The Exo Font Family - Free Font Release

natenine's picture

Hi, I'm working on very complete font family that will be released for free. It has 9 weights, all with true italics, a lot of opentype features and over 700 glyphs.


Now I'm looking for funding through kickstarter. If you can help me on this project by being a backer or sharing this project with your friends I would be very grateful.
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1010856090/the-exo-typeface-family
Thank you very much!

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Edit: -- Nevermind --

mjkerpan's picture

I'm dead broke right now -- otherwise I'd help fund your project, but the whole "only gets funded at all if at least $7500 is donated" aspect worries me as well. What happens if the fund doesn't reach $7500? Do you just not release the font? If I get a bit of spending money, I'd love to help, but only if I know that it will actually help...

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

Font that requires money payment is called "commercial".
Font that requires money donations is called "free".
That's new.

KCH's picture

To answer the previous question (from mjkerpan), Kickstarter accepts pledges through Amazon payments, but the money isn't actually collected until the goal is reached in a set period of time. If the targeted donation amount is not reached by the pre-determined deadline, the project is terminated and no one pays.

Kickstarter helps collect donations to fund creative projects: http://www.kickstarter.com/.

~ Keith.

natenine's picture

Hey, thanks for the replies.

First, If you cannot give, I totally understand, you can however share the project through facebook, twitter, blog, if you want to help the project.

Secondly, If the font is not funded (I hope it will be funded), All the money pledged is returned to the backers. So you never lose.

Lastly, This font is intended to be a free font, nobody will need to make a donation or pay to use the font after its released. That does not mean I should not receive some money to keep investing in typography and pay my bills . Some free fonts are commissioned, this one of that kind, just a different type of commission.

If you guys can support, even if by just sharing I will be very very grateful.

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

I don't like this wording at all, because free fonts are truly free. They are fueled by altruism. League Gothic, Diavlo, Bello... In this very forum - Novocento, Terminal, Quicksand etc.
The sum you're asking is huge even for commercial bestsellers, therefore all this automatically smells of hypocrisy.

natenine's picture

Hi Minerva,
The fonts that you've mentioned are not close to what Exo will offer (not talking about quality or beauty). Only Novocento is a big font family, but if you see carefully, only some weights are free, others you have to pay. The designer of Diavlo for instance have a lot of paid fonts, like Museo, Calluna and others.

I would love to live in a world where everything was just pure altruism, but my internet, energy, water provider is not altruistic at all! =D

Exo is a font family of 18 files, each one with a lot of opentype features. What I am asking is some generosity in return, only the people who want and can should contribute. Because some people want to help but they don't have that much money, but some persons do an they contribute for others that don't have money, so everybody will use the font. That is very altruistic.

Lately, the ammount I'm asking for funding this project is low (not huge at all), it is not a payment, it is just a help for me to keep working on type, and eventually have some money after a lot of months working hard without any. And its all that I am asking, after that Exo will be free forever, for every person.

I hope you understand

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Exo and Neo look awfully similar.

PabloImpallari's picture

Hi Natanael,
Just backed your project.
I hope it get's fully funded!

Best of lucks,
Pablo

natenine's picture

Hi frode frank, I disagree with you.
Exo is a totally original design
Please evaluate for yourself:

The font might have a similar feeling, it is futuristic, sans serif with a technological look but a lot of other fonts have this feeling too, Akko, Dax, Dobra, and others. Actually it would be too bad if we only had one font family for each "feeling".

Cheers

natenine's picture

Thank you very much for your support Pablo!

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I think every genre, however narrow, has room for more than one design. Comparing the two I still think it's uncomfortably similar. I don't know exactly how Exo came to be, but looking at these samples it's painfully obvious that someone else has done what you are trying to much better already. So, the question is: What is your design adding, beside being free?

Khaled Hosny's picture

@frank

If it wouldn't free I doubt any one will complain about it being "too similar" (whatever that means!), the prevailing typophile hypocrisy against any thing that has the f word!

natenine's picture

@Frank
Exo started from scratch at my typography classes at university, at that time I didn't even knew about Neo Sans. So its a totally unique design, I can show you early stages of the design.

I must agree that Neo Sans might look better, it was made by and excellent designer, but it is different from Exo. I think there is plenty of room for new fonts, you need constantly new designs, so i think there is a lot of room for Exo. And about your criterion of "uncomfortably similar" what do you think of theses typefaces Univers, Frutiger, Helvetica, Akzidenz Grotesk, Din, Arial, and sooo on.

KCH's picture

Funding the project is strictly optional. So fund it. Or don't. Either way, if the funding goal is met within the specified timeline and the font family is completed, the world -- including those who do not offer their support -- can download it at no cost (in other words, free). Where is the hypocrisy?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I must agree that Neo Sans might look better ...

