Millennial Oldstyle: crit welcome

eliason's picture

Going to try my hand at a typeface suitable for extended text. Morris Fuller Benton is my mentor.


I'm looking to Century Oldstyle for general guidance on structure and proportion--it's a great model, in my opinion--but I'm drawing this from scratch and departing from the prototype freely in parts.
I envision eventually creating a broad palette of size-specific cuts and weights.

AttachmentSize
MillenialOldstyle01.pdf73.47 KB
MillenialOldstyle03.pdf87.64 KB
MillennialOldstyle04.pdf95.52 KB
MillennialOldstyle06.pdf112.12 KB
MillennialOldstyle12.pdf115.77 KB
leadingtest.pdf44.36 KB
MillennialOldstyle18.pdf122.18 KB
MillennialOldstyle20-1.pdf115.74 KB
MillennialOldstyle20-2.pdf120.47 KB
MillennialOldstyle20-3.pdf104.3 KB
MillennialOldstyle20-4.pdf106.31 KB
MillennialOldstyle20-5.pdf101.75 KB
MillennialOldstyle20-6.pdf118.41 KB
MillennialOldstyle29.pdf225.07 KB
Bendy's picture

Just noticed 'Millennial' is missing an 'n' ;)

In 'logjam', your descenders are different lengths, is that from Century? I don't remember noticing that before.

eliason's picture

I'm not sold on the ascending 3 and 5, but digging up an old post of yours on French OS figs did inspire me to try an open, semi-descending and semi-ascending 4! (middle row)

hrant's picture

My kinda stuff!

hhp

eliason's picture

Just noticed 'Millennial' is missing an 'n' ;)

Holy crap, how embarrassing! Thanks for the correction!

In 'logjam', your descenders are different lengths, is that from Century? I don't remember noticing that before.

No, Century Oldstyle has consistent descender depth... consistently very short!
I decided to deepen it, but my sense was that /j/ didn't look good at full depth (and, in italics, /f/ and /ß/).
But now looking at it again, those shorter descenders (top rows) look stunted, and full depth ones (bottom rows) look okay. What do you think?

Bendy's picture

I think it's much more elegant with the full length descenders. I'm liking this more and more. You've done the right thing with the arched letters too, and I like the numerals.

I'm looking at pdf03, salt and pepper ready?

• italic y, maybe add a bit of springiness into the downstroke, it looks a little rigid.
• sorry to harp on about the commas/quotes, but I'd make the tails darker still, and longer. I'm not sure exactly what target size you're aiming for, somewhere around 10-11pt?
• counters of /e/ and /o/ at top are rather different; I prefer the /o/, but perhaps it's good to have a slight differentiation for reasons of legibility?
• tail of /Q/ to descend a bit more? Looks perhaps a bit bunched up and danger of clotting (more so in the italic somehow)?
• /W/ looks narrow.
• Italic /K/ did you try the loopy arm thing like on the /R/?
• Spur of /G/ seems to need more prominence — to the baseline? — to make it stable, or a bit more shaped like the spur on /b/.
• Italic /C/ add a bit more to the teardrop (and maybe pull in slightly)?
• Italic /U/ did you try an uppercase version of the /u/?
• Italics overall are delicious.
• Oldstyle 6 and 9 look somehow from an older era than the other glyphs. I guess that might be a good thing for 'oldstyle' numerals, but to me they stick out in an odd way.

eliason's picture

You're the best, Ben, thanks for taking the time!

I think it's much more elegant with the full length descenders

Agreed.

sorry to harp on about the commas/quotes, but I'd make the tails darker still, and longer. I'm not sure exactly what target size you're aiming for, somewhere around 10-11pt?

Don't apologize, you're completely right! Yes, I have in mind right about that size. This turned out quite big on the em compared to other text faces on my system.

Spur of /G/ seems to need more prominence — to the baseline? — to make it stable

Like what the italic wound up with?

did you try an uppercase version of the /u/

Yes, upthread you can see some hideous attempts along those lines. Maybe I'll try again, as the present solution isn't entirely satisfactory.

I'll get to work on all those suggestions!

eliason's picture

• Oldstyle 6 and 9 look somehow from an older era than the other glyphs. I guess that might be a good thing for 'oldstyle' numerals, but to me they stick out in an odd way.

Second row of top window shows new oldstyle 6 and 9 with teardrops. Meshes well with recent changes to OS 2 & 3.
Pointy terminals are still okay in the italic oldstyle (second row of bottom window), I think--do you agree?

