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Gematria is something of a mix between a grotesque and a humanist sans.
I wanted a sans serif less funky than Helvetica, but with more character
than the recent super generic sans like Myriad. It's also a reaction
against the trend towards increasing x-height and counter-sizes. The
ascenders and descenders are large and in charge, close to the elegant
proportions of Futura. The counters are dimished, recalling the time
before readability trumped character. The intersections of lines are
heavy, trapping be damned, increasing contrast not only between but
I've just wrapped up the basic upper case. I'm mostly satisfied with the
structure of all the characters. Work still remains to weight some
characters properly (see: g, all the triangular upper case). Spacing is
messy. Right now it's probably too closely set, but this is my fifth
complete iteration on the lower case metrics. I'm having a tough time
finding the right looseness to make it easy to pick out words quickly (I
haven't lost all sight of readability) while maintaining a pleasant page
texture. I'm also unsure of the right balance between spacing wide for
caption sizes and narrow for display sizes. Opentype to the rescue?
How can I make the g fit in more? It feels out of sorts. If I make the
strokes thicker, it fits in a bit better but feels very clotted.
I was much more confident in the f when I first started this design.
Should I ditch it?
Is there a standard solution to the too many vertical strokes problem in
words like 'million'? The sequence illi feels very dark compared to the
rest of the page.
What do ya'll think of the y? The triangular characters have always
bugged me and y seems like a triangular shape that doesn't have to be
Phantom Modulation - see thread
I ended up compensating for this effect and the results are much more
pleasing. I'd been building the less geometrical characters (a, h, n, m,
s, t, r, u, y) with the compensation automatically since I had to
eyeball the strokes to make sure they felt balanced. When I compensated
in the more symmetrical structured characters, they felt more in tune
with the rest of the set.
I found it better in my case to leave the counters of characters (b, c,
d, e, g, o, p, q) perfectly symmetrical with no slant and to instead
compensate for the phantom modulation with their outer path. This helped
me avoid too much humanist feel from creeping into the design and made
the characters feel like they stand mostly upright.
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