women's football font

oogby's picture

Hi everybody!

So... I'm currently developing a video game for this women's tackle football league, and wanted a font that had that blocky, authoritative look that you see on all the tv networks' NFL coverage... but I wanted something a little warm, too. (For lack of a better word, more feminine.)

I couldn't find something, so last Saturday I started work on this.

The game is due out in four months, so I'm a bit pressed for time... I was wondering if anybody had comments. I think it looks a little too cartoony; it's supposed to look kind of elegant and sexy, yet blocky. Not sure what's going wrong there.


springball.gif14.43 KB
Stephen Coles's picture

Hey Brian! I think this is a nice start, but given the time requirement, you might be better off going with Stainless or a customization thereof.

oogby's picture

Hi Stephen! Great to hear from you.

Stainless looks really nice, especially the extended versions. I forgot to mention, yeah, I'm totally open to ditching my thing and going with something that's already out there, if I can embed it in a flash file.

(Of course, my needs for a font are pretty limited right now; It will never be shown as big as my sample, I'd just use it for panel titles and menus and such, and it will never appear in print.)

But like most things I saw, Stainless is... a bit too sterile, I think? Severe? Having trouble articulating what I want here. Sort of something that's really classy like Aviano Sans, but with that sportsy, blocky look. Oh, and still casual somehow.

Perhaps I'm being too picky.

I'd actually happily go with Aviano, but I can't possibly afford the embedding license, sadly.

William Berkson's picture

Somehow your description brought to mind Soho. It's a slab, but more graceful and stylish than the usual sports slab type of thing.

oogby's picture

Well, I kept looking for fonts... still didn't find anything I was completely happy with. So I thought I'd try cleaning this up a little.

I've made the character widths a little more consistent, and fixed a few of the more awkward characters like s and k.

It still needs work obviously, but I'm actually pretty happy so far. I think next I'll increase the weight overall a little, and make the stress on the ovals a bit more contrasty.

(On a side note, I'd actually love the challenge of banging something out on a tight deadline, so for that reason alone, I'd like to continue working on this. I'll happily babble at the air here; it helps me think...)

oogby's picture

Oh... and I do like Soho very much. It's a different look than I had in mind, but I think it could work really well. Thanks!

oogby's picture

Got another update. Whee!

Made everything heavier, tried to even out the color (is that the right word?) some more, and went out of my way to make things a little less symmetrical. I think that last one has helped a bit, though I'm still not thrilled with the r, b or k. Not sure what to do with those.

oogby's picture

Here's the latest. Been cleaning up the small caps more, trying to even out the widths of everything. And I've got a few large caps.

There are a few numbers too, but they're terribly rough right now.

To my eyes this is looking pretty good, but if that statement leaves any of you scratching your heads, I'd love to know. ;)

Ty Wilkins's picture

Some of your glyphs remind me of 1979: http://www.dafont.com/1979.font

cerulean's picture

The S looks haphazard in its distribution of curves and corners; it sort of brings the flavor of a weak autotrace to the whole face. Try for an S with more symmetry in it.

William Berkson's picture

Ok, you asked more than once, so here's my two bits: you have a sound idea, but the execution doesn't look professional. The ideas are not consistently carried through--eg the tapered and bent verticals on the MN aren't followed elsewhere, and even the M and N are different treatments. The weight of the horizontals seem too heavy and clunky. Compare Armada by Tobias Frere-Jones for a balanced and polished execution of a related idea. Finally, the a lot of the curves are wonky, and the tail of the Q looks way out of place.

oogby's picture

Thanks for the detailed tips... I can really see what you mean about the inconsistencies and symmetry now.

William -- as for wonky curves, could you be more specific? I actually like the A, U, V, W and Y very much, but any of the round stuff is starting to look a bit strange now that you mention it. But I can't quite see what's wrong there. I'm thinking I should have the horizontals get a little thinner in the middle to match some of those verticals. I'd actually done that very early on, and abandoned it for some reason...

oogby's picture

Here's the latest.

Totally re-did the S. The first one was supposed to be sort of stylishly asymmetric. Guess that wasn't working. So this is a little dull, perhaps, but at least seems like a better place to be working from.

I changed the horizontal curves on the O, Q, U, C and G so they get a little thinner in the middle. I think that's helped a lot; thanks for mentioning that. Also made the C more balanced top-top-bottom. Again, it was supposed to add a little character having it top heavy, and I don't think it worked.

