Paperwing Sans

deadsumo's picture

Hi everybody
I am working on a "modern humanistic sort of sans". I want it to be smooth, clean and to have a corporate appeal. with that i mean sort of neutral, but with tiny details to make it original. I have done most of the designs for one weight and intend to make italics and two other weights (light and bold) if i find potential for it. Any critic are more than welcome...

Benjamin

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paperwing.pdf693.34 KB
Sebastian Nagel's picture

This really looks nice, it's very consistent, simple and clear.

It's difficult to find all characters in your sample-sheet, as there is no alphabetic row shown, but i'll talk about what i can find:

"s" and "S" has a bit of a lean to the left
"c" has an underbite (compare it to the e)
"g" seems to be a bit over-done. Maybe reduce one slice?
"a": top seems to be too straight, compared to other bows like in "n"
"w" seems to be quite complex, but i don't know what to change.
"p": could it be that on the right of the bowl, the inner side is straighter than compared to o? Looks strange, but could be pdf-rendering too.
"e": left top corner seems to be more angular than the rest. Intentionally?
"?" upper part seems to be too long
"Y" too wide open. Won't it get a descender?
"N" a bit too wide?
"A" a bit too wide?

Please take this comments with some distrust, I'm still learning by myself, so maybe on some of my propositions should be thought twice before change anything.
But on the other side, I often just don't see minor errors in my fonts, and other people who don't even know much about fontdesign tell me and they are absolutely right. So some of my contemplations may be useful anyway.

deadsumo's picture

Thanks a lot for your comments - it's always nice that other people want to spend a few minutes on work that has been tough for hours. I will work on the type again in some days, and i will check up on your comments.

I am sure there's still lot of work in this type. I made some prints the other day, and when they hang there on the wall i was assured that many details need some fine tuning :)

Benjamin

James Arboghast's picture

If you intend this font to be used for text it will need more spacing. The setting in the sample is far too tight for comfortable reading.

* It looks like you're going for an even width design. Even so the whole thing could benefit from making the "o" wider. A humanistic font needs rhythm. As it is Paperwing has a monotonous, dry, mechanical tone. It doesn't involve me emotionally. I realise it's meant to be a modular design, but it would have much more appeal and readability if you demodularize it: differentiate the letter forms, make each letter individual.

* Make "c" and "s" narrower.

* Make the ear on "g" much longer. It disappears at text sizes.

* Relax the focus on individual glyphs in favour of the whole picture, including white space between glyphs.

* The wide junctions of "w" make it disturbing (my eye is drawn to it). I once designed a font with the same geometry for "v" and "w"; the wide junction works for "v" but is too much to ask for "w". The solution is to make the junctions narrower for "w". Relax, it doesn't have to be an exact match in every detail for "v".

...original...
* Are you aware of the Kontrapunkt family by Bo Linneman? It's a slab serif type almost exactly the same as your Paperwing except for a few glyphs. I only mention it because if you release Paperwing as it is (with refinements), certain people in the type community are certain to point out the overwhelming similarities, and may make accusations of plagiarism. In particular, if Bo Linnemann sees Paperwing he might accuse you of taking his font, knocking off the serifs, and changing the y and g. Apart from those and a few other small structural changes, Paperwing is very close to Kontrapunkt right down to the ink traps---the same design with a different angle.

I'm not accusing you of plagiarism---it is entirely plausible that you made Paperwing from scratch and reached the same conclusion as Kontrapunkt in sans serif form, aiming for the same design contemporary values. But other observers might not see it that way.

Best of luck.

j a m e s

deadsumo's picture

Hi James
Thank you for you thorough, constructive and qualified comments. You mention some very important issues, and when i continue the work i consider your points. Yes it's ment for text, and your ideas about spacing and readability is definetely essential.

As the type does not involve you emotionally i can say that it in fact was my intention. i wanted it to be very clinically and cogent - and to be "easy" to embed in "intellectual" identies etc. But i could could be wrong though.

About the whole Kontrapunkt thing: I'm from denmark - same country as Kontrapunkt. My type is, as you recognize, inspired from the Kontrapunkt family. I have done the whole thing from scratch and i wanted it to be a clone between Eurostile, Kontrapunkt and my own ideas from different sans types. It is always hard to say if something is a copy og inspired by. In my opnion theres a lot of difference between my type and Kontrapunkt - that was anyway my intention. But i will consider what you say.

James Arboghast's picture

As the type does not involve you emotionally i can say that it in fact was my intention. i wanted it to be very clinically and cogent - and to be “easy” to embed in “intellectual” identies etc. But i could could be wrong though.

I understand what you're aiming for now. I'm certain you can add more proportion and reduce the modularity some and still keep the clinical, intellectual feel. Your specification of "humanist" and "clinical" impose conflicting requirements on the design. That won't be a problem. To have your cake and eat it too, aim for an artful balance/compromise. You will have to mix modular, contemporary and humanist type design features to get the most satisfying blend. This should be fun. (let me know if any of the words I'm using are beyond your knowledge of English, and I will simplify).

About the whole Kontrapunkt thing: I’m from denmark - same country as Kontrapunkt. My type is, as you recognize, inspired from the Kontrapunkt family. I have done the whole thing from scratch and i wanted it to be a clone between Eurostile, Kontrapunkt and my own ideas from different sans types.

Cool. Thankyou for being honest :^) Its important that you provide this background information to help the type industry to understand the similarity to Kontrapunkt. If you made Paperwing from scratch, that's fine.

A minor point to help you comunicate here at Typophile: in English language "clone" = "copy". The word you mean is "hybrid" or "cross" (between Kontrapunkt & Eurostile).

It is always hard to say if something is a copy og inspired by. In my opnion theres a lot of difference between my type and Kontrapunkt - that was anyway my intention. But i will consider what you say.

Don't be too concerned about the ethical part. With font piracy and plagiarism so prominent on the internet there is a tendency for some designers and typophiles to automatically assume a new font with very close outlines to an existing font was made from the same material.

The only recommendation I make at this stage is that you consider contacting Bo Linnemann to ask if he has any issues with Paperwing being "inspired" by Kontrapunkt.

Take care.

j a m e s

deadsumo's picture

Your vocabulary suits me fine - but thanks for you concerns :)

yes, i mean hybrid of cause . The words in danish are the same, so it was a bummer.

Good idea about Contacting Bo Linnemann - Even though the typeface is free of charge (non commercial), i am sure he still wants to have his rights...and the pride of an artist.

best regards
Benjamin

crossgrove's picture

Thank you James for identifying Kontrapunkt. There was a critique post showing it recently that disappeared from the boards.... And it is a nicely-crafted face. Very subtle and stylish.

I do see the similarities, and I also see the differences. One reason the similarities are so noticeable is that the structure and proportions of Paperwing are so close to Kontrapunkt. If your goal was to have a sans version of Kontrapunkt, do that. But to make it useful at small sizes, I agree with James, the spacing is very tight (and uneven). Also large changes to structure are in order; consider making bowls and hmn narrower, yet widening t, and opening the notches more.

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