Alamo Slab

sevenfingers's picture

I begun work on an oldstyle (based on a design from 1824 I think) slab serif face.
Anyway, before I go any further, comments, criticism?


sevenfingers's picture

Credit where credit is due, it's based on a design by Richard Ronaldson from Philadephia in 1824... as far as I understand.

hrant's picture

Although this isn't my cup of Lapsang Souchong, it seems to hold together well.

I think the "C" needs a thicker lower curve, the middles of "EF" are a bit too thin, and the inside of the "J" should just curve.

You might also consider implementing some "modeling" of the strokes (like making the left diagonal of the "A" slightly thicker at towards bottom) in order to compensate optically - on the other hand maybe this type of design *needs* a certain imbalance.


mart's picture

I agree with Hrant's suggestions. Where are the originals? Are you scanning from a book or something?

Other specific suggestions:
the end of the tail on the R might look nicer if it was small and not the same height as the slab serif sides; the junctions of stroke and serif could be larger in the C and G - more white space, less ink in other words; you might experiment with some curves instead of sharp angles for the serifs. Seeing as this font should be used at poster size for best effect, curves might look nicer at those sizes.

There is a not dissimilar font called Eglentine - published by I don't know who - and it even has a lower case.

sevenfingers's picture

All good, and to an extent, planned suggestions.
I have only just started roughing out the shapes, with a low resolution picture as a template:


which I got hold of from:

Optical corrections and modelling of strokes, are planned, I like "human" typefaces (and a typeface as the one above do need some human qualities).

I think I will keep the sharp inside of the J, as I like it quite much. I will kill that darling if it looks odd in the final design though.

The R, I agree completely, I'll get right on it.

As for lowercase, I'm planning on making it when I have all the UC and numerals done.

Thanks for the comments.

sevenfingers's picture

My connection is failing me.

gulliver's picture

As someone who loves (and frequently uses) old woodcut-style fonts, I'm going to disagree somewhat with Hrant and (to a lesser extent) Martin. (No offense intended to either Hrant or Martin -- you both know I respect and agree with you most of the time. :) )

The strength of this design is in its quirks. The extreme thins of the middle strokes of the "E" and "F", the slight (almost unnoticeable) taper of the lower stroke of the "C", the squared curve of the tail of the "J" and the thick-tailed "R" are what make this font interesting and set it apart from other similar woodcut-style Egyptians such as Giza and Farao. If I wanted Giza or Farao, I'd use them. (And I do. :) ) This font offers delightful and interesting alternatives.

I do agree with Hrant and Martin, however, in that certain optical adjustments should be made. The spur of the "G" should be thinned slightly, along with Martin's suggestions regarding the serifs of the "C" and "G", to avoid the problem of ink spread closing the space between the strokes. Similar attention should be given to the "Q" and the "2", once you get to them.

Nice work so far.


kentlew's picture

Richard --

This sort of face is not necessarily my cup of Earl Grey either, but I agree with David: this kind of design lives or dies by its idiosyncracies. Given that, I like the cut in the J. Consider introducing a similar detail in a few other characters. One possibility that I see is in the R, in the underside junction where the leg leaves the bowl. See what you think.

-- Kent.

andreas's picture

Hello Richard,

a way out is to develop 2 pieces of the font.

AlamoSlab 1824 and AlamoSlab 2002 - so you can preserve the original, as a contribution to the original creator Richard Ronaldson and of course, do your additions and modifications in the version 2002. This is the way I would go.

fonthausen's picture

Hi richard,
do not forget to study the original design, by way of its optical solutions. In your design, the 'corners' where a flat stroke becomes a stroke (B, P, R) are to square.
You should replace the tangent points, or even think of adding a curve point to solve this.


sevenfingers's picture

David --

First of all, thank you :)
I'm making the spur thinner, I thought it looked somewhat odd.
As for the serifs, I'm on it, but I can't seem to get a satisfactory rounding in the main body if I increase the whitespace in the junction... it's really strange.

Kent --

Good suggestion, it looked a bit funky, but with certain adjustments it will look nice (the R you suggested).

Andreas --

Yes! That was a great suggestion actually :)
I just need to get hold of the printed version (I suspect it's in a book), then I could make a "real" preservation.

Jacques --

You're right, I will fix this once I'm in Fontographer. I'm still roughing it out.


