New text typeface, please critique

haag's picture

Hello Everyone!

I'd like you to take a lot at this project, and give me some suggestions. This will be a four weight typeface, the attachment is the light version.
My idea is to develop a modern sans-serif, with a rounded feeling.
I've never finished any text typeface, with full range of weights, but this one I want to get there.

Anyway, what do you think?

Have a nice day!
Fabio Luiz Haag


application/pdfThis is FH Foco Light
FH_foco_light.pdf (93.6 k)

Rene Verkaart's picture

Hi Fabio,

Not bad at all. It feels very friendly. I think the bold version will be very nice.
Still I think you'll have to make a decision. I see that the UC 'Z' and 'W' have rounded corners. Most of the other characters don't have that. Perhaps you have to choose what you want; with of without rounded corners. Perhaps that will make it more homogenious.

Furthermore I think you will have to tweak the thickness of some of the characters a little. Some feel to heavy / fat in the text. I'm refering to the lc 't', 'l', 'i', 'j'. And the UC 'S' and 'E'. There's propably more, but these stood out when I had a quick overview.

Keep on going the way you're going. I like it.

PS Can it be you used an existing typeface as a basic? Somehow it feels familiar to me but I can't put my finger on it. But maybe that's good.

Regards,
Ren

haag's picture

Hi Ren

Rene Verkaart's picture

I'm also working on a light version of a type therefor I'm now very much into 'weight-watchers'.

Great that you totally created the type from scratch. For that it looks very professional and balanced. The longer you look for it the more you will find, so keep looking. Weight-control is very important, if you ask me, because then the type will present a very even image in a textblock. Black spots in the text are disturbing when you are reading the text. Especially with a light version.

Regards,
Ren

neil summerour's picture

very elegant, Fabio. it's so light and crisp. please continue.

i can't wait to see more of the complete character set and the numerals.

also, at first glance, the 'V' and 'X' might be a bit wide. consider narrowing it some.

hrant's picture

Well, besides the fact that I reserve the right to think that no sans can ever be a real text face, this one is too light and too constructed/mannered to "hold" a lot of text. But it's very cute, with great detailing, and there's no reason many people wouldn't love to use it for titling. So I recommend taking it in that direction - I think it has promise there.

Overall the glyphs seems solid, and some of them have great character, like the "i" and the "Q".

As for the text block, I'd say your overall letterspacing a bit tight.

BTW, did you get the stuff on p4 from... that Swiss guy's book - what was his name?

hhp

eomine's picture

Emil Ruder? I think it is available for download here, in Typophile.

hrant's picture

Yeah, on both counts.

hhp

haag's picture

I'm attaching a revised version of FH Foco Light. I really appreciate the comments and suggestions of all of you.
I already had the entire set almost done before, and now (since you aproved the main characters) I'm sending the numerals, plus the rest of the set.
Once these are OK, I'll start working on the bold weight.
I'm looking forward your comments to improve this project.

Thanks,
Fabio Luiz Haag


application/pdfA revised version
FH_foco_light_v3.pdf (107.1 k)

geraintf's picture

perhaps this design would lend itself to an italic version?

haag's picture

Hi Everyone!

I appreciate all of your comments, lots of them were really helpful.
I'm attaching now a revised version FH Foco Text Light. Lot's of corrections were made, and I guess now it's very fine.
Before I start the Bold version, I wan't to check with you guys if there is still something to workout on this light version.

Thanks a lot,
Fabio Haag


application/pdfThe fourth version
FH_foco_light_v4.pdf (134.2 k)

eomine's picture

I must agree with Hrant about it not being a text typeface. Not only because of its lightness, but also because of tiny curvy details, and because of the structure of some characters (like agft, for example).
That said, it looks nice. It has a strong "corporative" look.
I'd just like to point out that:
- your caps are too narrow;
- n and h are slightly wide.
IMHO. :-)

nicolaj's picture

Its really getting good, but I must agree with Hrant+Eduardo, that it much more seems to be a display typeface - all the fine details becomes more like a blure when set in smaller sizes. I have for some time now, been working on a text typeface - I met the same problem and started redrawing, trying to keep it as simple as possible - without losing the main ideas.

Nicolaj

haag's picture

Hello!

