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Here is a sans serif that I’m working on. This is the thin version
I like the feeling this font has with it’s wide curves and tails. I think, whoever, that the ‘t’ tail doesn’t match too well, and that the ‘g’ might need to conform some more. Try looking to the curves in the ‘a’ for the ‘g.’ I think that the “he loved life and his family” shows this faces potential.
I know that that italic lower case ei is giving me trouble
i always apologize when leaving a crit as i feel so inadequate, but i guess it’s better than silence, eh? Anyway some random thuoghts: The B and E seem too narrow compared to the rest of the face as do the P and R. The counter of the a seems too small (i like the new one better) and the eye of the e seems too big. ideally they should be the same??? *unsure* the g seems a little shrimpy i’d try making at least the tail a bit bigger. maybe make the little swashies on the i, l & t a bit more subtle. maybe try them on other letters as h, n, m, u. The italic A seems like it’s going to get pulled apart it may be too wide and the right leg might need to come in a bit. The S and italic S seem top heavy. make the upper curve slightly smaller and the lower slightly larger. the lc w seems a tad too wide. anyhow there’s a bit to chew on. i think you’ve got great potential with this one. i think this has some great character, it just needs to be reﬁned a bit more. Keep up the good work!
Your crit was notally not inadequate, thank you very much for it! I’ve made some small diagrams to illustrate the changes that I’ve made based on your comments, and a few questions that I had. This ﬁrst one is a question; I’m not sure what you meant about the B,E,P, and R being too wide
So here I cut the tails on the i l and t. That looks great, but I’m not so sure about the tails on the h,m,n,u
<font class=”dontLookLikeCrap”>I’m not entirely sure how to critique this, since I’m unsure of your ﬁnal intent for this design. At the stroke width with which you’ve drawn these characters, you’d have to print them at at least 24pt or so, but most of the changes you’ve made to the lowercase so far have conventionalized the shapes. It seems to me that typefaces designed to be printed large have an extra ﬂexibility in their shapes that should be taken advantage of. For instance, in type set small (9-12pt) I ﬁnd that a nice even texture is pleasant to look at; your original g with its canted lower loop might stand out too much and wreck the texture. On the other hand, in type set large, I’d ﬁnd the stranger lower loop of the g to be a nice detail to enliven the line of text. In the same vein, I prefer the longer tails on i l t if they’re going to be used display size. At the same time, I’m curious about the approach of working from a thin skeleton of a character towards a thicker fuller shape. A large part of the challenge for me in drawing type is resolving the distribution of weight around the shape of the character. This problem doesn’t exist in a very thin monoline font since you don’t have to compensate for joining strokes or balance of the weight within the glyph. So it seems to me that you’ll have to think through this for each thicker character shape that you make from these thinner shapes. The only glyph that bugs me outright is the f. The space on the right side of the f is too large. If you want to keep the crossbar on the left side short, I’d either shorten it on the right side of kern it very agressively on the right side. I’m looking forward to seeing how your project develops. Keep us posted!</font>
Here is a three-page PDF of the text in text, incorporating some edits. I know that this wouldn’t work “in print” at 12-point, but I set the PDF text at 12 point so that there would be a lot on the page; I ﬁgured you all be using the magnifying glass anyway I haven’t done any kerning yet (so not ready yet, you know
g’job, dan. for the most part the changes are improvements IMO. i think you got the “ilt” tails just right although i do like the uberswash for endings of words, i just think tails too large would wreck your spacing. but i think the new ones should work. i like the new g. i had said that the EPRB were not wide enough, no need to make them narrower, but you may have had them right to begin with. the upper right section of the e seems a bit squarish with the change, see if you can smooth it out. Instead of perfect circles, try making the O’s slightly oval. just some more random feedback. feel free to use or discard whatever you deem appropriate. keep up the good work! you may have made the italic A too narrow, maybe ﬁnd a happy medium between new and old. i agree the swashies on “hmnu” look funny. the S’s look better but again you may have overcompensated. the italic s seems to slant more than the italic S. i think the italic w was ﬁne, i had in mind the upright, i think you got it about right with your changes.
oh, and the m could be a bit narrower.
