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Well, it's been a year, but I'm working on this stuff in earnest again. Please give it a look.
Here a couple of quick impressions. I like it in general and it looks like a fun face to use - there are some things that I would consider tweaking
the 'a' is so open that it starts to be hard to read. What about a straight line instead like the 'e'. The e is pretty sweet. P R & Z too.
Why is it spaced so tightly? I think these forms would do better with a bit more air between them.
In general I think I'd like the see just a little less roman feeling in this. I think it's there to give the face some teeth or sharpness The R with tail especially gives me that feeling. And the 7. I think they work well - although the R's longer tail seems a little weak to me. Maybe give it a bit more weight.
But some letters seem like they would be better off a little softer or more whimsical. The W M H & T feel that way to me. The B is an example of a better hybrid I think.
I could find more to say but that is what initially jumped out at me,
I've strengthened the R-tail a bit, and loosened the spacing a little, but otherwise I haven't changed much. Many of my friends, laymen though they may be, are very taken with this design, and I wouldn't want to turn it into something different. If anyone sees any fine details that bear correction, let me know soon, because I feel nearly ready to start selling it...
I'm having some trouble with attachments. The new PDF is here.
I agree with Eben regarding you alternate "A" not so much that it is so open but that the form starts looking more like the lowercase "d" common to many Celtic inspired scripts.
Yes, I'm old, but I'm back in style!
The new 'a' seems much improved to me. Overall things seem pretty dang sweet! Looking at the PDF this is what I am still wondering about:
a: maybe a slight additional reduction of the height of the bottom counter shape. Not key. It's nice as is too. You could raise the top arm a little as an over-shoot... Altrenate?
b: there isn't one but it looks like there could be. - no biggie I suppose but it looks like it might be easy to have! I guess it could put pressure on the idea that there should be every other letter in LC though...
J; What about an altrenate j or even two? You could have a longer one to start but also looking at the K the top arm looks like something you could use to build an exciting altrenate bottom of a J. Sort of like the two Rs. See what I mean?
P: What about an Open P altrenate like the R?
S: What about an Altrenate? There are several letters in your font that have a fullness - the B, R, and a are examples - that I think might be brought into an Altrenate S. This comment applies to the Y too.
The connection of the 6's counter seems like it is too straight. 9 too - what about making these open like the R.
I think that Ampersand needs some work!
Okay enouugh pummeling!
What do you think?
a: If I shorten the counter of the a, would that reduce or exacerbate the old-d appearance? Would eliminating the bend - making it more like 6 and 9 - help? Or open? I'm afraid I'm kind of attached to the a as it is, and the character of the whole face kind of hinges on it.
b: Ascenders are not in the cards for this face, but I may try creating a complete normal duocase version of the face sometime.
J, P: Good ideas.
S: I'm not sure what you mean by an alternate here. If the existing S lacks that quality, it should be changed. Raise the center?
6, 9: I'll consider open, but might it work to curve inward more, rounding the counters?
A note on alternates: I don't have the budget for Opentype capability. I have room for one alternate each where the capitals go.
> a I don't want to say you have to change the 'a'. It is really good. I just have some ideas about what I might do to get a last bit of perfection into it. I could be wrong about each idea. I just haven't seen them & they did occur to me. You have to do what you think is best. It couldn't hurt to try these things ( i think...) - and I think subtle changes at most is what I have in mind. For an overshoot especially. Is there an overshoot already compared to the N?
> b - fair enough!
> J and P - cool.
>S yeah. I think that would make it match the other letters' spirit better. You could also try it the other way I suppose. That aspect of the font is almost Art Nouveau. I guess it has things in common with illuminated letters too. Still there was alot of play in Art Nouveau that you could use to inspire altrenates!
>6 and 9 Yeah inward curve would work work too. I do like your open shape since it gives you a chance to show offthe nice blade shape you have in some of the other characters. Either or both. Since it is a display face I think alternates would be way cool. And you have a basis for both versions being quite strrong.