I appreciate all of your comments about FH Foco Light. Really, thanks!
I'm working hard now on the Bold weight. On the attached PDF are the lower and uppercases to you critique.
I need your advise, since I guess something isn

haag's picture

Hi Everyone!

I have done tons of improvements on this typeface family, and want your welcoming advices to move forward.
On the attached PDF there are Foco Light, Regular, Medium and a small sample of Bold.

I think the light version will work nice on titling and short paragraphs in large sizes, and the other weights were done planning to use on general texts, from 14 to 8pts.

Thanks!

Fabio


application/pdfFoco FH
foco_FH.pdf (123.8 k)

hrant's picture

Hey, great progress! This is becoming a highly usable design, I think.

The Bold is a little too close to the Regular.
The "K", "k", "x" and "y" could use some curling at their bottoms.
I'd make the "s" more curvy.
Try making the "G" more open.
The middle of the "M" is too light.
The comma, "S" and "U" are malformed.
The diagonals of the "AE" and the "4" are too thick.
I think you can get more wild with the ampersand.
The "@" is out of character.
The square brackets are too dark.

The spacing needs work, and is slightly loose overall.

Keep it up!

hhp

hrant's picture

Oh, and the caps are slightly too large. The good news is that they're also slighty too dark, which means a gentle scaling down (plus clean-up) should do the trick for both.

hhp

haag's picture

Thanks for your comments Hrant. All very usefull. Just one doubt: how exactly make the "x" curly at the bottom?

hrant's picture

Maybe give the "downhill" stroke endings like the "i".

hhp

haag's picture

Here is a samples of the curly diagonals k x y.



I guess it worked really well on the y. But on the x and k, at small sizes it gets a little fuzzy. That's beacuse the diagonal of y is much vertical than the ones at x and k. I would have to make the terminals too long in order to give the same curly appearence.
I will possibly use this feature, adding a headline font to this family.

haag's picture

Hi!

Here is a comparison sample with the corrections suggested on the x, y, k, S, s, the height and weight of the caps (starting with HO), and a new at sign.



Did I went too far with the at sign shapes?

thks!
Fabio H

hrant's picture

The "S" seems too big. I like the "x", but the "y" seems wide and the "k" needs work: maybe pull the arms away from the stem - make the connection thinner - but watch the width of the glyph too.

I like the direction of the "@" - you might try connecting the tail of the "a" to the curve. And lowering the glyph.

hhp

piccic's picture

I agree with Eduardo: it does not seem to be suitable for book textsetting, because of its details form.
I don't know if it's a subjective feeling, but there are some ways in treating terminals which seriously hinder readability (is that readability, right, Hrant? Sorry, but we have just a single word in italian to translate both readability and legibility). I find this problem with Metroline, for example, or with other faces I currently do not recall.
Besides I insist saying calling Futura a text face is wrong. It's just that Futura has been so widely used we have no big problems reading full text in it. But a book set in Futura is really not functional.

hrant's picture

> but we have just a single word in italian
> to translate both readability and legibility

Then make one up - a good one - and start using it, and explaining it. If the wind blows your way, in a few years it might become a standard (at least an informal one). BTW:
1) I recommend the root "lectur" for building the word.
2) Jorge de Buen (and others) had the same problem with Spanish. I had suggested "lecturabilidad" but they thought it was too cumbersome, and they were gravitating towards "lectabilidad", I think.

One last thing: in English "legibility" is pretty standardized, but "readability" is highly variable, and context-sensitive. With a totally new word it's much easier to control the meaning.

hhp

haag's picture

Hello!

Claudio: I agree with you, this is NOT a text face as the threat title say. My objetive is to develop a nice sans for general corporate use, with few details that set it apart.

Here is a new PDF of the Regular version, with lots of improvement.

There are two "at signs", the second as Hrant suggested.

Kerning is very poor yet.

thks!


application/pdf
fc2_regular.pdf (47.8 k)

vanisaac's picture

Ok, some analphabetic critique:

The circle around the @ looks like it could stand to go another 90 degrees around. I think you've already departed from the traditional form enough. Having less of a circle just seems to detract from legibility without adding stylistically.

Also, the Registered sign (a circled R) should contrast with the copyright symbol (a circled c): They are usually only as high as a miniscule (lc x-height), with the copyright sitting on the baseline, and the registered raised so its top is even with cap or ascender height. I think I read this all in Bringhurst, but my books are mostly in boxes right now, so I'm not sure.

