Sofa: a cosy typeface

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Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Sofa: a cosy typeface
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Dear forum members,

besides Terra Nova, I have started another Typeface out of an urge to do "something different".

After doing some pencil-drawings of some letters, I started working on "Sofa – a cosy typeface". It is kind of a humanist egyptienne with no (or almost no) sharp edges, slightly curved outlines, and flowing, handwritten flavour in the basic shapes.

Sofa won't be a "monster" like Terra Nova, I don't plan to do that much opentype-scripting, alternate forms, ligatures etc. as I've done so far there. At the moment, there is a basic character set with Upper- and Lowercase, numerals and some punctuation. Also, some basic spacing is done to test the font in text-sizes.

Do you have any suggestions or objections on the general concept, or (if you like it) on single glyphs?

Thanks a lot for your feedback and your help, I hope I can give some knowhow back later (after a lot more years of learning...)

Sebastian

More members of this family
Sofa italic
Sofa sans

aaron's picture
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Joined: 17 Dec 2003 - 1:40pm
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quite nice. the 'y' and 'f' specifically seem like they could use some kind of terminal.

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Thanks.

You are right, they need a terminal too.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I wonder why nobody's reacted to this - it's quite nice I think.

First of all: those white overlaps are distracting.
Please make a normal version.

I'd pull in the descenders.

Just the lc for now:
"b": Really really nice.
"f": Extend the right side of the foot serif.
"g": Quite nice. The head-bottom gap could be wider, and the ear longer.
"k": Bring the lower leg forward (partly to relieve the weight in the join).
"r": Same as "f".
"s": Slightly dark.
"t": Extend rightward.
"u": Make top serifs leftward only. When you do, make the whole narrower.
eszet: Clotting at the bottom.
long-s: Same as "f".

One last thing: Underware's Sauna (I think) was
initially called Sofa - and I remember they had
to change the name for legal reasons. You might
have to do the same maybe. Just don't change it
to Sauna though. ;-)

hhp

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Thanks for your comment. Can you tell me on which page (or which sentence) the "wrong" apostrophe can be found? It might be an error in the font, or just in the example text (which is quite copy pasted without much revision...)

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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BTW: The current versions in the PDF do not have hinting applied yet. I've tried Autohinting with Fontlab + AFDKO, which works quite fine, but if I do that, the f_f_h and f_f_k ligature are not visible anymore in Indesign CS2 (not tested in other apps yet). All the other ligatures and glyphs work fine. Any ideas why this could be?

Derya Öztürk's picture
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Joined: 9 Jan 2003 - 10:29am
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Maybe these threads can shed light on the turkish dotless i / ligatures problem:

http://typophile.com/node/34200
http://typophile.com/node/33330

Christian R Szabo's picture
Joined: 3 Oct 2008 - 7:28pm
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Hello everyone. My old e-mail addy was consigned to oblivion a while ago, and with it went my ability to re-open my old typophile account. So I made a new one.

Recent projects have pulled me back into the font scene, and this "Canape" face is looking very good. I understand it's scheduled for release in 2008. So is it already here? Or soon to be?

Warm regards,

Christian.

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Thank you Paul, especially for looking at the diacritics as well, they are often forgotten, and there are not many sources to rely on, as you could see with the "hbar" (I must somewhere have seen this h+macron form and thought it was correct).

I have done the corrections you suggested, and I am especially more happy with the "k" now, and I have also changed the "y", which now should be less dominant.

About the Cyrillic and Greek: As you can see, I just don't know what I am doing there, it's like flying a jumbo jet on sight instead of on instruments. I can have a look at other solutions, but I just don't know if they are good, and chances are high that I mix things up. I have done some corrections now, but I'm sure they are not good yet, especially the "Ka, Zhe, Ya" problem is still present, and of course many forms don't have the tension yet that I'd like to see. But first I have to become aware of the basics...
For the Greek, I have orientated widely on Adobes Garamond Premier, because I've heard that it has a fine greek alphabet, but of course it's something different to do a Garamond Greek than to do an almost monolinear slab serif Greek.

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Thanks for pointing me to this, I have checked path directions some versions ago, but they already were a mess again... Now all path directions are postscript and when removing overlaps there are no more white artifacts (I have checked through everything in Indesign and PDF in different zoom levels, so I hope I have not missed one).

paul d hunt's picture
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Joined: 5 May 2005 - 8:44pm
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path direction on Iogonek is wrong, or you didn't remove overlap.