> altrenates - I was thinking about this too and my sugestion is that you build two fonts where some (but not all) charcters are altrenates and then bundle them. CuruleanA & CeruleanB or some such. This would give you up to 2 numerals & up to 4 letters. I can imagine having 4 Rs for instance. That would be really cool. The R you have plus a long foot & maybe a stubby foot and maybe a lc r?
Anyway, these are just suggestions...
Updated. I think this subtle change fixes the a. All a-related glyphs have been revised to match. J,P,6,9 done. Experimentation showed that there are good reasons to keep the balanced proportions of the S as they are; the top half just gets ugly.
Limiting choices has as much importance to the utility of a font as giving choices. For instance, I tried adding n, and it poisoned the style of the whole face, so I removed it to prevent the possibility of someone using it. The end user is often not a typographer, and it's not always bad to make choices for them. Typodermic's Soap, for comparison, has n but no N, because that's what works best for Soap. The only alternate, t, is tucked elsewhere in the character map so people don't use it by accident.
Thanks for your help. A final question, assuming nobody else has opinions: Can you tell me what you don't like about the ampersand? I can tell it falls short of ideal somehow, but I can't figure out what's wrong with it.
This looks great! I really like the new P & J. I noticed this time was that now that all the other letters seem tight & right - the bottom of the U might be moved down just a smidge - more like the e & the c which overshoot the baseline nicely. I don't know that it needs to go as far as those do - and I also know that it would mean (maybe) altering the R with the long arm so ...
Also - all the letters have a ton of spirit - but the cap Y seems just a little less exciting. You got so much feeling in the others but it seems like a little more in the Y would be good now. It worked really well in the P! The P looks great.
The Cap M & N have very similar widths. I wonder if the N wouldn't be better a little more narrow. It calls attention to itself because it is really roman in flavor & doesn't have the curves you have in the other letters. On the otheer hand an orthodox N is less wide than an M anyway. Look at Hoesfler's Ziggurat for instance.
Looking at the sample of text at 50% I noticed that the leg on the Cap L seems a little long for even color in text. Maybe it could be shorter. Do you see what I mean? Not a lot but just a little. Take a look at some other faces - Copperplate is more like what you have but I would never set a sentence in copperplate. Emigre's Vendetta shows the effect I have in mind.
Lastly I think since it seems like you are feeling like you are done with the letterforms it's time to look at spacing & kerning. The word cerulean looks pretty good. The N seems a bit close to the a..but in general it seems good. The word sky looks a bit open to me though. Actually all the letters to the right of the A seem too close. Look at the spacing between the A&G vs O&N in dragon. See the uneveness? The Word 'Nouveau' looks quite good apart from the A&U.
About the lc N idea. You should do what you think best. I can imagine a LC n working really well - your P & e give mme confidence it is possible. Also look at these maybe
But obviously - it's up to you!
About the ampersand: I think your P has panache. It has flair. The current ampersand just kind of sits there. It doesn't look like it's ready to go ride a dragon like the rest of the face. It could be the coolest glyph of all! You could have 4 of them! I suggest that you design & redisign them based on a host of additional kinds of shapes. What for instance about and ampersand that looks like an 'et'?
Exploring ampersands. Reactions?
The last one is the most convincing to me. But it's serif on the t in the et feels tacked on in this context. Is it a reversed serif from the other T?
I imagine that there is more to try out. Each of the examples you posted looks like it is based on existing forms - maybe too much so. I wonder if you sketched out some new shapes with a pencil if you could get something even better.
What if the '&' was taller and or deeper ( descending) than the other glyphs? It's going to get used in titles like 'goblins & trolls' or 'meat & cheese' ( I am guessing ) so why not let it draw attention to itself with some extra height or depth ?
Check this out too
I would go through & look for the form you like best out of the many many that exist ( two in the font would be way cool! ) and then start sketching.
There is huge potential for interest & character in the ampersand.
Since this is a titling/display face it might be an important feature for sales puposes.
I tried a lot of others, but I'm going to go with this ampersand. Traditional, but much more in the spirit of the face's round spaciousness. I would include all the others if I liked them, but I've realized I really don't.
Notice also the new "y".