Hermann Ihlenburg's Nymphic

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paul d hunt's picture
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Hermann Ihlenburg's Nymphic
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Okay, here it is. I’ve been working on this project since Christmas. Maybe you’ve seen my string hunting for these letter forms, but i finally found em all and did my best to digitize them. As with most designs that I respect, i’ve started to work on international characters and a cyrillic set to match, but haven’t gotten too far on those yet. I would set some text for you, but i haven’t messed with the spacing much yet. I need some help in that regard anyway. if any of you want to point me toward some good sources… Any comments at all are appreciated, so lemme know what you think of these letter forms. I tried my hand at two � glyphs, but don’t know if either work. help please! also how do the thorns look? Anyone who’s versed in Cyrillic, i’d love to hear what you have to say on my small assortment of glyphs, especially the m’agk’ii znak. And what do you all think of that Euro symbol? does it work? Anyhow, hope to get something back on this one. Thnx in advance.
P.S. Swash caps are in the works as well.


application/pdfHere goes nuffin!
FirstPass.pdf (23.7 k)

paul d hunt's picture
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what? no bites? how discouraging. :-(

Mike Freiman's picture
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Hi Paul,
You have obviously put an incredible amount of labor into NymphicPH
thus far! Very nice.

I haven’t posted to this thread because there’s nothing I can add to the
critiques already given by folks with WAY more expertise. I will simply
mention here two things:

1) The Klingspor PDF gives a birth date for Ihlenberg as 1843 and death
in 1905, with a date for Nymphic of 1899.

2) In the case of these really old typefaces, I always strongly favor exact
reproduction of the original glyphs, ugly or not. Surely, even with the many
extended characters you are making, there is room left in the basic 255
character set for alternates that are more eye-pleasing than the originals.

Mike Freiman's picture
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Edit: Removing a double post that appeared for no reason I can discern.

komitlak's picture
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And now some crit for the cyrillics.

If confused about the names see:
http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U0400.pdf

Upercase
BE: belly is too low
GHE: serif is waaay too big

Lowercase
ghe: there are a lot of vertical strokes in the cyrillic alphabet; this one makes confusion, looks like a weird cyrillic_pe.
soft_sign: keep eyes on this when making lje and nje.
ka: right leg same with its latin brother _k_

Here is a good reference on cyrillic, but it’s in russian, can’t help with that :-( try online translation?
http://www.prodtp.ru/index.php

Keep up the good work!

paul d hunt's picture
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komitlak's picture
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I don’t speak russian :P , since all slavic languages have similarities i can understand dosen of words. And yes, there is a lot of info there.
Had a lot of trouble to find this: http://www.prodtp.ru/index.php?module=subjects&func=viewpage&pageid=92

especially this:
http://www.prodtp.ru/cont/art/font_made/13.gif

i was not aware until i saw this picture, that the serif of the cap GHE should be bigger. But i can say that this diference should be invisible to the untrained eye.

paul d hunt's picture
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Okay, I’ve been working on cleaning up my outlines and I’m getting close to being ready to go back and add some bracketing. From the beginning i’ve been trying to make this kind of a Bodoni with flourishes kind of thing. I was reading up on Bodoni in Anatomy of a Typeface the other night and became aware that the original Bodonis did feature small (almost imperceptible) brackets. Unfortunately I don’t have any original samples of Bodoni’s to refer to. Anyone have any suggestions on where i might be able to find (perhaps on the web) some specimens that would show this detail?

Robert Donona's picture
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After looking at Nymphic on the pdf page, I do say nicely done even on the first pass on the Cyrillic characters, also will the Swash Initials from Nymphic be digitized as well along with various languages for universal use and will it be released at Myfonts.com?

Yours truly,
Robert

Addison Hall's picture
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Unfortunately I don’t have any original samples of Bodoni’s to refer to.

http://www.octavo.com/collections/projects/bodtip/index.html

Worth every penny. Wish they would make more of these.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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paul d hunt's picture
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worth every penny huh? guess i best start scraping mine together! ;^D

Randy Jones's picture
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Just jiggle the bait a bit like you’re doing :-)

Overall, very nice.
You’ll need to decide if you’re doing a super streamlined interpretation and stick with it. Notice the lc x. wobbly (handtooled looking). Not a bad way to go on something like this but you need consisency.

U. Add a scroll to the top left like the N
k: The upper arm is inconsistent.
lower case: color issues. Compare how dark the p is vs the n. Your rounds are generally too thick (I think, but check it in text)
q: make the top of the stem a point, not flat.
VWvw: serifs on the points? (could be the style)
R: right leg too stiff. Maybe a scroll here too.
Q: tail needs more pizazz in a font like this, surely! Go absolutely crazy nuts. Make it a 3 mile long dangling mess of scrolls or something.
serifs: all serifs are not the same length! Consider a cupped serif.
I (cap i): Looks naked. Add some decoration.
Euro: give the cross bars some curls

Is this guy dead? If so, how dead? Does anyone own the rights? How close is this to the original?