Ben Townsend Hamm's picture
Joined: 17 Oct 2006 - 1:13am
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Check out pages 8 & 11 of your pdf, second to last line on both, the word "Don't". That's the only two I saw. She's a beaut by the way. Good lookin' specimen to boot.

Anderson Maschio's picture
Joined: 13 Jan 2007 - 3:03pm
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It's beautiful! Congratulations Sebastian.

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Thanks. It was just an error in the test document. Will be corrected in the next update.

Joshua Mayfield's picture
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Joined: 8 Oct 2010 - 4:39pm
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Nice work! Has a lovely feel to it.

AccessGuy's picture
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Joined: 3 Jun 2009 - 1:28pm
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Hmmm I see that my last post was THE last post! Have there been any developments with this type face in the last THREE years?? Please let us know!!

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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I just came here, looking for some old details i was asking then ...

I was working on Canapé heavily the last half year again, and I have production ready Roman and Bold Serifs, and I'm heavily working on getting the italics there too, looking for family inconsistencies, bugs, etc., especially in metrics and kerning.
The bugs are getting rather rare now and things keep looking good whatever text i throw at that family ... can't promise a realease date yet (I'm building a home sideways), but the next font that comes out from me is Canapé Serif in a 4-members family or one more member (a ultra bold).
December 2012 is a very optimistic perspective, Feburary 2013 is more realistic. It will be available on www.fonts.info and myfonts.com. I'll make some noise right here too of course ...

On the name: There is a "Sofa" typeface out there, so i moved to Canapé. I still like the name, i guess i'll stay with it.

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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So now I have added Version 0.80 to the first posting of this thread.
If no one has objections, this will be final version 1.0 for Sofa Serif Roman.

The forms are settled, the metrics are done, the features are defined and coded, and everything approved in small internal projects.
What is *not* final are the cyrillic and greek letters shown in the pdf. They will not be included in Version 1.0 of the font, but I wanted to show them anyway to get feedback.

I will now concentrate on finishing the two italics (normal and more swashed), which are about 70% on their way, and a bold version (just started). But with roman being "final" I now have something to follow.
And there are still ultrabold and ultralight, which are waiting to be continued. I needed them to go on with the roman, and they will now need some redrawing, but they were no waste of time... And I don't even dare to mention Sans and Antiqua ;-)

So what do you think?
Sebastian

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Oh and there's another question I have: Hinting does not seem to work very well at the moment.

I have tried this:
http://scripts.sil.org/cms/scripts/page.php?site_id=nrsi&cat_id=fontdesi...

but as you can see in the PDF, it was not very successful, glyphs are still jumping up and down in some zoom levels, especially the capitals...

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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ok, now I am confused: I am sure I have created this thread in the critique -> serif section.
Why is it in the General Discussions section now?

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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I can move it for you Sebastian. I don't know how it moved.

Florian's picture
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I love Tierra Nova. Regarding „Sofa“, describing it as cozy, dude that is so Austrian of you :D

Fernando Díaz's picture
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Joined: 6 Jul 2007 - 2:30pm
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Nice work!

i like this type, keep up!

Chears

Ferch

Tipografía-Montevideo

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Thank you Miss Tiffany

Ben Kiel's picture
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I've just updated the betterGenerateFont script. It's better now.
http://www.benkiel.com/typeDesign/scripts/downloads/betterGenerateFont.zip

Christine Zoltok's picture
Joined: 9 Aug 2005 - 11:19am
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I also spotted it in the sample copy – the french paragraph is the only one with multiple instances of apostrophes, and all are facing to the right.

Jose Rodriguez's picture
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Joined: 28 Aug 2005 - 9:01pm
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Very nice! Can't wait to see it finished.
___________________________
José Rodriguez
heyjose.com

paul d hunt's picture
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Joined: 5 May 2005 - 8:44pm
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very solid, IMO. just a few things

Roman: the bar on the eth seems a bit wimpy; i'm not sure what the h+macron is, but i don't think it's an hbar; i think your join on the k makes the outside counter too large and the inner counters too small; the diacritic on the dcaron, tcaron and lcaron might be a bit too discrete, you might be able to make it a bit longer; i think the tail on the y is too strong for genetral text use in English where y's are actually quite frequent.

