Primus V2: Major updates, please critique!

Pixion's picture


Following the responses on my earlier "Primus" post (see "Primus: Please critique this font under construction"), I made some major edits on this typeface.

One of the main edits was around using a more curvy flairing of the lower stems (following crossgrove and dezcom's feedback).

Also I updated all all the 'bowled' letters of the lower case (b, d, p, q, e, c) as well as all the upper case.

The input I got was very helpfull and I would appreciate any further pointers!

(PDF test text from WikiPedia: Punchcutting)

Primus v2.pdf27.23 KB
Primus v2a.pdf27.31 KB
Primus v2b.pdf27.44 KB
Sebastian Nagel's picture

just a minor detail, as I am still in Germany and it's late:

look at the curve of "f" and "j". One of them is too thick or too thin, I think it's the "j" that needs less weight in the lower part.
"y" is too heavy in the lower part too.


Pixion's picture

Hi Sebastian,

Good points, I think I will reduce the weight on the j and y.



dezcom's picture

Good work! Much better!
I wonder about the uppercase U? Does it need the flare? I think it probly is better without. It seems to create a bump where the U curve meets the stem at left?
I think Mr Nagel is right about the j and y tail as well. I would add that both j and y tails seem tocome too far left and pull the ballance rest of the glyph over to the right. There is something out of sorts with the lc v and w to me. They seem rotated a tad right.
Your s is lovely but I wonder if those beautiful terminals are the best choice to match the rest of the lowercase?


Pixion's picture


Thanks for the comments. I wasn't sure about the U either... One the one hand, it adds some quirkyness, but on the other hand, it may be inappropriately over the top. I think I may hold on to the flare on the right stem and make the left stem straight.

Good points on the j and y, I will give those tails a massage and a joint-crack.

I think the v and w need some balancing as you indicated. Their 'bottoms' are offset to the left after operation flare.

Any suggestions on the lc s terminal? Originally, I had straight, i.e. pen-nib style serifs (see image), and after reading the thread on the development of 'Fejoia', I went for the 'brushy' kind of serifs.


Pixion's picture

Sebastian, ChrisL,

I updated the weight of the lower terminals of the j and the y, as well as straightened the v and w.

Also I took the flare out if the U.

Here a new image. The PDF Primus v2a at the top reflects these updates.



David Jonathan Ross's picture

Hi Sebastian,

I've been so busy thinking about your feedback on my own design that I didn't realize you had one up here as well. I figured I'd give it a shot. Remember that I, too, am a beginner, and you shouldn't necessarily trust anything I say.

I think that one of the biggest sources of your lowercase's character (and I could be very wrong) is the juxtaposition of the the constructed pen-formed serifs and the swooshy, brushy terminals. To me, that's what gives your letters like k and x such a distinctive look. Because the brushy terminals are consistent throughout the lowercase (a c f j y, and to an extent the legs on k and x), I don't see a problem with them on the s, but I do think that they should be thickened up a bit, they look weak next to that r.

If you're going to fully commit to the brushyness, I might start to miss it in the uppercase. I only see it on the tails of the J and Q, but it has potential to be on the C, G, K, R, S, and the X. Maybe the reason that others want the brushy s to go is because it's not present enough in the other characters.

And, just for fun, I tried a little mixing and matching of your two s designs to echo the mixing of pen and brush that you do elsewhere. A little too weird, though.

A few other notes:

c: the terminal on your c is too ball-shaped; I want it to be more like the one on on your a

e: this seems to tilt to the right because the bottom portion doesn't extend past the top. I know that your g leans to an extent too, but your c doesn't and I really want the c and the e to be consistent.

f: I love it, it creates such an interesting countershape over the following letter.

I hope that at least some of this was helpful.


Pixion's picture

Hi David,

I appreciate you feedback!

You're right, I think I settled on the coexsistence of the pen and brush type terminals. This is also used in a number of other typefaces as well ("Quadraat" is one that inspired me). I think that it may also be 'historical correct' as I can imagine that in medieval times letters may have been drafted with a combination of media... (I am speculating here).

I have to play with some of the caps. One reason I limited it to lc is that I am affraid that things be become 'too playfull', and I want this face to have a 'classy', 'down to earth' but open and energetic quality. Using the brushy terminals on the uc may take some 'seriousness' away.

The hybrid s you drew is interesting. I see your point that the terminals are too light, so I made them larger and checked with the a, c, j, y etc. to see if they balance.

(Old / 'light' s on the right)

Also the e got some straightening, although it still has a bit of the 'forward looking' aspect. Also the c got some massage.

Here a test with some the touched letters.


David Jonathan Ross's picture

Hey Sebastian,

I like the changes you've made, and I do see your point about keeping the brushy terminals as a special characteristic; overdoing it would take away some of the seriousness that you mentioned. I think that the c and the e are much better related now, and the terminal on the c matches the rest of the font.

The lc s is improved, I think, but I think it's lost some of its openness. Is there a way to keep the added weight on those terminals, but not close of the counterspace so much? It also feels like it's tilting backwards now; you can see that especially in the detail image you posted. The original s leans slightly forward (like your e and g) and your new one tilts the other way. I'd try to go back to the original slant where the bottom terminal sticks out to the left of the top stroke.

That's all for now, I think.


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