Dark, somewhat classical, text serif

brianskywalker's picture

Newton is a dark, somewhat dutch-inspired serif font.

I had been working on this, however about a week ago my hard drive failed. Anyway, I am trying to catch back up on it now. Here is the lower- and uppercase. Numerals, punctuation, and ligatures will be here extremely soon.

I started a font earlier called Recut. It wasn't that great but I learned how to use Fontforge. I took a couple months break from font-making, and now I've got a new serif that's hopefully better.

Tell me your thoughts and criticisms!

Newton.2010.3.11.pdf15.11 KB
Newton.2010.3.12.pdf19.53 KB
Newton.2010.5.10.pdf16.94 KB
Newton.2010.5.13.pdf20.24 KB
Newton.2010.5.18.pdf20.82 KB
Newton.2010.5.20.pdf21 KB
Newton.2010.6.25.pdf155.99 KB
20120401-text.pdf513.79 KB
microspective's picture

No time right now for a thorough critique, but I want to at least say that I think it's beautiful! Especially love the R, G, and K glyphs. Keep going!

aric's picture

Much better than your previous font. Here are my amateur critiques, to be taken with a grain of salt:

The bottom serifs of A and X make them look pigeontoed, and the same effect plagues the top serifs of W, X, and Y. X also seems kind of wide. I'm not crazy about the middle join on the K or the "shelf" of the G (what is that thing called, anyway?). The right side of the bottom serif of F has a bracket; I see that rounded feature elsewhere in the font but not on any other serif (P, for example). Speaking of which, I quite like your P.

It would be nice to see some sample words. On the whole, it looks really promising. Keep it up.

brianskywalker's picture

@aric, You may be right about the serifs on diagonal letters. My thought was that it would lessen the big gap those characters tend to create.

I'm not crazy about the K join, or G stem serif either... In fact I had a lot of trouble with both letters. The G seems almost right though. When I made the F I couldn't get it to look right without the bracketing. My thoughts was that it's a bit like it's friends E and L.

(The word samples are on the first post - I can't seem to find how to add images here.)

microspective's picture

The "C" feels very large (see words sample).

cerulean's picture

The X is topheavy: the right arm actually reaches farther than the right leg. I'm not quite sure whether you only need to change the serifs, or if the strokes need shifting to move the crossing up to visual center.

brianskywalker's picture

I added a PDF with corrections. I printed a test sheet and studied it a bit. (Please excuse the terribly misspelled test words, I wrote them very fast)

Changes made include:

* O was lighter at 1:30 than 7:30. Corrected.
* The K joins less like cyrillic and more like it should
* N tilted in with right side. Corrected.
* Attempted to make C better. Terminal moved down.
Shortened slightly to avoid appearing bigger than
other characters. Very slightly thinner
* A now stands on better feet (echo on VWXY)
* Upper bowl on B darkened slightly
* Bracketing on D slightly larger
* E serifs slightly larger
* Briacketing removed on F
* G stem serif modified slightly
* H widened
* J descender normalized
* Right serif of L enlarged slightly
* M legs splayed a bit more
* Q tail shortened as not to collide with ascending
* S upper serif angled inward; enlarged slightly. Lower
serif made horizontal on left
* R leg lowered
* T serifs enlarged
* VWXY serifs cured from disease as A.
* X no longer top-heavy
* Y right arm a little better (moved leftward)
* Z bottom bar thickened; upper and lower serifs
* BDPR bowls moved up at top to correct small problem
with appearing slightly shorter
* l (lowercase) somewhat thinner than uppercase stems.
foot serifs a bit smaller, wedge serif on top.

aric's picture

You've made a lot of good progress; the join of the K is much improved. You should probably make the leg of the K extend slightly farther than the arm. You'll have to experiment to see whether the best way to accomplish that is to nudge the leg outward or the arm inward (or some of both).

microspective's picture

Very nice. The "C" looks a ton better.

- The "A" and "X" feel considerably wider than the rest of the characters.

- The "M" feels quite a bit heavier than the others (thicker strokes, that is)

- The joins on the "L" and "E" (bottom left) seem very heavy. I can't tell if it's because of the stem or just the join.

Would you consider tracking out your next specimen a little bit? It will allow for a critique of a slightly more "realistic" setting of all caps.

Hope this helps. Keep up the great work!

dtw's picture

I like the general look of it; the left leg of the "N" bothers me slightly though: it's almost vertical but not quite. The very slight angle is a little off-putting. Might be better vertical.

brianskywalker's picture

Hi everyone, thanks for the comments, they're very helpful! I'll be waiting to post a new specimen until I'm a bit happier with what I've got for the lower case. Anyway if you see something else be sure to let me know.

brianskywalker's picture

I've been working on this, but my hard drive failed and I lost about a month of work. Anyway, I've been neglecting to post here, thinking I should just wait until the next phase, and the next, and so on. Anyway, I'm trying to redo it from my old version, which has been difficult. In essence, what I have post is only about 3 days work different from what was posted last.

There is a new PDF.

cerulean's picture

Looking good. Perhaps the tail of lowercase j is a bit thick?

sandrosandro's picture

Love it, it feels like it could be very good dark book typeface. Sorry no time for thorough critique. Maybe that K is too wide, try removing that crossbar.

brianskywalker's picture

I have corrected the things you have suggested, and made other improvements! Please take a look. :)

Bendy's picture

This is really yummy. Your arched letters are beautiful. f and t are lovely too. I'd make the hood of f quite a bit wider.

w needs to be wider and some trapping on the inside acutes would help lighten the vertices. Serifs on the outside of v are too long, I think. Same for x and y. x looks heavy next to z.