Bendy's picture

I really like the pointy terminals, I'd have those on the lining figs too I think. Also I'd make the roman os 4 the same shape as the italic one, though maybe with a square top or something. Italic os 3 could be a little wide.

eliason's picture

Thanks for the good ideas. Top row shows italic lining figures now with pointed terminals (23569). Very bottom row with oldstyle roman figures shows the four--I couldn't get an open construction to look right, but I did realize that the horizontal should be thicker. Some other minor fixes too.

Bendy's picture

Oh, those swoopy top terminals on the 2 and 3 didn't work for the italic lf?

riccard0's picture

Wonderful 4. Do you plan to offer an alternate OS 1 (one that actually looks like one ;-) too, right?

cerulean's picture

Even in this form, it could be neat to shorten the descender of the roman osf 4.

Does the descender of osf 7 have enough weight?

eliason's picture

@ Bendy Not really--they require the outer contour to come so far around that it wound up goofy looking when I tried.
@ riccard0 Ugh, I hate trying to draw (tabular) ones. Do you like this one at all?
@ cerulean shortened 4 descender and added a smidge of weight to 7. Thanks for the input!

riccard0's picture

I like the beaked 1, though the left serif seems a bit too long and/or dark (but maybe is just some screen artefact).
About the zero, my taste isn’t for the ones without contrast, even if I understand the rationale. But then, I think your italic OS zero should retain some of the lack of contrast of the corresponding roman one.

eliason's picture

Top shows regular:
- Beefed up comma (and consequently quotation marks, though I scaled those down a bit)
- G with beard
- I love the monoline OS zero (in roman; I don't think I'll match it in italics) but recognize that it's "controversial," so I'll include a stylistic alternate. This pic shows, in order, the letter /o/, the monline zero, and a contrasted zero that (like the lining zero) is more pointy top and bottom than /o/.
Bottom shows italic:
- same beefier comma etc.
- K with looping structure
- latest attempt at /U/. The lowercase returning structure just will not work for me -- looks really heavy. I like this more rigid parallel structure better than the previous.
- /y/ with a more springy downstroke.

Bendy's picture

Yes, yes. Those amends are good.

I'm looking at pdf04.

• Italic cap K is almost working, but the arm and leg look like independent strokes even despite the join; not sure what to suggest but the movement needs to flow together more.
• Italic Xx need a bit more offset on the hairline stroke.
• Italic D may be too light and/or counter too large, it looks pale overall.
• I'm really loving the italic lc, in the same way I love Baskerville's italic. I wonder if b needs a spur?
• Italic caps may need more space?
• Check right sidebearings of roman Ww?
• This is really great work :)

eliason's picture

• Italic cap K is almost working, but the arm and leg look like independent strokes even despite the join; not sure what to suggest but the movement needs to flow together more.

Maybe having the leg come out of the loop at a more upwards angle improves this?

• Italic D may be too light and/or counter too large, it looks pale overall.

It occurred to me that D could have a loop too (which doesn't help the too-light problem, of course, which I addressed by narrowing and adding black to the curve).

Sindre's picture

This is going to be good. I want it! These are my thoughts on the italics (very much in italics mode myself at the moment, I'll criticise the romans later), based on 04.pdf.

A: Is the thin stroke a little too curved?
B: Are the bowls slightly too slanted-looking? I'd slide their extremas a little down.
G: Something is not comfortable about the right stem, should it be slightly less slanted? Or is the curve on one side-, straight on the other-approach problematic?
H: When I look at the word "Helen" I get the impression that the 'H' is more slanted than the 'l'. Is it just me, or does the upper case need to be one degree less slanted?
N: Looks less slanted than other members of upper case.
P & R: See B
S: Is the upper ball a little to low and/or prominent?
T: Cool! But should that loop be more prominent?
U: Some stiffness in the curve here too?
W: Not sure about the middle serif. Is the middle stroke a little thick/clumsy too?
X: Yes! But needs quite a bit of cross compensation.
Y: Make the thin arm more curved?
Z: Brilliant!
Er ... VWXYZ is quite similar to my solutions for Satyr. I swear I haven't copied you.

a: Great! Should the tail curve be a little more generous? Personally, I'd make a slight ink trap on the bottom join of 'a' & 'd'.
g: Is the beak a little sad?
k: Brilliant!
r: Ball a little small?
t: Not comfortable with the top. I'd make it shorter or less tapered.
u: Oh yes! But more of that loop?
x: Cross compensation again.

Marcelo Soler's picture

Nice job, Craig.
Your Millennial gave me a good reason to come back after years (!) of unmotivated absence.
Greetings to all old friends.
Let's see...

