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
Martin Silvertant's picture

The last image doesn't load for me.

Looking at the previous image, I think the texture is most consistent in 3 but that binocular /g/ does need some work. I quite like 11 but I think the aperture needs to be a bit higher. I honestly think 12 is really cool though. It's difficult to choose one.

Martin Silvertant's picture

The last image just loaded. With this /y/ — which looks beautiful — I don't think the binocular /g/ fits well. Perhaps this /y/ is also a better fit to the typeface. Not sure...

eliason's picture

Polished /y/ in two versions and /g/ in two versions (including trying to solve the "skewed" look of binocular /g/).
Here are the possible combinations:
A shows classic /y/ and one-story /g/
B shows classic /y/ and binocular /g/
C shows u-like /y/ and one-story /g/
D shows u-like /y/ and binocular /g/


As has been suggested, I think the u-like /y/ and the one-story /g/ are a team, and the classic /y/ and binocular /g/ likewise. In other words, it's either B or C. I'm leaning towards the more interesting forms of B. Though I wonder if that /y/ will present continual spacing headaches even beyond the situations where I plan the docked contextual alternate (after /g/r/P/)...

eliason's picture

A refinement of the classic /y/ with a tightened lead-in serif and larger counter. (Notice how it spaces better in "Sheboygan")


I think I can make this work.

Martin Silvertant's picture

I think the last image is the best option! I think you might also have to strip the /y/ from its serif when it comes after a rounded letter like /o/.

eliason's picture

I thought of that, and I'll take a look, though I'm thinking kerning /oy/ yet closer might be sufficient and even preferable.

eliason's picture

Latest thinking on my cap variants in the italic
First two lines show default forms of /E/K/L/Q/R/S/T/V/W/Y/Z/.
Third line shows stiffer forms of /K/R/V/W/Y/Z/ that I'd like to put into the caps feature.
Fourth line shows swash forms of /E/L/Q/S/T/W/ that will be triggered by swsh/stylistic set.
Fifth line shows small caps of these caps, which are based on the "stiff" versions as in the third line.

eliason's picture

New pdf attached to the first post (or rather 6 new pdf's to circumvent the size-limit bug).

eliason's picture

Which /s/?


2 is more tightly wound. I think the raised lower terminal and lowered top terminal might play more nicely with other letters, but the wound-upness is fighting against the italic slope a bit to me. It also looks narrow to me now...

riccard0's picture

First one "flows" better. And, yes, it looks a tad narrow.

hrant's picture

Divergence, including of width, helps readability, as long as
it doesn't pop out to the reader. So "a tad too -anything-" is
exactly what you want. :-)

hhp

eliason's picture

Here's two more goes at the /s/. All curves tweaked, but the main thing I'm trying to work out is the bottom terminal. The teardrop of #1 doesn't sit particularly well with the transitive serif of preceding letters. #3 has the /s/ terminal mimic that preceding pothook, and #4 has it reflect it.

1996type's picture

I'd say 1 is best.

eliason's picture

Wrong answer! ;-)
I'd like the bottom terminal to work better than the teardrop. Here are further refinements on those new /s/ candidates. #5 is a reworked #3 and #6 is a reworked #4.


Among other adjustments, bottoms are rounder and narrower.

riccard0's picture

6, even if it risks to become a bit top-heavy.
5 seems to sport a sort of lump.

eliason's picture

Thanks riccard0, yes, I think I'll go with /s/ number 6.
I take it as a measure of my improvement as a type designer that I'm enjoying drawing /s/, which used to produce nothing but fear and dread in me. :-)

Looking at /Q/, and returning to the possibility of this form I had originally. Which of these work best (with the possibility of having different forms for text and display fonts)?


I think my looping one #1 is lovely but may be too fluid for the rest of the roman. #3 feels a bit dated (or is it retro?) to me, but maybe works best small in terms of quick recognition.

Bendy's picture

Hi Craig, nice to see this progressing. I still think the beauty of this face is in its well-executed robustness rather than in the more idiosyncratic details; however, I prefer the first /Q/ with its loopy tail. Actually, I'd pull that tail down a bit on the left side, I think it's a bit too close to the bowl and that counterspace will clog. Q is a rare letter so I don't see a problem in its fluidity.

Re the /s/, remember not to consider it in isolation. Your other terminals will need to follow similar patterns. I personally like version 5, but add a bit more weight to balance the top terminal.

Bendy's picture

Comma: I'd prefer a much longer tail, but as you know I'm particular about commas ;)

And your third Q is growing on me.

riccard0's picture

#2 looks too sharp.
#3 looks indeed retro, but so does your whole typeface (in a good sense).

Whatever you do, keep #1 somewhere!

eliason's picture

Your other terminals will need to follow similar patterns

A similar shape appears in the twos, threes, and fives (and kind of in the swash /T/), but nowhere else in the letters. Maybe the descending hooks of /j/f/ß/ and maybe /y/ could try it on.

eliason's picture

Comma: I'd prefer a much longer tail, but as you know I'm particular about commas ;)

Are you looking at the most recent pdfs?
Also, how do the comma and quotation marks relate in your ideal?

I personally like version 5, but add a bit more weight

It's tricky to get more weight on that lower terminal, because the right slope and height are constrained by my intention to mirror the transitive serif of preceding letters. And given that, it's difficult to add more weight without the bottom turning too squarish.

Bendy's picture

Sorry, should have mentioned which I was looking at: 20-5.