Fish on!
Randy

Ivan Philipov's picture
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Joined: 11 Mar 2004 - 2:27am
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Paul, the “myagkij znak” is okay by me, but I think you should shorten that loooong serif on small cyriliic G…it looks like a cyrillic “small P”

paul d hunt's picture
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alright, here’s a new sample. In this incarnation:
1) the font is morticed (thnx hrant) and instead of bracketing the serifs on the lc, i incised them — i’ll make a bracketed version after i figger out where i’m going with this (and have a chance to look at Bodoni
2) i tried fixing the lc color issues by making my bowls a bit trimmer.
3) Manufactured a few alternate characters — mostly just fiddling around slapping parts together. The only one I’m really pleased with is the alt X. Goudy helped me think that one up. The alt k is alright, as is the alt U and alt Q, but that alt j is just nasty! i also tried manufacturing a double s (esset?) but i don’t know if it’s too jarring to the eye. i don’t really know how it should look. i’m still trying to come up with a few more alt characters — trying to imagine “a more elegant g” that would fit in this face and how to make the I less nekkid, the R less rigid and the A less garish
4) I don’t know how well i did with spacing. I can’t tell if it’s too loose or not.
5) I gave you a sample setting — i don’t think this face would ever be used for more than a few lines at a time — if that.
6) I added diacritics — i think i did okay positioning all my sputniks, the ring seems too small tho.
7) Still working on the vwxyz, so don’t fault me there, i’m not finished with those yet. Otherwise chop it up! Lemme know where i’m still missing some of the finer details. If you see anything i did okay, lemme know.
Thnx for taking a look.


application/pdf2nd incarnation
NymphSampl.pdf (21.9 k)

Eduardo Omine's picture
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Not my cup of tea, but I think it’s a fine ‘face.
Spacing, seems good.
Diacritics, too heavy, IMO.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Nice.
I like the second “U”, the second “X”, and the third “Q”. I’d give the “R” a larger head.

In the lc: the “e” seems off; the “f” needs a stronger head; I like the second “j” and the first “k”; make the “m” narrower; the “x” needs a flourish I think.

The accents seem a bit bland.

The spacing is a touch loose.

hhp

paul d hunt's picture
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do complaint about the double s, hrant?
i was afraid the spacing was too loose, this is my first try at actually following though on a project to completion, so it’s the first time i’ve tried to tackle spacing.
and you like that ugly little j huh? thnx for your input

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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The eszet? I’m not very qualified to judge — but I think the shift/break in the two parts is helpful — on the other hand it does look a bit cramped.

hhp

paul d hunt's picture
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»Not my cup of tea

I think i can safely blame Smashing Pumpkins for my interest in victorian types

paul d hunt's picture
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»Not my cup of tea

I think i can safely blame Smashing Pumpkins for my interest in victorian types

Dan Reynolds's picture
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Hi Paul,

I think that your eszett is fine. I don’t think that a broken transition is “required” though. You can make that curve smooth if you want. I think that it is just personal preference. (In Berlin, Andreas told me that

Robert Donona's picture
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To Mr. Paul Hunt:

Nicely done on Herman Ihlenburg’s Nymphic on the regular caps and lower case characters with the addition of alternates in some of the caps.

Will the lower case have some alternates such as the lower case h, m, and n have a descending right leg like some of the other nineteenth century victorian typefaces?

Are the swash caps also in the works?

Will this font be available for sale at Myfonts.com?

My email address is: white112233@hotmail.com

Yours truly,
Robert

paul d hunt's picture
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WOW! i got Randy Jones to gimme a crit. I was hopin you’d take a look at this one and give me come feedback. I guess i was too excited to get this up and thus didn’t bother with the back history (or even finishing that lc x) But here’s a little backhistory.
I started this project because i wanted to find a digital version and couldn’t so i figgered i’d have to make my own. As to rights, i tried to find that info out and all i came up with was this, and i’m not sure if this info applies to this face. If so, this will definately just be a personal project for myself, or maybe i could give it away to interested parties?
I tried to keep as true to the original as possible, (you can check this against scans of the original in the backhistory) but i’m not opposed to making alternate glyphs. In fact i think i need an lc f without the flourish just for example. I’m not particularly fond of the original A or Q either, so i may try to come up with something for those two as well.
This face was first marketed by MacKellar in the 1890s? so I’d guess that Hermann is long departed, or else i would have liked to speak with him about his great display faces!
Thanks for the feedback again, Randy. And did any of the scrolls seem square to you? I’m paranoid that i may have not gotten them quite right. (They were a pain in the neck!) Thanks again, and if you could, lemme know what you think after checking out the original.