Compare the internal counterspaces. Neo Sans is better balanced.

... what do you think of theses typefaces Univers, Frutiger, Helvetica, Akzidenz Grotesk, Din, Arial, and sooo on.

I think Frutiger is a humanist, and far from all the others mentioned.

Akzidenz Grotesk, Helvetica and Arial have more in common, but where Helvetica is cold and calculated AG is quirky and lively and spaced entirely different. Arial is closer related to Monotype Grotesque than any of these, but it has been shoe-horned into Helvetica's metrics for marketing reasons.

DIN is pure geometry plus straight sides.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

it wouldn't free I doubt any one will complain about it being "too similar" (whatever that means!), the prevailing typophile hypocrisy against any thing that has the f word!

On the contrary. Free fonts aren't really controversial to me, just boring.

KCH's picture

Then why comment on something so unworthy of your time?

Neo Sans is a commercial font family that retails for nearly $600 USD. Exo Sans (if it ever comes to fruition) will be free. Comparing a free font (boring as it may be) to a commercial font is a stretch.

natenine's picture

@ Frank
I didn't ask you the differences I asked you to use the same criterion you used comparing Exo/Neo on those fonts, which you didn't.

You showed that you use two criterion on judging fonts. There are the paid ones which are good, original and totally different from each other by default, and the free ones which are boring and copies by default.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

@natenine
Free fonts are boring because they are used to death (for the same effect) by lazy designers, something that also happens with very trendy commercial fonts. This is my subjective opinion.

As for my comparison of the fonts you listed, I have no idea what you mean. What criterion did I compare Exo/Neo by that I didn't apply to the others?

@KCH
I comment because I want people to make better fonts, not worse.

KCH's picture

@Frank
Sure. I applaud your commitment to improved font quality. But I'm not sure how the comment "free fonts aren't really controversial, just boring" helps achieve that goal. Some of the biggest font retailers introduce dozens of fonts a week that I wouldn't download if they were free. Conversely, I've come across some free fonts that are quite useful and beautiful. Each case is unique.

natenine's picture

@Frank
I agree with you, that is why we constantly need new designs.

As far as I understood, you said Exo/Neo were too similar, but for helvetica, univers, akzidenz, and even others, that didn't seem a problem to you, when they are much closer to each other than Exo to Neo.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Some of the biggest font retailers introduce dozens of fonts a week that I wouldn't download if they were free. Conversely, I've come across some free fonts that are quite useful and beautiful. Each case is unique.< /em>

True that, and if you allow me to steer this back on topic my question still stands: What is [your] design adding, beside being free? Commerical type designers need to ask themselves the same question.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

No, I don't think Univers is particulary close to Helvetica, other than both being (relatively) monoline (neo) grotesques. Neither of them reference each other but an older established genre and they both answer the ideals of modernism, with very different results. The controversy over Arial, on the other hand, is a well versed theme.

I mean, all Asians look the same don't they?

PabloImpallari's picture

@Frode:
I remember reading somewhere that Univers was developed to compete against the growing popularity and market takeover of Helvetica, but that's topic of another full thread: http://typophile.com/node/33301

natenine's picture

Frode I accept what you said about Univers and Helvetica, I'm just saying that you should use the same reasoning to evaluate Exo and Neo. They might answer the same "futuristic-technological" concept but in different ways...
The only consistent critic that I received so far has to do with the lowercase "g" which I will change before the release of the font. For the rest the font as an overall different look, the glyphs are different as well. How can the fonts look the same?

Frode Bo Helland's picture

The same reasoning applied to Exo and Neo: Exo looks like it copied the signature shapes of Neo, nudged a few things here and there (tapers on horisontals, amputated y) and used these as the basis for a new font. I'm not saying that is the case, but there sure is no added value here.

The hnmur shapes are devoid of optical compensations and r is much too wide, tails of t/l are sloppy, the inner space of letters like L, c and v are off by a mile and others again (w) totally off balance. The weight of diagonals are very problematic, and so are the horisontal parts in rounds. Not to mention the M which doesn't belong here at all. I could go on and on.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Pablo: To compete, you need to offer something else (and hopefully something better) than your competitor.

natenine's picture

As I said, I might agree that Neo is better, I don't intend to be better than a very experienced designer, as I am a starter.
We are in a constant evolving process, and the next attempt is always better than the previous one. I don't really want to compete I want to add alternatives. Just because some forms might resemble other fonts, that is far from making them copies.

