Agamemnon 27! Now with Greek, Cyrillic, and Cherokee

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Jason Pagura's picture
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Quick and dirty, just to see what it looks like in different colors.
Without an idea in my head.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Very Amusing!

about the changes - I like the increased consistancy but the stroke contrast in the digonals seems a bit harsh. Especially on the y & cap V. I like the new six but I wonder if it wouldn't be better flipped for a new 9. What if the 6 had a longer ascending arm? I think you need to give the Q's bottom stoke a bit more weight to carry it off. But it's a fun idea.The e has to gain some weight to match or the others have to loose a little.

Jason Pagura's picture
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Yeah, it looks like I got the contrast on the y backwards too.

It occurs to me that many of the caps are too narrow. They look all condensed while the lc looks all fat, even though the stroke widths are nearly the same. Also the O isn't obviously different from the zero. Handling this problem would mean quite an overhaul, though. Any idea how I should go about that?

There is something about the 9 that I really like. I know you keep telling me to change it, and I agree it is a bit strange, but it works for me.

What do you think of the new 4?

The 3 does have an odd finish, but that's meant to make for a good <3 emoticon.

Nathanael Bonnell's picture
Joined: 1 Jun 2005 - 8:15pm
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I love the italic g from Galliard, but I wouldn't put it in my Cyril. Just because a glyph is good doesn't mean it fits. The 9 is interesting, but I don't think it works here. I also question the motive behind the 3: to make a good emoticon? Which will people use more often: the 3 or the emoticon? If you really want to be able to have a good heart, just draw a picture of one and stick it somewhere in the font.
If something looks wrong, don't hesitate to fix it, even if it does mean "quite an overhaul". In your case, it actually won't take a whole lot to just widen the caps that need widening, like OGHCDB. Make them all look consistent with each other. Giving them similar amounts of white space is a good place to start. (This feels a bit weird, because I can remember when I was on the other end of this exact same critique with Cyril. In my case, the font was totally not what I had meant to draw the first time, so I redrew it, but I don't think that's really necessary here.) The new 4 strikes me as better, but I think I prefer the old 6. The 1 needs more character.

Jason Pagura's picture
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So I've fixed most of the things that have been brought up so far. With all the things I've done to unify the font, it seems I've neglected the punctuation somewhat. It's all very square and seems undersized to me, but I could be wrong. Also my accents acute and grave are awfully steep. I don't use them extensively in my language, but does that bother anyone who does?

Eben Sorkin's picture
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The font is on the whole juicy. It seems like the punctuation should be too. The dots on the i & j seem over weight to me ( slightly ). Also the Caps now that they are wide enough seem to need some air. Maybe add a bit to the sidebearings. Look at all those Es. Also I thought I should metion that something is going wrong with the encoding such that some glyphs don't display when I open the PDF. Like 3-4 I think... I can tell you which ones later. But in the meantime what encoding are you using & why?

Jason Pagura's picture
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Here is the next iteration. changes here to the 1, 3, 6, 9, *, µ, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, L, M, O, Ø, Œ, P, Q, R, S, U, V, x, y, and probably some others I've forgotten. Widening the vowels screwed up the spacing on their accented counterparts, so I'm working on repairing that now.

I think I did a bad thing to the B. Back to the drawing board on that one.

This relates to PDF 8 in the first post.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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BTW I like the new 3 6 & 9. I guess my comments about the caps were about the acccented caps! The others seem good I think.

Jason Pagura's picture
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I'm using default settings for Macintosh encoding in Mac TrueType format from Fontographer 4.1.5 NFPU.

I did get a report of some sort of encoding error when I viewed the PDF, but I didn't notice anything missing from the displayed characters.

edit: Upon further review I do notice a couple missing characters on the bottom line. I'm doing my PDF output with Canvas 8, if that makes any difference. Hey, I'm broke, and I got it for the cost of a magazine, and it does the job, more or less.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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I'm not trying to give you a hard time. Just letting you know what happens. Cheers!

