Seriatim

gulliver's picture

SeriatimUpright.jpg
Seriatim.jpg
SeriatimRoundforms.jpg
SeriatimAlternates.jpg

The Seriatim Family is a system of geometric sans serifs in four surprisingly interchangeable styles:

1. Upright, the most conservative set;

2. Normal;

3. Roundform; and

4. Alternates, generally the most daring set.


Many of the characters have an ability to form natural ligatures between them, especially in the Normal and Alternate sets.

Not all of the characters have unique glyphs in each of the four sets, but many do. For example, there is one design for lower-case "i", but there are 4 designs for Upper-Case "E" -- 7, actually, if you count the 3 unique "sigma" glyphs, which function well as display upper-case "E"s.

I'm still fine-tuning many aspects, such as kerning and hinting.

The font was designed with display applications in mind, but the Normal and Upright versions, especially, seem to compare roughly to Kabel, Futura, and the like for short text applications. (No, I wouldn't set a book in it. :) )

I have tried to design enough original characters to justify yet another geometric face. As I pushed myself to find new geometric ways to portray the various glyphs, I arrived at some rather unexpected solutions -- many of those ended up in the Alternates set, but a few of them were unique enough yet readable enough to be placed in the other sets.

I'm still toying with the designs as well, of course, so nothing is set in stone as yet.

Comments very much desired, and will be appreciated!

David

beejay's picture

David, congrats on a wonderful system!
Where the kabel, avenir, avant garde,
futura systems are predictable
stay-at-home types, Seriatim is a loose
geometric looking for some action.

You've executed something on a high level,
a level approaching Hoefler's Proteus or
House's Chalet systems.

Your attention to detail is superb,
as always.

There's so much here to talk about
so I'll pinpoint some areas that
I like/dislike.

DTD Seratim -- My favorites are the uc K, Q
and R, and the lc g.
The oblique M, V and W are reminiscent of avant
garde alternates, but the perhaps the V and W
could be less oblique. As you pair letters,
there's going to be a pronounced gap with these.
Maybe 6 degrees of separation might work. Your
extended characters are great.

DTD Seriatim Upright - This is the most
textworthy and the one that adheres to a
geometric convention of past faces.
I like the uc J wide like that.
The uc Q seems to call for an alternate.
The numbers 6 and 9...they seem a bit odd
for some reason.

Seriatim Roundforms -- This face is worth the price of admission by itself.
Every letter except for 'I' and 'V' uses rounded forms. What a treat.
Your ampersand is darling.
Don't kill your darlings.

Seriatim Alternates -- I like a lot of the stuff
here, including the feel of the lower case.
I'd like to see some different treatments on
the some of the plain uppercase letters. D E F etc.
I like the experimental uc K and R, but the
uc P and the uc Z are not my favorites.

Terrific work!

bj

beejay's picture

ps by 'six degrees of separation,' i mean toning down the oblique angle.

bj

beejay's picture

One more thing. Your names are always dead on.

Seriatim - One after another; in a series.

[Medieval Latin seritim, from Latin seris, series. See series.]

However, this name stops me. Sometimes great faces need great names. Seriatim, as a word, seems mellifluously challenged. But then again, this is your baby and usually, you don't change the name after your baby is born.

Just a thought.

:)

bj

Stephen Coles's picture

Very cool, David. Nice coverage from bj.
Here are a few more observations:

¬ The Seriatim 'a' dark join distracts
from the color of the rest of the glyphs.

¬ The Seriatim 'g' is beautiful. I don't
mind seeing more of Bruhn's Mercury 'g'
form spread about.

¬ The Upright 's' looks feeble. Can't
add some width?

¬ I think the 6 and 9 look strange to bj
because we're accustomed to seeing
angular Futurish numerals with this
sort of face. I'm not sure if your
departure is a good or bad thing yet.
Need to see some set text.

¬ As to be expected, your ankhs and
daggers and other non-alphabetic
symbols are delightful. Ever consider
a set of these as a font all their own?
It could be handy and a seller like
some of the Altemus Creations stuff.
(http://www.altemus.com/ACCrs.html)

¬ Darling = the Roundform pound sign.


Stephen

gulliver's picture

SeriatimFamilyKerningSample.jpg

bj:

> Where the kabel, avenir, avant garde,
> futura systems are predictable
> stay-at-home types, Seriatim is a loose
> geometric looking for some action.

Thanks! I love this paragraph. :) May I use the description later in promotion?

> DTD Seratim --
> The oblique M, V and W are reminiscent of avant
> garde alternates, but the perhaps the V and W
> could be less oblique. As you pair letters,
> there's going to be a pronounced gap with these.
> Maybe 6 degrees of separation might work.
...
> ps by 'six degrees of separation,' i mean > toning down the oblique angle.

