Bendy's picture

Here's what I've been working on for the last week, taking a break from Eternal (in the serif crit section).

I started with the intention of creating something very crisp and clean, following the current trend for roundy corners. I wanted the shapes to look slightly experimental, so tell me if they work or don't work yet.

I wanted a large x-height and non-descending caps to work for small sizes and for screen use. It was a struggle to fit the tail of the g in there, and I had to break the rule with Q a little. I've got only autohinting at present, and need to work out how the off-verticals will work on screen (for example M anti-aliases rather badly).

Strangely, it somehow looks like there's a bit of Optima in there, which I've only just noticed. I don't have numerals yet. Hate drawing numerals.

I'll refrain from picking out individual characters for now to see what you guys think first.

Mint.pdf433.4 KB
Mint Ultralight and Ultrablack First Draft.pdf445.66 KB
Mint Booklet.pdf506.35 KB
Mint Specimen May 2011.pdf528.1 KB
nina's picture

Aw Ben, I'm sorry to say this, but I'm not a fan of that new "g". I think it looks
a bit… clumsy? with all that horizontal action. And the end of the tail seems confused. :-(
Looking at this, I think I still like the original one best (and very much!).
The tail of the middle one seems maybe too rigidly horizontal, and the third one even more so, and I'm not sure that helps the glyph.
But hey, maybe that's just me. You know the bicameral "g" really is my darling favorite glyph in this fine font of yours, so I admit I'm biased!

Bendy's picture

Ok one last try

The last one is more like the original in the shape of the tail, but with a gentler flaring towards the terminal, and with a wider bowl.
This could go on forever...

Bendy's picture

And number 5 has the tail of number 4 and the head of the original, but slightly slightly wider.

eliason's picture

Hey, that last one may be it!!!

re: the '2', yes, I think that revision looks quite good. The thinner diagonal and thicker base is happier than the reverse, which had looked a bit like the base was being smashed down.

edit: oops, we crossed posts. by "last one" I meant #4, which I still would vote for as the best.

Bendy's picture

Nina, you said I'm not sure the bottom terminals of the “c” and “e” don’t jump out a bit much.

Do you mean they're too heavy or the wrong shape or what? How do you think I should fix it?

nina's picture

Ben, I'm not sure. It was a vague impression, or more like a question, that popped into my mind as I was reading the sample text. If you look at the 8pt text, second paragraph, the word "section" caught my eye in a weird way – it seems the bottom terminals of the "e", "c", and maybe "t" as well (but mainly the former two), especially here that they appear all next to one another, might be a hint too prominent, maybe in terms of how far they're curving/sticking up into the counter? They just somehow seem to attract the eye more than I'd expect them to, like they're trying to tell me there's something important going on there when in fact, I was expecting them to just be there. If that makes any sense.
In any case, it may well be (a) just me, (b) just my printer, (c) me being a bit type-blind.

Re your "g"s, I think #4 is definitely better than #3, but in #5 and #1 the countershape of the bowl looks quite a bit better to me… So if you don't want the original one, I'd vote for #5, but I'm actually not sure I don't still prefer the original one. :-\
Again, lotsa salt (especially without context)!

Bendy's picture

So I've made some changes...actually I've kind of lost track of what I've been working on. Mostly minor tweaks and drawing alternates/latin extended/ligs and spacing.

The full stop and comma are larger, I think they need to be even bigger though.

A non-type friend made an interesting comment that the spacing was quite loose at large sizes. I was very surprised that someone with no background in fonts would firstly see the space and secondly notice how the relationship changes with optical he right?

I'm still not over the moon with numeral 2.

And please give feedback about the diacritics. The acute and grave look too far left and right respectively I think.

Please have a look through and see what you think. Be picky!

Many thank yous :)

eliason's picture

This is working very well. Have I mentioned it looks fantastic in all-caps settings?

- these are in great shape
- does X need a little less offset at the intersection?

