Hajime Sans; insights and feedback/comments are appreciated

nithrandur's picture

I've been working recently with FontLab Studio 5 and this is what I've got, so far:

I'm still very unsure about my skills (especially with the beziers) but hopefully I can finish this typeface. I have absolutely no background in graphic design nor type, except possibly for the influences I have acquired by reading stuff in the web. Books and other materials regarding typography are very sparse in my region, although I've acquired Bringhurst's Elements of Typographic Style (3.0) and Hochuli's Detail in Typography.

I really want to finish this typeface, and I was aiming for a friendly yet clean sans-serif. It does look friendly to me, so far, but I'm not quite sure. Any comments, tips, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :)

Edit: New pdf attached.

Untitled Sans 0.011.pdf6.96 KB
Untitled Sans 0.015.pdf5.21 KB
jonathanhughes's picture

Very nice for a first try. I like the lowercase a, and the little curved corners at the tops of the ascenders.

A few things I noticed:

* The bottom of the o, p, and q don't overshoot the baseline (the d does).

* the bottom of the bowl of the d could be smoother

* I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, but the i has some square corners an some slightly rounded corners

* the r needs to be taller

* the curves n the p don't match the b, d, and q. Maybe it needs to be a bit wider?

nithrandur's picture

Thank you for your input. I'm glad you liked the lc a.

I wasn't actually aware that glyphs with curves at the base should cross over the line, but now that you've said it, it does look off if, for example, the lc o just sits on the baseline.

Now that you've mentioned it, the r should be a wee bit taller. I'm also aware that there are smoothness flaws in the lc b, d, q, and p. Will work on that asap. The lc i has some semi-serif qualities, and that is intentional. I tried a normal lc i before but it was too boring for my taste. I don't know if I should follow that pattern for the lc l, though.

I'm unsure about your last point though. I want to retain the upper stem of r, n, and p for a distinct look, yet I don't want to copy that over to d, b, and q. I was actually thinking of an mirrored d for the lc b but I figured that would be too lazy of me. Haha. And it looked awkward anyway. So being aware of that, I tried to make differences with d and b. Now, lc p is derived from d and n, while q is from b (just a mirror). That's why, I think, the curves don't match.

Again, thank you for your comment. It helped a lot.

nithrandur's picture

I've just reworked some of the glyphs based on your suggestions, and normalized the weights of the glyphs as well. New glyphs added as well.

The new pdf containing these glyphs is in the first post.

I'm going to take a break first... and brace myself for creating an s.

As usual, comments and feedbacks are greatly appreciated. Thank you.

jonathanhughes's picture

My comment about the lowercase i wasn't about the serif, but about the corners. Some are square, and some are slightly rounded (the lowercase l is the same way). You should probably pick one and be consistent throughout all the characters.

As far as the p, d, b, and q, I guess I shouldn't have said "match." They just need some more cohesiveness. They don't look like they all go together yet. Think of the curves like siblings. They don't look alike, but you should be able to tell they're related.

The bottom of the bowl of the p is flat, but the b curves up just a hair. The d curves up, but it's uneven. The q curves up the most, and to me, is the nicest looking. All those curves don;t have to be identical, but they should share the same DNA.

The r still seems too short, and the t just looks awkward. It seems odd having the crossbar below the x height.

You could use the a similar stem on the j (which is quite nice) for the t, and make it taller.

Have you started on your uppercase yet? I think when you do, you'll find that the ascenders on these lowercase characters are too low.

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