Sindre's picture

My thoughts on the roman:

A: I really dig the chopped off terminal of A, Y, V, but I wonder if it makes the 'A' fall a little leftward? I would consider letting it lean very slightly to the right as a compensation.
J: Heavier ball?
K: Arm serif cut off to straight? Leg not dark enough?
S: Too black spine? Slightly tall too, is it? Or perhaps that gives it character ... those serifs approximating arrows are cool!
VW: A little black, aren't they?

nmh: Something about their curves seem a little uncertain. Can't quite put my finger on it.
x: Serifs a little black, compare to 'z', for instance.

I apologise if I have repeated other's critique too much.

eliason's picture

Thank you so much Sindre!
I've gone through and backslanted all the "vertical" stems of the caps as you suggested, which I think in an improvement.


Here's other fixes along the lines of your suggestions (after is on the right in each pair).

/A/ left side is a little straighter
/B/ bowl extrema lowered. I also rotated the loop in the middle to make it a little springier coming out to the bottom bowl
/G/ alterations to stem
/P/ bowl changes akin to /B/. Did the same to /R/ but forgot to show it here.
/S/ top teardrop raised and reduced.
/g/ ear: does this look any less sad?
/r/ terminal enlarged
/Y/ thin slightly curvier and heavier
/a/ bottom altered: more white space in notch and between stem and tail
/d/ copied changes from /a/ to bottom
/t/ I was struggling with this top: is this different solution better? (and should quasi-ascender of /p/ get the same treatment?)
/W/ What about an open loop?

I'll get to the roman comments later on. I'm so appreciative for the input!

1996type's picture

The thick lower-left serif on A (and many others) looks distracting to me.

The first t is fine to my eye.

Second W, defenitely!

Why don't you make the connection of the two 'bowls' in g a little smoother? To me it LOOKS as if you were having a hard time with the contour tools of Fontlab. I guess you like the quirkyness.

Keep going!

Sindre's picture

Ah, yes! Good improvements. The new slant looks just right. 'A' is superb now. Perhaps the top of the new 'B' is slightly too wide? And maybe the 'G' stem needs to be a little straighter? 't' is much better now, I would make the angle on top less acute, though. New 'W' rocks, but needs some cross compensation, in my humble opinion.

You're welcome!

eliason's picture

And maybe the 'G' stem needs to be a little straighter?

Do you mean more upright?

Why don't you make the connection of the two 'bowls' in g a little smoother?

That angularity was a quirk of the Century Oldstyle model that I liked, but perhaps I was a bit too unsubtle in adapting it.

eliason's picture

nmh: Something about their curves seem a little uncertain. Can't quite put my finger on it.

This made me smile, as I first suspected this was playful retribution for my too-vague criticism of Satyr's /h/n/m/. But supposing you're serious rather than vengeful, I do see now my humps may be too smooth. How does this look (top is as before, bottom shows a subtle corner at the top right of the counter of /h/m/n/ (and bottom left of /u/)?


And here's the same done a bit more firmly:

Sindre's picture

Ha-ha, no vengefulness attempted. I just thought those curves were a little indecisive. Last try looks good to these eyes. Personally, I'd nudge the top point of the 'a's ceiling curve ten units to the left too.

eliason's picture

Trying those corners in the counters of nearly all straight-to-curve transitions.

eliason's picture

Latest pdf (05) shows lots of tweaking. In addition to addressing some of the above comments, the more noticeable changes include:
- beefed up middle arms of E and F in both roman and italic
- lowered roman A crossbar
- narrowed italic y
- made bowl of P taller in both roman and italic
- reduced relative size of top bowl of roman g
- widened and rebalanced roman v and y
- closed aperture of roman c
- brought the straight part of the stem of italic b down lower (and adjusted the whole bowl) - I think this might help anchor the letter as an alternate solution to Ben's suggestion of a spur at lower left.

Sindre's picture

This is getting darn good, Craig. I have little time now, but I promise I will have a good look at the new pdf this evening (my time). At first sight, the 'E' and 'F' middle arm serifs look enormous now, but they might be just right at target size. 'Avy' mods are just perfect. This is extremely high quality stuff!

eliason's picture

Excellent, thank you Sindre. Look at the even newer pdf #06 instead, as it includes subtle but far-reaching adjustments to the italic cap serifs.

Sindre's picture

This is all very picky.

R: Leg slightly thin? Personally, I'd chose another R model, not fond of the gap between stem and leg. But nothing wrong with it otherwise, of course.

S: Very slight bumpiness on the inside curves.