Jason Pagura's picture
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Oh, I know... Just hoping you knew how to fix it.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Hmm I would post a new topic about the missing glyphs here on typophile. That will be the best way I think.

Jason Pagura's picture
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The most significant changes this time around are the punctuation and accents. All that was square is round now.

Also, B, f, fi, fl, and Florin have changed.

Ohm and Delta are the characters not showing in the PDF, resulting in the error message. I haven't a clue why yet. Version 9 is up top, and it works but for those two. I just need to figure out how to get the rest of the characters in there. Canvas 8 doesn't have the character pallette to input them with.

Jason Pagura's picture
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Since I have the file open right now, is there anything more I can do to improve this?

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Here are some ideas to keep you busy: Pull the nose of the 2 in slightly. ( Maybe) Give it more overshoot on top. The tops of the eights & nines seem to thick maybe. The left side of the 7 seems to light/weak. The curve on the lc k could be more weighty/exuberant. I can't find a way to love the flat r - why not lower the join of the n & m & make an r that matches? Why not throw in the p while your at it? ( it might be better like the b) What about a loop at the beginning of the Q's tail instead of a reverse. That might be more 'ballsy'. heh heh ( rolling of eyes obligatory ). But more meaninfully it would create a more 'even' feeling in the weights. The Q is too light now. In the case of your font I think a flat side to the inside of the O in OE might be better. Why does the l & t drop their bottom? I am not diggin' it. How does that go with the rest? I like the lc v but the lc w & y still don't quite sing to me. The left bottom of the lc z needs more weight somehow. It feels lopsided. The ae seems too wide & lumpy to me. The UC W could be wider. Why not? It's such an exumberant face in general why not give it some room? What about dropping the Join on the UC Y? It seems a bit cramped with those big serifs. I would add mnore weight back to the CAp S in the middle. I don't lknow if the UC T needs to be quite so wide. The N needs some air & width ( a bit ) - The C needs more space & a more gracelful left curve. The G too. Even more, actually. The serif on the UC M makes it look like it's sad. Your best glyphs have a a hardy readdy to do anything feeling about them. The UC A has it. TheB,R,g,s,o & V too. Get that spirit in the rest. The $ is not wide enogh at the bese especially the left side. British Pound sign - same thing.

Jason Pagura's picture
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Eben, I agree with most of your suggestions, though I'm not sure how to efectively implement them all, with the exception of the lc r.

I have a specific reason for not making the r similar to the m and n, which I go into here. I may still try lowering the joins on m and n, but we'll have to think a bit more before doing anything drastic with the r.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Perhaps raise it slightly higher then. That has historical precedent actually. And in the end it's your eyes that count. Cheers!

Jelmar Geertsma's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2006 - 9:53am
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Nice looking font, very consistent shapes all through the design.
Only things I see right now are:
The indent on the leg of the cap R, it catches the eye, since only that char and the lc 'k' have it. Not that it looks bad, but it sticks out a bit maybe.
And the circumflex, which is a bit square / pointed and straight-lined, compared to the other characters. If you know what I mean.

Jason Pagura's picture
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Do you mean the ASCII circumflex or the combining diacritical circumflex? They're very and deliberately different.

Jelmar Geertsma's picture
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Both, but mostly the ê, â, etc.
If you deliberately made then different, you obviously thought about it, so then it's fine. :)

Jason Pagura's picture
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Does the accent acute look all lumpy compared to the accent grave, or is it just my monitor? I saw some odd curves on the asterisk too. Anybody else catch anything?

Jelmar Geertsma's picture
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Yes, checking pdf no.9 I see that too. The acute has a couple of 'corners' in it, on the left curve, not a smooth line. The asterisk as well.

Jason Pagura's picture
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I can't explain why that is happening. These flaws do not appear in Fontographer, but I see them in the PDF just as you do. The acute is a simple H-flip of the grave, and the asterisk points are rotated copies of the top one. I suspect some artifact crept in there when I added points at extrema and aligned points to grid, and possibly even in the output to TrueType, but I think it is more likely a flaw in Acrobat rendering. I'm also noticing a vertical stretch overall in the PDF compared to how the forms appear in my graphics programs.

