Otari

traviskochel's picture

Hi everyone. First post here, although I've been frequenting the boards for a while.

So a brief summary of the concept... After moving to Wellington, NZ a few months ago, I began working on this as an observation/exploration of the type and design in the area. I was originally particularly struck by the Wellington logo(see below) but wanted to try to come up with something that would be a little more practical, while reflecting some of the more conservative signage around the city.

Originally I intended for this to be a display face, but I'm thinking I'd like to get it to work at smaller sizes such as 8 or 10pt. I haven't worked too much on the spacing yet, and still have a few glyphs to fill out. The PDF below has all the glyphs I've completed and some text samples.

I'm fairly new to typeface design, so I'm sure there's lots of room for improvement on this. Any thoughts and advice would be greatly appreciated.

AttachmentSize
otariComp.pdf52.61 KB
otariComp19.pdf472.53 KB
otariComp026.pdf271.16 KB
OtariJan23.pdf848.5 KB
Bendy's picture

Nice :)
One thing that jumps out at me is the nose of the e. Given the round features of a, h, n etc I find it too pointy.
Don't have time for a fuller crit right now but will try to come back later... :)

Ess.P9's picture

How do!! Looks really nice. I like the concept. The first thing that stuck out for me was the lower case e, it seems too sharp compared to the rest of the glyphs. Something else that strikes me is the little serif you have on the capital H, I, K, L and U. Why isn't it replicated on the B, D, E, F, J, N, P and R? It could be too much if it was done, but at the moment it doesn’t seem to be solid; the L's stick out in "wet lands plan approved." maybe it is just that one sentence? The lower case looks very good though. Again I like where it’s going!

Stef

traviskochel's picture

Thanks Bendy and Stef. I appreciate your thoughts. I see what you are saying about the e. The serifs on the caps is something I've been struggling with, and I'm glad you brought that up. I was trying to follow the logic of the lowercase, with the serifs being more of an entry and exit to the glyph, inspired partly by the scripty l, i and n from the logo. But it is kind of awkward and inconsistent in its present form. I'll give it a try with the serifs carried all throughout, as well as without any, and let you guys have a look.

Thanks again.

Bendy's picture

A fuller crit...

This looks really nice in text. I like the wide tracking and leading and think the serifs work very nicely...I'd add them to lots more letters, especially caps. The contrast is really nice and the glyphs seem to flow well and make nice word shapes. It's also really nicely drawn.

The glyphs I'd look at are:
A: looks narrowish.
D: maybe a hair too narrow?
G: maybe a bit wide and/or the bottom corner could be lower?
H,I: nice serif treatment.
M,N: Nice joins.
P: deeper bowl?
V,W: Nice like the M and N.
Y: a bit narrow?
Z: corners a bit too pointy; try bevelling more?

a: seems to need narrower sidebearing on the right.
e: bevel the nose? or curve the crossbar?
f: wider crossbar?
g: ear looks stumpy and sad. Needs more energy I think.
k: what about a looped arm? It's got a very pointy terminal.
o: pull out the bcps from the nodes more, it looks too oval.
r: terminal needs more oomph at the end. Try cutting it more vertically?
t: see f. Foot may need to be wider too.
u: looks ever so slightly too wide.
w: pull the feet apart more? Looks light.
z: see Z.

Numerals: lovely. The join on 9 needs thinning.

The punctuation is really neat. Comma and quotes look a little too fiddly/detailed. The tail is very thin.

Good work, keep going :)

traviskochel's picture

Thanks for taking the time for the full crit, Bendy. I'll definitely take it all into consideration.

traviskochel's picture

Just uploaded the latest full pdf above, and a few screenshots below.

Things I could use a little help on are:

1. Are the serifs in the upper case working? If not, should I give it a full serif treatment, or just get rid of them? I also added a few serifs to the diagonals in the lowercase.
2. The LC serifs are a bit rounder than the UC serifs. Is this weird? I had originally drawn the UC with round serifs, but they just didn't look solid.
3. Is the e still too pointy? I tried a more cursive e, which looks nice on its own, but is really distracting when set in text.

Thanks in advance.


eliason's picture

I think the serifs are on the right track. Your caps have really taken on a much more interesting voice.

Top right of 'V' and 'W' looks a bit weak.

"Hybrid" 'e' (first "other option") is interesting - does it not work in text?

I'm not sold on the '@'.

Take another look at 'S' and 's' - to my eye they seem to thin out in the middle of the spine. This may be an illusion but it's one I would address, by thickening the diagonal part or altering where the thickening starts top and bottom.