Bottom right foot of N could do with some more overshoot. Vertical serifs on T and Z could be heavier/longer.

I like it a lot, keep going.

brianskywalker's picture

Thanks Bendy & all. I made many revisions (including your suggestions), I am working on designing spacing more carefully now. Somehow, though, I forgot to make the outer serifs on A less long, since I did the same for all the other diagonals. o.O I posted a new PDF up top.

Also, I seem to be terrible at numerals:

Arlo Vance's picture

Nice personality overall. In the text setting, your 'w' is too dark/heavy. Also, the left single quote is awkward in the setting. Seems like it should be mirrored along the vertical axis. The tail of the 'y' is also heavy. I wonder if the ear of the 'g' could gain some weight.

microspective's picture

Agreed, Arlo; especially the 'w', which is not only too dark and heavy, but seems to extend past the baseline a bit too noticeably.

Keep it up!

eliason's picture

I think the serifs on all the lowercase diagonal letters (/w/x/v/etc.) are still too prominent. Actually I think the serifs on all the lowercase letters could be brought back just a hair.

/c/ may be leaning backwards a bit, but I like the way it's drawn.

/s/ is too narrow.

The little bit at the northeast corner of /q/ is too indecisive - either forget that little flip, or make it more prominent.

/z/ looks a little topheavy to me.

The way the diagonal at the top of the left side of the /f/ crossbar goes much higher than where the crossbar comes out on the other side of the stem looks a little odd to me.

The vertical of /G/ seems short; that is, the crossbar seems low.

/4/'s "descender" vertical is too long; that is, its horizontal should be lower.

Could /V/ and /v/ be a little wider?

I like the drawing of the /r/ arm.

I'm not sure what the breaks in /q/ and /p/ add. I definitely don't like them on the /8/ (looks stencil-y), though on the /6/ and /9/ they're less bothersome.

Keep going!

brianskywalker's picture

Well, thanks everyone! I reworked A ton of things. I've been spending most of the day spacing the lc. I haven't figured out kerning in fontforge yet, or ligatures...... So, I'll have to figure those out.

Diagonal outer serifs shortened more:

And here's a few more samples:

And a couple letters for testing a bold:

Anyway, like to know what you all think. I will put a new pdf up top momentarily.

traviskochel's picture

This is looking really nice. Looking forward to see what you do with it.

G-The bottom right seems a little flat, maybe bring it up a bit.
X and x - I think the lower left arm should hit the thick stroke a little higher than the upper right arm.
Z and z - a little top heavy?
o-seems a little wide, but in the bold it looks closer.
s-a little narrow

It’s a little difficult to judge the bold without seeing it at the same size as the regular weight, and perhaps in a text setting. However, I’d suggest nailing down this weight before working on the bold, even though I know how tempting that is. You might find yourself having to redraw things over and over as you find mistakes.

Great work though.

brianskywalker's picture

I've made many corrections now. There are a few tweaks, but I am not at a computer I can edit them with right now. There's a new pdf etc. up top.

eliason's picture

Nice work!
Cap /S/ needs some work: it looks like its top half has been skewed rightwards, and the spine looks a bit limp to my eyes at its bottom.
I might try taking a little size off the bottom loop of /g/ and giving it to its top loop.

I wonder if you've oversoftened the corners at the tops of the serifs (in purple below) given the crispness of some of the other corners (for example the ones in green).

brianskywalker's picture

Thanks everyone.

In regards to the break in the p and q, I though I should echo the break in the uppercase P in the lowercase, and then also thought it would work with the q.

I tried having the top serifs softened, but it didn't work. I might want to lessen that though.

New PDF up top. Is the cap S and lowercase g better?

eliason's picture

Is the cap S and lowercase g better?

I think so!

brianskywalker's picture

Oh, in my last post... Correction:

I tried having the top serifs unsoftened, but it didn't work. I might want to lessen that though.

brianskywalker's picture

Hey everyone, thanks for all the comments! It's been really helpful!

I've made more progress since I last updated this thread, added extra weights and italics, ironing out some issues too. If anyone has any more critiques, I'd love to hear it! You can also download Neuton and follow along with the updates here.

I've found that designing the weights seems to be especially tricky. Should the top of the 't' have a different shape in the light and extra light than the other versions? In some ways I think I've lost the feeling of the rest of the family in the extra bold as well. I'm a little worried about my numerals too.

I'm posting some pictures below now so you can take a look and see what you think: (I'll post a PDF later.)

(This is a promo made by Martin Silvertant.)

Extra light:




Extra bold:

Also note there is a separate thread for accents:
And an experimental Hebrew:

I'm going to update some of those soon. I am completely redrawing the Hebrew and that will be a while.

1996type's picture

Damn that's a great family! On the numerals: Perhaps take the lining numerals from the Cursive and backslant them to use in the Roman styles. Black /r/ is a bit too wide, creating a white gap. Keep it up!

Cheers! jasper

brianskywalker's picture

Thanks a lot Jasper! :) I hadn't thought of using the numerals from the Cursive. I'll chew on that and figure out if I like it.

I posted a new PDF, above. It's the one called 20120401-text.pdf. It's an example text setting, in three sizes. I want to make another one that has all the glyphs in each font, but I'm having trouble finding a way to get all the glyphs that doesn't involve double-clicking each glyph from a palette.

If anybody knows how to do that, I'd be obliged if you told me how. :)

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