I'll try this again and see if it will allow me to post comments this time.
Here is a pdf of my character set:
It’s great to see a face this fat with a design that doesn’t feel dated. Most faces I see in this category, regardless of how new they are, scream of some past era, usually in the vein of late 70s-early 80s arcade cabinet letting.
There’s something about the dots on i and ! that distract me every time I see this face. I don’t see a similar juxtaposition of squared and rounded corners in the letters, so I just can’t keep my eyes off of the dots. In the second same, the strings of majuscules without round corners look like they’re part of a different font than the minuscules. Being really nitpicky, the horizontal part of the counter in e looks wider than all of the other counters, which appear to be the same size.
This might be one of those faces that would benefit from a unicase style. When it is smaller I don't mind it in two lines, but when it is bigger and the line length is so short the descenders seem to break the text up too much.
Fat Squeeze looks pretty well thought out. The y is an especially nice (and unique) touch for this genre. The left side join looks a little week though. maybe a more abrupt curve in to add weight? The W used he same solution, but less succesfully for me. What if the two counters angled the same way instead of both pulling to the center (more like 2 V's)?
The dot on the i and explamation seems out of place. Seems like it should be either a rectangular, or rounded rectangular, or fully rounded.
I also wonder if the cap height shouldn't be the same as the assenders for something like this which will be used 100% (hopefully) in display settings. I'd lower the ascenders rather than raising the caps.
The trouble with dense and tight fonts like this (to me at least) is the varying density inherent in roman letters. Some letters present a very dense presence like the HIME, but letters like T and L break that up and look weak. It's a constant battle between desity and conistency.
What do the A. Xx and Jj look like?
I second James: fat but fresh! very nice. I want to see the whole alphabet for critique.
I wonder if the M doesn't need some rounded corners to match the ideas in the others...
I had been wondering for months what it was that bugged me about this and I think I finally figured it out. These glyphs seem just a little too simplified. They have been denuded of some small details that would help you to identify glyphs more rapidly despite heir enormous girth. Let begin with a positive example : the lc t retains it's tail. That makes the letter for me. The z too has great detail & feeling. But the lc a in contrast seems to me to be in need of a notch cut out of it so it can have a tail again too. Similar things might be done to the u & n. It may be that this kind of thing is besides the point or takes you in a direction you don't want; in which case that's fine. But that's what occurs to me. Add in some small identifying detail to joust with the mechanical/modular heaviness.
Thanks everyone! Here are some j with case punctuation positioning. More to come!
That N is a clever solution, but can you find ways to use it elsewhere?
Edit: I also wonder if they aren't a little too long.
I think the N works better as a Z where it works admirably.
What is the Ae like with the center 'bar' more narrow or the outer elements more narrow? The eth's top should bend more maybe. Can the scoss bar on it be horizontal? What if the f had a slightly longer crossbar - more like the t perhaps? The umlaut is sweet! It feels 'just so' to me.
It's so refreshing to see a fat face that doesn't look all squishy and bloated.
I think the lower case letters are pretty much all home runs. The only ones I would question are the k and x. I would like to see them in text.
The diagonals are the most difficult thing to deal with here. I like your solutions on the VWY.
For me the most problematic letters are the KMN. The K isn't bad, but isn't as great as the others. The M looks awkward. I think part of the problem is that the middle stroke is thicker than the two outside ones. Maybe try making this thinner, rather than thicker, if you haven't already tried this. The N doesn't work, whereas the Z does. As Tiffany said, maybe with shorter cut in strokes?
Have you considered also rounding the outside corners of the spurs on the EFT? The top inside corners on the M?
The 1 needs a new solution; it looks out of place. Should the right stroke on the 4 go to the top? Should the spur on the 7 be bigger?
"something about the dots on i and ! that distract me every time I see this face. I don’t see a similar juxtaposition of squared and rounded corners in the letters"
James, look at the u and n--even better next to each other. Much of the lower case (see i m q r h, etc.) has this theme of a curve corner and a sharp corner.