Cyrillic: the De seems a bit too narrow (same with lowercase de), it looks more narrow than the El; the Pe seems very wide; the teeth on the De don't seem to be long enough, same with the tails on the Tse and Shcha (same for de, tse, shcha); the arms on Ka and Zhe seem a bit weak and i think they would work better with similar terminal treatments - these forms should correlate; The Zhe and zhe look much too narrow; the horizontal serif on the left foot of the El looks very strange, it would likely work better if it matched the kind of terminal that you put on the foot of the U (U looks similar to Y) same problem with the lower case el; the central bar of the Ef can overshoot the Cap and Baselines so that your counters can be larger; the tail on the Hard Sign might be able to be a bit larger; the be seems quite good to my eyes; the pe looks odd with the upper serifs missing as do tse, sha, shcha with missing lower serifs; the upper counter of the che seems a bit too large; The legs on Ya and ya seem week - same problem as with Ka and Zhe

there you go, i hope that helps. gook luck!

paul d hunt's picture
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heck, i'll even take a bit of a stab at the Greek:
beta, theta and delta seem very wide compared to the rest of the characters, some characters may be too narrow, that's about all i can say on that one.

JRGcisterna's picture
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Joined: 26 Oct 2007 - 12:12pm
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Very good job
A very attractive typography
I also liked the way in which we show
Congratulations
From Chile

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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just an update (see first posting for PDF):

- serif roman (finished)
- serif bold (quite finished?)

"serif roman italic", "serif bold italic", "sans roman" and "sans bold" coming soon (not included extensively in pdf as the need one more round of polishing).

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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It's here (well, the first part is here)!

The microsite: http://canape.fonts.info/
The PDF: http://fonts.info/pub/pdf/canape-serif-en.pdf
The PDF at issuu: http://issuu.com/fonts.info/docs/canape-serif-en?mode=window

AccessGuy's picture
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I would love to purchase this slab serif typeface as I think it is even nicer than Nexus Mix, my current favorite slab serif. I am a bit confused as to the naming however...is it "Sofa" or "Canape?"

Christine Zoltok's picture
Joined: 9 Aug 2005 - 11:19am
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Hello Sebastian,

Love the face. I will leave the deep typographic critique to the experts here, but I just noticed that in your specimen the apostrophe faces the other direction than I'm used to seeing. Is this intentional?

Looking forward to seeing more updates!

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Concerning Opentype SMCP and C2SC features:

I have special small caps figures, currency units and some other symbols in the font.

Which version is better?
— SMCP only changes lower case letters, C2SC changes upper case, figures, symbols
— SMCP changes lowercase, figures, symbols, C2SC finally changes upper case as well

At the moment I have implemented the second variant.

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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And: is there a website, link, thread, that explains the problematique of turkish dotless i and ligatures? I could not find a good explanation yet, and I'd like to do this "right" from the beginning.

How is it going?

Roman: Bugfixing, but finished.
Roman Italic: Bugfixing, almost finished.
Bold: derivated from Roman, almost finished, looks good (this was surprisingly easy)
Bold Italic: working on it at the moment (this is quite difficult)

paul d hunt's picture
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sebilar, to merge paths:
select all the characters you want your change to effect
go to contour>transform>merge countours

i suggest before doing this you put a copy of your characters in the mask layer. you can do this by going to
Tools>Mask>Copy outline to mask

there are also keyboard shortcuts for these actions that are quite helpful. these will show up to the right of the command in the drop down menus.

i hope this helps!

btw, very nice work! it looks lovely.

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Thanks a lot for your help and your nice words, hrant and paul.

There is a new version attached, with some changes made from your feedback. I think I can also revise some of the uppercase with hrant's comments. Partially, this is already done as well (F, P – but not too consistent yet).
In the meantime, I also have done some more glyphs and diacritics, which are included in v08 as well.

Today I did the first printout on a 600dpi laser-printer (bad quality, but best I can get at the moment...), and the results in small text-sizes are surprisingly well already. The spacing is still done with indd cs2 optical spacing, but if I can get this done with metrics, I would be quite content already.

I also did merge the paths in this version (thanks for that – Terra Nova would have been much more easy knowing that... but I learn :).
The only things still overlapping are about 10 composited glyphs like oslash, were I can't merge without decompose them.

What do you think is the best method to go on? Get near perfection with the basic glyphs first, or start things like smallcaps or lowercase figures already?

And maybe I should do three-quarter figures instead of lowercase and lining figures in this face... I don't know yet.

