beejay's picture

I finally figured out that to build a nice quirky sans face, the first thing you have to do is figure out the curves in the letters 'b, c, d. g, j, o, p, q, r, and s' Once you get those curves down, then you are in business. I wish somebody would have told me this months ago. :)
Back to the post about 'how do you build a face,' I would suggest making a lot of elliptical and rounded square shapes (unite/pathfinder a semi-circle on the end of a square). Then empty the fill and work off the stroke, but don't create outlines....always keep the outlines so the weight can stay consistent. When the face is finished, make sure your weights are consistent before you join and outline, or outline and unite.
Always save a copy of the beziers off to the side for tweaking.

Here's apollo sans. Any feedback is welcome.


apollo.swf (22 k)

beejay's picture

David - Thanks for the comments.

* some of the widths are off, evident when I type in certain words.

* Definitely, the curves need some work. I noticed that when I dropped it into Fontographer, I chose clean up points, insert points at extrema and it messed up some curves. For example, zoom in on the 'O' and look at the counter. It used to be perfect, now it's nasty. I am now deleting stray points with the minus (pen) tool, though it takes longer. Anybody know a shortcut to remove strays but keep the basics intact?

- I like your suggestion on the 'R'

* I'll pull that K arm in.

* Can you point me to any geometric sans in particular?

* I'll see how the 'N' looks flipped.

* the brackets were just bracketed on, not intended to match the face. Kind of like the movies where the words don't match the lips.

Thanks David.

Great to see you back.

hrant's picture

For getting rid of points, probably the best way is the "Merge Points" command (Cmd-M, under the "Points" menu). But make a copy of the original form in the Template layer beforehand, so that you can adjust the new form to something closer to the original (Fog doesn't do the best job with Merge).

Another way is by using "Simplify Curves", but that's much harder to control.


anonymous's picture

You have some interesting strokes and structures, but I think the font could benefit from some smoothing and balancing of the curves, particularly on the "B", "J", "R" (short-tailed version, especially -- maybe try cutting the tail's terminal obliquely?), "S", "3", "5", and, to a lesser extent, on the "2" and the tail of the "Q" (same suggestion as the "R").

The font as a whole seems as though it wants to be a geometric sans, but isn't quite making it.

I'm also not sure you need the slight vestigal serifs on the tops of "C" and "G".

The upper arm of the "K" could be pulled back in a bit, too, to keep it from looking top-heavy.

The vertices of the "N" are bothering me a bit as well. In fact, I think it might work better with the rest of the font if it were simply inverted, placing the sharper vertex at the bottom right and the blunter vertex at the upper left.

Final suggestion: tone down the horizontals of the brackets a bit, to keep them from looking heavier than the rest of the font.

As far as the structures go, I really like the direction you're exploring. I've always thought that a geometric face should at least be playful with the geometry, or why bother with it at all?

The "G" with a descending tail and double-V "W" are favorites of mine, and I also very much like your construction of the "8".

anonymous's picture

Ah.... Your explanation of the curves issue answered my point about being a geometric sans. Solve the curves, and you'll solve the perceived identity crisis. :]

But check out Frantisek Storm's "Bahnhof" anyway. ;]


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