Pill Gothic

designalchemy's picture

ditto to Grants comment. userbility goes down.
As far as uniqueness is concerned. Well new "s" is ceratinly interesting but in my opinion not complete. the center slant on the "s" is thicker than the slant the "e", "g" and "a". I am not sure if it is intentional or not but it looks too thick especially in the bold weight. I am also noticing the top counter in the lc "g" is sitting kind of low and not centered. This I suspect may be intentional.
I tell you Joseph, I am a sucker for unusual forms but these days
I find myself regretting certain recent purchases (Sophia from Fontsmith as well as Friendly from Die-Gestalten) because of userbility issues.
I guess Stephan might be right in some ways.
A designer/agency may purchase the new version but will it be used a lot-I am guessing properly not. If one of your goals is exposure of Pill in award winning design the i would suggest going back to basics.

pill

ideagent's picture

I personally feel that this new S should be included as an alternate. I am not fond of it in a body application, but I would certainly use it in headlines. I think it is very unique.

Ole and Grant have the same readability issues that I have. I purchased Fedra a few months ago, and as much as I love using the font at small sizes, anything above 12 point starts to be problematic. The "uniqueness" of certain letters becomes a distraction. I would hate to see that happen with this font. (I noticed recently that Peter Bilak is offering an alternate version of Fedra that removes some "features" of the old font.)

ideagent's picture

Stephen: Yes, I read the latest PDF and no, I don't find that
the "a" and "g" (or "e") affect readability. That being said, I still
feel that "s" in combination with these letters creates a distraction.
I personally like the letterform and I would probably
use it if it were an alternate. But I don't think that it is a
necessary addition.

designalchemy's picture

Hey Tom. Just out of curiosity. Did you buy Fedra from Typotheque/Bilak of via vendor? I ask this because I went direct through Peter when I purchased it and he was nice enough to upgrade me to with the alternates at a nice (really nice) discount, as I already purchsed a multitude of weights and styles.

designalchemy's picture

It seems the smaller the size the less the distraction of the "a" and "g" and "e".
I would market it as a alternate or bonus font.

ideagent's picture

Ole: I purchased directly from Peter. I sent him an email
this morning inquiring about the alternate version. I noticed
on his website that he is offering an 80% discount.

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Well new "s" is certainly interesting but in my opinion not complete.
The center slant on the "s" is thicker than the slant the "e", "g" and "a".

Now that someone has pointed out the thicker centre stroke of the 's', perhaps this is part of the reason that I preferred the traditional form. In the context of the sample that Ole posted, the 's' seems a bit off - not much mind you. Making the thickness of the similar diagonals in those characters more consistant would help the congruity - at least from my perspective.

Christian Robertson's picture



I agree that there is something not quite right with the s's, though I think I'm on the right track. It's true that the font behaves completely differently with the funky S's. It supports my theory that the character of a font can be changed drastically with a smattering of alternates (see Uncial New in the Critique:Blackletter/Uncial category). I really wish OpenType software (i.e. InDesign) would let type designers name their own features, which would then come up under the font menu. Why have a "Titling Alternates" check box when the font really needs a "Funky S" feature? I can understand why standard naming conventions would be desirable for standard features (smcp), but why won't the software recognize non-standard features? The question seems so obvious to me that it makes me angry.

The cross-bar on the new s' are too wide. Good call. As for Hrant's last comment: too terse : ) For now, however, I think that the funky s will have to live in an OpenType category like titling alternates, or something like that.

designalchemy's picture

I just recalled where I have seen this type of "S" design before. Neville Brody's Typeface 7. Other Brody designs have done flat
crossbars in the "S" (Insignia for example).

Christian, just for the record... I am by the way not implying that you borrowed your "S" idea from Brody. Your "S" is different.

Sometimes it seems there is nothing that hasn't been done in typography, although I know there is a bright future for originality, reinterpetation and exploration.

7

aquatoad's picture

I think we're really just talking about stylistic preferences now. Some like the new s, some don't. I personally dislike it (rather strongly in fact). The reason is the techno reference Stephen mentions above. I think this S treatment pushes the whole face too far in that direction both in display and in text. I don't know what else to say. It's actully makes is less buyable for me.

But the fact that some do like it suggests to me that you should include one or the other as an alternate. Obviously, I would choose the old S for the main set, but you might highlight the Alternate S in promotional materials.

Just make a call and go with it
Keep smiling, your almost done.

Randy

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Just a quick note to say that Pill Gothic has been { finally } released through Veer

hrant's picture

Go go go!

hhp

aquatoad's picture

Congratulations Christian! Way to finish strong.

Grant, you must figure out a way to show small caps on the
website. You can't rely on people to read for that info. Also, will
Veer be adding PDF specimines any time soon? (please!)

Randy

ideagent's picture

Congrats Christian! I'll be ordering mine today. I've got the perfect project and a client willing to spend money. (An unusual combination to be sure.)

addison's picture

I have to say, this is really cool to see something evolve within this forum and move to distribution with a company like Veer! Way to go, man! Can't wait to see more of your stuff, Christian.

Grant Hutchinson's picture

> Grant, you must figure out a way to show small caps on
> the website. You can't rely on people to read for that info.

Very true. Our bottleneck right now is the time it takes to properly create custom, family-specific displays for all of the new (and existing) fonts. Our goal over the next dozen weeks or so is to replace our generic 'Divergently' displays within the Umbrella collection with showings that are unique to each face.

