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breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
Filthy Typeface
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Hi typophilers,

New time poster on typophile from Brighton UK here attempting a typeface based on a logo designed for our company - a design studio in the UK. Attatched is the typeface which is to be printed in a black foil and embossed, but for the moment i have added some lighting effects to give you the idea of the final outcome. Here i am attempting to create a typeface that is of a heavy weight and resembles latex when used as a logo.

I have developed the typeface for a mailout and am now extending the face into a full working typeface. I believe it could be fairly interesting when completed. The face uses influences from rhythmic calligraphic stokes and from heavy weighted Caslon faces. I have added a humanist element to the face as well.

I am doing okay with square based characters such as M and N, however v,w,s are all proving difficult and wondered if I could get a critique and advice from you all. Ill supply more artwork too when i can. Cheers!

Briän M Zick's picture
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Joined: 8 Nov 2008 - 9:38pm
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Looks good, a few comments, take them with a grain of salt:

* You have both ball terminals (as with f) and teardrop terminals (r, v, y, w) - maybe try using just one kind. :)
* The top of the t is very pointy.
* The round glyphs need to overshoot upwards and downwards mathematically from the non-rounded ones to look right optically. Try moving those up or down until they look "equal".
* Maybe try pulling the point at the extrema at the bottom of the e leftwards a bit?

Ben Mitchell's picture
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Joined: 12 Aug 2007 - 4:05pm
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Ooh, Brighton...me too!

I'd agree with the previous post — and I think the teardrop terminals are much more interesting. I can see why you had the ball terminal in the logotype but the key in type design is harmony.

Re overshoot, you'll need to make sure the arched letters and in fact any curves overshoot the x-line and baseline until those shapes appear the same size. Oh yeah, that was already mentioned.

Counterspaces of /e/ are not happy. Crossbar of /t/ should not come to a point — square-ended would look stronger.

It's a bit difficult to judge when the letters appear in different posts. Could you set an alphabet and post a pdf?

K Cerulean Pease's picture
Joined: 19 Oct 2003 - 5:03pm
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I understand why it's thinner in the logo, but in the typeface it's probably a good idea to match the crossbar of f to the weight of the serifs.

breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
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Thanks for the advice, I really want to get this right! Its going to be a project I can take on over a period of the next few months before releasing so I will try to be diligent and post updates when made!

to Brian – Re: Ball terminal-I cant find a good example of an 'f' with a half decent tear-drop terminal, would you suggest using a similar tear-drop terminal to the v, r and w?

The pointed t - would you match the top of the 't' more to the solid width of the l and h rather than coming to a point?

The round glyphs - the e, o and t - these overshoot the x height by 2% at the moment- is that enough? maybe it doesnt show in the visuals. I will play around with them though.

The extrema of the 'e' - do you mean pulling out the bottom left area? its already pretty weighty?

to Bendy - Greetings, im on kensington gardens, glad brighton is being well represented here.

Do you not thing the rounded shapes are optically correct? any area in particular?

the e - Is the counter space too wide/large?

cross bar of the t - I agree, I think ill try to match it to the serif, still not sure what to do at the top though, it looks ugly if I match the top of the 't' to the vertical stem of the 'l'

I will amend the f crossbar too. Ill send out a pdf of the typeface to date later on tonight, got a few other projects to busy myself with today. My personal website by the way is www.breakandassemble.com if people are interested. Thanks.

Briän M Zick's picture
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Joined: 8 Nov 2008 - 9:38pm
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would you suggest using a similar tear-drop terminal to the v, r and w?

No. While it needs to flow in similarly, I'd recommend starting by smoothing that ball terminal into a teardrop shape. If that needs work still, you can put the other teardrop terminal glyphs on another layer and compare them to see what's up. Minion and Garamond probably have something similar to a teardrop terminal by the way. :)

would you match the top of the 't' more to the solid width of the l and h rather than coming to a point?

You could try adding another control point and sort of softening the pointy top area.

Note the top on both glyphs has softened apexes.

The round glyphs

Play around with them. :) The problem is most especially with, say, the r - it's arm looks much lower than the stem. Step back a few feet. Squint. Do the tops and bottoms of letters look equal?

The extrema of the 'e' - do you mean pulling out the bottom left area? its already pretty weighty?

It looks "lumpy" in a way, you can pull the bottom point a bit to the left and open open the inside some if you think that's a problem.

breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
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Thanks for this, I'll have a crack at the 't' and 'f' today and post later

breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
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I have made amendments as suggested before.