The obliques definitely pose a problem, but because of the geometric nature of the font, I want to follow Lubalin's lead as in Avant Garde Gothic and keep all of the oblique strokes as uniform as possible in their angles. In other words, I want to keep the diagonals parallel to each other as much as possible. Granted this creates a kerning challenge, but if I am careful, I hope to catch all of the possible combinations.

The sample above shows how many of the characters fit together, and some combinations for their own ligatures naturally (as the Seriatim "LY" combination does).

> DTD Seriatim Upright -
> The uc Q seems to call for an alternate.

> Seriatim Alternates --
> I'd like to see some different treatments on
> the some of the plain uppercase letters.
> D E F etc. ... the uc P and the uc Z are
> not my favorites.

I've been looking at many of those as well. Do you have any specific ideas in mind?

> However, this name stops me. Sometimes great
> faces need great names. Seriatim, as a word,
> seems mellifluously challenged.

Heh heh... Well, we could choose between "Seriatim" and "Mellifluous"... :) Actually, the more I say the name "Seriatim", the more lyric it sounds to my ear. But I am prejudiced, admittedly. Does anyone else have an opinion on the name?

Thanks for the comments & encouragement!

Stephen:

Thanks to you too!

> ¬ The Seriatim 'a' dark join distracts
> from the color of the rest of the glyphs.

I agree, and I'm taking steps to minimize this without changing the structure too much, mostly by extending the counter's light trap up further into the join area, thinning the two strokes slightly as they come together.

> ¬ The Upright 's' looks feeble. Can't
> add some width?

I could try, but I don't want to depart too much from the basic geometry. It's the same lc "s" as it used in the Seriatim (normal) set, and it essentially the same structure as Avant Garde Gothic, Kabel, and (to a lesser extent) Futura. I'll try adding a bit of a straight horizontal stroke between the curves to see if it works.

As far as those "6" and "9" glyphs, As bj notes, the extenders are pretty strong, but I think Stephen may have a point. I tried for a different form (although the more angular Futura forms are available in the Seriatim Alternates set) so it looks unusual. I think they work pretty well with the other figures, especially the "3", "5", "8" and "0". Anyone have other views on this?

> ¬ As to be expected, your ankhs and
> daggers and other non-alphabetic
> symbols are delightful. Ever consider
> a set of these as a font all their own?
> It could be handy and a seller like
> some of the Altemus Creations stuff.

Thanks. :) That's an intriguing idea, and I have entertained it before. And thanks for the link! There are some great symbols and designs in Altemus' work.

Thanks for the comments so far.

David

hrant's picture

David, you're sure giving us a lot of work, man!! :-) Fortunately, BJ and Stephen have already done some great critiquing.

> I have tried to design enough original characters to justify yet another geometric face.

And you've totally done it - not an easy feat in my book. Providing a set of fonts that can be intermixed isn't just technically cool, it really provides for a lot of versatility, and not just aesthetically either.

Your tiled text setting is very revealing. I think you have a great balance between variance and congruence. And speaking of fancy words, at first I didn't like "Seriatim", but now I think it's totally good, on a number of levels.

hhp

beejay's picture

David - Your text settings look....what's a good word, hmmm :)

They look great, very classy.

Yes, use the description however you see fit.

Sorry about my comments about the name. My sister did that to me with my daughter Cora's name. She didn't like the name (before Cora was born) and said so very openly. Her audacity made us sure that we would *never* change the name. I'll keep quiet about font names from now on.

As far as those alternates, I will send you some suggestions via email.

Seriatim® kicks @ss

bj

gulliver's picture

Hrant:

That's all very high praise, coming from you -- especially regarding a geometric font! (Not your favorite genre, I know....) ;) Thank you indeed.

BJ:

> Sorry about my comments about the name. ...
> I'll keep quiet about font names from now on.

Don't you dare! >:] Speak your mind -- that's what the critique forums are all about! And no apologies -- I wondered about the name myself, but it's meaning fit so perfectly, and nothing else came to mind. (Although I'm still turning "mellifluous" over in my head... ;) Maybe for another font....)

There is still a lot of kerning work to be done, as well as fine-tuning on the hinting.

Thanks for all the comments so far.

David

gulliver's picture

Another member of the family....

SeriatimItalic.jpg
SeriatimItalicKerningSample.jpg

Seriatim Italic keeps with the geometric theme of the Seriatim family, adding a true italic sans companion face to the mix.

More are on the way, including changes and adjustments to the first four posted Seriatim fonts....

Comments and critiques appreciated.

