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

BTW, I know of one font that's used it: Chank's "Venis"

:-)

daverowland's picture

Did you ever consider a one storey g for the italic?

eliason's picture

Okay, looking again at (b) I realized it repeats the same problem I noticed above - a kind of deadness to the too-parallel contours. So I played with the shape and came up with this (f).


Strikes me as a surprising and strange shape, but there's something I like quite a bit about it. The questions are, though:
- does it read as too spotty?
- does it fit the face? (or is it too mannerist or something)
(This reminds me a bit of what Sindre is doing with Satyr.)

Did you ever consider a one storey g for the italic?

Not really. I think the binocular form fits my vision of this typeface.

eliason's picture

And if I'm reexamining glyphs with parallel contours, then this can of worms is getting messy.
Here (bottom line) is a de-paralleled version of /u/r/v/w/m/n/.

riccard0's picture

Still regarding y, Fleischmann’s is still alien to me (but of course maybe I wouldn’t even notice it at text sizes). I like the d-version (which, naturally, couldn’t be just a contextual alternate if chosen).

nina's picture

Hmmm… can't say those explorations are uninteresting Craig, but I have to say to my eye they would belong in different typefaces (and that bottom-most "y" does look spotty to me). Dunno, this design seems to rely quite a lot on a certain rigidity, also in terms of parallel outlines, which this is now suddenly undermining; looking at this bottom-most italic, this feels a bit dizzy and undecided to me now. (Indeed Satyr does this kind of thing, but it does it on a global scale: as far as I know it doesn't have any straight lines, and is overall more «organic» and soft and oddly-shaped; I'd imagine this sort of thing gets easier to pull off in such a context.)
But please, mind the salt. It's entirely possible that I'm just not really understanding where you're trying to take this.

Sindre's picture

I agree with Nina. My advice would be making the italic rigid and rule-following rather than inventive and flamboyant, perhaps even oblique-y here and there.

hrant's picture

> Ambicase FatFace Poster OT

Ah, it seems I'm preaching to the choir! :-)

That last "y" is very cool, but it's totally out of character.

hhp

eliason's picture

Thank you for confirming my suspicions. My method here is open and exploratory, so I'm expecting (and even enjoying) dead ends. I'll file that /y/ away for a future font.
Nina and Sindre, what do you think of the caps I was playing with before we got into the /y/ (reposted here:)


Do you think I can get away with that level of flamboyance? (the mixed-case forms, particularly the /E/L/T/)

eliason's picture

I'm having trouble stopping drawing /y/s! :-)
Here's a flipped-tail version of /y/ (this one can go with the conventional /g/).

JamesT's picture

Personally, I really like the capitals in the first line (the mixed-case ones), The /R/K/E/L/ stand out to me as the most interesting without pushing it too far (or too little, in the case of the /Z/) – but that's just my opinion.

riccard0's picture

Maybe top right serif of K is a bit big (but I like its "forward against contrary winds attitude ;-).
Not a bad y, the last one, but at text sizes I'm afraid it would be distracting.

Sindre's picture

Yes, play with the caps, not the lower case. 'WRK' very good, 'ELZ' good, 'T' not so good in my opinion. Such a 'T' is a good idea, but I think for display only, and I would even then make it less subtle. But these are alternates, right? I wouldn't consider them default glyphs for this typeface, to be honest.

I agree on the 'y'. Very good shape, but not for text setting. Your default y is very, very good, though. But I'm worried about 'gy' and 'gv' etcetera, the whitespace between them looks a bit busy and cramped, I think. (But perhaps that's unavoidable in a design like this.)

eliason's picture

forward against contrary winds

That's a wonderful verbalization of what I was after!

But these are alternates, right? I wouldn't consider them default glyphs for this typeface, to be honest.

Hmm, I was hoping that I could pull these off as defaults (but use the simpler forms when ALLCAPS is applied).

Your default y is very, very good, though. But I'm worried about 'gy' and 'gv' etcetera, the whitespace between them looks a bit busy and cramped, I think. (But perhaps that's unavoidable in a design like this.)

Aha! This may be the solution:

nina's picture

I don't know… I'd worry that any of these contextual alts might draw more attention to that specific pairing than the gap would.

Since you asked for my opinion on the "cursive" caps: I think they're cool and interesting (like Sindre, I'm least convinced by the "T"); I would also prefer having them as stylistic alts, though. Mainly because the difference in "expressiveness" between them and the "all-caps caps" is so big that they kind of feel like different styles of the same typeface, which I'd worry may seem confusing in situations where all-caps and mixed settings coexist. That, and they're kind of, well, special, so they draw attention. Which should be great for some settings but may be distracting for normal running text (especially in the context of this face which otherwise doesn't strike me as especially "loud", extravagant, or flashy; so they do stand out). And there's maybe also the consideration that not everyone who uses all-caps settings actually uses the All-Caps command… (sorry, I'm being a worrywart!)

JamesT's picture

Yes! The new y is much better for the /g/y/ combination, in my opinion. My biggest issue, which I forgot to mention in my post last night, was with the ear on the /g/ and its proximity to the /y/.

