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As my first post here, I present my very first attempt at designing a typeface, tentatively named Dobong after a 'mountain' and a district in Seoul. Right now I have the Latin Alphabet, numerals, and basic punctuation. I wanted a body text typeface that would be suitable for multilingual setting, including the Cyrillic, Greek, and Korean alphabets.
This project was inspired by the insane difficulty I had with a recent paper I worked on, which was primarily in Korean but included Ukrainian Cyrillic, their Latin alphabet transcriptions, and the International Phonetic Alphabet. There is not a single font family that I know of that supports all of them, not even a badly-designed one. So I had to mix and match typefaces, and getting the different elements to harmonize was labour intensive. So why not eliminate the process by doing all the hard work in designing a single all-purpose text font family?
This is admittedly extremely ambitious for a first-time typeface designer with no design background, and I have no idea how I'll find the time to design the thousands of Korean alphabetic syllables (Hangul, the Korean alphabet, combines the individual letters into syllabic blocks, each of which has to be designed separately; I am not even thinking about Chinese characters). And perhaps predictably, I ran into problems right away with the Latin alphabet.
I had determined that to harmonize correctly with Korean, I would need the Latin text to be low-contrast, quite light, and reasonably narrow while having a high x-height. This being intended as a body text typeface, it would have to be readable. Unfortunately, I can't seem to satisfy all these demands.
Does anyone see a way to salvage the situation by tweaking letterforms so that all those demands are met? Or should I choose a different approach, such as making the miniscules wider/rounder or adjusting the serifs? I really don't think lowering the x-height is an option as that would make the miniscules too small to harmonize with Korean syllabic blocks.
I haven't done any spacing or even preliminary kerning yet, so excuse how the preview PDF looks at the moment. Also, I worked directly on a computer and have no printer access, so I haven't seen any proofs, and the weighting is probably all off.
I would welcome any suggestions on how to proceed. Comments on individual lettershapes are welcome, but I am looking for more general suggetions, as I am prepared to make grand overhauls but unsure how to proceed.
Edit: I have also included a sample of how mixed Korean and Latin alphabet text would look in this font.
|Dobong v1.pdf||19.67 KB|
|Mixed text test.pdf||31.51 KB|