Emanate - A Simple Sorta Silly Sans

soidjte's picture

Not too sure where I was intending to go with this when I started, but I've been messing around with this one in my spare time at work so it's a bit haphazard. I attempted a lower case but it just wasn't happening. A few of the characters look a little wonky to me, any suggestions before I move into FontLab with it?

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spec-emanate-9-22.pdf453.61 KB
spec-emanate-9-25.pdf417.1 KB
m4rc's picture

I like it. I really like the Y and K.

Your horizontals are thicker than your verticals.

Your counters also look like they need expanding. It doesn't look like they sit on the base line, or touch the cap height.

I also seem to be getting alot of weird problems, at different sizes. Looks like you haven't connected your strokes, they're over shooting, on most of the characters. Can be done in fontlab, so not really an issue.

Hope it helps.

soidjte's picture

Fixed the weird problems, it was 'filler' shapes that I had not merged with the rest of the letter. I just have a bunch of expanded strokes for a quick preview in Illustrator. I'm trying to start drawing in FontLab but I usually doodle with Illustrator at work, as I'm much more comfortable with it for the moment. I plan on plumping up the verticals a bit as I draw this in FontLab, as well as overshooting the counters.

The Y & K are two of my favorites as well, the 'K' being why I think the face is kind of silly. I'm struggling with a few characters, particularly the D. I can't seem to get it to fit in, the one you see is my best attempt. My 'S' is weird, and try though I might, it either ends up looking deformed or leaning severely.

Thanks for your feedback.

glyphobet's picture

I like it overall. Directions for improvement:

The biggest problem is that round shapes are not taller than square ones. In other words, the O should extend slightly above and slightly below the top and the bottom of the E. Otherwise the round shapes will look too small.

You could invert the height of the center horizontals in some letters - for instance, have the horizontal of the A, and the join in the Y, and the depth of the center point in the M, closer to the bottom. The horizontal in the R is correctly lower than the other letters, but it's close enough to the others that it looks like it might be an accident.

You could play with miter joins as well as round joins. I'd consider the M and N with miter joins, or B, D, and E with round joins at the bottom and miter joins at the top.

The tail on the Q looks like it was copied and pasted from part of another letter. Give it some personality.

I like the S like it is.

Hope this helps.


fontplayer's picture

On my screen the 'I' is thicker and stands out because if it. If it was intentional, then I'd vote against that.

Quincunx's picture

I think that thick 'I' is just a rendering glitch in Acrobat.
Construction wise, I think you need to optically correct your 'X'. The lines shift optically when they cross, you might want to shift the top right arm a couple of units down diagonally (along the lower right leg of course).

Aw, that is a horrible explanation on my side. My English is not too good at this moment. :)

soidjte's picture

The thick 'I' is a rendering glitch.

Quincunx, I think I understand what you mean, and that explains why I couldn't get my X to look right. Will definitely heed your advice as I revise.

Matt, I've taken all of your ideas into consideration and have already made several modifications you've suggested, all of which were to my liking. Since I am just working with stroked lines in Illustrator right now, I've chosen to forego thickening my verticals (or slimming the horizontals) until I move to FontLab. I plan on keeping that to a minimum, as I like the mono-line-width look of the font.

Will post a revised PDF later tonight. Thanks for the critiques.

Quincunx's picture

I mean something like this with the X. I may have exaggerated it, but at least you can see it. ;)

soidjte's picture

Added a new spec. It includes my attempt at numbers, as well.

I used many of the suggestions, but still have some issues. The N, M and W look much better to me now but don't seem to fit in much anymore in some circumstances. The D has been revised but is still awful. I want to evoke some of that A angle but nothing seems to be working. The double S's also seem troublesome.

Your thoughts are appreciated.

edit: @quincunx thanks for the illustration, i used your written description from the previous post to accomplish exactly what you drew... your english isn't bad at all!

Quincunx's picture

Good, I'm glad it was clear. My English isn't too bad, but it was late at night, and when I'm tired my English suddenly worsens badly. ;)

I think optical the correction on the X works fine. It's hardly noticable, which is the way it should be. But that's stating the obvious.

