Critique my nivelo!

Jordan Harper's picture

Hi all,

I've been working on a sans, not my first attempt at drawing letters, but my first serious one. It began life as a display face, but then I thought it looked nice as a text face so I've pushed it in that direction.

There is no kerning, and I think the spacing might be a bit narrow (and possibly uneven in places). I also think I may change the A to a symmetrical design. And I'm not happy with the numerals, any opinions on them would be most appreciated.

Any opinions/comments on the glyphs, spacing, suitability as a text face or anything else would be a great help to me as I continue to learn!

PDF sample

EDIT: damn post thing not working can't upload images inline rubbish arrrgghhh!

Sample image 1 | Sample image 2

Many thanks in advance,

Jordan

Jordan Harper's picture

I've made some changes based on some critique from elsewhere:

  • Double storey a and g added
  • stems added to n, m and u
  • A made symmetrical

PDF Sample

I'm unsure of:

  • Spacing
  • UC V: should I just go for a conventional shape
  • Dots on i and j: should they be 'higher'
  • Question mark

Background (I forgot in my first post):

My original idea, the thing that sparked me off with this design, was to design a fairly rigid, geometric style sans but with a slightly cursive touch. That touch is that all the strokes begin and end differently, representing the pen coming down and going up. All the 'beginnings' of strokes are flat ended and all the 'ends' are rounded. I think it makes it more readable at small sizes than most similar style types, eg DIN.

Thanks in advance everyone, your opinions would really be appreciated.

Jordan

Dav's picture

Jordan, I think your new sample link should go to.:
> http://www.type.nivelo.co.uk/nivelo_sample3.pdf


I like your 'Nivelo', I think it nicely resembles the style of types like 'OCR A', 'Isonorm' and alike..
( I may prefer the previous version, with the one storey 'a', but I also like the two storey 'g'.. )
Oh, and, yea, the question mark may be worth some rethinking..

Jordan Harper's picture

You're absolutely right David, my mistake; if only I could edit my post! (I've e-mailed support but if any moderator could do this for me I'd be most grateful!)

I like the double storey g, but looking at the text setting I'm not sure if it doesn't cause too much of an uneveness in colour ... whether that aids or hinders it's readability is another debate altogether of course, but I'd be interested to hear any views on this.

I rather liked my double storey a, but I couldn't work out whether it should overshoot the baseline (at the moment it sits atop) -- again, any opinions on that would be welcome.

Thanks for taking the time and the nice words.

Jordan

PS just to clarify: PDF Sample :-)

Jordan Harper's picture

Well, nivelo is clearly not inspiring people to comment :-( despite this, I shall soldier on and post my fourth sample. I've not really had time to do much work on it, but I've been agonising (really more than one should over a typeface) over the shapes of the a, the n (in particular) and the b.

Any opinions on the alternates shown in this pdf? I don't like the angular n, but I may be too close to it to make a decent judgement.

http://type.nivelo.co.uk/nivelo_sample4.pdf

ANY feedback will be gladly welcomed. Thanks in advance,

Jordan

Jordan Harper's picture

OK, I'm soldiering on despite the lack of interest!

More changes, I've made the bowls/curves on the b-p-d-q/n-u-h-y less geometric to give them a more 'readable' edge.

I've settled on the alternative a and dropped all the litle ascenders/descenders I'd put on the m, n, u etc

I'm beginning to be really happy with this design now, and I'd really appreciate any comments or opinions on it. This is my first serious attempt at creating a typeface, and while I've learnt a great deal along the way any more comments or crits would be most helpful.

Thanks,

Jordan


application/pdfSample of 'nivelo'
nivelo_sample5.pdf (25.1 k)

eomine's picture

Guess it's a bit complicated to comment on this kind of typeface, there are lots of similar fonts out there.

I think you should make more subtle adjustments (like what you did on 'b' for example). Check this Underware link about curves too. About the rounded finishes: I think the contrast between the straight and the rounded endings is too strong. Maybe you could reduce the radius of the round corners, or apply the rounded treatment to every stroke.

HTH

Jordan Harper's picture

Eduardo--

Thanks for taking the time to have a look :-)

I started this type thinking very geometrically about everything, and that any subtle deviation would compromise the geometric style I was going for. But I'm really happy with the changes I've made and I think you may be right -- moving away from the totally mathematical angle may give it the character (no pun intended) that it was lacking before.

Do you have any (particular) suggestions for glyphs that may need a it of life?

I think I know what you mean about the straight/curved contrast -- it does look a bit extreme in places, but I don't know quite how to solve that simply. Is it just a case of more beziers?

Thanks again for the advice and opinion.

Jordan

P.S. I noticed this morning there was an error in the last PDF, the text set was actually in a previous version of the type, not the latest, so I've re-set it:


application/pdfRevised sample
nivelo_sample5.pdf (25.7 k)

sim's picture

Jordan,

First, I don't have a large experience in typeface design but when I read the sample you post I find something bother me during the reading process.

I think your double storey g might be change a little bit by moving the lower storey to the left.

But this is your font so take my aesthetic ideas only as suggestion.

Andr

Stefan H's picture

Jordan,

Interesting typeface you got there. Judging on designs is very much up to personal taste, so I'll leave that out. Just one thing that really struck me is the "non resemblance" between "V" and "W" (goes for both U&lc). I would like the "W" to be more of the same style as "V". Now "W" is more like a brother to "M". Keep up the good work!

Cheers

designalchemy's picture

I agree with Stefan that the "non resemblance" between "V" and "W" (in both U&lc) needs to be dealt with. I personally like the (U&lc) W more and would suggest bringing it in that direction.

Jordan Harper's picture

OK, some more changes made:

* v and w redrawn
* g altered slightly as suggested by Andr

sim's picture

Jordan,

I notice the changes you've made. At my opinion, the new lc v and w looks better.

I do some suggestions concerning your UC V and W. What do you think to use the lc w for the UC or the UC V for the W?

I insert a rough sketch of that suggestion. Feel free to take them and use them only as a direction thoses letters would be took. It is not well drawn so dont't take it to literally.

Andr

designalchemy's picture

From a selling standpoint I wonder where the mixed rounded /square ears/terminals sits in todays type market, This thing has been done before, perhaps not on an identical design, but none the less it has been done (what hasn't?). I personally think it is a bit dated. The design is strong enough in my opinion to not have the added quirkiness of a mixed square/rounded element added. I look at and occasionally buy fonts from Lineto (who I consider very successful in this realm of type design), I would follow their steps and reduce to design to a more minimal- aesthetically speaking.
The new v/w are an improvement.
Your numerals are fantastic btw.

Jordan Harper's picture

I've left this alone for a while for it to freshen up in my mind, and I've hit a bit of a
wall. Is there some kind of trick for 'lightening' a double storey g in a low contrast
typeface?

At first, I thought making the width of the upper to lower storey join thinner (which is
where the darkness of the character is at it's worst), but it just looks wrong. Then I
thought about thinning the upper storey strokes, and that looks wrong too.

Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas on how I can lighten this character -- I'm
presuming that everyone agrees with me that in the text setting it stands out and
disturbs the colour of the page too much.

Thanks,

Jordan

sim's picture

Wath do you think of that new approach for your double storey g?

New g

Jordan Harper's picture

You've read my mind Andr

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