Quicksand Typeface Project

alienbreed's picture

It's been nearly a week since i started working with this typeface. I have made a couple of revisions and trying to rectify some problems and inconsistency. I would really like to hear any inputs and criticsm as to how can I improve it.

By the way, I am quite new to this kind of stuff so please take it easy on me. =)



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Quicksand.pdf84.42 KB
update 1.pdf15.9 KB
alienbreed's picture

forgot to mention that the type has this styles. Light, Regular, Bold, Italic, Dash & Dot.

eliason's picture

This is attractive.

Are you doing overshoot on the curves? You might need more.

The bold 'e' ("Boulevard") gets too clogged - you will likely have to compromise on the equal stroke widths to make it work.

The spines of 's' and 'S' look like they're trying a little a little too hard to reach horizontal in the middle.

Quincunx's picture

First thing that strikes me is optical correction. Even when you are making a typeface based only on geometrics, optical corrections are really important.

Problem areas are:

Where strokes join a stem (e.g. on the a, c, d, g, and also the r !) Usually it looks better optically if you let the strokes become slightly thinner where they join the stems. Eventhough this goes against a geometrical approach, it will look better. It will, for example, eliminate evil black blobs from appearing. You create some open space.

Also horizontals. Those should be slightly thinner than other strokes. This is because our eyes make horizontal lines look heavier. You have to adjust this by eye, so that it looks the same weight as the rest. Look at your 'e' for example (especially in the bold 'Boulevard). Lightly thinning up the crossbar will also open up the counter(s).

The same goes for diagonal lines, those usually also look fatter when they are actually exactly the same as the other strokes. Those need adjustments by eye as well.

So you have to 'cheat' here and there: it's all about making it look geometrical. Apart from that, I think you are nicely on your way. You could ask yourself if people are waiting for another geometrical sans serif, since the competition in that area is pretty heavy. But designing it for yourself; as a means of learning type design, it's perfect. :)

For better critiques on lettershapes themselves, it's best to post a PDF, so people can take a better look at them (and maybe even print it so to be able to judge it even better).

alienbreed's picture

@eliason
I myself seems to be bothered at how the S's intersect in between. Looks like they are not meeting up smoothly as it should be. I'll fix that soon.

@Quincunx
thanks for some wonderful tips and will surely have a play on that optical illusion technique.

I've Attached a pdf file of the family(except the dot version). I didn't include the dot version since i am having a problem importing the paths i made in illustrator to FL without having too much distortion. It looks ok in small to medium sizes but really messed up in a close up view. Any tips regarding this will be appreciated.

Quincunx's picture

What kind of messing up do you mean?

[edit]

Do you mean the vectors getting all ugly? Since it seems this also happened to the dashed version. If I zoom in very close on some of the dashes, they aren't all nicely rounded and neat. They have... bulges on them. It looks like the control handles have gone bezerk.
Not quite sure what you can do about this. Possibly upping the UPM size could help (i.e. the grid is now too coarse).

eliason's picture

You might find Mark Jamra's essay on some of the optical tricks Quincunx is talking about helpful.

alienbreed's picture

@Quincunx

Yeah, it seems the control handles have gone wild during import. Do you know a specific UPM size value that has little to no rounding errors? I have tried 2000 and it seems better than before but not yet perfect and the bulges are still noticeable.

@eliason
nice read indeed..

Also, i have uploaded another pdf. I have changed the squiggle in letter Q to avoid touching problems in some letter combination (i.e. QATAR). Let me know what you think about it.

Quincunx's picture

I think 2048 is the highest UPM setting. I haven't had too much problems with 2048, but you will have to try. If 2000 wasn't working, I doubt 2048 will make much of a difference though...

Maybe there are other ways to keep the rounding nice and clean, but I don't know how. Maybe someone else has any ideas. If it weren't such complex shapes, I would edit it by hand, but that's not really an option here I guess.

alienbreed's picture

@Quincunx
We are talking about 50-100 dots per letter here so yeah, editing it by hand is not an option.

Been reading quite a while regarding this rounding problems and it seems there is nothing i can do much about it. Now I understand why people draw directly in FL but I'm just not yet ready to embrace FL's drawing tools, at least for now.

Quincunx's picture

Maybe there is a difference between pasting Illustrator paths and importing an EPS.
Probably a long shot, but worth a try.

Also see if you can draw the letters in Illustrator at the size you are working on in FL, so that you don't have to scale it in FL. If you're not already doing that, of course.

alienbreed's picture

I have just release this for free. You can get a copy here QUICKSAND

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