- I'd take a look at five; it looks a bit like it has its chest puffed out
- do you or will you have eighths as standard fractions (I'd think they'd be at least as useful as fifths)

- I agree that period and comma could be still bigger
- I really love the giant quotation marks
- I also love the bullet options
- do you have a masculine ordinal in the font?
- guillemets look nice. are those two different kinds of singles?
- what's the deal with the triple quotation marks?!

ligs and alternates
- alt a and g look good. I like Th too
- f connections to ascenders (b, h, etc.) look very good
- crossbar ligatures might work well - it'd be helpful to see them in a text setting
- here's where you start to lose me, I hate to say: I'm not a fan of the "historical" tied ligatures for this font. They seem way too Old World.
- likewise, the descending 'f's seem poorly fit for this font.
- and likewise, the funky alt diagonal caps seem logo-ish and strike me as taking this font in an entirely different and less promising direction.

extended Latin
- most standard accents look very good to my eyes
- curved overhead diacritics (e.g. breve) seem too flat and too wide to me
- cedilla doesn't match the character of the font nor what I think of as a standard shape
- lslash looks a bit dark and/or tight
- oslash needs lightening I think
- is that a florin sign between the schwa and the accented 'g's, and if so, should it be up with the currency marks?

- I think your wordspace may be too wide
- straight-straight spacing looks rather tight in spots (e.g. dju in "Adjust," li in "lightly")
- r-comma needs kerning but I suppose most of that is still ahead of you

Keep up the good work.

Bendy's picture

Woo! Great detail Craig, thanks!

>it looks fantastic in all-caps settings
I'm glad you think so. Something isn't quite working for me but I can't tell what. I have a vague feeling most of the uppercase is on the narrow side compared to the lc?

Does it bother anyone that the upper terminals on the 2 and three don't match?

Yes, I'll do sixths, sevenths and eighths...didn't get round to them yet.

I wasn't sure what I was doing with the guillemets, they are two kinds and I don't know which is best. I prefer the tapering idea but it's still not there.

The triple mark is U+2034 Triple Prime. I guess it's more for maths and isn't really very useful.

I got the idea of the descending fs (and the layout of page 2) from looking at a font called Viceroy. The diagonal alternates and dligs were an experiment before I came across it, however, and may not have been my best idea. I'll tidy them up and see how they look. They could be useful for logos?

I don't read Romanian or other languages that use breves. I'll look at other fonts to see proportions. What sort of cedilla would you expect? I'll fiddle with all those other bits, good stuff.

eliason's picture

On the cedilla, I'd like to see it come up more at the end - more similar to the bottoms of 3/5/g.

Differences at the top of 2 and 3 don't bug me a bit.

Bendy's picture

Working on the spacing for all the straights.

Do you think the curly brackets need squaring off on the terminals...and the tilde?

nina's picture

This is exciting stuff, Ben. I like it a lot!
I kind of lost track of where we were too… but here are some thoughts.


My favorite glyphs are "g", "q", "Y" and "@". Great stuff.

I think the counter of "y" still looks slightly large.

I don't know if we've talked about this before, but looking at the huge "Mint" the "t" suddenly strikes me as a bit alien, because the intersection of the stem and crossbar is all angular, whereas the "M", "i", and "n" are all rather roundy. I dunno – have you tried rounding one or two of those corners? Maybe the top-left? Or am I being obsessive?

There's something bugging me about the "G". At first I thought it's the length of the crossbar, but now I think it's the fact that its contrast pattern diverges from "C", "O", and such – the axis seems quite a bit more diagonal, which mostly means the bottom-left gets too bold (and the top-left a bit too light); is this intentional?

I agree with Craig about the straight-straight spacing but other than that, the spacing looks pretty good to me.



I wonder if numeral 3 is leaning left very slightly? Might just be me (or context) though.
But the different terminals of 2/3 don't bug me either.


Ligatures / Latin Extended:

f_l is just yummy.

The dligs are interesting. The first c_t I came across had me a bit confused because it's so unexpectedly oldstyle. I really dig the "weird" ones involving tittles (they make interesting negative space too, especially the i_t).

I wonder if the "e" part of the "ae" glyph could be a bit narrower? The whole thing looks a bit out of balance.

Your ring (as in aring) looks light.

The eth looks great, but makes a bit of a dark splotch; I think they always do that to a degree, but you might be able to alleviate it a bit by pulling the top(-right) of the bowl down a bit to make more space for the crossbar. Making a bold of it might be hairy :-\


Punctuation / symbols:

I like the huge quotation marks too. There's something Cooper-ish about them (that's a good thing)

I think I may be to blame for the guillemet stuff, I vaguely remember asking if they couldn't be tapered. I like the second variant of the single ones better I think.