This was my building concept, mixing soft and hard with very linear counters the sharpest feature. I was trying to find a way to make it a current design that was not just another old one--thanks, Edward (Spire) and James, for noticing exactly what I was doing!
The M and N were always my problem children! I will revisit them.
PS: William, I tried rounding the spurs you mentioned before and they look too serif like and foreign to the rest--Thanks for your kind words!
Great points. I have been fighting with those very issues and keep coming back to this solution. The vacant spots caused by L, T and J are not ever going to go away with an extreme weight like this. Since it is only display, I have just decidedto let these negative spaces speak and be a contrast to the rest. Small quantities of words will be set in this so textual color hopefully will be a minimum issue so that mass and impact can prevail.
I will take a revisit to the left of the y as well!
"The eth’s top should bend more maybe. Can the scoss bar on it be horizontal?"
Eben, I thought as you about this until last year when I talked to an Icelandic graphic designer. He told me most people bend the eth way too much and had me change Froggy, Boulder, and Now to be straighter. I will try to find his post for you. It was quite enlightening for non-Icelanders.
Here is a try at a few more M caps. Number 5 was the original:
Here is a try with Randy's suggested change to W to match V and y with bigger cuve on left:
I think Randy had 2 very good ideas there!
I was just reading the discussion of the i dot. I kind of like your asymmetry, but maybe it would work better if it were flipped as in a mirror, so the points were bottom left and top right. The dots in some italics are stretched this way, so the eye might accept it as more natural.
Willliam, believe me, I tried every permutation. This way suits the rest most. It is different, true, and will take some getting used to but I am willing to gamble on that.
With the dots flipped as you say, the i looks soft on both sides with 2 curves on the left, flip the i and you buck another convention of exit strokes. :-)
Hoy vey! :-)
"I also wonder if they aren’t a little too long."
What is too long, Tiff?
PS: Did you leave TypeCon a day early? I missed saying goodbye to both of you.
I'm not getting used to the dots :-)
the z: why are the arms angled? Seems like flat is more in keeping.
NMZ: I think you have to be careful about this. If you use it too much, the overlapping tight counters will become the schtick for the face. I don't think you want that. Your original M is best.
Have you tried the middle crossbar on the E as thin as the top and bottom?
Can you do all the glyphs you have in a pdf?
The dots as they are don't bother me, but I thought it was worth trying alternatives, as you already did.
I think Tiffany was talking about how far the cuts slice into the stem of the N. The idea I think was to make them less deep.
On your new M's, #2 seems to work with the rest of the face best. But I still worry about those diagonal cuts on the new M's and N being a little out of character with the rest of the face, and thus distracting.
I would try thinning the diagonal of the N and having no cut, and thinning the middle stroke of the original M--you'd probably have to adjust the depth of the 'v' cut at the top, too. Another way would be to go with #2 and shorten the diagonal cuts in both. Wow, the M and N are tough!
Randy's y idea is a definite improvement. I'm not sure about the W--did you also try the bottom of both cuts falling from the center to the outside, paralleling the notch at the bottom?
I don't agree with Randy. But I do agree with Bill. 2 seems best to me.
I think it could benefit from some additional modeling/adustment to help your eye to flow over it but it seems quite inspired to me. In fact - I bet shorter cuts would do it and would solve some of Bill's worry too.
I happened to see this cover & it reminded me of this thread so I scanned it for ya just in case it is of any help.
Regarding your M and N test, I like the number 2 variant the best.
Raaawk'n stuff Dezcom!
Reminds me a bit of Jazz Gothic, which I'm currently working with for a poster design. I too like the 'Y'! I agree with dan_reynolds on #2. I like the way you allowed tight/compressed negative space for letter shape - and for itself too.
Any mileage in laying down the strokes of the M and N in order somehow?
Whilst you guys were posting, I was revisiting the M. This last solution made me revisit the N and Z to match. I think this one works best of all. See if you agree?