Y: Slightly thin arm (compared to V)?

r: Should the thin part be ever so slightly thicker?

s: Too thick stem. Look at hot-spots in preguess, nonplussed. I think the 's' almost always needs to be a little too light to look right in context.

vw: I think the apex (is it called that on the bottom too? Anyway, that's what I mean) is too far to the left on both, but that too is perhaps a matter of taste.

w: A little too wide, in my opinion.

The ligatures containing ff are slightly too loose, in my opinion.

Is the ampersand authoritative enough for this typeface? Cross-compensation needed anyway.

Italics:

MN: Too similar in width?

X: Slightly too black, I think. Cross-compensation still needed.

Y: Arm too light?

abcde: Something with the rhythm slightly off in these? 'd' slightly wide? 'b' and 'e' slightly narrow? Not sure about this at all, but I recommend having another look.

p: Too tall?

§, æ, ‰ look slanted.

OSF rocks, perhaps 8 is a little uncompensated.

I think this typeface would be happy to have distinct ampersands in Roman and italics.

eliason's picture

Per Sindre's suggestions, for the roman:
S smoothed, Y arm thicker, r thin thicker, s spine lightened, v and w angles changed ever so slightly and w narrowed, ff ligs respaced.
Then, the more exciting stuff: as I'm discerning the emergent personality of this typeface, I think it's time to disembark from the model for those character-filled glyphs R, Q, and ampersand. Pairs show Century-like original left and my new take right.



Italic changes:
how does "abcde" look now? I raised the top of the counter of b and widened it slightly. Then, I think key was to make d's top bowl come into the stem at a downward angle (it was almost perpindicular before. I think this is more graceful and makes the counter rhyme a bit better with those of other letters.
lowered ascender of p, rejiggered curves of ae
narrowed N (I've gone back and forth widening and narrowing this glyph since I created it!)
lightened X and tried again at getting the optical correction right.
adjusted os8 to mesh with the other figs
Then the before and after of a dramatic rethinking of ampersand for the italic.

Sindre, your sharp eye is such a help and your compliments are good fuel for my project. Seriously, thanks!

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Craig, you Really need to do something about that æ!

eliason's picture

you Really need to do something about that æ

Is it ugly? Does it not read well? Should I use a single story a in the italic ae?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Yes. I’d prefer a single story æ, but in any case you shouldn’t have that straight stem there.

Too humanist for your face, but have a look at the structure in this cursive æ (and œ, for differention):

eliason's picture

Better?

JamesT's picture

Please take my comments lightly (or ignore them if you want, you are clearly better than myself at type design).

If you're planning on using this for text, I'd suggest adding a little more distinction between the oe and the ae. At small sizes, they might start to look too similar. Also, the stem on the /e/ seems a bit too angular when compared to the /a/ and the /d/.

As a whole, I really like this. The capital italics are fantastic.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

If you feel the one-story solution is too humanistic, please do try a two-story version! Your sketch is good. I tried my hands at this, and it’s a hard shape.

Slightly rotated e and some cross compensation made the eye smaller. Also shortened the tail slightly. Sloppy interior, but you catch my drift?

eliason's picture

Thanks James. The /oe/ confusion is definitely the danger here. And you're right about the tail.
And thanks Frode--the rotation suggestion helped a lot I think:


Frode Bo Helland's picture

œ middle is too heavy.

eliason's picture

I knew you were going to say that! :-)
Thinned middle of oe, and more adjustments to ae (middle stroke is more square, connecting thin is a little higher):

Frode Bo Helland's picture

If you want to differentiate them even more, you could thin the southwest part of "e" in "œ".

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Are there any situations where these two would be together in the same sentence?

hrant's picture

Sure. "The æsthetic value of his œuvre is..."
But a better question is: are there single words where
the two could be confused? Here's one: æther vs œther.
And that's nothing - check this out: Færœ Islands. :-)

The æ is really not itself enough now. Classical, shmlassical.

hhp

hrant's picture

Ah! :-)

BTW, you know what would be nice? Something I proposed years ago on
Typo-L (and apparently Gary Munch had already thought of): Ae and Oe
diphthongs! Why? Well, what about a book titled "Aesop's Oeuvre"? :-)

hhp

eliason's picture

More thinking on the ampersand:

nina's picture

Ohh... can't help but think the second and especially the third of these ampersands might just do great without the arm (with some rebalancing). Dunno if that's your thing but you might give it a go.

eliason's picture

What, you mean something like this?


Gotta say, that would never have occurred to me.
Stylistically the arm is the part that relates most clearly to other glyphs in the typeface.

Bendy's picture

I side question, isn't it considered affected/pretentious to use the æ and œ ligatures in standard English? I've certainly never had cause to use them in British English.

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