- The oval and curved shapes now overshoot both baseline and x height by 4%

- The F terminal is now a teardrop rather than a ball terminal. As will all new terminals to be included.

- I have altered the 't' shape to be less pointed, seems to fit in with the rest of the face well now.

- Counterspaces need a bit of work I think.

I havent got a full typeface for this yet, this is a promotional poster for our site,
based on spam emails (our company is called Filthy, hence the subject)

I will post some more close ups if you wanted to see them? More suggestions? Will keep posting when I add more characters.

Ben Mitchell's picture
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Joined: 12 Aug 2007 - 4:05pm
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Great progress!
Here are my observations; I'm not a professional so be wary of taking my comments too meaningfully.

Widths: /s/ is rather wide especially next to /h/ as /h/ and /u/ are quite narrow. I'd recommend previewing more words with those letters and bring the widths into harmony a bit. Look at the relative counter sizes. /r/ may be a bit wide, but it's a great design.

/f/ and /t/ I think I'd make the crossbars wider and define the foot of /t/ more. It looks a bit shy. Could you add more weight to the teardrop of /f/?

Love the curved downstroke of /v/ and /w/. I think you should draw /y/ the same way. Also that downstroke starts below the x-line, making it look low. Try putting the vertical centre of that entry stroke on the x-line. Love those big blobby terminals. Perhaps pull in the final upstrokes, it's pulling the counter to the right somewhat. Put some overshoot at the baseline of all these (perhaps not /y/).

Your hyphen seems large enough to be an emdash.

Perhaps a hair more overshoot on the rounds?

Some swash alternates would look very groovy.

breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
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Cheers Ben, i'm not inherently a type professional either, more of a pure graphic designer, but these all comments are extremely helpful. The dash was just dropped in havent worked out spacing and yeah I cant wait to get onto alternates after completing the regular glyphs.

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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I'd second everything Bendy said.
On weight, thicks of the rounds need to be thicker to optically match the thickness of the straight stems (e.g., /o/ looks much lighter to me than, say, /h/). Diagonal letters are also relatively light compared to the vertically dominated glyphs. (Or, of course, you could narrow the vertical stems instead of widening the curved and diagonal strokes.)

Briän M Zick's picture
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Joined: 8 Nov 2008 - 9:38pm
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I third everything bendy said. :)

You might try giving the f hook a tad more weight to the right. The terminals on the s also are a bit "wobbly" compared to other glyphs.

breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
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Thanks. Understand all this apart from:

Ben can I ask which section you would pull in when you say the following...?

'Love those big blobby terminals. Perhaps pull in the final upstrokes, it's pulling the counter to the right somewhat. Put some overshoot at the baseline of all these (perhaps not /y/)'

Ben Mitchell's picture
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Joined: 12 Aug 2007 - 4:05pm
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2. The counter looks quite wide. Of course this will probably also require other changes to keep the balance, but try keeping the ball roughly where it is.

Up large it looks like that section (2) isn't quite smooth yet all the way along.

breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
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Right, Newest update. Starting to look a lot more regimented now. Will comment on changes soon. Let me know your thoughts.

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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It's definitely getting better!
/a/'s counter looks big (wide) compared to those of other letters.
With that branching structure, /r/'s stem looks too thick.

breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
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I agree with the /a/ comment. Will work on that. In terms of the /r/ I dont particularly want to thin out the base of the /r/ stem as it would break consistency and doesnt happen anywhere else really, would you suggest thinning the top?
Had a look at your ambicase modern. Very nice work, are you selling it through a variety of foundrys? Just curious as to how much of a cute they usually take on these.

Craig Eliason's picture
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Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
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Maybe I'd just try moving the entire left side of the stem over a bit. Remember, it's optical consistency you want.

Thanks for the compliment on Ambicase Modern. The foundry is my own, Teeline Fonts, and I'm distributing through resellers—right now it's just at FontShop but that will expand to others in the coming months. Stephen Coles's 2008 overview answered many of my questions about taking fonts to market, including the typical percentage cuts taken by resellers.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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Also, the "t" needs more overshoot at bottom.

Briän M Zick's picture
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Joined: 8 Nov 2008 - 9:38pm
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Just for fun, you could see what a double-story a would look like. :) Many of the features already look like a "roman", so that might be interesting.

breakandassemble's picture
Joined: 26 Jan 2009 - 5:00am
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Hi All,

I thought I would Bring up this typeface again to carry on with it, I am still finishing off lowercase such as d, p, k, q... but i wondered what peoples comments were now it has come on a bit...ill try and post up some examples of it in use over the weekend.