Also worked a little on the M and N. Still not thrilled with those; I'll have to have a closer look at them.

I looked closely at Armada, and I think it's been helpful... I'm finding the curves on things like the lowercase p really interesting.

oogby's picture

I think I'm starting to get a better feel for this. But if I'm on the wrong track, could somebody please let me know?

So I'm trying to make this look more professional, more balanced. I thought I'd start by looking at the whitespace; people at TypeCon are always talking about that. But I've never really looked at it much.

I started with a redesigned R, that I'm fairly happy with (though it appears to be falling forward or something now).

My normal instinct for the P then, would be to just remove the diagonal stroke on the R. But, without that there, the bottom of the bowl of the P doesn't feel balanced anymore; the diagonal was taking up some of that whitespace there. So I made the bowl a smidge taller.

Having done that, the bowl felt a smidge too big, compared to the R.. so I made it thinner, trying to make the whitespace in the bowls similar in area, if not in shape.

With that sort of logic in mind, I've increased the width of the E to make those counters match the R, and made the F a little thinner than the E, and moved the center bar down a tiny bit.

On to the horizontal bars on the A, E, B and F. I've made those thinner; if the height of the horizontal bar on the top or bottom of the E is a particular percentance of the cap height, I figured the height of the center bar should be the around same percentage of the height between the top of the bottom bar and the bottom of the top bar... so that visually, they look the same. Just a guess, but I think that's helped.

Anyway, I'm babbling. There's also a more conservative Q now, and I fixed up the S so it looks a little more balanced.

William Berkson's picture

Way better; you're starting to get your 'type eyes' :)

The key to making it better is to study a lot of other stuff in depth.

You can start with similar stuff. Armada is good, because it's Tobias Frere-Jones, who is one of the best, even though this is relatively early in his career. Clicker--done for TV guide on the basis of the old TV screen shape--is another to look at. Also Eurostile.

You probably would find useful Karen Cheng's book Designing Type, which has a lot of comparisons between the widths and proportions of the caps.

The idea of something wide, a bit squarish rounds, and somewhat Albertus serifs is fresh, I think. But you need both more consistency and better proportions to make this sing. On proportions see Cheng's book. There are no hard and fast rules, but still that will educate your eye. On consistency, I think for example the S needs to be more 'cornered' to look consistent with the rest of the face. check Armada, Clicker and Eurostile. Now the S looks like it can't decide what it wants to be when it grows up :) The D also needs to relate to the O, and currently looks like its having a severe identify crisis.

oogby's picture

I peeked at a few pages of Designing Type, and it looks wonderful... I didn't know such a nicely illustrated book on type design existed. Thanks!

It should arrive in a couple days. I can't wait to read it.

William Berkson's picture

If you are looks for guides to designing type, the stuff I have found most helpful is:

1. Briem's site on type design. Free!

2. Letters of Credit, by Walter Tracy.

3. Fonts & Logos by Doyald Young

Cheng's book is useful, but she doesn't really approach the subject as a type designer would--you get that from the others.

For the technical side: Learn FontLab Fast by Leslie Cabarga

And the most helpful is studying in depth--in FontLab so you can make overlays and comparisons--other fonts you admire.

And finally, Typophile!

Good Luck :)

oogby's picture

So I've been studying Michelangelo, Beata, Eurostile and Microgramma pretty closely for this. That's been really helpful.

Here are some disconnected notes...

-Been working on the diagonals a bit. I think they're a bit more consistent now, though I'm still not happy with the K.
-Made the tops of the B, R and P a little curved to counteract that leaning effect.
-Staightened up the D.
-Made the U thinner, but I think I overdid it.
-Made the S a little more angular. I think I need to go farther with that.
-Made lots of changes to the overshoots and width of various things, to get things looking more consistent. I'm trying to be less rigid about the numbers and just eyeball it.

oogby's picture

Been doing general cleanup and started working on different weights of this for the last couple of weeks, and here's what I've got so far.

This is my first foray into anything with weights or widths or anything, so I'm kind of learning as I go here; any tips you all have would be wonderful. :)

Mostly, I'm feeling good about this, though I think I need practice looking at polished fonts with multiple weights, and the thin versions feel a bit janky to me.

Syndicate content Syndicate content