Printed out the PDF. I’m getting a better sense of the design now and I’m liking it more, especially the italic. The rhythm in the shapes and spacing of the italic looks just right to my eyes. I prefer the italic g with the larger bottom bowl because the sizes of the two bowls feel more balanced, and I prefer the i l t with the feet that point up. This tight turn darkens and solidiﬁes the baseline, making the lines of text easier to track, and it also adds texture at a smaller scale than the larger turns (bowl of abdpq, arc of hnmu, etc) which stands in pleasant contrast to them. The spacing in the roman still bothers me. The tightness of the ﬁt works well at large sizes (~100pt). The spacing on i f l t though maybe place the vertical strokes of these letters too far to the left. The image below shows the spacing as is. letter orig spacing The lines of matching color are the same length. You can see how in all measurements — at x-height, mid-height, baseline — the space on the left is smaller than on the right. Increasing the left sidebearing of the t and decreasing the right sidebearing balances the white spaces around the tt combination and, to my eyes, makes the word more balanced as well. letter spacing adjusted I realize kerning isn’t done yet, but I think this a problem that can be solved without kerning and should cut down on the number of kerning pairs you have to add later. (Sorry, no inline images. The forums software is choking)
Here is my ﬁrst sketch of the lowercase letters for Farewell’s Black roman lowercase, shown in comparison with the lightest-most weight (the only one done so far). How is it looking?
Dan, I think you have to decide what kind of proportions you intend to settle on. In your light weight, the proportions are more traditional. In your bold weight, your f v w x y z look much too extended to match the light. This is the typical dilemma we all face when adding weight to a font. The angled glyphs get closed and plugged quickly when they get very bold. The tough part is narrowing the angle yet avoiding ﬁlling. Look at the pinch on your join of the b and d. Notice how much thinner the horizontal is there than it is on the v and w? You might want to think about pulling the apex of the angle join on the v and w down to what you did with the joiin of the b. This way you can make the letters narrower and in keeping with your light version. The bolder you go, the more you are working with the negative space. The lighter you go in weight, the more you are working with line. Your light weight is clearly monoline but your Black is a mixed bag. Look at the black version of Gill. He did a masterful job of resolving the conﬂict of stem weight and counter. The opposite approach is Futura. This too was done very well but here, the emphasis is on monoline while ﬂoating the proportions of rounds to straights more and causing more extremes in the counters. Your s works in the Futura manner but your e is more Gill like. The neat trick is to ﬁnd the Dan Reynolds solution and apply it to all the letters (far easier said then done). Keep battling with it Dan—the struggle will be worth it. ChrisL
Thanks, Chris, I’ll get to work on that. My most troublesome letters are a, f, g. The other’s I can see contrast on easier
Hi Dan. These comments are directed at your black weight. My guess is that you’re planning to do the light and black and interpolate the rest. This is an eﬃcient plan, I’m doing the same on a fon’t I’m working on. It does have it’s diﬃculties though: 1) You don’t design the font by working directly on the weight that will be most often used (the regular), but instead have to constantly check that what you’re doing at the extremes will produce a nice middle. 2) Your light weight is monoline. Your black has pretty heavy modulation from thick and thin (it must to remain open) as Chris points out. In your MM setup this will mean the middle weights, regular & even more so the bold, will be in this awkward middle ground where they just look goofy. In my case, I’ve decided to use three masters. One at the light, one at the bold, and one at the black, giving more control over the modulation. 3) The x-height is looking way more cramped in the black version. This is because the counters are not as open. So consider giving the black a larger x-height and focus on opening up the counters. 4) Your a needs more weight in the bowl. You may not get it quite as thick as the right side, but it’s too thin now. The right side of your e suﬀers the same problem. 5) Consider making the i l t sit harder on the baseline. I know this removes a unique feature, but for testing purposes try it in text settings and see if a more conventional approach is better. 6) I agree with Chris on the vwxyz. 7) Consider putting more weight in the spine of your s and less in the top and bottom. Also note that it’s top heavy. I bet it you ﬂip it, it will still look top heavy :-) Cheers, Randy
> You don’t design the font by working directly > on the weight that will be most often used Really? Maybe your “directly” means you’re actually thinking what I’m thinking, but just to clarify my own stance: I think you should make the Regular to your liking, then derive the extremes, then only use the original Regular as a check against the new/actual interpolated one. And your own #2 is one good reason for this. hhp
I am thinking what you are thinking. I was pointing out that drawback of using a light and black master is that you aren’t manipulating the curves of the regular weight. However, I think it’s ok not to begin with the regular, but you had better do a lot of testing at that weight before you sign oﬀ on it. R
Wow. Anyone that’s tracking this thread should head over to www.typeoﬀ.com and see the outcome of Farewell Street thin italic. That must have taken forever. Dan, can we see more and larger photos of this?