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thank you robert, you’re too kind. i have being toying with the idea of doing swashy alternates for the lc, but that’s way off in the future — i’m still not satisfied with what i’ve got started here. I’ve started the swash caps, but they’re not even close to being ready to be looked at. If I ever finish this font, I’ll be sure to let you all know here where you can get yer copy — whether it’s from myfonts or on some freeware site or someplace entirely different. I’ve actually been curious

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okay, so i know that’s not how you spell “Excalibur,” but what’s a guy to do?
here i’m looking on feedback on the swash capitals. how’d i do?


application/pdf3rd incarnation
Swashes.pdf (23.0 k)

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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{Typophile really needs to regain its type crit energy. Wake up, guys!}

The first big question I guess is: do you want the swash caps to stand out so much in weight, or do you want them to be equal to the small/normal caps? And if it’s the latter, what size relationship do you assume (if the swash is a totally separate font)? What you might do is have a smallcaps font where the “UC” set is the swash and the “lc” set is the normal caps but vertically centered. But then you couldn’t mix the actual lc very easily… In terms of the weight, ideally I guess you should have multiple weights for the swash — but that might be outside your “time budget”.

As for form, I think most of your swash caps are solid, but some need a lot of help. Especially those long curls you have on some of them are seriously malformed. Like the “N” needs to be totally rethought, I’d say. Some of them are great though, including tough ones like the “G”, “U” and “X”.

hhp

Chris Lozos's picture
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Paul,
Many of your “Swash Caps” actually look like Initial caps which might be used by a book designer to start a chapter. They are bolder than the typical text (perhaps this is what Hrant is getting at). Much of the weight is in the number of line segments, not just the weight. As Hrant indicated above, this would work better with CAPS and Small Caps.
To me, flourishes are meant to entwine. See pointed-pen italic caligraphy or engravers scripts like Bickham. This of course makes for slower reading but it is not a problem with small amounts of text as in invitations or citations where the reader is at leasure to re-read and enjoy the hopefully well-crafted typography.
I feel your Swash initials could be used nicely as initial drop-caps with a more traditional roman text face. This treatment might be fun for an older children’s adventure series kind of book.

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture
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glad i got a bit of response anyway. good thing i’m not in this for the money, or i’d be sorely disappointed with this one! (as evidenced by the interest or lack thereof in this thread)

okay so to answer a few questions:
weight difference — from the samples i’m working from, i think that the swash caps, the caps and the lower case are all set in different sizes. Since this is a display face, hopefully the weight difference won’t be too disturbing at display sizes. I’ll admit, the difference looks really stark in the digital sample… i still need to print it out to see if it looks that way on paper.
Right now i have all these in one font with the swash caps available through the OT swash function & the smcp function gives you the swash+normal caps combo. I think that I will do a couple other versions, balancing the weights better and separating the sets up into different fonts.

So you don’t like the N.swsh? is it really malformed? or you just don’t like the letterform? as iterated before, i’m trying to stick as close to the original as possible (see link above), but i’m totaly open to doing alternate characters (the cap X in the first line of this first sample is one of my alternates). What other characters need alternates besides the N.swsh?

Thnx for your help and comments, guys. I really do appreciate all your feedback.

p.s. okay i printed it out and that N.swsh IS pretty fugly i’ll fix it. But did you mean there should be an alternate character, Hrant? or just that i need to pay better attention? Also, the swash caps ARE a lot heavier, I think i’ll lighten em up for any versions that combine all 3 sets or where they’re paired with the lc. whaddya think of that?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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I guess when you create a glyph that you like but other people don’t, that’s one good reason to create alternates.

If you make a weight axis, you can choose your exact weights whenever it feels comfortable to.

hhp

Zach Alexander's picture
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good thing i’m not in this for the money, or i’d be sorely disappointed with this one! (as evidenced by the interest or lack thereof in this thread)

Oh, I wouldn’t take it that way

Zach Alexander's picture
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[double post]

paul d hunt's picture
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well i’m glad you spoke up! I wouldn’t have known the U.swsh was so offensive had you not. So alternates for M, N and U? any others?

So a weight axis will benefit only PS T1 users, am I right? I haven’t toyed too much making multiple masters, but i could always give it a whirl. This “little project” is turning out to be quite an education for me!

Zach Alexander's picture
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So alternates for M, N and U? any others?

