Fresset - My first font

Lea Verou's picture

Judging by the critique threads I've read, it seems that you're a friendly community, so I felt comfortably enough to exhibit my own font for critique.
Its my first so ...be gentle :shy: (However, its better to write something that isn't gentle than to refrain from commenting at all. I need to improve!)

AttachmentSize
showcase.gif38.07 KB
cuttlefish's picture

This is pretty good. Granted, I'm not a big fan of the square bodied sans (with some exceptions), but for one of that genre it stands up well.

The space inside some of the ligatures is kind of tight, and I don't think making ligatures off the arm of the "r" is such a good idea. I know that r makes a big negative space that wants to be filled, but doing so makes it hard to recognize. Some end-user might even foolishly kern the r too close to the n in an attempt to make it match the other r ligatures, which would result in a shape indistinguishable from the m.

Lea Verou's picture

Thanks a lot for commenting cuttlefish!! :D

That makes sense. Do you thing I should remove all contextual substitutions with r (its not a ligature) or just particular ones? Could a kerning adjustment solve the readability issue?
There is no possibility that an end-user kerns it too close to n, as the only user of the font will be me and any employees of the company (which currently only has 1 employee, so that's quite easy to avoid). As I said, it won't be sold or given away, its aimed just for the company's corporate identity and any projects it owns.
Also, which ligatures (or contextual sbustitutions) do you think have tight counters? Does this occur in all sizes on just particular ones? (I know that my hinting sucks on some letters :-()

Thanks again!

Quincunx's picture

It does look pretty nice. I would like to have a PDF though, to be able to judge it better.

cuttlefish's picture

It's the "re" combination that stands out the most to me. It's not entirely illegible, but it is odd, the combination not quite being readable as the letters separately.

Besides, there's also my pet peeve about a "rn" couple getting slightly overinked or kerned too close and becoming an "m", a problem I've seen happen with many font. I'm mentioning it in hopes you can take steps in the design to prevent that sort of collision.

Lea Verou's picture

Thanks Quincux for commenting!! :D

Excuse my ignorance but I'm quite new at this, what text should the pdf contain?

Lea Verou's picture

@cuttlefish: Thanks for your followup! I was afraid you'd say this, as the re combination also appears in the logo, so that would mean that the logo should change as well. If I adjust the kerning, do you think it will improve or its hopeless?
You are right about the rn, I'll think what I can do about it. Although, since I'm going to be mostly using it, and I don't plan to make the kerning different than the default (since I planned the default :P), if I properly adjust it in the kern feature and ovserve it in various sizes I guess it will be okay, right?

@all: Any comments on the glyphs? One concern that I have is that I think (and 2 people that have seen the font confirmed that) the H,K and X look a lot alike in small sizes. Also, I'm sceptical about the shape of my g.

cuttlefish's picture

It's OK for logos to have unusual ligatures or other shapes that aren't in the font. You wouldn't have to remove that joint, but do consider giving the "re" in the logo a little more air to make up for it.

Lea Verou's picture

Ok, you're right, I will change it, thanks a lot! :)
I will upload the result when there are more changes done, so that I don't upload multiple images/pdfs that will confuse us all. :)

cerulean's picture

I think your g is good. I suggest making the top end of the s straight even when it isn't connected to anything.

Sorry to say it, but the ss thing just doesn't work. It pushes the esses much too far apart, giving the impression that the extra stroke between them must be a letter, so it reads like "sis" if anything.

Lea Verou's picture

Thanks for commenting cerulean!

The isolated s has terrible hinting, and even though I tried hard to fix it (it was even worse before), it still looks bad, especially on small sizes. I guess this is why you suggested changing it, right? It doesn't actually look that bad... If only I figure out how to correctly hint it...

Thanks to your comment, I noticed that actually, the double (triple, etc...) esses don't have the same distance from the joining stroke (it's very apparent on the logo), which increases the effect that you mentioned. I'll add that to the list of things I need to fix (together with cuttlefish's suggestion), thanks. :) I can't ditch them completely though, especially for them I considered the readability issue a lot since they are in the logo too, designed LOTS of alternative joins (more than 20 I think!) and finally decided to go with looks on this particular one (by the way, the logo in the demo picture is a mix of contextual alternates and a ligature, not a copy-paste of the original one. In the actual logo, the esses have equal distance from the joining stroke). Its the only glyph (actually it consists of more than one, but that's a technicality) that I have given so much thought about, and designed so many alternatives, so I won't ditch it, sorry. Tell me to change anything in the font, any glyph, any metric, just not my beloved esses (and the ff ligature), these are my favorites! :'-(

Quincunx's picture

> Excuse my ignorance but I’m quite new at this, what text should the pdf contain?

Whatever you like. Show the typeface. It could be just what you gave in the .gif now, but then as pdf (as vectors). :)

PDF gives us more freedom for looking at the design. Zoom in/out to see it at different sizes, or even print it to judge it even better. :)

Lea Verou's picture

> PDF gives us more freedom for looking at the design. Zoom in/out to see it at different sizes, or even print it to judge it even better. :)

Oops, that didn't cross my mind at all! And I was wondering why would someone want a pdf since its slower to open. I'm so thick sometimes, LOL.

Of course, I'll prepare a pdf tomorrow and show it to you (I'm currently half asleep from working all night...zzzzzz....).

Thanks a lot for being so helpful!

Lea Verou's picture

Here is the pdf:
http://fresset.gr/showcase.pdf

The password is "typophile" (without the quotes).

I also made some changes:
1. I removed the the contextual alternates of r for the re rp rh combinations (exept for re when in the fresset logo) as cuttlefish suggested. I left the ones for za, rb, rt, rz. I forgot to adjust the kerning in rn but will do in the next update.
2. Kerned the esses better
3. Fixed hinting a bit (although I have no idea if its significant in the pdf, it seems to be using a different rasterizer :S)
4. Fixed a small bug with combinations like "esa"

Thanks in advance for any suggestions and feedback. :)

Quincunx's picture

Good, a PDF. I've downloaded it, and I will check it out and post later. :)

By the way, you can also attach PDF's to your first post by editing it.

Lea Verou's picture

Yeah I know. I can't undestand what the hell I was thinking for doing that whole thing with the password instead of just uploading it here. Perhaps it has to do with not getting enough sleep lately :P

Queneau's picture

Looks pretty good. I think it would serve best as a display font, and not for setting extended text, which is not a problem. It remind me quite a lot of typefaces by the famous dutch designer Wim Crouwel. Was this an inspiration for this design?

cheerio Queneau

Lea Verou's picture

Thanks for your comment! :)

No, this is the first time I hear about Wim Crouwel. Do you have any link to his fonts? I'm curious now! :)
I googled his name but I only got an image of one font that doesn't look too similar. The Wikipedia article about him doesn't have any links to fonts he designed. :(

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