Eventually, these improvements would continue through the most popular typefaces from the other foundries as well. Right now, we are really limited by our internal creative resources. We are definitely concerned with displaying the typefaces in the most appropriate and complimentary manner as possible.

Frankly, the better it looks, the more you sell.

> Also, will Veer be adding PDF specimines any time soon?

Yes, and hopefully soon. This is not something that we can easily accommodate with the product database solution we are currently tied to. However, we are in the process of finishing up a brand-spanking new system that will allow us to add external data types (like custom PDF specimens and links to designers website, for instance) to individual product pages.

Not yet, but soon.

Another thing we are going to address is the ability to view complete dynamically-generated character set, a la MyFonts. Oh, and a preference that maintains a consistent, user-defined text string for all of your Flont samples is also going to be available shortly.

Christian Robertson's picture

Thanks to everyone for your perfect blend of constructive criticism and support. Typophile is my education in type design. Grant is great to work with, too.

Grant Hutchinson's picture

{ blush }

:-)

ideagent's picture

Pill Gothic Review: Christian, this is a killer font! I am glad to see that all of the alternates made it into the final mix. I was also surprised to see an alternate "a" and "e". The spacing is nice and even throughout. I am setting some text at 8 point and the color is very consistent. The ligatures work perfectly and I like the addition of the "Th" lig. The "fl" seems a little awkward though. There are a few overlap problems that I noticed: the cedilla, o slash and ae.

Bravo, Christian. This easily makes it into my current top ten!

hrant's picture

Pill is shown in the current issue of Step magazine too.

hhp

hrant's picture

> Veer Eye for the Design Guy

Brilliant!

Or go Roman with "QVEER"...

hhp

Grant Hutchinson's picture

You guys crack me up.

But seriously, thanks. I'm still working with Christian to hammer out some naming issues for the PostScript version (which will be released shortly) and there's a bit of weirdness with the OTFs not likely OS 9, but other than that, folks are digging it. Who knows, perhaps Dear Sarah is next...

pablohoney77's picture

Felicitations, Chris! It looks even better in print. Just got Veer in the mail today and saw a familiar, friendly face in there. So how's it feel to have yer name in Veer? *jealous* ;^)

capthaddock's picture

Hi, I'm a year late to the party here. :-) Does anyone know if the OpenType version of Pill Gothic includes the AAT tables?

capthaddock's picture

Hi, I'm a year late to the party here. :-) Does anyone know if the OpenType version of Pill Gothic includes the AAT tables?

dylan's picture

Does ANYONE have a decent PDF sample of Pill Gothic? I've got it selected as a finalist for a branding project, but can't find a PDF anywhere.

Miss Tiffany's picture

not even at Veer?

dylan's picture

Not yet. Pill Gothic doesn't have one. Boo hoo. Mebbe I oughta bug Grant -- bet he's got a PDF waiting in the wings... Hmmmm.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Or ... Christian.

dylan's picture

Yup. Sounds good. Thanks, Tiffany.

Stephen Coles's picture

Ok, I just printed and I still feel the same about the new 'Ss'. The
whole design is more congruous now.

Some other things I noticed:

- Some of your numerals seem a little long - the '7' especially, as
it descends below the other descenders.

- Your small caps are the perfect height. Nice.

- Is the kerning done? The apos-s pair is a little tight.

- The difference between the comma/apos/quote form and the
square period is just fine until a semicolon appears. Maybe the
period can get a tad smaller? Closer to stem width. DIN's, in
particular, is much lighter.

Stephen Coles's picture

Questions for Tom and Ole:

Have you printed this latest PDF? Do you feel like the 'a' and 'g'
affect the readability?

Stephen Coles's picture

There are also a hundred "techno" fonts that use some version of
that 'S'. What makes Christian's unique is that it's part of a full type
system and it works as well in display settings as it does in text.

Everything in typography is influenced by what's come before. The
originality often comes from what is done with those influences.

Stephen Coles's picture

Amen Randy!
And Congratulations Christian!

Joe Pemberton's picture

How did I miss this kodak moment? This is not a first for
Typophile - Atomic Media picked up some from this forum a
while back - but it certainly is a rewarding moment. Congrats
Christian.

Christian sent me this typeface a few weeks ago (thanks again),
and I have to say it's quickly becoming one of my favorite sans.
It has both the utility I want from a sans and a uniqueness that
doesn't upstage the utility. Way to go Christian. Keep them
coming.

(Oh, and I dig the weights listed by milligrams, depending on the
dose you want.)

Joe Pemberton's picture

Kudos to Veer (Grant!) for knowing a fine thing when they see it.
Maybe that show should be called Veer Eye for the Design Guy.

hrant's picture

A small update:
The other day I got a promotional mailer for the Luxor casino in Las Vegas, and it uses Pill Gothic for the cover, and some of the inside text. Besides enjoying the pleasure of seeing it in action out of the blue, I thought it looked great, and it's interesting to wonder if they chose it because setting "Vegas" in Pill Gothic results in something quite nice, mixing that rigidity with that trio of strong, and unexpected, diagonals.

hhp

crapshit's picture

I would like to know the exact meaning of "centre stroke" in typography as i have just started to learn the terminologies.

Please help.

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