David

Stephen Coles's picture

David - I think the base look is wonderful.
The distractions come when you get a bit frilly.
I'd try losing the Elvis bouffants at the top of
the 'p', 'k' and 'h'. Somehow they seem to go
against the general flow of the face.

I'm impressed with your solutions on most of the
caps, but there are some inconsistencies in
width. The 'E' and 'R' are nice, but narrow when
compared to 'U', 'N', 'H', etc. Then the 'W' and
'V' are way wide - follow the lead of their
lowercase sisters, which look great.

The 'y' needs another look. That wide sweep
creates some inevitable spacing issues.

Beautiful: 'E', 'k' (sans bouffant) 'Q' (as usual)

Great work! You're building a very usable family here.

Stephen

hrant's picture

I agree with most of what Stephen wrote,
except the only bouffant (nice word) that
bothers me is the one on the lc "p" - the
rest I actually think are a good thing.

The lc "y" I think just needs to be narrower.
Some of your other glyphs are very nice (like
the UC "AE"), while some other ones are a bit
much (like the UC "G"), or needs some optical
compensation (like that killer "&").

hhp

Joe Pemberton's picture

It's gorgeous David. Please let us know when this
gets picked up.

Perhaps the flourish on that p could take cues
from Gill Sans italic p. (Incidentally, one of my
all-time favorite glyphs.) I think this would help
it feel like a natural stroke and less 'artifically
attached.'

Miss Tiffany's picture

Super yummy!
Ditto on what Joe said. Will you be
selling it yourself?

ricardo's picture

David all I can said is suberb, excelent work, I like all versions but my favorite is the italic.
The different versions roman are very atractive and problably give a good armony if combine together. Great ;))
I have only have question to make to you, why
the l/c (a)italic don't have the same counter space than the l/c (n) for exemple, fells me more white space than other caractheres. One more time great!great!great!work David.

Regards and see you soon.

gulliver's picture

Thanks to all for your comments!

Stephen:

> I'd try losing the Elvis bouffants at the top
> of the 'p', 'k' and 'h'.

I prefer to think of them as "pompadours". :)
The general consensus seems to be to keep them
on "h" and "k" but lose it on "p".
See what you think of my redesigned "p".

> The 'E' and 'R' are nice, but narrow when
> compared to 'U', 'N', 'H', etc.

I tried to go with classic proportions, which
call for "B", "E", F, "J", "L", "R" and "S"
to be roughly 1/2 the width of the "M".

"A", "H", "N", "T", "U", and "V" are roughly
3/4 of the "M" in width. (Although I agree
with you about the "V"

Stephen Coles's picture

I approve of both 'p' and 'y'. This font makes me happy.

beejay's picture

Great job. so very purty. pret(type)

i like the new lc p

the only thing i can see is the lc 'y' seems a tad bit dark.

I think we can all appreciate the amount of devotion and craft you have put into Seriatim. Is the family complete? Ornaments?

Is it just me or should this get some serious consideration at the major type design competitions?


bj

hrant's picture

p: very nice!
&: compensate at the bottom-left.

> a "no" vote on the descending "G"?

I think we need more descending (UC) "G"s, but yours I guess needs less curls.

BTW, your previous lc "ae" lig was better, at least legibility-wise.

hhp

gulliver's picture

Sorry for the delay in responding. I've been trying to get some client deadlines met and some bills paid.... Argh....

Stephen:
Thanks! I'm still fussing over the kerning and optical corrections, but I hope to finally get this done and released by sometime in July -- early July, if possible.

bj:
I agree about the lc "y" -- as well as Hrant's suggestion about the "&" (and a few other characters that I have noticed). These will be adjusted.

Funny you should mention ornaments. I'm indeed working on some, but I have a lot of work before a set will be completed.

Thanks for all the encouragement.

Hrant:
I agree about the "&", and it's led me to double-check all of the curve-line vertices too.

On looking at the uc "G", I'm going to try eliminating the curve on the crossbar, but keeping the descending curve. I'll post it for comments soon.

I'm conflicted about the lc aesc ("ae" ligature). I agree that the stem helps identify the glyphs, but it also made it really dark -- and it doesn't seem to belong, especially in an italic. I'll tinker with it again and see if I can reach a better solution. I'm avoiding a sloped roman "a" form.

David

gulliver's picture

Elsewhere on the forums, Stephen asked if
there was an ornaments companion font to
Seriatim. There is, and here's a sample:

SeriatimOrnamentsLR.gif

Most of the symbols for which it is appropriate
have reversed counterparts as well, such as
the pointing fists, arrows, et al.

