a typeface for opensource.com

critter's picture

EDIT: please disregard the screenshots in this post and scroll down about seven entries to see updated screenshots. also, there are new attachments (in this post) below, prefixed with "8-6-10." please disregard the "osdc_typeface_1a.pdf" attachment. it is from a week or two ago. please use either the "sketches" or "refined" files for making comments or adjustments to characters. if i should delete the old files and screenshots, let me know. im not sure if people prefer to see the process from the beginning. thank you!


this is a rough draft of the typeface i am currently making for opensource.com. it can be stenciled. in that regard, it is "open." the opening is placed in a spot where the connecting stroke would normally need to taper as it connects with the adjacent stroke. ive shaped the characters so that most openings are created by two perpendicular strokes. this directly informed the bent terminals on many of the characters.

i thought that eliminating the need for tapering would make the extension of this typeface (other weights, italics, other languages) an easier job for others, and thus make it more likely to happen. as it will be open sourced, the extension and additions by others will be encouraged.

i request your feedback. please say anything! especially constructive stuff. are there inconsistencies? forms that need an overhaul or just a tiny tweak? do you have better ideas for the construction of any of the characters?


other stuff:

a bolder version will most likely be used for the logo.
the letterforms are currently a stroke for the body and a shape for the very end of the terminals. that is why you might notice a white line a few pixels before the very end of the strokes.
while i hope tapering wont be necessary, i do plan to reduce the thickness of the horizontal strokes compared to the vertical strokes. if you think this is unnecessary due to the disconnected nature of the typeface (or for another unknown-by-me reason), please let me know. or if you feel it is crucial, feel free to express that to me also.

thank you for your time and feedback!

ive attached the file osdc_typeface_1a.pdf to this post. it is quite a mess (please see my post below about this and other potentially useful stuff). if you open the pdf in illustrator, the guides and grid should remain intact. if you would like to make adjustments to any of the letters or make additional letters, perhaps you could do so on a new layer or somehow designate your changes so they are easy for me and others to find. this is very much in the early stages, and at this point i would most appreciate help in establishing the letter shapes. you are welcome to make adjustments that are more detailed than the generic letter shapes if you feel led to. thanks for looking and participating!

osdc_typeface_1a.pdf731.16 KB
8-6-10_osdc_examples2.pdf787.88 KB
8-6-10_osdc_refined.pdf733.55 KB
8-6-10_osdc_sketches.pdf829.31 KB
8-6-10_osdc_logo.pdf444.9 KB
maxgraphic's picture

I like it, though I might be tempted to close some of the "non-functional" gaps, as in the M.

It'd be a good font for routing with a CNC machine.

riccard0's picture

The gap in the O seem smaller than the others.
I maybe would add another gap in the R (or, as Max said, close some other).
The J could be wider.

Frank ADEBIAYE's picture

Seems very promising ; but why not opening it ? ; I mean releasing the sources (the sketches of the font) in order for people to get involved in the development of the typeface, like any open source project ?

cerulean's picture

I think the look of B, D, P, R would be much improved if the top horizontal stroke went all the way to the left and rested on top of a gap on top of the left vertical stroke, and then the other end of that bowl should end in a gap like the P does. This would give them more kinship with the nicely distinctive capitals like A, M, N, and also would be more harmonious and more structurally sound as a stencil.

critter's picture

thank you for the comments, everyone.

i cannot figure out how to attach files (an eps) in this reply. i thought i saw an "Attach a file..." option when i posted the thread. are attachments limited to the first post in a thread? please help!

i will see how some of the characters look with fewer non-functional gaps the next time i sit down to spend some time on this. or if i can figure out how to attach the eps, someone else may like to...

the gaps are not consistent. ack. at some point, the 60pt stroke that i used to determine gap width was changed to 50pt. so i think most of the lowercase has a 60pt gap and most of the uppercase has a 50pt gap. bummer. that is now on my list of things to adjust next. might anyone prefer one gap width over the other? or have a suggestion for a different gap width? the type will often be reduced to small sizes, so im leaning toward the ~60pt gap so it shows up better at smaller sizes.
i will look at the R again and make some adjustments.
i will also see how the J looks with a longer tail.

i would like to open it. my post above was made on the day i first described my concept with accompanying sketches. i would like to provide a document that explains the general idea for the typeface, explains my process so far (including how i set up my illustrator file with particular grids and guides [and why], and specifies the gap size, stroke widths, rounded corner radii, etc.), and explains what i believe will be some of the processes to come. i think this would prevent a waste of others time (for instance, if someone noticed that the horizontal stroke widths should be a touch thinner than their current width, and adjusted all of them without knowing that this is a step i am waiting to take later). i have yet to document or describe all of what i feel would be helpful. i think it would be helpful to communicate why i have made some of the design decisions that ive made so that others can be on the same page (or at least somewhere close). i will post an eps as soon as i can figure out how to do that. warning: my file is a mess. at this point, my main focus is to figure out the general character shapes. i expect fine tuning and more complicated processes to come later.

good proposal. like you say, i also think it will give them more kinship to the A, M, and N. when i made the B, P, R, and D, i had yet to make the A, M, and N. pulling the top horizontal stroke over the vertical one somehow slipped my mind while making the B, P, R, and D. i will take a look at that soon.

could someone please help me with my file attachment problem?

thanks again for the feedback!

1996type's picture

I think you should close the current gap in the G and put a gap like you did wih the O. Like max already said, I'd close a few gaps. the s really needs a gap. I like your w. I've just uploaded my typeface Expletus, witch is also stencil-like, but it has much fewer gaps than this one. I'm not that much of a technical person, but if I were you I'd upload the eps. file somewehre else and post a link.

critter's picture

hello again. here are some new screenshots. i think the letters are much improved (for instance, a, s, and e look much better together). i would love feedback. also, please see the first post in this thread, i have attached new pdfs. please open them in illustrator (or comparable). for some reason i cant figure out, the pdfs seem arbitrarily cropped when i view them in acrobat. im interested in your feedback. if youd like to make adjustments in the pdf, feel free. all suggestions are welcome.

here goes:

to address some previous feedback...

maxgraphic, i have made some variations on the M. see image below and "...sketches.pdf" file attached in the first post. i am still leaning toward the M with all separate strokes. however, id like to have other opinions as well. do you prefer any of these? would you suggest a different construction?

riccard0, the gaps should be much more consistent now. also, ive made a few variations on the R. see image below and "...sketches.pdf" file attached in the first post. the J and j have different constructions now. how do you feel about them?

cerulean, please see the new screenshots and files. ive pulled the horizontal strokes on some and for others it felt off-balance. for instance, i felt that E, F, and Z worked best with a stroke reaching from the baseline to the cap-height. the "sketches.pdf" file should have all the variations i tried. however, the screenshots ive inserted in this post have the ones that felt best to me. definitely let me know if you disagree with my choices and if you have recommendations for the characters that seem a little funny.

cerulean's picture

I agree entirely. But I do still think B would look better with a gap at the middle join also.

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