The "registered" mark may be suffering from an optical illusion where the top-left of the circle seems to cave in, as if it's attracted by the top-left corner of the "R". Maybe push it out a tiny bit? (Wow, really getting into details now :) )

Might the fractions be a bit light? In the recipe the "1/4" looks a bit thin.


Keep up the great work, Ben! It's exciting to be following this.

Bendy's picture

Thanks Nina! You know there was something bugging me about C and G, and I think you've put your finger on it.

I might try a tiny curve on the t. The original idea was that since it's two strokes they shouldn't bend into each other, like on the f and eth. But then I've curved the corners on Euro and A and others so I'm breaking my own rules already. I'll see how the t goes. And that will probably mean I'll look at the f too.

Otherwise I'll have to go through all of your and Craig's comments carefully later on. Off out for a late breakfast now.


aluminum's picture

I have nothing to critique. Just wanted to say that this is looking great!

Bendy's picture

Oh! Thank you! :)
Here's a preview of Mint bold. Or semibold, not sure yet.

Bendy's picture

New pdf attached, the first iteration of Semibold. Before I head off in a bad direction, I thought I should post for crit. I've kept the outer curves the same where possible and added the weight on the inside mostly, and I hope that doesn't make it look too condensed. I've just done numerals and alphabetic glyphs to start with, so let me know if you think I'm heading off in a good direction or not. Oh, and I know the spacing is terrible. I just copied the sidebearings of Medium directly, which didn't quite work as neatly as I expected! The worst looking glyph I think is g, which needs to have a wider tail I think.

In the Medium, which I've included for comparison, there are now numerator and denominator numerals. I fear I haven't got the weight right...please let me know what you'd do with them on page 3. How are the fractions?

I've also added some more dings, squares and really luxuriant double quotes. The line of circular glyphs at the bottom of page three goes zero.denominator, lc o, uc O, zero, zero.numerator, ordmasculine, degree, ring. I'm not sure about the relative sizes...anyone?? And I can't get happy with the section mark, if anyone can suggest what's wrong with it that would be marvellous!

I've realised I need to open up the space between the bars on Euro etc. And I'm still experimenting with the eth.

Nina, check out the crossbar on t (medium).

nina's picture

Hey nice! This looks yummy.
("Medium" and "Semibold"? What's next, a Demi? ;-) )

I haven't made bolder weights yet as you know, so I'm afraid I can't really comment too much… But I like how you've mostly kept the "strangeness" very subtle in the bolder cut; it's not too quirky but still quite characteristic. I think the contrast and weight feel quite nice. It does look a bit narrower but I personally don't think that's disastrous. (Although it's kind of hard to tell. Could you maybe post a sample with text in the Medium that has stuff highlighted in the Semi? Or are they not meant to be combined directly for emphasis?)

Yeah, "g"'s tail looks a bit cramped. I was more distracted though by the "e" – it has a bit of a Dracula-esque underbite to my eye :-)  Dunno, you might want to not scale up the terminal so much, especially if there's going to be a Bold, too.


"t": what a minuscule curve! I actually didn't see it in the printout (blush). Do you feel it does something (good/bad)?

Section mark: I think maybe the middle counter is too disconnected from the rest of the glyph shape – it looks like it's sitting on top of the black (or white in this case ;-) ). Too much rounding, maybe?

I have no idea re the relative sizes of those ball shaped things (or the size/weight of the small numerals!). I hope someone will offer some thoughts on that.
But those new super-fat double-quotes are kickin'!

Bendy's picture

New pdf at top...Here you can see I've started on the Ultrablack and Ultralight which came out really interesting, I hope you'll agree! I love the effect of all weights together

Sorry about the hellish colours, I don't know what I was thinking!

Anyway, normal service will resume shortly...

eliason's picture

Exciting stuff!
I'll wait for a fuller specimen to do a character-by-character crit.
I'm curious - what's your method/tools for generating the weights? Are you interpolating somehow?

nina's picture

This is seriously yummy stuff Ben! How exciting.
Yeah, it seems like you slightly OD'd on the summery-icecreamy colors :)

There seems to be an especially big weight difference between the Light and your Regular (er, Medium). Are you planning to add another weight or two between them?

