Undecided on the name...

3rror404's picture

Hi Guys,

This is my first time posting here. I am a 3rd year design student, attached is my first typeface design. Supposed to be a text face. I am still undecided on the name... so I could use some naming suggestions. Please feel free to critique the letters too. The spacing is really bad right now, still working on it. The 'g' needs work too.

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ebensorkin's picture

Am I right in thinking this is a modified original typeface?

3rror404's picture

no, it was designed from scratch...

hrant's picture

Interrupt
Fracture
Faultline

hhp

3rror404's picture

thanks for the naming suggestions hrant. Any word of critique on the design?

ebensorkin's picture

The side bearing on the right of the b is a bit too large. The right of the f it's not big enough. In general though you have kept the use value surprisingly intact. Is your intention that this should be a display face or would you advocate using it in text? I hesitate to say much about it without being sure of your intention.

3rror404's picture

Eben, I still have to work a lot on the side bearings of the entire alphabet.

My intent was that this face could be used in text setting. Not a lot of students in my program work on a textface but I chose to do a serif text face so it teaches me more about what makes a typeface "work".

Do you think this will work as a text face?

Number3Pencils's picture

In general I think the curves are disagreeing with the straight lines here. It's especially evident in o, g, and f. For example, with the o, you have a standard sort of curve on the outside and the inside has the only corners. Both curves, inside and out, should have a blend (where appropriate) of curvy and linear. The m has really achieved this well. The one side of the line harmonizes really well with the other side. It also looks like you've taken a bit too modular an approach, using the same template for similar letters. I think this design just screams for a bit of variety. Go ahead: make the inside of the o and the dot of the i a little asymmetrical! put one more corner on one bowl of the s than on the other! (These are just suggestions. You can do whatever things you feel like.) Use your imagination to jazz it up a bit. Oh, and when you do that work on the g, make sure you get rid of that awful ear. I'm thinking Electra.

3rror404's picture

Thanks Number3Pencils.

I will continue on improving this. I am just finishing off my special characters quickly, as the project is due tommorow.

ebensorkin's picture

What you have might work at 6pt but at 12 or something those slices are too harsh for me. I would go with more & smaller slices and use them across the whole thing. The mixed curves & simples slices are not going to give you an acceptable text face I think. What #3 said about the ear on the g is right too. All this said it's not too bad! I think it could be quite decent with some work.

Number3Pencils's picture

Also, I think I should mention that perfect circles are to be eschewed in "serious" (i.e. text) typography, because they inherently lack a quality I call chirality, which is a reflection of the way an actual hand draws a letter. It's more than a diagonal distribution of slope like on your o--you can't get it by simply rotating the counter, but rather you have to make the slope shallower on the NW and SE parts of the o, and more square on the NE and SW. For an example--and forgive me if this makes me look arrogant, but I can't think right now of another font that illustrates it so clearly--look at my Newt (That's what I've decided to call it now). Carry that from your o to other letters too: g, the pbdq quartet, c, e, and most of everything else. Shaping of the round is one of the most important things that defines the character of a font. A text face without it looks like it has backslant, and it also has zero character to it. (This is one reason Times looks so bland.) You obviously don't have to do it to the extreme that I did in Newt. That's just an illustration of what chirality is. I also want to stress that you shouldn't in your fracturing of the curves create little globs of stress, like in your o and f: there should only be the standard text face amount of thicks and thins, and your o for example has two extra vestigial thicks at the bottom and top. A fractured curve will obviously always result in a deviation of stress from the normal, but make it flow. Your m and n have that going to them: starting at the stem, the stroke gradually gets wider, for the most part not shrinking back to any thinner widths, crescendoing until it gets to maximum at the next vertical, and then it holds steady. On the glob-plagued letters, you're using chords that are perpendicular to the radius of your curves. Sloping it would help reduce the globs. Fracturing the curve more times would also help on some letters. Enclosed are some illustrative figures I made with MS Paint to help decipher my esoteric advice.

3rror404's picture

Number3Pencils, buddy I cant thank you enough for those wise words.

My prof never went into such details, although I loved the class and learned A LOT in a small amount of time.

I love Newt, is it a school project? coz it surely doesnt look like it.

I handed in my typeface, today... my prof liked it and comapring it with what my classmates had, it wasnt that bad.

I will keep working on this throughout my christmas holidays.

Thanks again for the comments and the MS Paint diagram. :-)

hrant's picture

In a text face, chirography (Nathanael's "chirality") is just as bad
as geometry; both are arbitrary, superficial constraints unrelated
to what a text face is for: reading. Both are feelgood design crutches,
hence not elements of design at all, but of art.

hhp

Number3Pencils's picture

Is not design an art?

hrant's picture

I don't think so. Being a person who gives central importance to Intent, to me the two are fundamentally different: Design is about serving, Art is about expressing. That said, nothing exists in a pure state, so anything we do is a mix of everything, including Design and Art. But it's still important to see the pure concepts among which we are torn, and try to figure out which are more beneficial where.

hhp

Number3Pencils's picture

Oh, no, Newt isn't a school project--I'm not even in college yet. I made it in what spare time I could find, mostly over the summer when I had all the time I wanted (well, most of the time I wanted). Thank you for the accolades; I'm much obliged.

