Volodja – needs critique

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Raimund Shoeftner's picture
Joined: 25 Feb 2010 - 2:00pm
Volodja – needs critique

Volodja is my first take on a serif face. Initially it started as a learning project, but now i intend to turn it into something, somebody can use.^^

So far i've drawn the latin alphabet, basic punctuation, some composites and numerals.
Kerning is rather incomplete (spacing may be too).

The attached .pdf features three weights (two masters and one fontlab-generated instance) – but no italics yet.

Please tell me what you think.
Any critique appreciated.
TIA for your time.

Sebastian Kosch's picture
Joined: 20 Apr 2010 - 9:44pm

Some suggestions:

  • /E/'s middle stroke could be a bit shorter.
  • The little notch under /d/'s serif is ... special. I like it as a "feature", but people could interpret it as a "bug", especially because it doesn't seem to be present anywhere else (correct me if I'm wrong). It probably doesn't show up in print anyway.
  • If there's any stress at all in, for example, /p/, it looks like it's in the wrong direction. I may see this incorrectly though.
  • /R/ looks like it has eaten too much. If you make the bowl a little smaller than that of /P/, and give it a little sturdier and angled leg, it will feel much more comfortable.
  • The tip of /t/ has character, yes, but maybe it's a tad too much.
  • Some inconsistencies in width, especially in the uppercase letters: /S/ seems slightly obese, /R/ is very lean.
  • The angles of your /M/'s strokes seems a bit imbalanced to me. Optically and/or mathematically, I don't know. My fonts are always guilty of that, too ...
  • I absolutely love your /a/! Especially next to the /j/ in "Volodja". Unfortunately, it looks a little introverted when next to /c/, /l/ or /n/. Pull the top down a tiny bit.
  • Both /K/ and /k/ could use some polishing. The way the leg holds up the arm is nice, but you've gone to the point where it's a crutch.
  • The terminals of /s/ (and probably /r/, and /c/), don't have to be pointing that far inwards. The bottom one of /s/ could also be slightly shorter.
  • Experiment some more with your /g/. There are some great threads in these forums about different shapes of /g/. Look them up.
  • Look at the descender of /y/ also. The serif is a little bit odd (I can't really make out what it is)
  • You can usually make the counters of /m/ a little smaller than those of /n/, to make the two distinguishable and to even out the fact that /m/ has more white anyway.
  • Spacing and kerning, but you know that already.

I'm not even halfway done drafting my one first font, so take my advice with a grain of salt. One main issue (esp. as you want it to be a serif) is definitely the lack of clear contrast. There is some, in some places, but it's not really obvious to me what concept you had in mind when it came to stroke width.

Still, I think this could be totally usable once you iron out all the little wrinkles. Keep going! :)


K Cerulean Pease's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2003 - 5:03pm

Numerals: The top halves of 3, 5, 7 are all light. You ought to choose a stress and put weight on either the horizontals or the strokes that meet them.

To my eye, D, P, R could stand to be wider.

Something very subtle is putting me off the regular-weight e. Other weights of the same glyph are okay. Go over its curves, I guess.