And, the ultrablack "e" looks either very sad, or very angry. I think it just snarled at me. Heh.

Bendy's picture

Hi Craig, glad you're as excited as me! From the Medium, I created the Semibold manually by globally thickening the forms by a set amount. I added the weight on the inside space in most cases and then tweaked the proportions and curves. That's why I wasn't sure whether it had turned out too condensed. (In fact I think some letters like a still need widening.)

From there, I extrapolated by defining an MM weight axis and cranking the slider up to max. (In fact I had to do this a few times to get the really heavy weight.) And then the opposite for the Ultralight. Of course the results were really dodgy in some cases and FL broke a few of the glyphs beyond recognition...oddly the simple glyphs like doublequote and lc m went completely haywire. So I needed to fix quite a lot: the round terminals and especially the spurs needed some work, most of the curves needed smoothing, the arched counters (hmnu) had all got misshapen, some counters had imploded and again some of the glyphs had to be widened.

The ultralight is presenting the most difficulty. The thick and thin stroke widths have to harmonise of course, but the most tricky thing is that the premise of this font is the 'independent' counters...but in a light weight, the stroke edges are much closer together and have to relate and not seem independent.

There may be the possibility of a hairline weight with monoline strokes but that obviously wouldn't be able to have independence. I wonder if from there one could put on slab serifs and start a companion face. Ooh, so many wonderful possibilities!

Would you say this is a humanistic sans or something else?

Bendy's picture

Hi Nina, we cross posted. You're right I'll probably fit in another weight or even two between the Medium and the Ultralight...perhaps a regular and a light. I was thinking of finishing with the Ultralight first so I have something neat to interpolate from.

Yes, e is very definitely a wild animal! I can't really see a way to avoid that but keep it in context. Any ideas? Or maybe it's not a bad thing to have a few wild animals anyway?? I worry my numerals will look a bit rabid :]

SuperUltraFabulous's picture

very lovely ... i would buy it

Bendy's picture

Hey, thanks. Glad you like it :)

Quincunx's picture

I really dig those Ultra Black and Light weights.

Bendy's picture

Thanks Jelmar, the encouragement from everyone is really helping with these beastly weights.

Bendy's picture

Well I've added the latest pdf with the Ultralight and Black weights. The spacing is still Very ropey in the black, and I need to widen the caps more, like KNRWX which aren't black enough. I haven't given up on the two-storey g but it's certainly a challenge. Previously I thought the ultralight was hardest but I think the black is the most in need of special ideas. I'm having trouble getting enough weight on the G withough closing up the counter...think more width may help.

Anyway, enjoy the summer mangoes ;O

eliason's picture

Ultralight comments:
- Is the crossbar of T a touch light?
- n is looking too narrow to me compared to most of the rest of the lowercase
- r looks narrow and has a high join. Tough to find a balance of meshing with the similar letters (hnm) but also satisfying the particular and peculiar needs of an r, isn't it?
- where k's chevron and stem meet could be higher?
- I know you want that big ol' counter in y, but I fear it's sticking out too much in text; optically the join looks well below the baseline, which is jarring. I'd raise it a bit.
- does the top of a turn too sharply into the stem?
- lots of great letters here; I really like d, s, w

Ultrablack comments:
- the verticals look wide relative to the other strokes (i, for example, looks very fat in comparison to surrounding glyphs)
- is there a happier relationship to be found between f's hook and the tittle in the fi ligature?
- y needs work. the narrowest part (the tail before the curve) looks too narrow. Would you consider an Emi-style, u-like y for this weight? (your one-story ultrablack g looks great and could offer a model for such a y)
- agree that (the right side of) K isn't black enough
- you may want to widen RPB (and maybe D) to allow wider counters
- I especially like the c (great counter shape!), g, z, and L

I think creating this extreme weights was a brilliant idea. It's amazing what different personalities the different weights take on, while retaining a family resemblance. When this thread started this seemed like an interesting little "side project" as Nina called it, but now I think you nearly have a tremendously appealing and useful family. Great work.

