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
eliason's picture

Yes, the bold is bold; I'd considered calling it extra bold. My idea is that it will serve well as a master and I can make the decisions on interpolated weights when I get there. It may also turn out that I give a little more weight to the regular.

eliason's picture

After months of my day job getting in the way, playing with this again.
Trying the descending italic /Y/ again, but it's not working.
Trying a descending italic /k/ leg, which I like--question is, does it fit this face or not?

1996type's picture

Yes, it does. But only as an alternate. I prefer the top k, though.

eliason's picture

Thinking of abandoning the asymmetrical serifs--here's what the caps look like after the serif revision.


I changed the /R/ and /K/ legs considerably.

riccard0's picture

R’s leg looks a bit dull to me, almost deflated, especially compared to K’s.
Maybe inverting the lower slope of the bowl (from “descending” to “ascending”) could bring a little more tension to it. But this being a text face, my comment is purely aesthetic.
As for K’s leg, it still looks a bit wide where it joins the arm. But, again, it could just be my astigmatism.

eliason's picture

Well spotted. Better?

riccard0's picture

K is definitely better. R gained rigidity and what it seems like a bump in the intersection, but it could well be a rendering issue. I need to look at it again tomorrow with fresher eyes.

LexLuengas's picture

The leg of the R suffers from "pen rotation" at the joint: it gets to thin (e.g. start the inner curve a bit closer to the stem). Also, the state of the connection joining that inner curve of the leg and the middle horizontal is not yet settled: is it a smooth or an abrupt transition?

I'm not sure about the leg's end, regarding both R and K. I would make a more didone approximation in matters of shape (without exaggerating) and flatten those bottom curves a bit. But don't take this comment to seriously.

Maybe the descending Y would have worked if the right vertical stroke had been aligned with the slant angle...

Nice work c:

eliason's picture

1 is as above
2 is another go at the previous R leg structure (but with Ricardo's rotation in the middle) and the same adapted to the K leg (which winds up looking kind of Cyrillic). With a rather stiff, ungraceful S-curve it's less elegant than 1 but maybe all the better fit for it! That structure also seems to make managing whitespace balance easier.

riccard0's picture

I see what you mean about whitespace balance (also about Cyrillic). I think it works better on K (if a bit receding) that on R (it looks a bit too much like a P with an appendage).
Aesthetically, I still prefer the previous, more classic blade-like K’s leg.

eliason's picture

Same candidates at smaller sizes:

Martin Silvertant's picture

Man, this typeface features a tremendous amount of refreshing elements. I read about half this page and I had some points of criticism along the process but it seems to be taken care of already. There isn't really anything I would change or improve. I love the fact that this typeface seems to be the warmest Century typeface I've seen yet it remains very clean.

Martin Silvertant's picture

Ahh it seems I only read about half of the first page. I just realized there are another 3 pages. I won't comment on the older pictures, but as for the latest picture I think I prefer #2 though I would lessen the curve a little bit.

eliason's picture

Thanks Martin for the compliments and the input!

eliason's picture

3 is a variation on two that makes the wiggliness of the leg a little more subtle. I like it.


Also pictured: revised curves (particularly interior contours--the counter is now nearly symmetrical) of /h/m/n/u/.

riccard0's picture

Subtle is good :-)

eliason's picture

Agreed. And here (3) is a version of the R with similar curves, and a more diagonal structure.

riccard0's picture

Good, but to me it looks a bit unbalanced: R’s bowl rests its weight on the leg, while K’s arm lifts it. (this applies in general, not specifically to your samples)

eliason's picture

Do you mean you need more sturdiness out of an /R/ leg, generally?

riccard0's picture

Not necessarily sturdiness, but, so to speak, more “presence“ (extending past the bowl with part of the leg and not just the foot, for example).
But, as I said before, trust your eyes (and those of others) more than mine.

1996type's picture

Yes, what riccardo said. The curve needs to be a bit more sturdy, and the leg needs to extend past the bowl further. I also noticed that the lowercase /m n u h/ don't render very smoothly, where the shoulder meets the stem (on the right). That 3 is beautiful!

eliason's picture

Here (4) is a sturdier leg, straighter and further out. I put a little corner in the closed counter that corresponds with the leg. Also lowered the middle very slightly.

1996type's picture

Almost there, but the curve is still much less apparant than it is in the K. The angle at the top of the leg could be a bit, just a bit, more towards horizontal. The base of /2/ could extend a little further to the right for more stability as well.

Cheers!

1996type's picture

Almost there, but the curve is still much less apparant than it is in the K. The angle at the top of the leg could be a bit, just a bit, more towards horizontal. The base of /2/ could extend a little further to the right for more stability as well.

