Miso

mårten's picture

Dear Forum.
"Miso" is a lettering font intended for architects drawings. It is inspired by the standardized typeface "ISO", but with a blurred and yet geometric look. All three weights are derived from the same strokes - only line thickness vary.
I would very much appreciate comments on the glyph designs. (Haven't worked on spacing yet.)

Thanks!

AttachmentSize
miso-v01.pdf175.83 KB
Miss Tiffany's picture

It is most interesting in the lightest weight as that is where the "blown-out" look appears the most. Could be fun for display purposes. The boldest weight seems the least interesting as it is the most normal.

James Arboghast's picture

The light weight looks like the regular run thru a bold filter with negative paramaters, eg: vertical -20, horizontal -20, or similar. I like the regular and bold because they're true to the stroke you get from an ISO stencil traced with a technical pen. That's just my personal preference; they're more satisfying to my mind than the light.

Miss Tiffany is right tho---the light weight is the most interesting, more visually stimulating and intriguing because the structures are alluded to with the loose-fitting "blown-out" finish, my term for that is usually "eroded".

For the light weight I recommend reducing the goop in the crevices and nooks of the diagonals, and the t and f junctions. Make it just a bit cleaner without losing the eroded charm. It looks too much like the product of a bold filter in reverse; rework it to make it look like the work of human hands.

The top bar of the Euro is longer in keeping with the defacto structure of Euro symbols. Extend it forward a bit more to exaggerate and make that structure clearer.

One question to consider if this is going to be a commercial release: Are there many other ISO-style fonts around? I only had enuff time to find one --- http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/urw/isonorm/

j a m e s

mårten's picture

Thanks Tiffany and James for your comments!
I thought I should show you this as well:



This is an earlier version of the typeface with an even more blurred look. Maybe it would make the Bold and Regular more interesting? I threw it out because I wanted more consistency between the characters - perhaps a mistake?

Thanks!
/Mårten

Miss Tiffany's picture

The filling in of the characters is the thing which makes this typeface interesting. No reason to throw it out. Without it, you are competing with any other rounded Din-like typeface.

James Arboghast's picture

Prexactly, Miss Tiff. The other good thing about the grunginess is the impression of realism. Clean strokes aren't what you'd get from a real technical pen tracing a stencil. The blurry outlines are not true to ink & pen effects, but they suggest those artefacts.

The work required to make a clean version would be equivalent to rebuilding the font from scratch, producing a font that already has many rivals.

One option you could try is reworking the irregularities to differentiate them. That will give you a more convincing pen-drawn look and increase the font's appeal and marketability.

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

Bleah. It was 6:45 AM when I wrote the above and my brain just wasn't awake. My point was, the "pen & ink detail" may not be accurate but it is suggestive, so the next step is to introduce variety to make it look more convincing :^)

j a m e s

mårten's picture

Yes, I should stick to the earlier design. Thanks miss Tiffany for making me realize this!
James, thanks for your comments. I think you're right about the Light weight needing special adjustments to look more in ballance. I guess I was carried away by the idea of using identical strokes for all weights. I'm not convinced though about the idea of creating irregularities -- do you think I would still be able to keep the geometric look?
Something I would like to do is adding more colour to the characters without joints or corners e.g. 'O' and 'S' as they now all look too skinny. Any suggestions on how?

Do the weights work? Regular has the thickness approximately 1/10 of the Cap height = 60 units. Light=36 and Bold=96.

(To give you the full story: I was originally inspired by the rather more elaborate typeface Atom by Jean-Jacques Tachdjian).

Thanks again for your comments! /Mårten

James Arboghast's picture

I’m not convinced though about the idea of creating irregularities — do you think I would still be able to keep the geometric look?

Definitely. It shouldn't be a problem as long as you keep the letter structures as they are. The finish (surface detail) can be modulated without flipping the design as a whole out of its basic genre. It will still be geometric as long as you keep the surface detail subtle.

Something I would like to do is adding more colour to the characters without joints or corners e.g. ‘O’ and ‘S’ as they now all look too skinny. Any suggestions on how?

Vary the stroke width on those letters a bit. You could make the variations abstract, or shape the strokes to look like natural variations in line thickness you'd get from a technical pen. Also try adding blobs: "O" can take a blob inline that would look like an accumulation of ink at the point where the pen started tracing, or where the pen stopped; the blob could be elongated (long). For "S", maybe thicken up the stroke in one part, along the diagonal spine or in one of the curves; or put a blob at either end of the stroke, one smaller than the other; or a combination of thickened stroke and blob(s).

