Zai

Toby's picture

Hi there, here

designalchemy's picture

Hi Tobias, I think you have some winning aesthetic/functional combinations going here. I really like the low ascenders/descender (example lc.g). I do not really use this type of font in any of my own work, but I can see great potential for it in the current market.

pablohoney77's picture

i love it, it's very fresh. I think some slightly lighter weights would be even more useful and could make a really nice family.

William Berkson's picture

This has a nice feeling and promise, but to me there are real problems of consistency, and the crossbars of the a and e are main problems.

You have a general monoweight effect, and the joins of the branches and one part of the bowls are thick. But the crossbar on a and e are much thinner. You can go for more of a two weight sans like Franklin, or change those crossbars. Gill is generally monoweight with the two weight effect on the aeg, so you can get away with it, but not with it so extreme, I think. Also the descender on the g to me looks painfully cut off, and the bottom of the t weak.

hrant's picture

I think this is very nice - makes me think of Yellow and Fontana having a kid.
It's cohesive, original, legible. And some of the glyphs are very charming.

William's point about the "a" and "e" crossbars is valid on a formal level, but I
happen to think your approach can be a valid solution sometimes, including here.

The most obvious issues to me:
- The dots of the "i"/"j" extend too far up (especially in #2).
- The bar of the "L" is too heavy (although less in the #2).
- The "4" is too wide.
- The "&" is too playful (and too dark in the #2).

There are also some smaller things (like the "E" being maybe slightly too wide) but those are iffy.

Spacing: a bit too loose.

Great stuff overall!

hhp

Toby's picture

Thanks guys, I

Toby's picture

Did some variations on g and y

Toby's picture

Here

Toby's picture

I´ve made some adjustments and added a lighter weight on this one, making the weight gain logarithmic. The strong cut-offs on p and d had to go to make the light weight work. Some spacing is still to be done on the lighter weight. This is my first face, so please comment!
http://www.kvant.org/zai.pdf

oribendor's picture

The light weight (Zai One) is already too heavy for text. Why won't you make an even lighter version?

oribendor

TBiddy's picture

I agree with Hrant about the #4. I do however disagree with you Hrant about the dots of the i and j...I think they should go a bit higher. They'll start to blend together at smaller point sizes or at a distance.

The ampersand too playful? The face seems pretty playful to me already. (Might be right about it being too bold though.)

The crossbars of the "a" and "e" don't bug me too much. The crossbar of the "a" reminds me of Edward Johnston's Foundation Hand, don't know if that was an inspiration or not.

All in all Toby, I think its very nice, very polished, congratulations!

hrant's picture

Terry, I think you're starting to see everything as a signage face... :-)

I agree that simply lowering the dots of the "i"/"j" would make things worse. But that's not necessarily what I'd change: I might make the dots flatter; and/or I might actually reduce the height of the stems - the Grid should be a tool, not a straightjacket. And after all, what is raising the dots further if not breaking the grid too? The reason not to raise them further (or even keep them so high) is potential line-to-line bumping (on shorter measures).

hhp

TBiddy's picture

"Terry, I think you’re starting to see everything as a signage face… :-)"

Well, that's certainly a concern. :) I think you should keep your old lowercase g and just extend the hook a little. I also prefer your original "y". Hrant, don't you think the dots can be at least a little higher than cap height?

hrant's picture

Cap height, sure, since I think: cap height should (generally) be lower than ascender height; and the dots can be as high as the ascender height (depending on the design). But not higher than the ascender height - that's just asking for trouble.

hhp

Toby's picture

Thanks. This is primarily ment to be a headline face, thus the heaviness.
Most of the inspiration just came from my head, I wanted a handmade look, and maybe I subconsciously drew some inspiration from Gill´s bolder stuff.
About the dots: I just looked at Frere Jones´Interstate Ultra Black, where the dots extend some above ascender hight. So I´m thinking, if he can do it, so can I...
About the g and y: I kinda like the old ones better too, in a way, but they seem to distract the eye too much, especially in smaller sizes, I´m not sure. More thoughts on that appreciated. I´m thinking about making an even bolder version now. Tried extrapolating and it looked pretty cool.

hrant's picture

If a font is so display-oriented that you're likely to set only one line in it, or be afforded the luxury of tweaking consecutive-line bumps manually, then I guess it's OK. But pretty much by definition a font is meant for setting text, text is rarely one line, and most users won't know/want to tweak stuff.

And remember: everybody makes mistakes, and there's never a single Answer anyway.

hhp

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