There are also more basic glyphs, such as
geometric shapes (triangles, circles, squares
and the like), stars/pentagrams, and other
symbols that are not shown on this sample.

The Seriatim family has literally quadrupled in
size since I posted the original four. I'll post
other members of the family in the coming days.

Comments, as always, are welcome
and appreciated!

David

hrant's picture

Wow. Those are really nice.

hhp

ideagent's picture

David: very cool indeed! I can't imagine the amount of work that went into this!!

gulliver's picture

Hrant & Tom: Thanks for the nice words! :-)

As promised, here are some new members of the Seriatim family. Like previous members of the family, these are all built with a fairly strict geometry, but that geometry is applied in considerably different ways.

SeriatimDeco.gif
SeriatimGeohumanist.gif
SeriatimIndustrial.gif
SeriatimMechanical.gif
SeriatimPrimer.gif

Comments and criticisms would be most appreciated. Thanks!

David

hrant's picture

This isn't a family, it's a clan! :-)

Keep it up!

hhp

kakaze's picture

An clann as Seriatim?


I like it, very nice. Has a good distinct look, especially Geohumanist.

gulliver's picture

Heh heh.... Yeah, it IS becoming a clan, isn't it? And all one weight so far....

Tiffany:
More weights are in the works, and small caps will come too. There's a second italic in the pipeline too, and that will have several swash characters. As for Seriatim Nouveau and Seriatim Arts & Crafts -- hah! :D -- I dunno.... The Deco set seemed to suggest itself, with its geometric forms. But now that you ask.... Hmmmm.... :-) Watch this space.

Hrant & Chris:
Thanks for the kind words and encouragement!

gulliver's picture

Stephen: Heh -- That's because the upper and lower halves are the same-size curve, and it hasn't been optically adjusted. It was an intentional experiment at the time, but lately (and now especially with your comment), I think I agree that the top needs to be slightly smaller and the bottom slightly larger. Primer uses probably the strictest geometry of all of the Seriatim tribe, with optical adjustments kept to a minimum. Toward that end, are there any areas where I should incorporate more adjustments, specifically to Primer, but to any of the displayed glyphs in any of the sets?

Any other comments? I know there must be other adjustments needed.... :-) The uc "Q" or the long lc "f" on Geohumanist? The lc "y" on Mechanical? The lc "w" on Deco?

I've also noticed that most of my "@" symbols need to be made bigger, letting the swoop descend under the baseline.

Thanks to everyone for the comments so far! Anything else will be most appreciated, as always.

David

hrant's picture

As Renner would point out, you need optical adjustment to convey geometry!

hhp

gulliver's picture

True, Hrant.... I suppose I could leave it,
though, and it could be used as a sans-serif
companion to Weiss Antiqua.... ;)

Seriously, I'll work on the "S". and check
for any other needed optical adjustments.

And apologies to bj! He asked about the
ornaments, not Stephen.... Sheesh.
(There really was a time when I used to be
able to read.... :/ )

David

beejay's picture

No need to apologize...but about that promise I made
to buy Seriatim. I do intend to follow through but...
you need to stop adding to the clan or you'll price me out.

:-)

bj

gulliver's picture

Hah! My scam is working! I can make a healthy
living just by selling Seriatim to bj -- one style
at a time! :D

David

artist's picture

To Mr. David Thometz.

A graphic artist could get really creative with the DTD Seriatim family of 10 with DTD Seriatim Ornaments with the family being the same weight, artist could use various characters from different styles to create endless letter combinations.

Will the family be available at myfonts.com?

Yours truly,
Robert

gulliver's picture

I apologize for not replying sooner; I've been
away on an extended trip over the holidays,
and then I had some heath and business
issues to which to attend.

I'm happy to announce, though, that
Seriatim Ornaments has finally been
released through MyFonts.com:


http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/thometz/seriatim/


DTD Seriatim Ornaments is available in both
Postscript Type 1 and TrueType formats
for Macintosh and PC/Windows platforms.


TYPOPHILE.COM DISCOUNT:

As a special thank-you to Typophile.com
members, from now through February 29, 2004,
save 25% off the total price when purchasing
David Thometz Design font licenses with this
MyFonts.com Electronic Gift Certificate:

Enter code: typophilerocks

This MyFonts.com Electronic Gift Certificate
is valid from January 15

beejay's picture

Congratulations David! Your presence here has been missed.

bj

Miss Tiffany's picture

This *is* a clan. David, are you going to add Seriatim Nouveau and Seriatim Arts & Crafts? Although your Decor has traces of of A&C... Nice. I'd like to see more weights, maybe a swash set and small caps too.

:-)

Stephen Coles's picture

David - I think your cap 'S' on Primer might be upside down.

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