Nathanael Bonnell's picture
Joined: 1 Jun 2005 - 8:15pm
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Florin isn't working, x still has reversed stress, counter of a should be more symmetrical I think, and W's usually have the thicker diagonal continued all the way to the top. Serifs of s have no relation to other letters (consider making them like c, ß, or S), and ß has wrong stress: on the bottom it should be like s, and on the top, the outward-facing curve should have it, not the in-pointing one (viz. Sabon). Z too light, WwX too heavy. Corner at bottom of inner curve of J no good. M too wide. Cedilla not bold enough at parts. 9 needs a corner at the terminal, not curves. © way bolder than ®. "n-ary product" sign comes below baseline. Ah, revising: so much fun, no? Keep fighting the good fight.

Jelmar Geertsma's picture
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I have had similar weird glitches when I export to TrueType. I usually make and export it in otf. But I'm not too experienced as a type designer. But TTF-curves are weird, heh.
What program did you use to set the type in, and export to PDF?

Jason Pagura's picture
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Both the PNG images and the PDF files are generated with Canvas 8. I suppose I could use my ancient copy of Illustrator in Classic mode, but that would mean installing the fonts in the old system folder, and well, now that i think of it it's not too big a bother, but I don't want to bother.

For some reason Fog's export to PS1 fonts is glitchy (which is why I'm making as TrueType. OTF isn't even an option), at least when i comes to installing them-- the space gets all stretched out, but returns to normal after purging caches with Linotype Font Explorer. I'm not sure exacly where the problem lies, apart from the fact that I need a new compuer and software updates and I can't afford any of it right now.

Once I get it done, I might try making a PS font from Fontographer then converting that to OTF with FontForge, but I don't want to geet ahead of myself just yet.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Try renaming your font for the purposes of checking. I had Font Explorer seemingly cacheing some of my old data. It didn't go away util I changed the font's name. There is probably another work around but that's the one that worked for me. You should also be aware that FOG doesn't work in whole numbers. It uses fractions. So when you export to TT at 1000 UPM some numebers may round up or down on you producing results that may not be expected. You have come pretty far with this. Why not go the extra mile? Also, re-reading the thread I started to wonder what you meant by I’m not sure how to efectively implement them all. What upm are you working in?

Jason Pagura's picture
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Just that it might take more than the moment I used to write the response to come up with solutions to the problems you pointed out. (And likewise for some of Nathanael's comments.)

7, k, w, y, C, G, and M you made somewhat perplexing comments on. The words themselves are not but figuring out how to make them happen is. I've already made a bunch of changes and will try some more before I make another test image.

Jason Pagura's picture
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My em square is 1024 UPM.

Jason Pagura's picture
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“n-ary product” sign comes below baseline.

Um... pardon my ignorance, but which character is that?

Jason Pagura's picture
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A bunch of changes here before I head out, covering most of what people mentioned. Another spacing error crept in as well as the recurring PDF problem. PDF 10 on top.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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The usual UPMs are 1000 (usual) & 2048 (the microsoft standard). You can use something else but you might not want to. Did you mis-type?

Eben Sorkin's picture
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It seems like the whole thing is starting to tighten up. Would you post a PDF with some text so I can what's happening better? Also what about posting an example of how you imagine the font being used. That would helpful too.

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The Fontographer manual suggests a multiple of 1024 fo the em square for TrueType, so that's what I set it at. Naturally 2048 will double the pitch of the grid, which would be handy.

I'll give a shot at some layouts. I'm not really sure what a good use for this is right now. It calls attentiont itself a bit too much for body text, and is a bit bold for that anyway. I might come up with a lighter weight version once this is nailed down and see how it works. Maybe with slightly looser spacing it work for advertising copy. Would you buy a luxury car from this font? Eh... maybe not.

