say it fat -- extended language support project

don dada's picture

i would like to take the opportunity and ask for some advice/corrections in regard to the following project:

a while ago i had downloaded the free font "say it fat" by timo titzmann -- http://www.id84.de/type/say-it-fat/

while i like the style a lot, the original is very basic (~95 glyphs). i thus decided to overhaul the typeface and have completed the following codepages (the font is lowercase only):

0000 - c0 controls and basic latin
0080 - c1 controls and latin-1 supplement
0100 - latin extended-a

cyrillic is almost completed and greek and vietnamese latin are in the works, too. however, as this is my first font work proper and i am no type designer, there are loads of issues -- but it's a start.

-> đ and ħ need to be worked on, but the low ascender is a big problem here -- suggestions on how to handle it are very welcome. it would also influence the design of the cyrillic glyphs ћ and ђ.

any feedback, tips, and/or help is appreciated (weird looking characters, inconsistency in design/appearance or the like).

the original author has been contacted and has expressed interest in a possible update.

riccard0's picture

It looks cool, but to my eyes, acutes and breves are too wide (maybe others too, but these are the most used in Italian).
Making them narrower could help to increase their angle too.

don dada's picture

thanks for the feedback -- this was actually the one thing i planned on keeping, as i had tried out shorter diacritics, but they didn't look good to me.

in addition to that, vietnamese and other extended latin characters stack diacritics which effectively restricts using steep inclines or declines -- here's an example to illustrate what i mean (pinyin tones -- macron, acute and caron on top of dieresis):

another problem would be that i'd have to change the dot accent and dieresis as well in order to maintain distinctiveness, as the other accents are based on them and it would disrupt the overall appearance -- but i will consider adding alternatives, thanks again for the suggestion. updates to follow.

cerulean's picture

The acute and grave could be better distinguished if you cut them in half and made the low end start at or near the center of the letter.

I don't quite think percent works as a nut fraction.

You'll probably have to start over with the eszett after you've learned more about it.

But a really good job on such things as the section sign, pilcrow, asterisk...

riccard0's picture

I think you will have an hard time with the kreska (http://www.twardoch.com/download/polishhowto/kreska.html) ;-)
Seriously, I think that designing diacritics for a display face such as this one presents even more trade-offs than usual.
Overall, it seems that you are concentrating more on an aesthetic model and less on actual usage and recognisability.
Code-point completeness is a vain goal if the result isn't usable.
Make those accents fat! :-)
By the way, in this style of type, diacritics often reach above the ascenders. There are also several threads on the topic of diacritics, and about vietnamese ones (http://www.google.com/search?q=vietnamese+diacritics+site%3Atypophile.com).

don dada's picture

thanks for the links, riccardo!

I think you will have an hard time with the kreska
i have a hard time with the entire font so far ... i think the kreska aspect is something way beyond my scope, requiring glyph substitution and ot programming (i'm just an interested layman). i will probably have to sacrifice typographic accuracy in this case.

1. Overall, it seems that you are concentrating more on an aesthetic model and less on actual usage and recognisability. 2. Code-point completeness is a vain goal if the result isn't usable.
1. i don't know if the two are really mutually exclusive. 2. i'm a completist, there's no way this will change anytime soon.
as a matter of fact, i had made a pdf specimen with sample paragraphs in various languages -- it looked alright to me in croat, german and french (which i speak). but you have a valid point nonetheless.

the pdf (italian included, plus a number of other languages, eastern and western european):
http://www.mediafire.com/?iof46nel7jxun1y

Make those accents fat! :-)
alright, alright! consider it on the list. this means i will have to start over again ... wonderful (especially if i take into account how anal i am about never letting go of unifinished things).

what bothers me more than the accents right now is still the way the đ (croat d) and the ħ (h bar) turned out.

The acute and grave could be better distinguished if you cut them in half and made the low end start at or near the center of the letter.
as written above, i'll make an alternative version with heavy diacritics. the original had three characters with diacritics (strictly speaking there are five, with the i and the j): ä, ö and ü -- i took their design as the starting point for the others.

You'll probably have to start over with the eszett after you've learned more about it.
kevin, i'm german.
but if you mean typographic conventions, then you're correct. the current shape has been a deliberate decision (which doesn't mean that it's right -- i happened to like the flow of the form coalescing). thanks!

riccard0's picture

I will check the PDF. In the meantime, if you don't know it already:
http://diacritics.typo.cz/

don dada's picture

yes, i had already bookmarked that. :D

cerulean's picture

Well, that's kind of a shock. I have to reexamine what I've learned about the eszett, then, even if it is meant to be a creative departure from the norm.

don dada's picture

I have to reexamine what I've learned about the eszett
not really -- the fact that i'm a native speaker doesn't mean anything in this context -- as i wrote in my initial post, i am no type designer (or any kind of designer -- i'm from the legal field ... doh!), so more likely than not, i have blatantly ignored or rather gratuitously broken fundamental rules. it looks nice to me -- but then again, many people don't mind using the acute or even grave accent in lieu of an apostrophe ... hence, no worries -- if in doubt, it's a mistake on my part.

jakob_runge's picture

hej don dada,

great work! i know timos "say it fat" from 26plus-zeichen.
awesome you are upgrading it the latin2 and more!

i'm german - hence an eszett native speacker:-)

your "ſ-s"-combination is too wide, beacause it looks still like two gyphs. that'n not bad, beacsue it originaly was a ligature once, but up to know it's an single gyph.

i like your variant which makes the "ß" look more than a "ſ-s" than a "B".

if you are interested, here is a similar idea, which i had for my http://26plus-zeichen.de/fonts/graphit/:
-> don't know how to emdedd an image, so this is the link :-)

don dada's picture

i know timos "say it fat" from 26plus-zeichen.
jopp ... da habe ich die schrift auch her. ;)

unfortunately, i am short on time right now -- but i will post images and and an explanation of why i initially chose the version i did (revisions and other possible versions to follow).

you have an option below the post saying "insert image" -- when you click it, you can upload and include an image in your post (die "graphit" ist obergeil, ganz nebenbei -- ich hoffe, wir normalsterblichen kommen auch irgendwann in ihren genuss, haha).

and below is "say it fat" in cyrillic (russian) <- this is part of the cyrillic codepage that was nearly finished before i started the thread here:

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