this forum — that would focus all your personal attacks, and maybe
>*then* you could make a dent — these occasional jabs are like a chihuahua repeatedly
>running towards me and getting kicked back across the room.

Hrant, your proposal warrants further consideration. Thanks for the idea. Meantime,
maybe you should take your campaign for an Honourable Mention citation from The
American Humane Society to the appropriate website: http://www.hsus.org/ace/352

Stephen Coles's picture
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Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
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Fellow Designer,

A remarkable discovery. A change you overlooked:
many ballish terminals are squared/chopped off as
in the numerals. See ‘a’, ‘f’, ‘r’, ‘y’.

Too close for comfort as a corporate face? I
can’t be the judge. But it does seem to share
some exact points and curves with Melior.

Stephen

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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Admittedly, I need to read the entire thread, as opposed to simply skimming. That said, I think Verona is very nice. Articulated enough for text, but ballsy enough for display. {Melior is too soft around the edges anyway.)

My apologies for not reading thoroughly, but will this be developed into a larger family? Nevermind, just double checked. In that case, Could the lighter weight be even sharper and more crisp? Meaning, light weights aren’t logical for reading, but can be beautiful quite large? Sheesh, my weakness is showing. ;-)

Very Nice indeed!