New Constructivist-beta 3 added 8.26.2007

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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
New Constructivist-beta 3 added 8.26.2007
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I’m working on a typeface titled New Constructivist. The design was inspired by a logo I designed for an exhibit of Malevich’s work, which I built around his notion that the square could be the basic building block of non-objective art. My goal with New Constructivist is to create an original font using Malevich’s ideas rather than creating a revival of old Cyrillic designs. If you want to compare my font with existing fonts my letters are most similar to P22 Constructivist Square, but designed as new Latin letters with no attempt to get a Cyrillic feel or to mimic any specific existing design. Eventually I plan to expand this to a three weight set; Light, Normal, and Black; depending on what I do with black a bold may appear as well.

v 0.1 - All letters, numbers, and some punctuation of the normal weight are drawn. Almost no spacing tweaks or metrics are implemented.

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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The latest version has been added as a PDF to the original post.

I have made the widths wider overall, and everything is much more consistent in terms of size. At this point I am starting to integrate tapers into the letterforms to give the whole thing a personality that’s a little more contemporary, although that may get ditched if things start getting too humanist.

I am also thinking about creating a slightly rounded set in the vein of old woodblock letters that were designed to be worn down without losing their basic look. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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Thanks for the feedback Ricardo. What do you mean by a crossbar? Different weights on the strokes?

I’m tempted to redraw the W and the M a strokewidth or two wider to make the interiors work a little better. I’ve got a lot of letters to draw this weekend, so I’ll work those in.

And as for the tapers, I think the best way to settle this will be to work them into the whole font and see how it works.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture
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Joined: 6 Jun 2005 - 6:57pm
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Hey, James.

What do you mean by a crossbar?

The horizontal line in the letter H, for example. So I'm suggesting that you work in a horizontal line into those other letters, K, X and Y -- to give them a boxier look, I suppose. Of course, that may make them hard to tell from other letters, so you have to tread carefully. But maybe the tapering will keep that from happening.

Oh, and I'm sorry to hear about your laptop. :-(

I’m tempted to redraw the W and the M a strokewidth or two wider to make the interiors work a little better.

I think that's a great idea. As Stephen and Tiffany said earlier, departing from the grid can be good. :-)

Ricardo Cordoba's picture
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Joined: 6 Jun 2005 - 6:57pm
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James, I really like the tapers... I dunno, it makes your face different from other Constructivist-based designs...

I am echoing what someone else said before, but what if you give K and X a crossbar? Maybe the Y should follow that lead as well.

I'm not crazy about your current W... Maybe the sides should lean outward some more... but what I especially don't like is the thin stroke in the middle -- too different from everything else, in my opinion...

Robert Koritnik's picture
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Joined: 30 May 2007 - 5:52pm
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VERY nice improvements.

"X" and "Y" don't look like they'd be of the same style. "X" also has weight problems. It looks too thin to me. Similar style problems are with "M" and "N" but maybe any change make them less readable. I only want you to reconsider the shapes of these.

Definitely change "K" because right now you have a vertically mirrored letter and it looks very strange and unstable. Try designing it with horizontal bar in the middle (see Eurostile's "K" for reference). This will make it look more of the same style. And leg will have to go a bit more to the right to stabilize the letter.

I like very much what you did to "D" and "W". Did you also try to change the "M" a bit.

I know you're trying to distinguish between "O" and "0" (zero), but maybe the difference is too huge, because zero looks much narrower compared to other numbers.

Try to change "C" and "G" to be similar to "D" (slanted lines)

Tapers work very nice. Keep on. It's going on very nice.

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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As I’m sure some of you heard at Typecon, I lost a lot of the files for this one when my laptop was stolen due to not backing up properly—that’s what I get for not double-checking the tarballs! Fortunately I was able to get just about everything back by extracting the embedded font from the PDF specimens I had floating around, and I’ve been making a lot of little tweaks this week to the letters and numbers, I plan to rework the punctuation next.

Right now I’m still having a lot of trouble with X, Y, D and G. I am also removing about removing all of the tapers, as I feel that they clas with the constructivist ideas behind the design.

Here’s the gif, PDF will be placed in the original post immediately.

Stephen Coles's picture
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Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
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I assume the width variations (narrow R,E,U, wide G,N,S) are intended to reflect your source, but remember that they will make the typeface less useful in the end. I would try to normalize these types of idiosyncrasies where possible. But avoid coming too close to ITC Stenberg.

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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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Width is something I have been dealing with a lot on this one. I started trying to build all of the letters within a square, but ended up with the old Pac-Man arcade lettering. At that point I started over by building on a grid of squares and narrowing some of the letters that I did not feel needed to be especially wide. These letters are recreations of another update that I did by hand; now I am finding that what made sense in pencil does not work so well in Postscript.

Stephen Coles's picture
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Joined: 14 May 2001 - 11:00am
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Drop the grid and set your font free.

Jelmar Geertsma's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2006 - 9:53am
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Reminiscent of 'BNO alphabet' by René Knip (especially good, but no direct link unfortunately, stupid flash website, 12th square from top) and RES by Gerben Dollen.

It's not the most original typeface you are making, but that is not really too much a problem, as long as you give it your own spin. So, maybe you can get some ideas or inspiration by seeing how others made constructivist-inspired typefaces. :)

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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"Drop the grid and set your font free."

I used a grid for Weimar Plakat, my constructivist face and it worked fine but you have to spend a lot of time determining what the grid is. It is not an even number of squares.

ChrisL

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Time that can be spent more meaningfully! :-/

hhp

Matt Chisholm's picture
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Joined: 22 Feb 2007 - 1:24am
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I like this a lot. The angles on B, D and J are especially nice.

I do agree with other comments that the E,H,R, and U are too narrow, and the G,N,0 and maybe the M are too wide. The N is particularly jarring -- it's way too wide.

-m

Tiffany Wardle's picture
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Joined: 13 Jul 2001 - 11:00am
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Drop the grid and set your font free.

I second that.

Blank's picture
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Joined: 25 Sep 2006 - 2:15pm
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Thanks for all the help. I’m almost done tweaking all of the sizing, after that I’ll knock out a round of aesthetic changes and post a new specimen. At least I’m getting comfortable in Typetool now, hopefully soon I can move most of the design work into Typetool and save myself all of the cutting and pasting.