Cheers!

riccard0's picture

To me 2 looks ok in that department.

eliason's picture

Almost there, but the curve is still much less apparant than it is in the K. The angle at the top of the leg could be a bit, just a bit, more towards horizontal

Hmm, I was trying to make the curve less apparent, to gain the sturdiness it was missing! I think I'm reaching the conclusion that a diagonal leg has to be pretty straight (as #4), or else you get the "P with an appendage" effect that riccard0 was mentioning.

The base of /2/ could extend a little further to the right for more stability as well.

Not sure about that. But I wonder if the top where the teardrop is should come down a little further. I really hate drawing /2/s, maybe more than anything.

eliason's picture

Having trouble with uploading pdf's at Typophile, but here's the latest specimen, concentrating on the Roman.

eliason's picture

Does this look like about the right height/weight/proportions for small caps?

hrant's picture

I like the height and width, but considering your caps are
slightly darker than your lc I'd make the SC a hair darker.
(With "a hair" being exactly 1/2 of "slightly" of course. ;-)

hhp

riccard0's picture

More towards petite ones...

nina's picture

Yeah, hard to tell like this, but I think they might be a little on the small and light side, also considering how big your caps are. (But maybe that's just me. I personally find many fonts have slightly-too-small smallcaps.)

hrant's picture

I think -for a text font- it's better to be on the small side
than the big side (and the darkening I mention would help a
bit). The size they are now would indeed not work for mixing
with the full caps, but to me that's a secondary usage, better
reserved for a display cut of a design.

hhp

nina's picture

> it's better to be on the small side than the big side

Why?
I'm not talking about mixing with caps. I'm talking about acronyms and such in text. Maybe it's just a matter of taste (or I'm misguided) but personally, I often find smallcaps too flimsy and small, looking too much like scaled-down caps.
And then there's the issue of mixing with lowercase, for instance when pluralizing an acronym using a lowercase "s", which with smaller smallcaps isn't differentiated enough.

hrant's picture

Because it's better to be too subtle sometimes than in-your-face
all the time. But I guess we need to see a PDF. I'm thinking things
like pluralized acronyms will work as it stands, but needless to say
I could be wrong.

hhp

eliason's picture

Taller and darker. A little too tall now, or no?

LexLuengas's picture

Much better, definitely. The serifs of /E/'s crossbar are perhaps too dark. Make them a little more abrupt. Just now I noticed that all of your /S/' may need more weight at the top left, and loose weight more slowly in it's way to the top; that would ameliorate the thick-thin transition, which should be more gradual IMO. The /2/ also needs work in the right curve :)

nina's picture

These look good/better to me too. Yes, maybe a hair tall now (but I find it hard to tell by staring at big letters on a screen).

eliason's picture

Wish the Typophile pdf upload weren't broken!

eliason's picture

Just now I noticed that all of your /S/' may need more weight at the top left, and loose weight more slowly in it's way to the top; that would ameliorate the thick-thin transition, which should be more gradual IMO. The /2/ also needs work in the right curve

I'll look at the /s/s, although I think at small sizes the natural busyness of that form might mean the lightness I have now is appropriate.

Can you give me more direction on what is troublesome about the /2/?

LexLuengas's picture

The curve at the right is a bit too thick and for some reason it's axis looks slanted to the left (counterclockwise). But these are just marginal observations. Ignorable, due to meticulousness, if you like.

eliason's picture


Here's a new go at the two (as before on left, new on right). I think it's better.

hrant's picture

PDF just worked: http://typophile.com/node/89140
Maybe it's the size issue?

hhp

eliason's picture

Must have been, because it looks like my reduced specimen went through. Thanks.
They really should fix that limit (or at least change the notice from "max size 2MB" to "max size 130K")!

nina's picture

OK looking at the PDF (MillennialOldstyle12.pdf is the current one, right?) the weight seems pretty good to me, but I have to agree they look potentially a little too tall now… actually maybe even more importantly I wonder if they seem a little too wide, slightly out of character with the overall narrow elegance of the face? It's hard to tell though, don't listen to me too much, remember the salt & all that. ;)

eliason's picture

Front (bottom) window shows latest, shorter and narrower. Should probably give a bit more generous letterspacing.

LexLuengas's picture

Should probably give a bit more generous letterspacing.

Indeed :-)

eliason's picture

same size, respaced.

eliason's picture

Experimenting with a narrower contextual alternate for /r/, which would appear before /f/t/v/w/y/. (In this sample, 1=all the same /r/, 2=using the r.calt in "Harvey"/"Norway"/"barfed"/"every"/"party.")

hrant's picture

Good idea. Or even have three forms (with a longer one, mostly for "ro").

hhp

LexLuengas's picture

@hrant
what you're suggesting is easily accomplished by kerning; why bother to make an alternate to preserve excessive white space? It looks as one step forward, but it's one step back ;-)

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