Do the weights work? Regular has the thickness approximately 1/10 of the Cap height = 60 units. Light=36 and Bold=96.

The weights are good because they're different enough to make a clear difference in use. In a text setting the reader's eye would see a positive difference in weight.

Atom is much more "jarred", stylized and individual, but the stylization is a bit too forced or superficial for my taste. How much you jarr a font depends on how specialized you want it to be, and limits its uses. Your Miso is fairly normal (standard forms), and you might want to think about stylizing it more to make it stand out and give it its own unique appeal. But that will take time and experiment. One quick mod is to make some of the bowls on p, q, g different sizes; pull one or two of them up from the baseline; bowl letters don't have align exactly with the baseline and x-line; make the size variation small and people don't notice, but it helps make the font interesting. Also consider adding curls to some letters, like l, i, k, h, m, n, u.

All the best with this face Mårten

j a m e s

mårten's picture

Thank you very much James for your comments and useful tips!

I think using varying stroke width would do the job. Perhaps ink blobs would be to stretch it too far; I like the 'blown out' or 'eroded' look but I don't want it to look like it was actually hand drawn and scanned (perhaps this is not what you meant).

The way I'll try to do it -- technically -- is to actually draw two strokes next to each other where I want i thicker line. These two lines may also differ slightly in angle.

Just for reference I'm posting two ISO examples:


The first example is (obviously) hand drawn with a stencil, deliberately clumsy.


The second example is made in a CAD application in three different weigths, corresponding to the Miso weights.


I'm also posting an example of some 'stamped on' numbers that I like.

I'll do some more work on Miso...

Thanks again! /Mårten

Miss Tiffany's picture

The stencilled letters -- and the stamped -- are much more interesting than those from the CAD. Monostroke typefaces are generally boring because they are too perfect, the geometry leaves no room for imperfection. And we all know -- or should know -- that beauty is in the imperfections.

mårten's picture

(11 weeks later...)

Dear Forum,

Lately I have worked on a "stripped down" version of Miso using only the basic strokes of each character. I also put the characters into TypeTool to do widths and kerning.

http://www.omkrets.se/typografi/miso-v02.pdf

The way I've done the different weights is to use the same strokes and only vary the thickness (this is the way type works in many CAD-programs) which means the baseline is higher in "light" and lower in "Bold". Is it ok to do this in type design?
Comments are most welcome! (Also on the design in general)
Thank you very much!

Mårten

dan_reynolds's picture

…which means the baseline is higher in “light” and lower in “Bold”. Is it ok to do this in type design?

Interesting. One does this normally with the x-height, rather than with the baseline (bold lowercase letters are then a little taller than the light's… but the caps remain the same size).

hrant's picture

> One does this normally with the x-height, rather than with the baseline

Yes, because:
1) The baseline is more of a fixed thing in typography,
both visually and in terms of "protocol" so to speak.
2) There are more serifs (horizontal elements) on the baseline.

BTW, when it is done at the x-line: it's to compensate for the optical illusion of darker forms looking shorter, not to somehow center things; and doing so causes the darker parts to be higher by a lot less than what centering would do (so most of the shift is towards the inside of the x-height).

Here's a somewhat related discussion:
http://typophile.com/node/15204

I think Mårten's idea could work -in fact well- if the font as
a whole is centered on a line, let's say at half the x-height.

hhp

mårten's picture

Dear all. MISO is now available as TrueType in three weights. Enjoy!
http://omkrets.se/typografi/MISO-typeface.zip

jrsilva's picture

Hi mårten.

I like your font very much. It's one of the most interesting monospaced fonts I've seen.
I find it ideal for legends.

Could you make it available again?

Thank's in advance,

jr. silva

mårten's picture

MISO is available for download again. I'm sorry it was down for a while. /Mårten

cuttlefish's picture

Seems I'm not the only one with a sans font named after Japanese food. Nice stuff you've got there.

jrsilva's picture

Thank's for upploading it again mårten.
I really like your font ;)

aluminum's picture

Yes, very nice! And thank you for sharing!

mårten's picture

Dear all,
the download page for Miso has changed to this one:
http://martennettelbladt.se/miso/

Light, Regular and Bold are free.