Bendy's picture

This is looking really nice :)
I'd definitely go with the serifs, but not everywhere on the caps (new version rather than full serifs).
I like the lowercase with more features, but I'm wondering if the curl on vw should be on the exit stroke, curving inwards rather than on the entry stroke curving outwards.
I'm going to agree with Craig and recommend the hybrid e; really interesting...have a look at Parisine Plus which has a similar shaped alt e.
I prefer the fourth g (second 'other option')
I'd like to see what it looks like with serifs on the inside of the top counter on S and on the bottom of the left side of the top of T. I think it might possibly be interesting to have a serif on the bottom crossbar of E (right side, pointing up).

traviskochel's picture

Thanks to both of you! Great feedback. I'm going to try to attack these one at a time.

A few variations dealing with the spine of the 'S':
(original on the left)

A few variations on the exit stroke of the 'v':
(first is the original)




Perhaps this could also help with the weak top right of the 'V'.

eliason's picture

The 'S''s are an improvement as far as the spine goes. It's hard for me to judge the differences between the new alternatives - does the spine just keep getting thicker? One thing to watch is that a too-thick spine will start to make the terminals look weak. But this kind of contrast adjustment is best done looking at the other letters alongside.

The first new 'v' terminal - where it just turns vertical at the top - best fits your other letters' character, I think. And yes, I think that treatment is promising for helping out 'V' and 'W'.

Bendy's picture

I like S number two and v number two.

traviskochel's picture

It’s hard for me to judge the differences between the new alternatives - does the spine just keep getting thicker?
The spine does get slightly thicker, and I also adjusted the nodes on the spine, as in this screenshot:

I'm not sure I have the eye to see exactly what's going wrong with the spine. So here they are again, in context. I can set it in a full text pdf too, if that would help.

Original:

#2 from previous:

#4 from previous:

And #2 with a serif:

eliason's picture

#2 looks good to me.

Bendy's picture

Number two definitely. The serif is too hard, can you soften it into more of a curl?

traviskochel's picture

Just uploaded a new pdf above.

After fiddling with this by myself for the last two weeks, I'd appreciate any opinions on these decisions, or anything else that's popping out. The last page of the pdf highlights all of this.

I went back to the straightened exit strokes on vwy, but gave them angled terminals(not sure if my terminology is correct). I just couldn't quite get the curves to balance right, and I'm hoping this still takes care of the sharpness and adds a little character.

I also tried applying the serifs on ELTSC, but it seemed a little too forced. I also revisited the @ symbol, as Craig had suggested. I'm leaning towards option 2, because it doesn't sacrifice the design of my a, but maybe I should just let it go.

Thanks!

eliason's picture

I'd probably choose @ #4. #2 is appealing and maybe you could get it to work, but for me it calls too much attention to itself. By the way, I think you have too much weight on the rightside vertical stroke in the a inside @ #2, as well as in the 'a' proper.

Bendy's picture

This is turning into an interesting puzzle isn't it?

I like the curved diagonals and the angled terminals. The difficulty is that the curved upstrokes make the counters a bit too narrow, I think. And I think the angled terminals need to have a little overshoot. I think it might be too much to have both the curves and the entry serifs. I marginally prefer the ones with the entry serifs and angled terminals.

I don't think the serif on T works, but I like it on S and E. I'm not sure about L. I quite like the occasional-ness.

I'd go with @ number four too.

I like the way you just have a flat (ish) terminal on d and j but think it sticks out a bit as all the other stems have terminal features.

I think the arm of r should be wider?

What about a small entry stroke for the z?

Bottom corner of G doesn't quite look right somehow. I'm not sure what I'd do to it.

I'd make the tail of Q deeper and M a bit wider.

The e is super! I'd bring the left join of the crossbar down slightly (keeping the nice curve) but I think that's just my personal taste.

Great work, keep going :)

traviskochel's picture

Thanks to both of you. Great feedback as always.

This is turning into an interesting puzzle isn’t it?

Yes, unfortunately I seem to make interesting puzzles out of everything. Although, where's the fun in an easy puzzle?

I don’t think the serif on T works, but I like it on S and E. I’m not sure about L. I quite like the occasional-ness.

Do you think the serif works on the C, or would leaving it off add to the occasional-ness?

Bendy's picture

I'd keep it on the C, to add interest to the simple shape. I think there should be some underlying method, like 'put serifs on all the heavy oblique strokes' (such as AKMNRVWXY) but governing where vertical serifs appear on horizontals and curves, and how often. You might want to apply the same rules to the numerals?

BTW on the seriffed C the bottom pokes out more than the top.

I think the arms of K need more contrast. The bottom leg is usually heavier thant the top. Just a tiddly bit.

The bowl of b seems to bulge more at the bottom than at the top.

J needs I think a much healthier tail.

traviskochel's picture

Hi everyone. I know it's been a long time since updating this. Sorry for that. I've still been working away at it, and think it's time again to get some fresh eyes to look at it. The latest pdf is up at the top. Thanks in advance for any help.

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