Lavinia Sans: The Saga Continues

blank's picture

Since graduation I’ve been refining and expanding Lavinia Sans. It now comes in light and bold weights, has (deformed) old-style figures, and a host of diacritics. A little running copy appears in the PDF, but not too much as I need to do lots of spacing and kerning work. Crits on the figures would be especially appreciated as I’m pretty well convinced that they look like my dog barfed them up.

lavinia_sans.pdf43.94 KB
david h's picture

First & quick glance: the main issue that you have is with the overlapped stems; for example A,W, M (bold) are too spotty. The Y is too spotty; since the Y is like the X but with vertical stem.

muzzer's picture

your dog did barf this up mate. might want to get a dayjob!!

Chopper Reid says "Harden the **** up".

ReginaldV's picture


an article or essay criticizing a literary or other work; detailed evaluation; review

Muzzer - detailed evaluation?

blank's picture

Don’t mind Muzzer, Reg, it’s just his penal heritage showing.

William Berkson's picture

There is a problem with the diagonals generally. They are usually about the cross section of the stems or less. Many of these here are fatter, which gives very uneven color--hence Muzzer's um extreme reaction.

The joins are also heavy, as David noted. In general, with bolder weights, these require more tapering to look good. Compare a number of fonts you admire on both the issue of diagonals and joins. And the main thing, IMHO, is to always look for issues of even color.

On your OS numbers, the 345 look way wider than the others. Also the cross bar on the 4 is I believe at or above the base line usually in OS numbers.

I think the ear of the g is a bit long in the light--which doesn't have the color problems of the bold. But the g in the bold goes way overboard, I think. There are often 'g's with ears over the x-height, but this one looks out of place.

eliason's picture

The 2 is the most bothersome glyph to my eyes. Particularly in the oldstyle light and both bold versions, I think more even counters would work better. It also gets too fat at the bottom left - that's really the same problem with the angular joins that's already been noted.

The bold oldstyle 1 looks bottom-heavy. Maybe the bottom of the 3s sticks out too far.

I think the space is too narrow under the dots of the i & j in the bold.

ebensorkin's picture

I printed off the PDF. I'll give you some proper feedback soon-ish. Why is there such a big jump in weights? Is it your plan to interpolate between them? As they stand I think they are too far apart to be helpful to each other set in text.

The joins look like they need lightening v-z and even maybe the abdp etc. This is true for both weights. the bold w&W in particular seems overweight compared to the other glyphs.

I might pull the ear of the g up a little higher at the join.

The horizonals ( top & bottom) of the CGOS seem too heavy in the light weight.

I may amend these ideas when I have looked at the printed page.

blank's picture

Thanks for the comments!

I’m going back and reworking the diagonals/joins now. I had drawn them with the same weight as the verticals—way too heavy! The narrow joins are a symptom of the bold being based on the light, which was too narrow in places, so now I’m redrawing those letters in both weights.

I think I’m going to dump the idea of old-style figures. I tried drawing a narrower set but wasn’t especially happy with the result, and I’m not sure that the proportions of gothic designs lend themselves to OSFs. I’ll look at the OSFs Erik. S did for Akzidenz and think about ways to make them work in the American style

Eben, the extreme jump in weight was originally intended to allow me to interpolate the in-between weights (and drawing heavy letters was a fun shift from the light and my Fry’s revival). But now I think that I’ll be much better served by drawing everything out the slow(er) way—after all, this is a learning experience!

Right now my plan is to finish this round of revisions and then do a rough pass on a regular weight so that I can better establish character and sport potential problems across all three weights. Up till now my process revolved around just getting it done, and I should have realized what a stupid method of drawing a font that would be.

William Berkson's picture

>The narrow joins are a symptom of the bold being based on the light

Ah, yes. If you overlay the light and bold outlines of the M and W and other diagonal letters in several fonts, you will see how they have to widen the letters to get the joins to work. Otherwise you get the clots, as you have discovered. In the branches in the m and n etc the joins generally need more taper. Studying the clever stuff that great fonts do with different weights--and having them open to look at--I think you will find very helpful as you are doing the bold.

ebensorkin's picture

James I don't think it's stupid. I just wanted to check about your intention. Keep in mind you may want to use these to generate a middle weight and then tweak it too. The main thing is that the glyphs have the same # of points and that those points relate. Or, you could do it all by hand I guess... It depends on what you want, when you want it & so on. I think it might be smart to do it that way because if you start making more & more fonts in the future you may find learning this approach* is helpful. You can always tweak glyphs afterwards!

*I certainly plan to learn it! ;-)

What I think I would do in your shoes though is to make sure that one weight was quite a bit more done before you

a) make too many gyphs with acenets etc.
b) worry about weights too much

In some ways it seems to me that generating the middle weight and then "perfecting" it might be the smartest 1st step from here. For one thing it is the middle or book weight that is likely to see the most use!

I have read about design process' where they just built the far examples and telegraphed the middle design in from the two very far points - which sounds cool. But from a learning point of view sounds too tough. Also you might be like JFP and want you light & heavy to move in different stylistic directions that preclude generating a middle from two extremes. Look at his Costa & Anisette to see what I mean.

I still haven't had time to sit down & really do this properly. I am sorry about that!

Syndicate content Syndicate content