Skinny and Chunky cost money.

Best

nina's picture

> Skinny and Chunky cost money.

€9? Not a lot of money, you might add. :)

hrant's picture

This gives me an idea: maybe font weights should
be priced according to their distance from Regular?

hhp

Martin Silvertant's picture

> This gives me an idea: maybe font weights should
be priced according to their distance from Regular?

The first second or so after I read this I thought it was rather absurd, but there is some logic in there. I just wonder why Black or Thin should cost more than Regular. I think maybe the 3 master weights should be the same price and the further you get away from those, the lower the price gets.

For example:
Thin — $25 (master weight)
Extra Light — $22
Light — $20
Regular — $25 (master weight)
Medium — $22
Semibold — $20
Bold — $22
Black — $25 (master weight)
Ultra Black — $22

I don't know if it's normal to consider 'Black' the master weight when there is another weight thicker than that but that's besides the point. It only kind of works in very large font families though. I actually think if there will be variation in the price for fonts within a font family then they should be priced according to demand, shouldn't they?

For example:
Thin — $20
Extra Light — $15
Light — $20
Regular — $25
Medium — $20
Semibold — $20
Bold — $25
Black — $20
Ultra Black — $15

It actually kind of follows the system I just explained but it takes Regular and Bold as the primary and most essential weights and pretty much the further you go away from those master weights the lower the price because people just don't use them often; the exception would be 'Thin' because it's useful for display purposes. What do you think?

Martin Silvertant's picture

mårten, I like the typeface very much. I'm not a big fan of "modern" typefaces without spurs, but the condensed and balanced appearance makes this somewhat of a treasure among these "abstract" typefaces. I'm a bit disappointed to see that the end result appears to be monolinear. What happened with the initial concept? I thought that first Light weight was very cool. The old version of the Bold weight you showed looked consistent with that Light weight. I would perhaps make those available as a font family brother of Miso.

hrant's picture

> the further you go away from those master weights the
> lower the price because people just don't use them often

Actually I was thinking the other way around! This is because
casual users are satisfied with the main styles, but power users
need the flexibility afforded by the complete system and/or
finely targeted weights.

And this would be an extension of current practice: among fonts
that are not totally free, the "rule" is to give away the Regular,
and charge the normal prices for the rest.

hhp

riccard0's picture

Or you could charge proportionally more along the weight axis as a sort of eco-tax for toner/ink used ;-)

Martin Silvertant's picture

I guess there are so many logical systems to come up with that in the end it might be better to just stick with one price for all fonts.

The last one mentioned by hrant is one I actually have seen to some extent, of which the Miso typeface as the main fonts are free and the display fonts are for purchase. I do find that logical, but if the thin and thick weights are going to cost more than Regular and Bold then I honestly feel a bit hesitant to buy those weights at all. I'm glad that fonts within a family are priced the same so I won't have to deal with all this confusion.

hrant's picture

Indeed, simplicity does have monetary value itself!

hhp

mitokomatsu's picture

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webtech's picture

Whenever this is not encouragement enough to test the GoToMeeting free trial, then very little might be. Every competent business venture currently requires an efficient web conferencing tool to touch base with buyers as well as enable intra-organizational interaction and GoToMeeting free trial, with its simple to comprehend and use features and its established marketplace worthiness, is the natural choice for all those hoping to progress up the ladder of success and celebrity. The ideal strategy to know this for your self is to try the cost free, restricted period version and discover for yourself the most current arena of online transmission. Could be fun for display purposes. The boldest weight seems the least interesting as it is the most normal. Make it just a bit cleaner without losing the eroded charm. Extend it forward a bit more to exaggerate and make that structure clearer. The other good thing about the grunginess is the impression of realism. I guess I was carried away by the idea of using identical strokes for all weights. It will still be geometric as long as you keep the surface detail subtle. But that will take time and experiment. These two lines may also differ slightly in angle. I also put the characters into TypeTool to do widths and kerning. MISO is now available as TrueType in three weights. I just wonder why Black or Thin should cost more than Regular. It only kind of works in very large font families though. The old version of the Bold weight you showed looked consistent with that Light weight. I would perhaps make those available as a font family brother of Miso. Contact Us for sponsorship opportunities.

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