Changed and extended ITC Mendoza

ocular's picture

OK, Dear Typophiles, I decided I can’t delay this any longer. Here is a PDF specimen of the changes I made to ITC Mendoza a couple of years ago, as my first exercise in the use of Fontographer. (I’m now learning FontLab.)

I used the font to set my thesis in phonetics—hence the added IPA and mathematical glyphs.

What do you think? Please be honest; I know I have a lot to learn (had even more when doing this). I think it’s best for me not to comment on the details in advance.

The hinting is bad Fog autohinting, so the glyphs may look bad at small sizes on the screen, and even when printed on a laser printer. The thesis was actually output on a Xerox DocuTech (at 600 dpi); it was far from offset quality, but the distortions weren’t as bad as on my Brother laser printer (600 dpi, with resolution enhancement).

Thanks in advance (though it may take a while before I return to work on this font).


OM_Mendoza_Specimen.pdf265.34 KB
Randy's picture

Your modifications look nice. Sometimes great fonts like Mendoza (one of my favorites) lack some attention to detail and flair beyond glyphs that get used 90% of the time (such as your %). I can't speak to the IPA as I'm not versed in it, but everything else seems good.

Note: there may be EULA issues with the modification, but I don't know about ITC specifically. Let's not sidetrack the discussion to EULA's, but I did want to mention it.

You might talk to ITC about selling it to them as an extension.

EDIT: I do prefer the original 3. It is very odd I'll admit, but I think it's odd in keeping with the rest of the font. There is unusual tension and weighting throughout. This is, to me, a signature of Mendoza. But maybe too quirky for heavy math. Also, it is customary for the small caps to be slightly larger than the x height. Was this just preference?


ocular's picture

Thank you so much, Randy!

Note: there may be EULA issues with the modification

I am aware this. ITC said it's OK for me to use the modified version in keeping with the original license. I hope this EULA issue hasn't scared people away.

You might talk to ITC about selling it to them as an extension.

Oh, it (the IPA) is not good enough for that--and it's very far from complete, in terms of glyph coverage.

I do prefer the original 3. It is very odd I’ll admit, but I think it’s odd in keeping with the rest of the font.

Yes, my 3 isn't very good, I knew that right away. And later I've sort of started to like the original, though it still looks too big to me. Perhaps the face is a bit too quirky for a scientific (thought not so math-heavy) text in the first place; but I wanted to give the text a "humanist" touch.

Also, it is customary for the small caps to be slightly larger than the x height.

I guess it was my preference at the time for the small caps to be the same height as the old-style numerals, i.e. very slightly (about 10/1000 em) taller than the lowercase x height (though part of it was just keeping the SC height as it was). For one thing, taller small caps would've looked odd in combination with the numerals, as in JH11 (with small caps for JH). I have to admit, though, that the small caps now look a bit small to me in ordinary acronyms.

Any other comments on the small caps?


Randy's picture

RE: Smallcaps
Hard to tell without a text setting, but they look too dark for the regular weight. It looks like you applied an auto *bold* to them to compensate for the scaling (the right idea, just a little heavy). I say this because it has lost stroke contrast, or sparkle, leaving them a little dull compared to the originals (look at the P for example). Auto bold always does this. It is very very minor in this case.

RE: 3
Yours is very credible. Definitely fits with the set. This is a matter of taste.

BTW, I like the nut fractions!

ocular's picture

About the small caps: I did apply auto bold at one point, but also did a lot of hand editing, esp. of the serifs. This is because I didn't like the original small caps at all: the serifs seemed to me way too weak compared to the stems. (The contrast was larger then in the full caps, and I didn't like that.)

I admit that my small caps look a bit mechanical, lacking grace and refinement. For example, the vertical stems have more or less even widths, whereas they should be a bit thinner at the middle, like in the caps. But as they were only going to be used at text sizes, I left them like that. In fact, given the poor resolution and hinting, it might have better this way.

And yes, the small caps may also be a bit too heavy. I wanted them to have loose spacing, and figured that even color therefore required them to relatively bold.

The italic small caps are a fairly quick addition. I did not spend much time editing them (after the autoslant) because their frequency in the text was very small.

BTW, I like the nut fractions!

I didn't know this kind of fractions were called "nut" fractions! Yeah, for some reason, I wanted to make them like this.


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