On the naming: Maybe I will call it ... Sauna ... for changing it again because of legal issues ;-) Thanks for the tip, I did not know that.

sebilar

paul d hunt's picture
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now i can see to critique!
a few things:
B seems a tad wide
C looks like it had a bit of an overbite (as does the G)
F seems too wide
J tail looks too heavy
K top bar is too long, bottom bar too stiff
L a bit wide
M looks a bit wonky over all would look better if the midpoint came to the baseline
P the bowl could be a bit larger
Q the tail could be stronger
R the bowl could be larger and the leg is too stiff

b could do without the tail
g the join could be smoother
j tail seems too heavy
k the arms are too angular
q could use a quiter ear
r i'll let hrant address
y the tail feels out of joint
fi and fl ligs seem too wide

2 looks like it's leaning right
4 could do without the serif on the horizontal
5 has an underbite
7 too wide/leaning right

currency symbols: i'd try to harmonize these. i would work towards forms that fit within the same character width, making Euro and yen narrower.

I like the diacritics, the bar on the Lslash could extend further into the character

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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"a": Bottom-left curve malformed.
"r": Beak too long.
"y": Terminal awkward.
"D": Stem seems too much thinner compared to curve.
"K": Slightly dark.
"L": Too wide.
"M": Too narrow.
"Q": Could work! But give the tail a better finish.
"T": Too wide.
"U": Too narrow.
"Y": Head slightly too small.
Thorn: Too small.

End-of-time, sorry.

Numerals: I'm thinking lining nums might work best here. And since your caps are pretty short, I would align them to the caps. Alternate figures if provided might then be hybrids.

hhp

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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Thanks for your detailed feedback, and thanks for putting this on the startpage, I'm feeling honoured :)

There is a new version V10 attached, with detail correction based on your comments.

uppercase:

- narrower "B"
- "C" and "G" overbite corrected
- more even "D"
- narrower "F"
- Tail of "J" thinner
- corrected "K" (not sure about that yet, as well as with the "R")
- narrower "L"
- down-to-bottom and wider "M"
- bigger bowl of "P"
- new tail on the "Q"
- minor changes to "S"
- narrower "T"
- wider "U"
- what do you think about the "W"? should it be analogous to "M"?
- bigger head of "Y"
- bigger "Thorn"

lowercase:

- "a": I did not quite understand what you meant that, hrant. Tried something...
- alternate form for "b" without tail (not sure which to use, i like both of them)
- what do you think about the alternate form of the "e"? It's the older one, and i like the new one with the "edge", but I'm not sure.
- alternate form for the "g" (smoother loop, but not perfect yet).
- thinner tail of "j"
- small changes to "k"
- alternate form for "q" (like with "b")
- shorter right part of the "r" (not short enough yet?)
- "s" lighter
- "y": not sure what you meant, hrant and paul. Tried some things again...
- "sz": still cluttered... don't know how to solve that yet.
- "thorn": is it correct to have it the height of ascender?
- fi- and fl-lig: In old versions i tried to keep the metrics of "f" and "i", and "f" and "l". Now they are narrower.

figures:

- better "2"
- no changes on "4" yet, but I think you ar right with the horzontal bar
- "5" no underbite anymore, but maybe too much?
- "7" more upwards now

You are right, hrant, I will provide hybrid-figures as alternates.

others:

- "asciitilde" too small
- no changes on currency symbols yet, but you are right paul, they should be equal width
- "Lslash": longer bar

Thanks a lot for your feedback, without it, this would take much more time and trial and error. Towards most of the things you said, my reaction was "This is quite obvious, why didn't I see this?". typophile is great :)

sebilar

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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"M": Still slightly narrow; armpits need declotting.
"W": I think it's fine.
"g": lowest curve too thick.
"y": Just don't make it curl back so much.
eszet: First get rid of that serif stub - don't be afraid,
the Internal Consistency Gestapo are all huff&puff.
And then you might possibly even get rid of that last
terminal serif.
thorn: The ascender/descender disproportion is buggin' ya, eh? :-)
Well, if you want to really push things, make not only its ascender
shorter, but also those of some other letters...

Alternates:
"b" and "q": Good as alternates.
"e": May be better than the original.
"g": Too clotted in the join.

> I did not quite understand what you meant

The curve seems wobbly at the bottom-leftmost.

> not short enough yet?

Nope.

hhp

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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So, V11 is attached now...

Made the changes you proposed, hrant (M, g, y, eszet, a, r).

thorn: No changes yet (don't like it, so i ignore it...). What would be other characters that need to be modified? Or would it be a general ascender-change?

alternate g: No changes yet.

Euro and yen: narrowed, but they are not unicase to Dollar but still wider.

