Mell Sans

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Alexander Katt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010 - 9:53am
Mell Sans
+2

Hello to everyone!

I am happy to reopen the critique section of the new typophille forum with a new take of an older typeface that I developed with the help of some people from the old forum (if you are interested, the thread is this one http://www.typophile.com/node/120647).

Mell Sans is my first serious font design project (though I made a couple of display faces a couple of years ago).
It is based on some well-known typefaces, like DIN and Futura, but has some characteristics of its own:
- The subtle cursive shape of "b", "d", "q" and "g".
- The thicker horizontal strokes at the end of the curves of "e", "c", "a" etc.
- The old-style "t".

Where it stands out for me is:
- Compressed letters, which save space.
- It is very legible in small sizes
- It has character (I hate generic designs).

What you see are the bold and semibold weights. I plan to expand the family
with more styles and possibly a monospaced version.

Any feedback is very welcome.

Update: Added a new version. Check mell_sans_2.pdf

André Simard's picture
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Joined: 25 Nov 2004 - 12:11pm
+1

For me it's seems to have some potential in this design. I will only give you some technical comments. There is some touch up to do on curve. See the bump on the left side of the top of the “b” bold, same on “g, m, n, h”. The “t” could be a bit higher and its bottom is a bit to wide, the dot of the “i” a bit too big. I will change the connection of the “a,u” to their stems to looks more like the bottom of the “b”. The roundness of the “e” should be more like the “o”. Keep going.

Alexander Katt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010 - 9:53am
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Hi André,

Thanks for the comments. I spent a few hours experimenting with the things you suggested and I am attaching the result.

- I haven't yet fixed the curve of "b" bold. I will concentrate on the regular version first. I actually did the bold version just so the specimen isn't too poor.

- I made the top of "t" a bit bigger (higher and also wider). It looks a lot better.

- I also made its bottom of "t" a bit smaller (by "closing" the stroke a bit). This change is also reflected in "c", "j" "e" and other characters. I like it because it enhances the cursive nature of the typeface, which is already prominent in "p", "b", "q" etc.

- Regarding the dot of "i" - I actually wanted it to be exaggerated. The fact that you don't see it as such makes me consider exaggerating it even more. What do you think?

- I am a bit hesitant to change "a" and "u". If I do that, Mell sans won't be a cursive typeface anymore. I will try this idea out tomorrow.

- I fixed "e" and it looks better.

Thanks again for the feedback.

Jens Troeger's picture
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Joined: 24 Feb 2014 - 3:46am
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Hard to tell in this resolution, but are the corners of the "v" a little more rounded than other stems? Looking at the "iv" in initiative, the "i" seems more edgy than the "v".

Alexander Katt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010 - 9:53am
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It indeed seems inconsistent once you mentioned. it.
Maybe I should only leave the cuts (they are cuts, not rounded corners) in the places where they exist for traditional Grotesks (the lower and upper corners of"V", "W" "A" etc).

Otherwise, I included a PDF at the beginning of the thread.

Thomas Phinney's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2002 - 11:00am
+3

For many of your curves that sprout from a stem, the apex of the outer contour is too close to the stem, creating a lumpy, asymmetrical look; you need to move that point further out. This is most noticeable on the top of n and p, and the bottom of d.

Your i and j dots seem overly large.

There are a lot of optical issues that are best worked out with a much smaller character set, before expanding things to a full font.

Alexander Katt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010 - 9:53am
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Thanks. Maybe I should go back to my original idea about keeping "d" "b" etc symmetric from the outside (and asymmetric from the inside).

Otherwise, I could never manage design characters in isolation. Currently maintaining a full font does not bother me, thanks to "Glyphs" - most shapes exist only once as components in which I reuse for different characters.

Alexander Katt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010 - 9:53am
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Hello again,

The new version of my typeface features:
- A two-story "g"
- A wider "s"
- A "t" with a bigger top (as per André's advice)
- Redesigned "b","d","m","n" etc. (as per André and Thomas (may still be wrong))
- I also removed some of the cuts, of "v", "k" etc. following the advice of Jens.

I haven't yet decided about the size of the dots.

Alexander Katt's picture
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Joined: 6 Oct 2010 - 9:53am
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Created a new version. With more polished curves, spacing and kerning, and a few changes:
- A more closed and round "s".
- some changes in the white space in "b" "d" etc.