Untitled Sans inspired by Clarendon

Jeremy Dooley's picture

I have just begun work on this. As you can see, there are a lot of issues. Some of the character widths are incorrect, stem widths are inconsistant, and there are notches in strange areas.

I am looking for just general comments. Does the face have potential? Any thoughts on the notches? I think I will use them throughout the face, but I will have to see how they work out.

Although this face is inspired by Clarendon, I frequently deviate quite a bit from my intentions. I am aware this concept has been done before(http://www.typography.com/catalog/leviathan/index.html), but I think I can bring something new to it.

More to come tommorrow.

Jeremy Dooley

Andy Martin's picture

It's clean, simple, obviously the glitches need sorting out. yes I think it does have potential. You could even have 2 versions, one wide, the other narrow. I think the notch in the stem of the lowercase b works, but I'm not a fan of the rest.

Nice start.

Jeremy Dooley's picture

Thanks for the encouragement Weeman.

I've made a few changes. It's starting to take on some character. I like whats going on with the K, R, etc. I need to incorporate that in the rest of the uppercase, and generally make it more organic. The lower is somewhat reminiscent of Frutiger, surprisingly. I've tenatively entitled it Kinshasa.

dan_reynolds's picture

The capitals are too light, or the lowercase are too dark… take your pick ;-)

The lowercase g is too heavy, and the both the UC and lc x are too wide.

The tail on the R is something for an alternate. You should make a "standard" R. Maybe a J, too.

Jeremy Dooley's picture


Thanks for the input. Balanced the upper and lowercase. I agree with you on the R K Q and J, so I revised them. I would have liked to have done something with them, but they weren't working with the rest of the glyphs. I did keep them as alternates, however.

I've attached a .pdf, in addition to the image below, if anyone wants to take a closer look at the letterforms. Ignore the temporary spacing for now. http://www.insignedesign.com/pdfs/kinshasa1.pdf

Thanks to all for the comments so far. I greatly appreciate your assistance. I'm looking forward to more great comments.

Jeremy Dooley

Quincunx's picture

Your 's' and 'S' look like they have been turned upside down. Also, the thickest part of the s should be the spine.
Usually, the crossbar of the 'F' is a little bit lower then that of the 'E', to fill up the lower gap (but not necessarily so).
The 'g' doesn't work yet, for the most part it lacks the contrast between thick/thins. Maybe you can look into 'bdpq', and design some of them individually, instead of flipping b and d. :) I think your 'L' arm should be shortened a bit.
Aside from that, there are the general bezier-inconsistencies.

Keep working on it!
On a sidenote; I just read 'Designing Type', by Karen Cheng, a while ago, which is a very good book that discusses every character of an alphabet in detail. Maybe you can use it for designing this typeface. :) I know it helped me design mine.

Jeremy Dooley's picture


I think I have your issues resolved. I revised the s and S (may need some more work). I kept the F as is. The g was redesigned, and I modified the pbdq. I may need to go back to these characters again. There may be an issue with these characters falling over. I shortened the L slightly.

You mentioned "general bezier-inconsisencies." Can you be more specific?

I actually own 'Designing Type' and agree that it is a very fine resource. Thank you very much for your input.

I am still not really happy with the k right now, and I need to do a few more rounds of revisions.

Current status:

PDF version: http://www.insignedesign.com/pdfs/kinshasa2.pdf

Jeremy Dooley

Quincunx's picture

With 'general bezier-inconsistencies' I mean little bumps in the beziers, being not smooth. :)

Like these:

Now I have the 's' in the bezier-image, I see it is still imbalanced, it rolls to the left. A longer lower-left terminal might help.

The 'g' is better, with the contrast, but I find the connection between of the tail a bit abrupt. Now it is more a tail with a circle attached, but I think it would be nicer if it would flow, so to speak, into the lower shape, like this:

But then again, that is just my opinion. :)

dan_reynolds's picture

The lowercase k is not Clarendon-enough. The strong diagonals on the k are so iconic! If you want to make a Clarendon-sans, it should fit in the Clarendon genre, just be a new sans serif member of the family, no?

Jeremy Dooley's picture


I touched up the s, a and g, among other things. I took your advice for the g, but I left the old one in as an alternate. Thank you for pointing out the issues with s and a.


I have also updated the k. This works quite a bit better.

Although I am using the Clarendon as inspiration, I don't feel I need to stay with it exactly. I like to use the use of a face as an inspiration, rather than the actual face itself. I would say, however, that this has come closer to "Clarendon Sans" that I would have imagined.

Maybe it's just me, but it has a very "British" feel to it. It reminded me of walking through Gatwick airport, for some reason. Because of this, I have renamed the typeface to "Stratham."

Latest PDF: http://www.insignedesign.com/pdfs/stratham.pdf

Thanks to all that have commented so far.

Jeremy Dooley

Quincunx's picture

Much better. Keep it up.
Will check on the progress later. :)

Jeremy Dooley's picture

Jelmar and Dan, thank you very much for your assistance with Stratham. I greatly appreciate being able to tap into your knowledge. Not only do you help me to see areas that need improvement, but your comments also spur me on. Your comments had a very tangible effect on the end product. Thank you.

You can test drive Stratham here.

Promotional Booklet.

Jeremy Dooley

muzzer's picture

Development time: 29/03/2007 to 5/04/2007.

and by christ does it show.

And this is the entire text setting on the specimen.

Quincunx's picture

I too feel it could have used a bit more work. :)

brianskywalker's picture

I feel like I'm reviving an old thread, but I had to copy & paste the names of the images here. So, here's the images for anyone wanting to look at this old thread:






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