LexLuengas's picture

The idea for the alt /y/ is good, yet I think it would impact consistency/readability: the thick stroke looks kind of brushed, mostly because it's terminal doesn't taper. Try to pull the stroke more "into itself" to produce a curve similar to your default /y/, but flipped. Not sure how it would look, though.

daverowland's picture

I think the difference in shape between the standard and alternate y is too pronounced. I like option b best, but my problem there is not with the large white space but the crowding around the g ear. Could this be overcome by changing the g ear? Not just here but the standard g also. Or another suggestion- ligature the gy combination so the top left of the y sprouts from the g like an ear. Can't hurt to try.

eliason's picture

I did try a ligature before, but that was quite clearly a dead end.
Okay here's three more:
(i) is (h) with a little more finish on the terminal.
(j) is (a) with the transitive serif removed.
(k) is (b) with the transitive serif removed.


I like these last two. (k) fills the interletter white space better, but looks a bit too noodle-y perhaps; I think (j) may be the frontrunner. Opinions?

hrant's picture

I like (j).

hhp

JamesT's picture

I'm with Hrant on this one.

This may just be me but the counter in the /y/ (both the alt and the default), seems a bit small (compared to the /m/n/. The third one seems to better address that issue, to my eye.

LexLuengas's picture

I say (k). For me, it's the only one that deals with the white spot. If (i)'s thick stroke would be more curved (from the beginning), it would also do a good job.

eliason's picture

Two more tweaks of those last two candidates.
(l) is like (k) but less noodle-y, and with a more delicate join.
(m) is like (j) with some minor curve fiddling (weightier thick, tiny bit wider counter).


I think the question is probably still the same: Is it better to fill the whitespace more evenly, or better to match the other /y/s.
James, you're right that the /y/ counter is narrow. In some ways the structure demands it, but I have pried it open a tiny bit in this image and may try to do more of that.
BTW I realized whatever solution works for the /y/ after /g/ might also work well after /r/.

riccard0's picture

j is the one I can see as contextual alternate.
k would need to rethink the regular one too.

Edit: the same stands for m and l.

eliason's picture

Addressing the spacing issue from the other side: On the top line here's the /y/ version m after the existing /g.calt/ (just as before), and on the bottom line the same /y/ follows a /g.calt/ I've modified to eat up a little more of the interletter space. The new /g.calt/'s upper bowl is pulled out a bit on its lower right, and the bottom bowl is "rolled up" a bit to lessen the white in the /g/'s middle "counter" and to accommodate the incoming /y/ tail. That bowl is narrowed a touch too.


In addition to fitting better, these /g/ alterations actually give a little dynamism to the letter - maybe I should just call this the standard /g/!

hrant's picture

I think (l) is awesome... but probably out of character.

hhp

eliason's picture

Now looking at the stock /g/.
Top row shows previous /g/ (and, in "gym," the /g.calt/).
Bottom row shows reworked /g/ in all words.
- Bowls are much more even in proportion (instead of tall up and wide below)
- Bottom bowl is much rounder rather than triangular
- Link is a little less angular


This bottom one is probably less interesting, but it may be a better fit in both senses of the word. With it I wouldn't need to include a /g.calt/ in the problematic pairs /gy/, /gf/, /gj/, etc. (though the second letter in those pairs will need to have alternates).

cerulean's picture

I feel only the top g has the balance to be an italic g. The new g is a skewed roman g; it's stiff and doesn't sit comfortably without the y to support it.

eliason's picture

More /g/s.
#2 is the one we just saw on the lower line of the previous post, which I agree has a "skewed roman" look to it.
#3 is a revision that tries to put some of the italicness back in. Its lower bowl has some of the "coat-hanger" triangularity as the one on the upper line of the previous post, but for fit's sake that bowl is not quite so wide, and it is swung up so the top line is more horizontal and the bottom right lifts to accommodate enusing descenders.
#4 is more or less #3 with an open bowl.

cerulean's picture

Yeah, #3 works! #4 is pretty in a display kind of way, but a fully joined binocular fits the strong text feel of this face better.

Martin Silvertant's picture

I don't know if you closed the discussion about /y/ as I stopped reading nearing the end of this page, but the ones which deviate in the curve from the default character are no good. It should remain consistent. The alternative you came up with in the end is quite perfect but I personally still thing there's a bit too much tension in g_y.

I see you went through quite a process with /y/. I absolutely love the one which reminds one of Satyr, by the way; it's a pity that it doesn't quite fit this typeface. I must ask though, why do you insist on the spectacle /g/ for the italic while your problem with g_y is so easily solved with a one-story /g/? I would love to have the spectacle /g/ as an option but I think I would still rather see a one-story /g/ in the Italic. I love how the ear of the spectacle /g/ interacts with the curved serif of /i/ though (and letters with a similar curve).

As for the spectacle /g/, I'm all for #3. #4 looks too light at the bottom at text size; as cerulean said, #4 is good for a display version.