Jason Pagura's picture
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I think I overdid the Q—rather than going with a loop instead of a reverse on the tail, I did both. Is the result too heavy/busy for such an infrequently used letter?

I took a cue from the curve of the k to reshape the h, m, and n. Is it an improvement?

Eben Sorkin's picture
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I think the hmn are improved. I don't know that it completely matches the face yet exactly. But you should look at your b I have it match the new letters a bit more. Or make the others match the b. Or something else but getting them all on the same path. Speaking of which ... Maybe think about that p too. It's an odd man out. All of this is a big deal beacause you will gain in legibility going some ways but I know you wanteded your own solution. I would keep trying things.

Similarly I think you can make a case for keeping the g & q with the structure they have. I think you might want to bring the d in line with them to some greater degree. the g is looking abit too closed right now. Almost like an odd 8. I like the opening on the y - even though it's got the same structure the opical difference is huge. Optics are what count.

RE; the cap Q I think you can make it work ( maybe) by adding weight to the bottom of the curve before it loops. You might have to drop the tail slightly to do that. But I bet that would work. I like the Q. I want it to work.

The top of the 3 feels off balance - maybe it's too heavy. The 8 feels denser & darker that the other #s. Maybe open it up a bit.

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Nathanael Bonnell's picture
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The "n-ary product" symbol is the uppercase pi. I note that you changed the W but not the w. I'm not entirely sure the dot in the zero works. The Q does seem a bit extravagant. Also, the tail of g doesn't look good--try squaring it out some. The point inside the k is too sharp.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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(Accidental repost)

Jason Pagura's picture
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That's what I thought you were talking about. Fog only gives the character name as "product". This uppercase pi does not come below the baseline, which is why your comment confused me. Are you saying it is supposed to?

Jason Pagura's picture
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The g hasn't changed since the v.6 beta. How does it attract attention now that it has been stable through 4 iterations?

Eben Sorkin's picture
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The thing is when you have bigger problems with a font they are more obvious and get pointed out first. Also, people don't have time to look for 1000 things to fix - just 10 or so. And how would you feel if you got a list of 1000 problems? Overwhelmed or irritated or depressed I expect. You must do whatever you want with your font. But I think Nathanael Bonnell ( no.3) is probably right.

Jason Pagura's picture
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I posted a Q&D page layout showing the font at various sizes. It's not very good as a layout, but it gives an idea of what it looks like in use.

Nathanael Bonnell's picture
Joined: 1 Jun 2005 - 8:15pm
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Yeah, I was saying it's supposed to.
Looking at the font actually used to set text, it looks pretty good now. A good quirky feel. I maintain that the Q is too much. I think that (along with the Q) your most distracting characters right now are g,u, and maybe a. The u should probably have a different serif scheme--no other letters have a similar one. I'm thinking top serifs perhaps like Weiss, or maybe just as though taken from a rotated Agamemnon n. And the g will probably be okay once you square it out like I suggested. Oh, also x is a bit wide. Next sample post a pangram or two so we can see the whole thing in action!

Jason Pagura's picture
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I realize ∏ in a Latin font is meant as a mathematical symbol and not for writing Greek, but looking at the wikipedia page Eben linked, ∑ is set the same way in equations. Should that be similarly oversized too?

Looking at these characters in several other fonts, I can find no consistency to this rule. Hoefler Text has both at standard cap height, in Helvetica they both drop their bottoms to the decender height, in Chicago they both go below the baseline, but not that deep, and in Courier they extend both above the cap height and below to decender level. If there is one correct way, then three of these fonts must be wrong!

I don't think that's the case, It's just understandably confusing.

Jason Pagura's picture
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Pangram sheet now in the PDF collection.

Nathanael Bonnell's picture
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Yes, I forgot entirely about the summation symbol (the Sigma); that one also descends. Wow, we must be losers, spending this much time quibbling about whether math symbols descend below the baseline. (But for the record they do.) By the way, check out the stress scheme in other fonts' summation sybols. That's the generally accepted way to do it, though you could probably get away with the current one.