The florin probably should have at least a bit of an arm on both sides of the body.

The last 0 on the per mille (0/00) sign seems to be a bit disconnected. In handwriting, the two 0s on the bottom are usually connected by a line at the top, much like the top 0 of a percent (%) is usually connected to the slash in handwriting. Your two 0s seem to just be together by accident, and could use some bringing together.

If anyone is from France, please comment on the guillemettes. Should they vertically center the middle of caps, miniscules, or some compromise?

The cent sign (

hrant's picture

I'm neither in nor from France (although part of my heart is always there), but I'd say guillemets should center the same place the hyphen centers, which is generally slightly above the middle of the x-height.

hhp

vanisaac's picture

Thanks Hrant. I wasn't sure whether my thoughts were due to it just looking right, or whether I had assimilated an actual design principle. Since it was the latter, the guillemettes need to be lowered to more closely center on the miniscules.

Rene Verkaart's picture

Hi Fabio,

Great updates. Some things catch my eye:

- I would lower the

vanisaac's picture

I think the florin sign is still used for other purposes than to indicate the Nederland currency, so a properly designed florin is still somewhat of a necessity.

Rene Verkaart's picture

Really, what is it used for then? I've never used it anywhere else than as the Dutch currency. Interesting to know the other purposes.

Ren

dart's picture

Function symbol in mathematics, for one. Some heathens just use an italic f, but us purist
mathies know better.

haag's picture

Hi Everyone!

All of your sugestions make much sense. I will start working on every single one during this week.

I have never designed an entire typeface (with full char. set) so I was expecting mistakes on the characters not used so much (here, in Brazil).

About selling (or giving, as Ren

haag's picture

Van,
I've been researching about the Registered and Copyright symbols, and the also the "per mile" characther design.
I have seen lots of faces such as Verdana, Times New Roman, Myriad, Gill Sans and all of them use those symbols the same way my typeface does. I guess there is no right or wrong, and both ways are accepted.
It would be nice to hear more opinions concerning this.

The florin symbol will have an arm, like the "f".

thks!
Fabio H

eomine's picture

A link for ya.

Oh, there are two different dieresis? Compare

hrant's picture

Some people also use the florin to mean "folder" on MacOS. Anyway, the best reason to include it is the same reason one needs to include something like the "mu": it's in the standard encoding! :-/ On the other hand, you could get creative and put your own funky stuff in there, like custom ligatures - just don't tell John. ;-)

hhp

vanisaac's picture

I know my copyright and registered symbol recommendations are from Robert Bringhurst's Elements of Typographic Style, so give it as much thought as you think it deserves. But if it works for you as currently designed, keep 'em. As for the per mille, I really was just trying to say that your second lower 0 doesn't seem very well connected to the rest of the glyph. The two 0s need to be pulled together somehow, that's it.

haag's picture

Hi everyone!

Long time no "see".

FH Foco is doing fine, the four weights were all adjusted with a "fine brush" and seem much even and nice to me. (check out the pdf)

Now I'm working on the italics, and I'm not sure how to start. The GIF below is a beginning, what do you think?



application/pdfThe 4 roman weights
FH_Foco_020604.pdf (192.6 k)



Many regards from sunny Brazil,
Fabio Haag

hrant's picture

Nice progress!

In the Roman, the darker it gets the more "wobbly" the outlines. And overall there is some wobble too.

I think your Light should be a hair darker (and you could add an even lighter weights below it).

The "M" and "r" need work.

Try a narrower "4" with a bowing diagonal.

Spacing: I would tighten it up a hair (but make the blank space very slightly wider).

Italics: looks fine to me so far.

hhp

haag's picture

Thanks Hrant for your comments. The M, r and 4 will be adjusted.

I have finished the lowercase italics. I took as reference the FrutigerNext italics. What do you think?

I really like the result. The italic curves reinforces the softness of the typeface and its elegant but friendly look.


application/pdfLowercase Italics
FH_Foco_050604.pdf (23.0 k)

Stephen Coles's picture

This is really lovely, Fabio. I love its subtle sway. I can see
many great uses for this style and it's very original. Go go go!

My only concern is that the 'r' might be a bit too shy.
Consider lengthening its arm a bit.

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