New glyphs: More currencies, mu, logicalnot, greater/lesser, braces (not very good yet), paragraph sign, Et, at, percent (bad), superior figures (experimental, maybe too thin yet, as found out with percent fiasco...)

greetings from cold cold Austria
Sebilar

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Not a general ascender change. I might make one or more of the "b", "d" or especially the "el" shorter. Maybe. But really, certainly not on account of the thorn looking funny! It's such a secondary character (unless you're Icelandic). I might do it simply to liven things up (not that this font is boring). In which case I'd make some of the descenders shorter too, like the "p" and "q" and maybe the "j".

I'm only really looking at the alphabetics, but the florin, it's gotta lean.

hhp

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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I will certainly try this and check the effect. What amount of change are you talking about? Ten 1000em-units? Fifty? One hundred? I know I have to check this "live", but it helps me to think in the right dimensions...

I didn't have much time last week to work on, but now I've made a lot more characters in V17:

complete default encoding and Latin Extended A-Diacritics
I don't have a slight clue whether letter kra (greenlandic small k) is correct (see page 2, black line 3). Some special characters like (C) (R) etc. are not good yet.

f-ligatures, longs-ligatures, and also some discretionary ones
I think especially the discretionary are livening things up when used in display-sizes). I'm not sure about c_r- and g_i-ligs, and I don't know whether the style of the two alternative c_k-ligs and c_h-ligs (sharp entrance instead of round one) would be better.

smallcaps
with some glitches yet, like too heavy Nsmall

started opentype-coding
ligs, smallcaps

Next step will be to clean up some things and to create better spacing and kerning (the pdf is still kerned with optical setting in Indesign).
I'm also thinking about an italic and bold version, and maybe also about a sans serif one. But last one is far future yet...

What do you think about the "new" name?
Thanks once more for every feedback, especially critical one.

Greetings from Austria,
Sebilar

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> What amount of change are you talking about?

Not sure. But at least enough to be noticeable by the layman.

Name: What about Chaise? Or Divan?

hhp

Sebastian Nagel's picture
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So after weeks of absence (job, private issues) I can update this one (see PDF v24).

There are only details changed, the spacing is done, but must be tweaked in some details yet, kerning not yet. All you can see in the pdf is metric-setting in indesign, not optical, and spacing is not tweaked afterwards.

Opentype-coding is complete now.

I've used the font in some semi-professional works already to test it.
I think it is rather final, but I will for sure give hrant's suggestion a try (ascender change for living up things more).
I just wanted to give it a final touch, before diversify it again: Things start to become very confusing when working on multiple lines of developement.

Do you see any "no-way" in this font? Otherwise I will try to make it final.

And I'll have to do some more brainstorming about the name... I like Divan and Canapé, I don't like Chaise, it sounds strange when used in german talking: Divan and Canapé are known here as well, Chaise is not.
I also like Ottoman. Sounds funny :)

Thanks for your feedback,
sebilar

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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So let me get this straight:
Nobody at all has anything whatsoever to say about
this face? Like not even the OS numerals, people?!

It seems what used to be the single best
thing about Typophile has wilted away.

hhp

Randy Jones's picture
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Joined: 10 Jun 2005 - 8:54am
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:-)

Hrant calls everyone out.

Here are a few comments on the lc:

Serifs: They are all the same length. This is giving you spacing problems and balance problems. Spacing: wvy etc and Balance: rf.

r: too wide. What about a beak like to be consistent.
t: narrow. I might try the bottom less hooked.
bdqp: you'll probably need to thin the bowls slightly where they join, like you have on the n
s: the terminals make this very closed. May need to thin the top and bottom so it doesn't get too dark.
lining numerals: have weight/modulation problems see the 5. 1 is narrow :-) 4. I'm not liking the serif on the end of the arm. It makes an already awkwardly spaced glyph even more so. It's also narrow.

Consider Ben Keil's smart generate font robofab script. It creates a duplicate vbf, removes the overlaps, generates the fonts, and deletes the vbf in seconds. Very handy for testing.

http://benkiel.com/typeDesign/

Randy

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The extra serif on the 4 bothers me too. And before reading all the comments, I was sure that "obviously deformed or wrong characters are placeholders" referred to the Q. For such a cozy typeface, the Q is rather uncozy. A medium-length, very gently s-curved tail is called for here.

Marc Oxborrow's picture
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I agree with Cerulean on the Q. Its current form would probably prevent me from buying this typeface, although I otherwise quite like the direction it's headed.