Aaron, thank you! It did take forever. Five weeks, to be exact. About half of that time, I was lettering the thing 8 hours/day. Here are some more pictures:
So Dan, did you actually have a life during that time? :-)
Cool stuﬀ. It reminds of something Joshua Darden was working on, a long time ago. Still unﬁnished, I think. hhp
I have to switch gears on this project for the moment, so I’ll have to come back to the weight issue a bit later
Dan, okay I know somethings about cyrillics, but by no means am i an expert. Just some things that popped out at me: Overall i think you did a ver good job, bravo! I prefer the alternate EL, DE, el and de (the triangular ones) and i personally think that they harmonize better with your design. I don’t like the EF, try an oval on your vertical for that one. The ZHE seems a bit strange to me. I know it matches your KA, but maybe you could make the ZHE (or maybe both) a bit more decorative with some curvature in the upper arms (just a suggestion). The Che and che seem a bit narrow to me and the SHA and SHCHA seem a bit wide. that’s all that jumped out at me, hopefully you can get some expert feedback from a native. keep up the good work!
Thanks Paul! I’m glad that you posted; I was going to e-mail these to you. I have one question about your comments, speciﬁcally the one about the EF. You suggested that the uppercase EF change
Change the italic EF too, but your efs are ﬁne (both lowercase and italic).
Here are some edits that reﬂect Paul’s changes. All new glyph are red. Lots of new ZHE and zhe glyphs. Also, I’m not too happy with the new EF glyphs. There is a new ef in one of these also. Can anyone tell me which one of my italics is more spot-on?
you’re on the right track witht he EF, but the circular portion doesn’t have to be so squashed try to make it a bit more circular, you can even make the height of the round portion quite a bit taller, that alone might help. The SHA and SHCHA look better IMO. I don’t like the squared oﬀ CHE and che. You may have gone a bit overboard on the ZHE and zhe, you could make your edits quit a bit more subtle. I was actually going to suggest something like your italic zhe’s to solve your design problem with that character. Oh and i like the original ef much better than the new version. Keep up the good work!
Dan, I will suggest you to view this PDF: ftp://ftp.hermessoft.com/pub/hrs36872/pdf/specimens/HelenThin.pdf HermesSOFT is one of the few companies that produce quality cyrillic typefaces. By the way, the style of the cyrillic “f”,”g”,”t”, “l”,”d” is ….diﬀerent than the widely used russian standard. But as you can see from this example, the Bulgarian style looks more appealing.
Hi Ivan, Thanks for the PDF. But I have a question for you about Helen Thin
Hi, Dan I just intended to show you what, IMHO, is a better solution (or at least, more attractive) for those cyrillic letters. As for the copyrights and other legal stuﬀ, you should ask teh HermesSoft owner, because I’m not aﬃliated in any way with this company. But I just want to point your attention to this: I see distrubing similarities between Helvetica and Paratype’s own Helios, rather than between Helvetica and Helen. Yes, Paratype also sells Helvetica Cyrillic, and obviously has Linotype license, but what about that Helios font?
