Serif design help

ivan_melendez's picture

I need help with something. You see when I design a letter my biggest problem is creating the serifs. So I started this thread in hopes of obtaining info from fellow typophiles on serifs that set themselves apart from the usual triangle formation. I would really appreciate the feedback.


hrant's picture

Instead of worrying about making serifs interesting/different, I would instead try to make serifs that are appropriate to the atmosphere you're trying to create with the design.


raph's picture

Try tracing a few letters from excellent fonts. You'll learn how the masters constructed their serifs. If you don't have it, Jan Tschichold's "Treasury of Alphabets and Lettering" is a good place to start.

I'm currently tracing Centaur caps, which have truly magnificent serifs. For a more typographic, less calligraphic approach, try the Le Be alphabet in the Tschichold book (or in Harry Carter's "View of Early Typography", which is more scholarly). Dozens of fonts with beautiful and distinctive serifs come to mind: Palatino, Bembo, Bodoni, Perpetua, Trajan, Columna, Goudy, Friz Quadrata, Albertus, Egyptian, Novarese, etc., etc., etc.

ivan_melendez's picture

Hrant, you do have a point, but what I'm trying to do is diversify what is appropiate rather than follow a set formula.
ex. what if one side of a serif was longer than the other. or what if one went straight in to the stem while the otherside curved into the stem softly.

raph, thanks so much for the idea of tracing some classic lettering. It was an idea I had in mind but I was afraid if I based my ideas on other fonts my designs would lack originality, I know now that this is not true. also thank you for the font examples I'll write it down. anymore suggestions?


pablohoney77's picture

what if one went straight in to the stem while the otherside curved into the stem softly.

See FB's Californian for some nice examples of that.

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