Jason Pagura's picture
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In what way is the d not in line with the g and q? When I started, at least, the a, b, d, p, and q were all derived from each other through rotating, flipping, removing the stem, &c, as was the g with the addition of the hook decender. in fact, the h, n, and m were in this family too, just with their bases opened. I went with the 2 story a because the earlier æ wasn't sufficiently distinct from the œ. Apart from that, are you suggesting I revert to the original shapes, or that I replicate the curve on the n to those letters that don't have it yet?
I thought the blended serif-curve ripple was an identifying characteristic of this font. Is that worth eliminating? It seems that would be removing a cohesive relationship rather than adding one.

Damn, that sounds plaintive. I'm just trying to understand the thoughts you're contributing. Most likely it's a matter of my lack of experience and limited vocabulary that I'm just not getting it. I truly value and welcome your advice, and I hope to avoid any misunderstanding.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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I may be trying to hold you to a higher or simply different standard than you are interested in. Which may well be unfair. But, I think this face might actually sell with more of the kinks worked out. (You should get other folks opinions on that)

But that makes me think: what sells more? Display or text? 'Text' is answer. And the closer to a text face a display face is ( & this is a display face) so that you can use it for pull quotes & stuff the better it will sell. So the suggestions I have been making have been geared towards making the face a bit more suitable for text. If thats not your thing- no problem.

So. Assuming you could be interested in the text thing: About the b h n : One of the features that help identify a b h or n is the notch where the leg joins. If you look at the face FF dax you see an alternative solution. But conventionally speaking, and your face has some of it's roots in convention, there is usually a notch.

About rotating & mirroring: Conventionally the q should not mirror the p. The d aught not to mirror the b. Sure they do in some faces like DIN. But it is a 20th century affectation having to do with modernist reductivism. I don't see that focus in your type. There are many other alternatives but first let's look at the traditional one:

These are from Sansa Slab (Ourtype). See how the forms differ? Look at d the q! I see the d & q as a more vaiable place for your wave. Maybe the r too. Maybe not though. I would maybe make it more narrow. Maybe a different kind of wave aught be available for the b h & n. So I think you should retain your ripple but think about ways to integrate & vary it with the greater diversity of forms found in text faces. Applying 'rules' can backfire if it interferes with the distictiveness of a letter.

BTW - You are right to be concerned with cohesion, but there are many ways of achieving that. The wave was not enough. There is stem weight, optical weight matching, spacing repeated themes in the ornament, and the ends of strokes.

If you can clarify what you want from the face the choices are easier. For instance: if you plan on the face being used at 36pt and larger then your g with it's narrow opening may be okay. Looking at large text it doesn't bother me at all. But if you want people to be able to think of using this font at 12, 14, 16pt etc; then I would definitely open that thing up right away! Context helps. Keep thinking about your intended use & the choices you make will be easier & smarter. 100% of these suggestions are refutable in the right context.

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It would be great if this could work as a text face. As it is, it's a bit too bold and tightly spaced, so I'll have to loosen it up and make a lighter weight version once it is fully nailed down. (To say nothing of corresponding italics. I've never done those before.)

And, I have opened up the g in the next iteration quite a bit. I also increased the em square to 2048 (surprisingly painless).I'm still poking around for other things to tweak. I should be ready to show those developments later today.

In the mean time, here is a sample to compare with your example of Sansa Slab, plus a few extra letters:

In version 11ß, the bowl of the b will have a similar top to the archof the h,n, and m. but as I understand it, you're suggesting that follow on to the p as well, and also be reflected on the underside of the d, q, and maybe the g.

The wave I speak of is most clearly evident on the top of the r, but it is present on the top of the p, q, and g as the curve of the bowl flows into the serif, and similarly on the bases of the b and d. To apply your suggestion (in the manner that I'm understanding it, which could be wrong) would wind up putting notches in the d and p that aren't there now. Am I getting this right?