Martijn van Berkel's picture

This face is just *beep* nice! :D

Some comments:
- 3 seems to lean a bit to the left.
- Ultralight "p", "q" and "y" seems to wide.
- I think some Ultralight glyphs needs a further inktrap (or how do you call it). See the M or N.
- Aren't the hungars wrong side out? I though they were // instead of \\.

BTW: Do you like fruit? :P

Kind regards,
Martijn van Berkel

eliason's picture

Ben, did you happen to catch any of the Wimbledon coverage? The Center Court scoreboard font looked Minty to me!

eliason's picture

(Sorry, Centre Court ;-) and here's a pic with lowercase.)

Bendy's picture

I used to love watching Wimbledon, it's so engrossing once you start you have to follow the whole thing. These days I don't have a tv so didn't see any of it.

Doesn't that look like Optima? But maybe I could licence Mint to them for next year!

Taking a rest from beziers...using all my creativity at work on the annual brochure...will return with fresh eyes in a month or two. I'm glad you like the extreme weights, they're actually proving rather difficult to resolve. Like the widths of the counters on the ultrablack and getting the strokes even on the ultralight...and I haven't quite decided how to treat the flaring strokes like on the y for the ultrablack. Still it's going to be exciting to go back to it later. I really want the 2-storey g to work somehow but that's *really* going to hurt! ;)

Bendy's picture

Well so I posted the latest iteration of the Ultrablack.

Some of the letters are not resolved satisfactorily yet, I think. I'm especially unsteady with the caps: ADGMNRWX. I think it's the counters that are not right. Any suggestions would be very welcome ;)

I wanted to make a two-storey g but as you can see there isn't space to make it dark enough...still keen to try so does anyone know of a similarly-fat g I could learn from?

Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with the lowercase...except perhaps w and x.

My numerals are weird beasts...5 and 6 need a bit of a rethink. 3 is a curious shape.

Not done much with the spacing so that's why it looks a little jiggly.

Time for another break! ;)

eliason's picture

I think the letters you expressed concern about are actually working pretty well (except the 2-story 'g', which frankly I would abandon for this weight).

Most unsuccessful glyphs to my eye are 'v' and 'y'. 'y' as I mentioned before is too thin at the join, and moreover the rate at which the diagonal right side falls away will make avoidable holes (see "yu" in "yummy"). 'v' is similar, though less bothersome. I wonder if you'd consider a different 'v' shape, one that started with a vertical - imagine if a white triangle was removed at the stem corner from your 'u'.

It would be nice if you could get the 's' wider, though I can see the difficulty of that.

'l' looks like a shape I was drawing with MacPaint in 1985 - and I love it!

'3' is somehow squinty. Perhaps '9' and definitely '5' are too bottom-heavy.

'@' is too clogged and black. Perhaps a two-stroke-width solution like you have in copyright would work there?

'k' could use a hair more weight on the right half?

'b', 'r', 'm' are great! 'm' captures that "independent countershape" concept well.

Any way you could do your preview pdfs with black letters? My b/w laser printer doesn't work with these colored letters very well.

Keep up the excellent work!

Bendy's picture

Hey, I found an ultra heavy font with a 2-storey g: Tesla Dynamo, which I really like! Craig, does the y strike you as too much descending on the left?

>I wonder if you’d consider a different ’v’ shape, one that started with a vertical - imagine if a white triangle was removed at the stem corner from your ’u’.

Sorry, don't understand :(

I really like y, will see what happens making the join heavier. s...yes I don't think it'll go heavier, without losing its tension, but would be nice to try.

eliason's picture

This is roughly what I meant:

nina's picture

Hey, the Ultrablack looks yummy. (Though I'd second Craig's request for black/white PDFs; I have a color printer but it can do higher res when it's b/w only, which makes a difference for type.) Some quick impressions:

The weight of your curves vs. straight stems might warrant some fiddling around. For instance the "p" seems too bold esp. on the right side.
Actually, it also looks too wide (especially seen next to the "b" or the "o" – compare width of counters). And it's *very* perky compared to your other bowl-and-stick letters… jumps out a bit. But maybe that's just me.
You might also look at the "d" (especially its bottom-left) in this context.