Is there a market?

Possible foundries willing to sell a font like this as it seems it isn't most peoples cup of tea (David recieves a free copy once it's done :)).

Any legal problems on basing it on a design as I've done? (not exactly traced though).

Ok, that's it for now I guess,


gulliver's picture

> (David recieves a free copy once it's done ).

Woo hoo!! >:]

Seriously, nice work so far. Any chance we can see the alterations you've made any time soon?


sevenfingers's picture

Yeah, hopefully tomorrow.
I'm stuck making facial morphs for a project right now. And I'm applying for a job... lots of stuff, little time :/

Stephen Coles's picture


This is my cup of chamomile, and I adore it.
Looking forward to the newest cut.


sevenfingers's picture


Thank you Stephen!

It's progressing just fine, hopefully I'll have another sample up this day.

What a glorious day it is! (The misspelled poster wasn't printed!)

sevenfingers's picture




sevenfingers's picture

Forgot to add, the "S" in the picture is wrong, it's an older version of the character... I unfortanly do not have it here to fix, but it looks better.

mart's picture

Sorry but the G looks totally bizarre now.
Q is wonderful. I think you could afford to be as bold with the interpretations of some other characters too. The S looks like it is on the verge of becoming oblique - perhaps there might be a way to do a version with a thin section in the middle of the main stroke - the same as the Q tail beginning and the E, F and H center strokes. This would give you more space to play with to balance top and bottom.
The thickness and thinness of the M and the N still seems off. The M's thin-thick-thin-thick should be enhanced: thinner thins and thicker thicks. The N seems like all the strokes have the same weight but the shape would surely have more character if it was thin-thick-thin.
As usual - sorry to be negative. Overall you've moved in the right direction and given the face more consistency.

sevenfingers's picture

Wow. Bizarre :)
Maybe I should settle for something inbetween the current and the before version.

As for the semi-obligue S, I'm aware of that, it's sort of fixed already, I noticed it right after I had uploaded it. On the other hand, I've noticed that many of the old woodcut styled fonts actually have slightly obligue S-letters... (taken to a silly extent in some bauhaus fonts, not that those were fonts like this...but still).

As for the thickness and thinness issue, I wanted this to be a heavy font, with almost equal (percieved) strokes. I've stepped away from that in the Q though, so I might as well do it in other places.

Oh yeah, the G does look a bit retarded. hehe.

sevenfingers's picture




Btw, I need to get a printer. It's hard to get a good overview onscreen. Anyone know of a good & cheap laserprinter?

hrant's picture

For proofing fonts, make sure it's 1200 dpi.
I've heard good things about Lexmark lasers.


glutton's picture

That, Richard, is a thing of beauty.

The capital W seems a tad stretched out. Maybe take a cue from the "K" and tighten it up?

hrant's picture

Richard, surprisingly powerful.
Between the worlds of regularity and quirkiness,
it seems to be *just* where it needs to be, and
this is the toughest thing to pull off.


designalchemy's picture

Nice work. the Q and R are my favorites.

sevenfingers's picture

Thanks a bunch guys! (I especially like the "a thing of beauty") :)

John --
Yep, it does indeed seem a tad stretched, I'll take care of it.

Hrant --
Powerful was the idea. I like typefaces with a rich and heavy texture, that was what I was aiming for anyway.

Ole --
Q is my favorite. I love Q's.

The only thing I'm not quite satisfied with is the X... I think it looks almost slanted.
On the other hand, I guess there must be some compromises in every typeface :(

johnbutler's picture

HP Laserjet 3200m: 1200 dpi, Postscript, built-in fax, sheetfed scanning and copying.

For something cheaper and better, look for a used large-format Lexmark.

Xeroxes are also nice, I hear.

sevenfingers's picture

I think I'll be going for a Lexmark.

I'm very anti-HP by the way, they've made some truly worthless inkjets. I always loved Epson instead.

jordy's picture

Glad to see a well-realized slab based closely on wood. Yes, the strokes of the middles on E and F are a bit thin, but seem appropriate for the period of generally idiosyncratic designs.

Someone mentioned something about a market. Maybe, though I have been trying for quite a bit. Check out my for examples and demos. I too use specimens from various sources. Will look more at comments when I have more time. Nice to see others working along the same lines as I have been, and with success.


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