Beautiful capitals, by the way. Most of the swash caps look good too. I just think the swash /W/ is a bit too flamboyant, and I find the design of the swash /K/ a little odd.

eliason's picture

Thanks for the input Martin. Yes, I'm pretty settled on the /y/ that simply has its transitional serif docked, concluding as you did that the ones that varied more from the standard form were too different.

Maybe I'm being too stubborn but I just feel like I want the binocular /g/ to work for this face. That said, I might sketch some ideas for a one-story and see what comes out. It's the stiffness of the binocular structure that feels fitting to me, but maybe I can come up with a one-story that shares some of that character.

Glad to hear /g/ #3 works for you. I think that issue might be settled now too.

What to do with the caps is still up in the air. I was thinking/hoping that the fancier ones could be standard, and the plain ones available as a stylistic set and/or when all-caps is triggered. But it sounds like you guys are seeing them more as swashes, in which case they shouldn't be default--and maybe in which case they, along with the open-bowl /g/, should be set aside for a display cut rather than put into the text fonts at all? (Of course the solution for one of these might be different than for the next--the /T/ is quite different from the /R/, which I can't imagine looks objectionably swashy in normal settings to anyone.)

Can you specify what you find a little odd about the /K/?

eliason's picture

Here's a go at a one-story /g/ with a bit of a funky tail. At large sizes at least, I think it looks too contemporary (not classic enough).


Makes the binocular version look cluttered in comparison, though.

hrant's picture

That's kinda cute. And it would harmonize with the Fleischmann "y"!

hhp

Martin Silvertant's picture

I also think that /g/ is "cute" as hrant puts it. I do however agree that it looks too contemporary for this typeface, but I think that's mainly the fault of this classical /y/ because the capitals have plenty of 'contemporary'.

If the one-story /g/ reads well at text size but the spectacle /g/ is stylistically more appropriate, then that makes me wonder if it's a good idea to design a hybrid.

> and maybe in which case they, along with the open-bowl /g/, should be set aside for a display cut rather than put into the text fonts at all?
I personally wish these swash caps would remain available for the text face

> Can you specify what you find a little odd about the /K/?
Well, you have this slightly curved tail with a sudden upward stroke. In my opinion that's too contemporary for this typeface; something more classical would work better. But the tail on its own is not bad; it's that the arm is also curved and then has this chunky reverse serif which makes it look even more contemporary. I think it's just the whole curved but blocky look about /K/ and /R/ which I don't see as completely fitting to this typeface.

eliason's picture

(as an aside, that /g/ marked #3 in that last image was the wrong one, not the good #3 /g/ from the image before)

eliason's picture

Another go at /g/. This is closer, though maybe still a bit too cute and contemporary?

hrant's picture

Whoa, that's just freakish.
If you want to make a nice Koch-style
"g", Ernestine's structure might be best.

hhp

daverowland's picture

Tried a pelican g?

eliason's picture

Here's an almost-pelican g:

Martin Silvertant's picture

I think the previous /g/ is pretty cool for display use. That's actually quite what I had in mind when I mentioned the hybrid. At text size I think it's too dominant and creates to much tension.

I quite like the last /g/ but I think it's too calligraphic. Maybe straighten the stem a bit and give it a subtle ball terminal.

eliason's picture

Almost-pelican with straighter stem and lachrymal terminal. It took some curve-wrestling because I wanted to try to preserve the bottom counter's proportion and teardrop shape.


Maybe I tamed the stem a little too much.

riccard0's picture

I like them all, but, until you will do a display cut, I think I still prefer it binocular.

As an aside, I would see Ernestine’s more as a Benguiat g than a Koch one.

hrant's picture

Just don't call it a Souvenir "g". :-)

hhp

eliason's picture

Here's the freakish hybrid /g/, rebalanced and with a smaller aperture.

eliason's picture

Okay, summary of leading candidates for /g/:
#3 is the best shot at the binocular structure
#10 is the freakish hybrid I just showed as #9, with its lower terminal smaller
#11 is my most recent shot at the "almost-pelican" structure (it is #8 with a little more lively stem)
#12 is like the freakish hybrid #10, but has an s-like spine instead of getting pinched thin at the middle.


Those more unconventional /g/s are fun!
Now that's your cue to say I have to stick with #3 if I want a readable text font. Party poopers!

hrant's picture

For those of us who believe that the "s" and binocular "g"
are long-lost cousins, that last one is quite tantalizing.

hhp

eliason's picture

In my quick handwriting (as when signing my name) my /g/s almost always become descending /s/s.

daverowland's picture

For me 11 is definitely winning at the moment. I think 3 is ok but looks a little skewed, like it needs rotating a few degrees clockwise. I think the original binocular g was fine until you pushed up the right hand side of the bottom bowl. If you go with binocular, I would try to make y do all the work at fitting with g - more vertical right stem? Top part based on v?

eliason's picture

Here, 13, are new versions of both /g/ and /y/. The /g/ is #11 with the bottom terminal lowered a bit, and the /y/ is a new go at a structure based on /u/, borrowing from that /g/ tail.
The very bottom of the image shows the new /y/ following the new /g/ and following an old binocular /g/.

Syndicate content Syndicate content