I appreciate your showing me those Cyrillic glyphs from Helen. Linotype and Paratype have a relatively good relationship, so I’m going to guess and say that neither party is violating any agreements with the other. I’ll have to check up on HermesSOFT though, I don’t have a good feeling about that. I’m going to “drop” this part of the discussion now, as it doesn’t have anything to do with Farewell. I do have another question for you though, Ivan. How do alphabetic styles tend to diﬀerentiate themselves between Bulgaria and Russia. Do Bulgarian designers strive for their own unique identity, or is it popular to align stylistically with Russia?
Well, I guess it depends on the designer himself. Unfortunately, many of the Bulgarian designers I know don’t care whether the alphabet style is Russian or Bulgarian (which is sad, by the way). Many designers use fonts, that come with Adobe CS software, eg Minion & Myriad, or even worse — Arial or Georgia, which are clearly Russian style. As for me personally — I preﬀer the style you saw in Helen Light example. HermesSOFT is the only Bulgarian company producing cyrillic typefaces, and they’re popular among Bulgarian designers only. As for Farewell, I suggest you to use latin “n” for cyrrilic “p” and for the others: m — for “t” u — for “i” something like double “u” — for “sh” and “sht” And you deﬁnitely have to rework your cyrlillic capital “F” and “CH” Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to draw example of what I mean. It will be easier to show you what I think if I’ve had some vector outlines of Farewell, but I think this is impossible, because you haven’t released the font yet. I’m not sure whether my English is good enough to be understood. Keep up the good work.
Dan. I’d like to hear why you say this project, refering to the cyrillic glyphs, is important to you. PS. Do you like how your name looks in your cyrillic type? I’m curious about how you perceive it.
Oh, it is just a project that is a private matter. I’d like them to turn out well, that’s all. No point in doing something if it doesn’t look right! I have no idea how my name looks in Cyrillic, I haven’t transliterated “Daniel Reynolds” yet. But I’ll get around to that when it comes down to real text setting time. Or do you mean the name is the typeface, Farewell Cyrillic?
Hmm. How do you plan to design a Cyrillic typeface well without more familiarity with a language that uses it? I asked about your name because it’s already transliterated in your latest sample, if a bit awkwardly. What does your own self-judgement say?
Yeah, but I don’t know if it is an accurate transliteration.
I’ll resist the temptation to present my underqualiﬁed opinions on speciﬁc glyphs in the Cyrillic, but I’d like to point out the following: 1) Considering the Latin, I think you should go with the more cursive italic. 2) If you’re indeed applying my ﬂavor of balance in a multi-script system, and if darker weights of this bring it close enough to potential [short] text usage*, then you should consider: making the vertical proportions more generous in the “x-height” region for the Cyrillic (important); intentionally diverging what John calls “cognate” glyphs, like the “a” (possibly too unorthodox for you). * In the display realm those two issues (especially the 2nd) can be counter-productive. > How do alphabetic styles tend to diﬀerentiate > themselves between Bulgaria and Russia. This is a great question, and it would be great for somebody to write something decent about ethnic preferences in Cyrillic. Ivan, could you do this for Bulgarian versus Russian? hhp
Because of my poor English, I’d rather preﬀer to show rather than explain
very interesting! it seems that Bulgarian forms are much more like the cursive forms. I think I used most of these variants when doing cyrillics for the Nymphic font I’m working on. maybe i’ll have to do all the variants. thanks for the post, Ivan!
Ivan, that’s more diﬀerence than I expected! Questions: 1) Do you know why the Bulgarian forms seem so much more Latinized? 2) How do the Bulgarian forms appear to Russians? And secondarily to other Cyrillic users. hhp
Daniel, i love it!! what a beautiful font!! if i can, i’d like to help you with cyrillic letters. i think, making “bulgarian” letterforms is not a good idea. because as far as i know, serbian, russian, ukrainian readers not so familiar with this forms. i try to show you my proposition on this picture i am so sorry for my english
Considering Cyrillic, I would suggest ﬁnding samples of Cyrillic Futura and check your proportions… The build looks alike and I think it might help.