I like Randy's idea of thinning the middle stroke of the EF. There is something clunky there compared to the rest, and he may have put his finger on it. That's why I was suggesting trying the curves on the outside corners, which you said doesn't work.
When I look at the whole alphabet, the N really stands out as discordant, and the M as clunky. I'm wondering if you don't find another better solution, whether the best thing is to use taller versions of the lower case MN--or at least have them as alternatives. This is the kind of unicase thing Tiffany was suggesting. This would harmonize better than anything so far.
Also the 1 is, how shall I put this, "suffering from E.D." as the television commercials put it ;) The droopy bit I don't think should be there.
By the way I think it is because this is so strong that we are moved to obsess on how you can make it perfect.
edit: Ah, I see you rounded the corners on the M. Good idea :) These are an improvement, but I wonder if the unicase thing isn't still better...
"Have you tried the middle crossbar on the E as thin as the top and bottom?"
Randy, I tried that and they look anemic that way. It really messes up the F as well, which is even more problematic.
Hiroshige , THANKS!
Nick, I don't think that works on the N, it kinda looks forced.
Dan, Bill, and Eben: see if my new M is better than the old #2?
Randy, et al,
Here is a link to a PDF of the whole character set with new changes.
I changed both Z z to be paralel, new # 1 ; new ogonek and cedilla and some other stuff:
Here is a graphic with new Zz and number 1 without "appendage".
What about making the cuts in the W less deep?
I really like the curves in the new M.
Ah, the 1 is happier :) I feel like there's too much white over the right vertical of the 4; maybe pulling it up just slightly would help. The curve above the vertical cut in the 5 looks like it needs smoothing.
As I added to my post above, the new M fits better than the others--and is better balanced. But as I said maybe you want a big lower case m and n as alternative caps anyway, as these I suspect will fit in perfectly, as they do in the lower case.
Have you tried cutting less deeply into the stems of the N particularly? Because of the 45 degree angle on that, it seems more distracting than the angled cuts on the new M, though maybe these need to be less deep also.
I made the W cuts less deep and changed the 1, 4, and 5.
Here is a link to a pdf with character set and a 2nd page with some running text in English and Polish. (The English text is a snip from a paper on marketing I wrote in college eons ago.)
- what if the Cap A had some curve on top and had a less tall apature above the crossbar
- What if the Cap L had some curve on the inside of the base. It also might be slightly wider.
- What if the CAP E was wider?
Here is a pdf with the cuts on the N made steeper, The ogoneks tweaked, the M tweaked and cap positioing for quotes.
@Eben, if the L is wider it makes a big hole above the crossbar, if the E is wider, it gets too dark.
I have an idea about that but I would have to show you - do you mind if I do that? If you do that's fine too. And if that's the case my hint would be the Z. It has characteristics I think I could bring to the E.
BTW the New M is getting really nice. I have a possible tweak to try for that too - what if the angles were sharper & led to a vertical bar for the last 1/4 of the middle?
Maybe the lslash can be pulled in on the right in general or in a small section so that it douesn't touch the u ( 3rd paragraph, 6th line, far right side )
"I would have to show you"
Go right ahead, I would be curious what you have in mind.
"I happened to see this cover & it reminded me of this thread..."
Eben, What is the connection? I think I must be too fogged to see it.
What is the connection?
The very thick verticals in the M The curve in the A. Obviously very different faces - different tone. But it seemed like some of the structural challenges that come from the thick verticals were related. Have a look at the lc s. Anyway. Either it's interesting or it ain't. Either way is fine.
The "A" is too "deco" for my taste, is there an alternate? But the related "W", "V" are working well for me.
Hey, don't take that comment to seriously, I'm just a simple grafic designer :)
BTW, this typeface will be a winner.
I have tried many A variations and this one gives me the least heartburn as a member of a family.
This post has been edited
Moderator: Eben Sorkin
helpful advices, mr. wer
Gotta love these Spam freaks, wish they would mutate into humans :-(
ROFL! But if they did, we'd just ignore them anyway: a few names come to mind.... ;-)