For me (and this could be completely against others' views), the comma and quotes and any other punctuation needs enough presence to show it's a character in its own right. To me they're not incidental. I think quotes need to be smaller than the comma: comma needs the pronounced tail to differentiate from the full stop perhaps.

I didn't see the same terminal carried through to the 2, 3, 5 etc from the new /s/. Re the weight, could there be more on the inside of the terminal, rather than the outside? Or is that what you mean already?

eliason's picture

I didn't see the same terminal carried through to the 2, 3, 5 etc from the new /s/.


Sorry, I realize now some of it I added since the last pdf was generated.
(Sheepishly I now realize that you asked after just this back last July! )

Re the weight, could there be more on the inside of the terminal, rather than the outside?

Well maybe there's wiggle room but at the same time that counter wants to be round and smooth.

For me (and this could be completely against others' views), the comma and quotes and any other punctuation needs enough presence to show it's a character in its own right. To me they're not incidental. I think quotes need to be smaller than the comma: comma needs the pronounced tail to differentiate from the full stop perhaps.

So here's another question for you: which size is your /quotesinglbase? :-)

eliason's picture

Another go at /s/ number five.
Enough weight at the bottom Ben? Still look lumpy Riccardo?

riccard0's picture

Lumpy no more for me.
But I still prefer #6's attitude.

(the overshoot looks maybe a bit tame compared to a's, but could be something else.)

eliason's picture

But I still prefer #6's attitude.

Maybe #6 for display and #5b for text.

eliason's picture

I'm liking the different structure for italic /p/ lead-in/ascender better (#2).

riccard0's picture

Nice, I prefer it to the former. Only thing is, there’s just a bit too much of a 1 in it.

eliason's picture

Only thing is, there’s just a bit too much of a 1 in it

Yeah, I saw that after I drew it. If that's to be fixed I'm not sure how it would be done.

riccard0's picture

Perhaps trying to create some sort of visual relation between the beak and the upper left curve of the bowl.

eliason's picture

While you were writing that I was drawing this:


Maybe #3 does what you said. It also relates to the preceding letter better.

eliason's picture

#5 is #4 with the lead-in stroke closer to the stem.

eliason's picture

I agree. Before drawing it I thought that serpentine lead-in stroke would be too fiddly, but I think it's working even--or even expecially--at small sizes. Minor refinements here:


Does the /p/ ascender relate well to that of /t/?

Back to the lower terminal of /s/: here's another solution (#7). Like #5b, the interior contour and end of the stroke are intended to mirror the transitive serif of preceding letters. Where #5b then curved around smoothly, #7 now has a corner at bottom left. It is a similar shape to what appears in some caps (/C/G/S/).

eliason's picture

Looking at oldstyle-figure heights

Top line has x-height and extenders matching lowercase. I feel like this is too up-and-down.
Middle line has extenders matching lowercase, larger x-height (at small-cap level).
Bottom line has x-height matching lowercase, extenders half length.

riccard0's picture

Maybe something between middle and bottom?

eliason's picture

Here's an in-between version


Figure "x"-height is at small-cap level. Figure ascenders go to lc ascender height (but appear shorter because of the x-height difference); figure descenders go about 2/3 down to lc descender depth.

Is this figure "x"-height a little too big?

eliason's picture

New .pdf attached to first post.

daverowland's picture

I think small cap height is the way to go. X height feels too small

daverowland's picture

No cap ß?

eliason's picture

Not yet anyway!

brianskywalker's picture

I love the way this looks, the italic is especially rather nice, although this might be my favorite "century". Perhaps in the tradition of the Century style fonts, you should also make an extremely short ascender/descender/cap version, for use where you to to set the lines unnaturally close! :D That would be interesting.

eliason's picture

That's not a bad idea. In addition to vertical metrics, I think I could also toy with slightly condensed letters without compromising the design too much, to make a version particularly for where space is tight...

Bendy's picture

Just remembered this thread whilst leafing through Karen Cheng's Designing Type. The section on quotation marks tells us they descended directly from double commas. Looking at the examples, the general trend is that quotation marks are smaller than commas, though there are a couple of exceptions, New Century Schoolbook and Serifa, where they are longer and larger respectively. It seems it's an open choice for you.

hrant's picture

BTW, I make my double-quotes smaller than the singles.

hhp

eliason's picture


This is quotes made of commas at 94% width and height.

eliason's picture


I'm thinking of dropping the f-ligatures in favor of a narrow-hooded contextual f-alternate. Opinions?
(No kerning done yet.)

hrant's picture

There are more ways...

Here's what I did in Nour&Patria:

In the first two rows (Patria and Italic) the "fi" is a hybrid solution, since the x-height is rather large. In the third row (Nour's subordinate Latin) the "fi" is traditional, since the x-height is smallish. In all three the "fl" sees no contact between the two letters, and the "el" is trimmed instead of the "f" being neutered. There are many little tweaks (like pushing the tittles slightly to the right) to further balance the compromises.

hhp

eliason's picture

Here's what the narrower f looks like in two weights.


In bold and heavier, the stem will make way for the counter. (Is there a name for that kind of /f/j/?)

For the bold and particularly extrabold, the ampersand got too crowded so I devised a new one (labeled 2 here).


My plan was to use form 1 for light weights and form 2 for the heaviest weights. Or should that #2 form be used in all weights? It's more /E/ish--I dunno if that's a problem or not.

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