Well yes and no

Randy Jones's picture
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FIrstly: Consider bracketing all your serifs as you did in the head serifs.
I’d also diverge from the original in some of the spots mentioned above.

Secondly: I got Randy Jones to gimme a crit.
Sweet mother of pearl, I think my head just exploded. 18 months ago I thought a bezier could be purchased at Victoria’s Secret. I’m just making time for a resource that continues to teach me about drawing letters. And along the way I’ve picked up phases like: Sweet mother of pearl! Thanks Grant.

R

BTW, Paul, is that pablohoney77 as in “Come back to Florida?”

paul d hunt's picture
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yes in general, just because I think any ornamental face benefits from having lots of alternates

OMW! this face is NEVER gonna be finsihed, what with multiple alternates, multiple weights, multiple formats, multiple configurations… I guess i best get busy!

Zach Alexander's picture
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heh heh :-) Well it’s up to you how much you want to do, of course. You’re definitely not going to suffer by just doing one set of swashes

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good advice… i guess i should start by finishing up the figures, punctuation and diacritics. Thnx again for yer help, guys. Nite for now.

paul d hunt's picture
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why do i post unfinished work? so i can get a boost from the feedback for the next big push. to make sure i’m moving in the right direction. to have a fresh set of eyes take a look at this stuff and see if it’s any good (mine feel dry and scratchy right abt now). anyhow, here’s the next incarnation of this one. just about have all of the basic characters figgered out, some alternates, some still need quite a bit of work. would love to hear what you think needs improvement yet. still struggling with the spacing… trying to nail that down b4 doing some discressionary ligatures and stuff. anyhow, hope to hear from somebody on this. thnx for all yer help thus far.


application/pdfincarnation #?
KilkennySpec.pdf (41.2 k)



oh i guess i should explain a bit about my Cyrillics: i thought that i’d have an easier time keeping with the playful nature of this face if i used a kind of regimentated form of the cursives. i may have stretched the association too far in places. would love to hear back from somebody with expertise on these.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Pretty solid, I think. Some of the glyphs (like the “c”) are killer.

Some of your curves (like the top-left curl on the “A”, the join between the thin stem and the ball on the inside of the “D”, etc.) are malformed. I think the top-right serif of the “x” is out of character. I think the UC Thorn needs a curled stem-bowl join.

Spacing: I think it looks pretty decent already. But your wordspace is too huge.

Cyrillic: looks pretty cool to me, but I know little about it.

hhp

paul d hunt's picture
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hey thanks hrant! how bout them new spuniks? Are they less bland than in the last version?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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The accents are great. Maybe pull the UC ones lower, and maybe make the lc ones more angled — like a steeper grave, etc.

hhp

Robert Donona's picture
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Nicely done so far on the typeface Herman Ihlenburg’s Nymphic even the Cyrillic is quite interesting as well as the alternates.

How are the Swash Caps oming along?

Also did this typeface has some typographic ornaments that can be placed between words to add
a touch of sparkle?

Any word on its release at Myfonts.com?

Yours truly,
Robert

Christopher Washer's picture
Joined: 3 Oct 2004 - 7:38am
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Hello,

Great work, Paul. I have a real soft spot for faces such as these. Awesome!

paul d hunt's picture
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thnx chris, i just need to draw up some odds n ends to put together a standard weight, but i hate drawing all those simple things like plus signs, etc, LOL. maybe i’ll get back on this one and have out out before Christmas??? Don’t hold yer breath tho!

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:-) I just have had tremendous respect for you ever since i caught a load of Oluvai and you accepted my suggestion to add the pineapple. LOL Since i don’t know my way around Victoria’s Secrect, could you explain what a head serif is?
And pablohoney correlates well to paul hunt (yours truly) and happens to be the first album by my favorite band, radiohead, who, by chance, also have a great bent for typography. I fell in love with BD Plakatbu because of them and when they used Mrs. Eaves for their latest jacket art and had the dignity to credit the design in their credits, my respect for them grew. 77 is my year, the year of the snake.

Dan Reynolds's picture
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Can you convince Richard to release/distribute it for you?

Martin Löfqvist's picture
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very nice!
I belive the swedish store Kapp Ahl is using a very similar typeface.

paul d hunt's picture
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don’t tell me that!!! lol

Zach Alexander's picture
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This is really awesome, tho I think I’ve already said that.

I hope I’m not being a pain, but I think the quotation marks look a little plain next to all those fantastic letters. I’m not sure what I have in mind… maybe a bit more curl would do it?

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well, since it’s in the News area now, i may as well post a link here, too. Thanks for all yer help, folks!

http://www.p22.com/ihof/kilkenny.html

the OT version has more glyphs than i have typophile posts!