Crimson Text

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Sebastian Kosch's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm
Crimson Text
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Good evening Typophiles,

I have attached my first attempt at a text face. I'm particularly concerned about inconsistencies in stroke contrast and overshoots. Screen legibility is definitely an issue as well.

I am aiming for a very traditional, garalde-ish book font; something in between Hoefler, Arno, Gentium, Sabon etc. … but it's drawn from scratch. (Why the effort? I'm hoping to one day arrive at a free webfont and maybe even at a math family for font-deprived TeX users.)

I'd be extremely thankful for your input!

Sebastian

P.S.: I am afraid only few dare to publicly offer their opinions here. I appreciate your thoughts even if you've never designed a font yourself!

Danny Hannah's picture
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Joined: 3 Dec 2004 - 1:04pm
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It has some 'Verona Roman' flavor to it. How did you find that idea? It looks good!

Sebastian Kosch's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm
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Thanks for your comment! I didn't even know Verona! It's true, the serifs and terminals are similar … but the overall feel is different enough. Any ideas on how to make the whole face more "even-looking," especially on screen?

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
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Pleasant :-)
Some pretty random thoughs:
- some letters appear definitely taller than others (a, e, c, for example).
- spacing is too tight, and you'll need some kerning too.
Evenness on screen is a matter of hinting (you could start here: http://typophile.com/node/13964)

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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Perhaps the spine of /s/ could be raised a touch.

Sebastian Kosch's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm
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Thanks guys, very helpful advice! I've redone a couple of letters, particularly horizontal strokes, and added your suggestions. Here's a new attempt (same document): PDF File.

I should've mentioned that spacing will be taken care of.
Again, thanks for your input!

Sebastian Kosch's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm
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Sorry for the bump — I've uploaded a new version. Spacing/kerning is still absolutely wonky, but that will be taken care of soon enough (it has to of course; as some of you have noted, Crimson will be part of Google's font directory).

I really hope to get some more advice from you, what I've read so far has been extremely helpful!

Sebastian

Ben Mitchell's picture
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Joined: 12 Aug 2007 - 4:05pm
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Wow, this is really your first try at making a font?! Amazing!

Well here are some comments from me. Take with a bit of salt because I'm not at all an expert.

Proportions are very good; this does remind me of Arno.
Terminals on C could be heavier.
I'm worried the curves of D and O may need to be heavier.
Foot serifs on F and P could be wider on the right to balance the top-heavy forms.
M may be slightly too narrow; N too wide?
Upper counter of R seems too high; I think I'd make the top of the bowl a bit darker than the bottom where the leg joins.
S may be falling backwards but it's hard to judge.
Crossover at centre of W may need some offset.

Lowercase
The contrast on e seems a bit too vertical. Particularly the nw segment looks too dark for classical contrast.
o seems to need some optical correction; is it symmetrical?
s may need some more weight in the serifs and perhaps a hair less in the spine.
Left arm of y seems to get rather fat at the baseling.

Numerals
1 could have a larger flag.
6 needs a larger bowl I think.

Great stuff.

Sebastian Kosch's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm
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Fixed. They're a lot better now.

Thank you so much!

Sebastian Kosch's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm
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Sorry for bumping again ... any new comments on the overall feel of the text? Printouts just don't look right, but I don't know how to fix it up. (Maybe the spacing isn't perfect. Or printing at 300dpi just kills it.)

And please take a look at my numerals. I'm not really happy with them, either.

Thank you! The italics shall follow soon :)

Sebastian Kosch's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm
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Any comments on the italics (disregard spacing please)? I'm especially unsure about f, g, s, v, w

Thank you! (and while you're at it, ideas how to improve the Roman?)

James A. Crippen's picture
Joined: 28 Dec 2007 - 7:24pm
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The italic lowercase s is optically tilted more, I think it’s the upper terminal doing this.

The italic lowercase w looks spindly on the left side, with the middle being very prominently dark. Shift weight from one to the other.

I think that italic r, n, m are slightly closer to vertical than the letters with straight ascenders. This makes them seem out of place. You don’t seem to be aiming at a very baroque italic, judging by the consistent pen angle, so the differences between them and the others should be minimized.

Your italic p bulges out too much on the top right.

The italic a looks weak at the top, but I’m not sure this is a bad thing yet.

I like the f, and the y is nice as well. I haven’t made up my mind about the k or the g yet.

Great work! Keep at it!

Sebastian Kosch's picture
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Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm
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Thank you so much for the kind and helpful words, James!

Could it be that the variations in slant are due to my scaling down the image to a Typophile-phile size? Because really, there aren't any. Or then again, maybe that's precisely the problem :-)

Here's a new attempt:

Comments?

By the way, whoever wants to try out today's development release, it's on aldusleaf.org. But beware, it's not usable really.

Thanks again!