HaleyFiege's picture

This is a new typeface I'm working on. A happy looking san-serif. I'm looking forward to hearing what you all have to say about it.
I'm not done the numerals yet so I left them out.

antarcticaTest1.pdf194.8 KB
antarcticaTest2.pdf178.66 KB
Thomas Phinney's picture

I don't usually venture into the "critique" section, but I was just browsing the new posts and thought "Antarctica? Who's posting about typography in Antarctica? I have to see this...."

General: You're heading towards a usable modern sans, pretty monoline. Nothing wrong with that. I'm a little surprised by the proportions in that the caps feel a significantly more condensed than the lowercase: I compare the lowercase oh to the cap Oh for instance. That could simply be one of the hallmarks of the typeface, as long as you're aware of it and doing it on purpose.

Details that need work:

Your i and j dots look a bit heavy.

The top arch of the "r" seems heavier than other horizontal round strokes (there are times when this can work, but it's usually when that arch is very curved and the join is quite incised, rather than such a long flat stroke).

The left side of the "j" doesn't need such a honking big sidebearing given that the curve is below the baseline - just kern it away if it follows g or q.

The tilde is too light. There's some good writing about accent weight and design (a.k.a. diacritics) online, which you should dig into at some point.

The small "s" feels a bit too much like two nice curvy bits that got glued together - need to work on the spine in the middle. The bottom curve of the cap S needs work, feels very lumpy, and also has a bit of the join problem but in a different spot (slightly further down to the right).

The lowercase "a" feels a bit wide compared to the e and o.

The shape of the "R" bowl where the leg joins it feels a little smushed in (towards the bowl). Normally I'd expect the R and P bowls to be similar in shape, although the P bowl can be slightly larger/lower if you wish.

Certain places where a round shape becomes straight the join looks awkward and could be slightly more gradual. For example, the bottom part of the P bowl (whereas the top is better).

There is some odd lumpiness in just a few of the curves that makes me suspect you're using more control points than needed, or perhaps it's just the placement that needs work. I see this when zooming in on the lowercase "c" for instance. Maybe I'm tired or imagining it, I dunno.



Quincunx's picture

Some of the characters seem smaller. It seems your overshoot isn't very consistent. Consider adding overshoot to:
- bowl of the a
- bottom of the bowl of the b
- bottom of the c
- bottom of the bowl of the d
- top of the g
- top of the m (compare to n)
- bowl of the p
- bottom of the u

Lower the crossbar of the f, it's above the x-hight. I would lower the waist of the k slightly, as well. The s is falling to the left. The y is fine, but you could try what happens if you let the two strokes of the y meet on the baseline.

I agree with Thomas about the caps. They are ok on themselves, but compared to the lowercase, they do seem to be somewhat narrow. Also the dots on the i, the period and the comma are very large.

William Berkson's picture

If you can get narrow and happy, more power to you. I think it's a good idea. As of now, to me it looks too much like an artificially narrowed or 'squooshed' face. It has a 'reversed contrast' look even though it may not be geometrically if you measure it. To look equal the verticals have to be thicker than the horizontals, and the vertical rounds have to be thicker than the vertical stems.

If you *want* to go for a reversed contrast look, compare Antique Olive or the typefaces of Evert Bloesma, especially FF Balance and Legato. A narrow face that works very well for readability is Gerard Unger's Vesta, though it is very neutral, and not what you are going for.

Also, your straight-to-round curves are often lumpy. At this point getting the weights and shapes good is probably more important, but down the road these should be worked on as this sleek style calls for a high polish.

I know you can do 'happy' wonderfully well from your fat and happy typeface. This has promise, and is worth working on, but does have a way to go to get what you are aiming at.

HaleyFiege's picture

Thanks guys! I'll post an update in a bit.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

I was just browsing the new posts and thought “Antarctica? Who’s posting about typography in Antarctica? I have to see this....”

Ha! I did the exact same thing.

HaleyFiege's picture

I'm tricky like that.

My next font is going to be called "Anna Kournikova Nude"

Thomas Phinney's picture

I Googled for your next font and found nothing but boring photos....


HaleyFiege's picture

I'm working on new proportions. I'll try and update the pdf this weekend.

fontplayer's picture

The baseline jumping I had mentioned, cleared up when I noticed the file opened at 95.7% for some reason. When set to 100% it looked fine.

HaleyFiege's picture

Okay I just posted an update up yonder at the top. Test2.pdf
I just did the lower case for now. I'd like to get that nice and tight before fixing all the capitals.

I need to finish kerning it still, and I think there are some consistency issues on the pqbdg letters, s is still too thin...

Can I get your opinions on the e? Does it stick out in a bad way?

HaleyFiege's picture

Haha thanks for mentioning that :)

Quincunx's picture

Can't write a lenghty reply right now, but what I see right away is that the b doesn't look right to me. I quickly traced it and fiddled with it, and I think you can either flip the bowl horizontally, or rotate your q and flip its bowl horizontally as well. I think the latter looks best. It will beed a bit of tweaking after rotating/flipping ofcourse.

i cant delete my username's picture

I think that the lowercase c and a are the strongest characters i see. There's something about the curves on the top that I feel should be mirrored in the ear of the lowercase r, h, et cetera. The lowercase t is really tall. Most faces have the t actually lower than the tittle on the lowercase i, and the h, k, l and f higher. On a lot of faces, the lc l is higher than the uppercase I.

It seems that the caps almost look like you're trying to make them monospaced, especially the M. Try to rely more on optics than precise measurements. This is something i'm trying to get out of as well.

The letterspacing that you have for your main image (where it just says Antarctica) works much better than on your pdf for test 2.

I think it's a very interesting typeface, i think it's somewhere between Verdana and Univers. I will look forward to what becomes of it!

mila's picture

It seems that the top arch of the "r" is too long, there's a lot of white space below it. When the "r" is between two vertical letters ("i"and "l", for instance, as in "girl"), the black and the white areas don't look very well balanced. Maybe the "r" can be narrower. On the other hand, the "w" look darker than the other letters - shouldn't it be wider?
I also think that this lovely Beatles song will look better with smaller commas...

Hofweber's picture

The spacing on your apostrophe seems a tad off. This font sure is pretty.

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