One detail that stands out at the moment, is that some characters have rounded corners, some have rounded and sharp corners, and some only have sharp corners. It doesn't really bother me, but it does stick out a bit here and there.

About the S, what if you make the top terminal extend a bit more to the right? It does seem a bit heavy on the left. Also it looks like the spine is thinner then the two hooks (what are those things called anyway, they're not bowls or shoulders, but I digress) which may be imbalancing the shape a bit, since the weight is usually placed on the spine. Eventhough contrast is pretty much non existent in your typeface, it might help if you move the weight that exists to the spine. Also the bottom terminal is very different from all the other terminals, as that one flares out wider (which the 3 and the 5 don't do, eventhough the shapes are somewhat similar).

I'm not sure about the tail of the Q. It looks pleasingly peculiar, but it doesn't really seem to belong. And it is it me, or is the 'V' awfully narrow?

Keep it up.

soidjte's picture

Big update with lots of changes. I rounded the ends of all the terminals to try to help bring the letterforms together and really liked it so I went all out. It's finally in FontLab now as well, though I'm still not sure enough of my characters to start kerning.

Made a lot of changes; some may be good, others may be awful. Let me know!

Also, I ditched my numbers and am going to make them once I've finalized my letters (or gotten close enough). I started on some punctuation, will post more of it later.

I'm thinking about a lower case, but when I tried before I didn't get far. Any tips?

Quincunx's picture

Nice. One thing I see right now, the center crossbar on the E seems to be too high. The same goes for the F. Especially the F, because there is a lot of white space below the bottom crossbar.

About the lower case, how about posting those try-out sketches, so people can give you tips from there.

soidjte's picture

I played with the lower case all weekend, posted another revised PDF with lotso-changes and my attempt at old style numerals, though I hate what I ended up with. I'm real iffy on the lower case, and I also revised the capital A even though that was 90% of the distinction of the font. It just stuck out way too much so this new one is based much more on the 'V'.

Quincunx's picture

I think those are nice lowecase sketches. Somehow I feel that the ascenders and descenders are a bit long. It's most apparent in the 'g' and 'y'. But making them shorter is also problematic, because usually the ascenders and descenders are longer than the capitals. So the 'g' and 'y' might also be caused by the shape of the characters. And I notice that the top of the 'y' overshoots, which does stick out a bit.

I like the lowercase 'w' and 'v' alot. The 'x' seems to be too narrow. On the 'd p q' (and maybe the 'a' as well), the place where the bowl joins with the stem, the triangular 'gap' on the short terminal looks a bit crammed. Look at your 'u', that looks better in my opinion, more white space is left. The 'e' is placed too low; the bottom overshoot is too large. Maybe you can also check how the 'e' looks if the crossbar is placed slightly lower. I'm not a big fan of the 'r', it might be too wide. And maybe try to make the lowercase 'L' more different from the capital 'i'. Or it might get confusing if you have those characters in one word, like 'Illustrator'.

soidjte's picture

I moved this from Display to Sans Serif since it's much less of a display typeface at this point (was much more so when I was thinking of doing it as an all-caps with stylistic alternatives). The lower case changed everything.

Quin, I'm definitely taking your advice into account as I sit down to do another batch of changes. I wonder, though, if there are any capital letter that look too narrow or too wide, as well? The problem I was having with my lower case is that the letters are more uniform when it comes to their width, and the upper case varies a great deal. What think ye?

Quincunx's picture

The caps look ok. Maybe only the 'Y' and the 'U' seem a little narrow, but nothing too horrible. But maybe someone else disagrees with me. :)

soidjte's picture

Those are two of the ones I notice when I look at it. Will wait for (hopefully) more comments on my characters before I make any more changes.

soidjte's picture

I'm going to fish with a specific question... as I open this, besides some of the overall flaws in the letterforms, the big thing I notice is how narrow the upper case is. I liked the condensed look when I started (it was all caps then), but I really like my lower case and its basic form; this is probably because it's the first lower case I've ever really drawn and am pleased with it's seeming congruity. I'm thinking of tossing most of my upper case and starting over. Does anyone care to talk me out of it? ;)

fontplayer's picture

I like the all caps sample. You could make that a separate font perhaps? Like an alts version.

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