The "e" looks a bit sad/droopy. I wonder if it could get a bit more of the "bite" and zest of the "c"?

Good luck with the "g". I for one would love to see you explore the two-storey idea further (hm, could it be an idea to make the bowl flatter to make more room for the tail – possibly rotating the counterspace in the bowl to be wide rather than tall?).
The one-storeyed "g" seems a bit heavy in the descender; also, did you try making its top-right a bit tighter/more_pronounced, = less "soft"/curvy?

Micro stuff: in the counter of the "u" (also see "n", "m", etc.), the transition between the straight and the curvy parts seems like it could be smoother.

I'm not sure the cap Eszett works – its bottom-right looks too lowercasey (too close to lc eszett, and to "s"), and its top-right possibly too pointy. But I don't claim to be an expert on that character.

Your ampersand seems to be slightly leaning right?

- Don't just mind the salt as usual, but also some rust; I've been gone for a bit.
In any case, keep up the great work. It's exciting to see this evolve.

Bendy's picture

Hey Nina, you're back! Will look forward to seeing your photos on Flickr!
Thanks both for your feedback, am rather busy painting t-shirts but will resume on Mint in the next week or so. The bowl and stick letters have been giving me problems and I'll look into getting more bite into the e...I closed its mouth a bit for a counter matching the other counters but it does need to speak a bit louder I think.

>make the bowl flatter to make more room for the tail – possibly rotating the counterspace in the bowl to be wide rather than tall

A very interesting idea...

Bendy's picture

I've posted an update of work so far on Mint, in black and white, as I'm shortly off on holiday and won't be doing much for a few weeks.
I've designed a few glyphs of the thinnest weight and just interpolated the intermediates between the Light (previously ultralight) and Medium. The five alphabets are the Light, Medium, Semibold, Extrabold and Ultra, and the Extrabold is the most unpolished (I think it was an extrapolation from the Medium).
Do you think the weights are staggered evenly between the extremes? And is the family coherent between its weights? My particular concern now is that the Ultrablack (which was not extrapolated but drawn by hand) is in a different key, much like the weights of Gill Sans? G M N and W look particularly unrelated and too wide but I'm not sure how to get enough weight onto them without making them wide or the counters too small. I wonder if I should make the counters a different shape, more like a vertical slice than a wedge.

Martijn van Berkel's picture

Hi, nice to see progress. :)

However I'm not an expert, here are some comments:

- I think the join from the thin "a" (top-left) is a little too fat.
- The difference between ExtraBold & UltraBold is bigger than the difference between other weights.
- The UltraBold $ looks a bit leaning to the left, compaired to the normal "S".


Kind regards,
Martijn van Berkel

nina's picture

How did you decide on which weights to make? Did you space them equally numerically, or by some other system?

Yeah, the Ultra sticks out. I mean it seems visible that it's drawn a bit differently in detail. I wonder if adding another weight between the Extrabold and the Ultra would help tie it in; there really is way more of a weight "gap" there.

Or it might be a different strategy to not try to make the Ultra an integral part of this tight little family at all, but release it separately as "Mint Display", Titling, Ultra, Super, Crazy or some such, maybe with a Super-Ultra-Thin counterpart? Just a thought. Go enjoy your vacation :)

PS: For shame. Did I forget to mention this is looking yummy?! I'm very much looking forward to seeing this completed.

Bendy's picture

Hey hey,

Ok, think I was approaching it backwards. Originally I thought the Ultra black would be a bit of a crazy super tiddly display weight, and I'd made the other weights manually by thickening the Medium and extrapolating...the results were a bit variable as we saw today. Now I tried interpolating from the Medium to the Ultra and come up with very acceptable results. There are three intermediate weights in between. Have a look at the new pdf! ;)

So the drawn weights were the ultralight, medium and ultrablack, the others are interpolated. The thin was extrapolated and needs more work but I've had a quick tweak so it's not too lumpy bumpy.

Nina, if we put these weights into maths terms, if we have ultralight at 0, medium at 1 and ultrablack at 2 then the weights go 0, .33, .66, 1, 1.25, 1.5, 1.75 and 2. The thin was at minus something.

Now I really need to pack my backpack ;)

Bendy's picture

Perhaps I should merge the light and book into something in between?

