re: Critique forum: What makes a good sample?

cuttlefish's picture

Some questions for those who give critiques in that forum:

What makes a font sample useful for evaluation?
What sizes, layouts, arrangements give you the information you need on which to make informed commentary?
What statements do you hope to read when designers submit their designs for critique?

(Posted here since it's as close to a Forum Advice column as we have, though so far not very close at all.)

hrant's picture

1) Character set.
2) My alphabetically-ordered pangram:
«Abacist's deaf dog hijacked luminous parquetry studio, avows ex-yakuza.»
And/or my "metagram"*:
«Incredibly, he makes a major life-change! For example: "I'll require that the system have two sizes."»
3) Ragged-right paragraph block with correct leading.

* http://www.microsoft.com/typography/links/news.aspx?NID=2454

hhp

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Thank you, Hrant-

That should scare most of any aspiring type designers. :·)

I think that whatever you've made can very well be evaluated. The more you have, the easier critique.

Bendy's picture

Take a look at the samples on CommercialType.com. The pdfs of Guardian Egyptian Text are really (too?) extensive, different sizes, different leadings, combinations of bold and regular, small caps, set in different columns, waterfalls of different weights.

riccard0's picture

One thing for sure: no lipsum.

nina's picture

"Abacist's deaf dog hijacked luminous parquetry studio, avows ex-yakuza"
Ha, that's a keeper. (The other one too, but I knew that one already :-)

Dunno, I'm partial to samples that have a large showing of the base alphabet (at least as long as it's being intensely worked on – later on in the process, a smaller one showing the entire character set should be more useful); and I strongly agree that text fonts should include actual sample text at actual target sizes. When evaluating alternatives, both/all should be shown in context.

For the text setting: Maybe the best idea would actually be to show both the target language of the font and English*; while the former can show the desired texture, and how the font deals with language-specific peculiarities like diacritics, the latter can give most people in here an impression of how it reads.
(* Assuming it is a Latin font.)

hrant's picture

BTW, there's also the shorter variant:
"Abacist defogs, hijacks luminous parquetry studio, views ex-yakuza."
But I like the other because it gives a respectful nod to the venerable
and still highly useful "quick brown fox".

hhp

cuttlefish's picture

Do you know of any metagrams in Cherokee?

hrant's picture

I don't even know a word in Cherokee!

hhp

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