Hrant-


A quick screenshot of the o from Patria reveals that your natural human tendencies have gotten the better of your rationalistic approaches, and given the letter a little--not much, but a little--chirality, combined with squaring of the round. But that's beside the point. My point is that very many successful fonts tend to have it, and, since of course correlation isn't causation, that I think this font could use it too. Some fonts (Caledonia, for instance) don't have it. These fonts generally use squaring of the round instead, which (I'm getting back on the topic of helping Moiz here) is where you make all four corners more toward the square, not only NE and SW. You can find a balance between chirality and squaring, using them both in conjunction. Personally, I think this font would do well with a little of both. Squaring is another essential design idea to know--not required for every font, any more than serifs are--but still essential to know and probably to be proficient with. Hrant is well-read, and will now tear into my comment using words such as "parafoveal" and "bouma", but I base my learnings off of what I see in established designs and what I instinctively think looks better, so that's my angle.
P.S. I started writing this before Hrant responded to my other comment, which is why I don't refer to his.

3rror404's picture

I have to come forward with my ignorance about chirality or chirography.

But for some reason, when i read Chuck's suggestions for the first time about fixing my o... it made a lot of sense my head...

Chuck, I am shocked that ur not even in college and making such good work.

Who did Patria? can i see the speciman of it online.

I am still waiting for Hrant to use "parafoveal" and "bouma"... coz that will push me to visit Dictionary.com and check their meaning out.

crossgrove's picture

Whatever you call them, if they catch your (or the reviewer's) eye, they don't work, get rid of them.

There is a trend now to add sharp cuts in counters, and it came from somewhere, and there was a reason for it, but I don't think the reason generally exists now, and the reasoning isn't being observed anyway, so I'm not a big fan of the sharp cuts unless they actually do something ( = have a functional purpose). Why are they there? "I just like them" is not the correct answer. ; )

To discover more about what would be useful about sharp cuts, try making a typeface out of nothing but straight lines. That would push you to discover methods to make straight lines look like curves, and where to put the corners that would be less visually disruptive, which is more useful to know than "I could break some curves".

A hint about how easy this challenge could be: Blackletter.

jason's picture

I've noticed this in a few designs put on the block lately, but the right 'half' of the 'm' is off balance; that is, the 'm' looks too much like a narrower 'n' with an extra (stunted) leg tacked on. Speaking of which, the 'n' looks too wide.

Number3Pencils's picture

Hrant made Patria, which is why I used it in my comment responding to him. He also created the word "bouma", so it's not in Dictionary.com. It just means "word shape". He uses it to say that letter shapes ought to strengthen the shapes of the words they're used in, rather than just look good on their own. He also uses the (real) word "parafoveal", because he's done some research on how we read--you can read about it on his site. Foveal is the stuff you're focusing on, and parafoveal is the stuff on the outside of that--the stuff you're seeing, but kind of fuzzily. (It's an adjective, by the way, but I used it like a noun.) Crossgrove has a good idea.

(Jason, is that avatar a picture of you or of Bane from The Matrix?)

jason's picture

I hope it's me, otherwise I'm someone named "Bane" and that would be rather unfortunate...

Number3Pencils's picture

Yeah, I looked at the higher-res photo on your site and it doesn't look like him--but I swear, that lo-res photo looks exactly like Bane. To wit:


Sorry for a brief excursion into irrelevancy.

3rror404's picture

Wow Chuck, i feel like im getting a whole lesson on Hrant...

ive to say, Hrant is as popular as Typophile.com ... anyone who comes here, knows Hrant... i dont kno if its all for a good reason tho..

his website needs A LOT of work tho... not that my website is any better...

Patria looks like a nice typeface...

Jason, ur sugestion about the m makes total sense... dont kno if n is wider tho... will play around with its width as soon as i get some time before christmas holidays.

I have to say, ive had a very warm welcome by all of you... thank you and please keep those sugestions coming.

Number3Pencils's picture

I had forgotten I was going to suggest names. I think a great one would be Breccia. Also Feldspar and Schist.
P.S. For some reason typophile puts their URL before the URLs I linked to. Just get rid of everything before "en.wikipedia".

cuttlefish's picture

Rock names, eh?

Probably would want to avoid "Schist". It might confuse the less geologically inclined.

It would be a great name for a band, though.

3rror404's picture

Just before handing in the typeface (with all its current flaws) I named it Oldrich after Oldrich Menhart...

Although i do feel that the typeface doesnt have that much to do with Menhart...

Thanks for the names Chuck... I really like the sound of Breccia... have to look them up on wikipedia...

Number3Pencils's picture

That's what the links link to!

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