Did you notice the ultrablack g? How does it work? I squished its head.

Sindre's picture

This is impressive! The whole family looks much more harmonious now. I share your doubts about the ultralight--medium range, three weights would probably be better than four. The heavy end gradation is however perfect now, I think. New black "g" is jolly good. Have a nice holiday!

Bendy's picture

Blended those two weights into a new 'Light' but still think they're pretty close together. Perhaps just need one intermediate between Medium and Ultralight?

Bag is packed; back in 3 weeks ;)

Bendy's picture


I'm midway through the kerning after sorting out my problems with kerning classes and now also have a nice routine for arbitrary fractions. All this coding is rather unexpectedly complicated. The superior and inferior numerals are quite heavier. I'm not sure still whether I'm happy with the shapes of 2 and 3. They'll always be my weakest glyphs I fear.

Spacing is improved and some glyphs have been slightly tweaked. (Following Craig's suggestion ages ago I've pulled up the join on y at last.) Ampersand is switched with the previous one as an s.alt. I've added LOTS of precomposed diacritics (yes I know some of them need the contours merging) and Mint now supports over 40 languages!

Six months after starting this project, it's beginning to look like Mint Medium might be done by the end of the year! I'm quite excited by that idea!

Please have a look at my new pdf (Mint Booklet) and tell me how well you think it's coming along, or how badly. I'm interested to hear whether you think the overall colour is even or if there are glyphs that might need looking at.

Please forgive the Th ligature spacing. I thought I'd turned off the auto ligs for that sequence.

PS Thanks Sindre for your latest specimen of Neutrogen/Ethos which inspired the design of my latest specimen. :)

eliason's picture

This isn't a full critique but here are some observations to consider, in no particular order:

- The weights look nice together.

- There may be too much contrast between thick and thin in the Light weight. It looks spotty and uneven on my printout. (The unremarkable resolution of my printer probably doesn't help.) In some ways "Light" and "Stressed" work against each other; maybe the contrast should really back down to nothing as the stroke weight hits the light extreme.

- On the counters of the bowl-and-stick letters, did you ever consider doing something different with the stem-side edge of the counter? E.g., in a d, the right side of the counter rounds into a vertical that aligns with the left side of the stem above. Since "independent countershapes" is part of the concept here, might there be room to do something different with that counter edge?

- t's crossbar has always seemed too low to me (I'm looking at "transitions of vortices")

- is the terminal of y's tail a little too exuberant, esp. the curl up on its top side? That might flare out too quickly; compare the bluntness of Q's tail. y also has a little rightward lean but I don't know that that is a problem.

- In bigger settings, the u looks too narrow to me, particular near round letters ("Quezon," "Époque"). n also looks a touch narrow. But at text sizes both look fine. Not sure what to do with that...

- In the numerator/denominator size, 5 looks too chunky maybe. 7 may be a bit too serpentine in that size, too.

- Top of fl ligature looks limp.

- Are you going to have fl/fi ligs for the light weight?

- In the language specimens, is there a rogue capital Thorn in the second-to-last line of the Icelandic paragraph? And looks like there's an extra space before a comma near the middle of the Croatian paragraph.

eliason's picture

Ben, have you seen Meadow? - I just came across it and was reminded of Mint.

Bendy's picture

Yes! I found it about a week after your previous post and kept the pdf for reference. It's very interesting. I especially like the waviness in the italics. Another one I found was Tesla Dynamo, which I thought might be a helpful pointer for the ultrablack weight.

Not sure what I'm doing with Mint actually. Part of me wanted to optimise it better for 10pt sizes: heavier hairlines and bigger spacing, but part of me was attracted to the unusually high contrast in a sans design. Does this mean I have to do two cuts and never finish either of them? ;)

Sindre's picture

Just dropping by to tell you that your Mint is even better than I remembered it. And I remembered it as darn good. I advise to keep it as it is, in my opinion, this is more of a mid-range font than a small size font anyway. Finish it, release it, and make a small size version as a 2.0 project, perhaps only for the core weights. This needs to be released. Your last specimen booklet is even greater than the one that inspired it. (Boy, I look forward to designing real specimen books for my typefaces when they're all finished.)
Did you sort out the weight distribution?

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