Khaled Hosny's picture

That is pure trolling, I'd say.

mjkerpan's picture

I can't believe the people bashing the OP here... While some of the criticism is at least understandable (it DOES look a little like Neo, though not as much as certain people seem to think) other criticism seems to stem more from a "you shouldn't be asking for financial help to make a free font" POV which seems a bit weird...

kevintheophile's picture

I'm appearing to you all now. Did you think I died? I'm not a ghost. I'm live. I kept logged out and kept reading many of your comments and I laughed at you all. When I read, I thought myself: "Yes, I was very right, the typodesigners are arrogant, hypocrite, smugs, douchebagg and Mac users, and think they are the best and they love accusing the other of copying the fonts of other. They think they are the ones that never copied of anyone. Then I hate the typodesigners and ready."

I come to troll and humiliate some of you, principally and specially Frode.

Dear Frod and typodesigners,

Why did you complain too much the other copied the fonts of other? Did you never copied the fonts of other, udring every your life?
Why did you complement too much the fonts Frutiger, Helvetica and Akzidenz Grotesk if they were copied from Arial?
Why did you complement too much the fonts Akko and Univers if they were copied from Neo Sans?

Congratulations for your hypocrisy!

You all aren't anything saint! You all have every copied something from somebody! There's no use to lie to us.
Do you know why did you say that?

Because you are arrogant, smug and douchebagg.

Some of you are against the free and libre fonts, anti-GPL and anti-open source. One guy that I insulted, is against every free and open source font, the which you defended and you called me a troller. He seemed to be a Mac user and wants every poor to buy the expensive fonts. It made I being alert. I'm not blind or silly. I know who you are really.

I'm sure you all are in favour of SOPA, PIPA and ACTA.

hrant's picture

Hey, I'm not a Mac user - take that back!

hhp

nina's picture

Sigh.

5star's picture

typodesigner ... I like that new word.

hrant's picture

Anybody who hasn't seen the great effect of including intentional
mistakes when copywriting* in order to avoid an editor making
regrettable changes to the text (because they have to prove their
worth too) really needs to learn the skill of typodesign.

* Please note the "w" and absence of "gh".

hhp

nina's picture

You can't just say «typodesigner». Apply the craft! If you believe in the profession, at least make it a typodesginer or a typodesinger.

hrant's picture

Touchè.

hhp

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I'm glad I'm not a typodesignwr, like y'all!

Té Rowan's picture

Oh, foo... Is that whinging fluffbunny out of its bolthole and back to giving us FOSSphiles a bad name?

Khaled Hosny's picture

Kevintheophile might very well be a troll, but what he said is not totally void of truth...

hrant's picture

Nothing is totally void of truth.

But the signal-to-noise ratio has to be
high enough to engage meaningful debate.

hhp

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Every typeface owes something to older designs. There’s no way around that, and I certainly don’t think that’s a bad thing. Think of the concept of an homage, or a cover song. At which point this becomes uncomfortable though—that depends on a lot of factors.

I’m personally a big fan of playing with open cards. Wish every type designer would mention their sources.

Martin Silvertant's picture

To be honest I think the comparison with Neo Sans is fair but that doesn't make Exo Sans irrelevant. I think there is plenty of room for a typeface like this. However, if you're going to be cocky about its release and funding I would really make sure there are no imperfections. For example, the 'm' is the width of 2 n's which is too wide and the W/w look stylistically out of place (a 'W' as in Neo Sans would fit the style of your typeface better).

But why would you want to offer this typeface for free anyway? I think the style is so specific that the general designer won't have any use for this. I would leave it up to demand and ask a price for it. Anyway, I see the funding target has been accomplished so my point is contextually superseded.

Psihata's picture

I wouldn't pay too much attention to haters like Frode since the font is quite good and as far as I'm concerned, a big font family is always handy for any designer.

The thing which prevents me from contributing to your kick starter project is the fact that I come from a country which uses the Cyrillic alphabet. Hence I (as well as Russian, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Serbian and Macedonian designers) would find your font family much more useful if it included Cyrillic glyphs.

hrant's picture

There's a difference between hater and picky.
Those who realize they can't spend the time
making a quality product for free should not
mischaracterize people just so they and their
ilk feel better.

hhp

Khaled Hosny's picture

Exo have been released (though it’s website is down now, one can still get it from Google Web Fonts repository).

natenine's picture

The website is now running again. It was overloaded.
Feel free to download the font files here

hrant's picture

BTW:
> all Asians look the same don't they?

http://alllooksame.com/

hhp

kevintheophile's picture

Yes, I'm a troller.

@frod

I'm glad I'm not a typodesignwr, like y'all!

Of course you're a typodesigner. Your site tells you design the typefaces.

Don't try to mistake us.

I want to troll again, but preferbly Frod because of his fonts

When Frod accused falsily Natanel of copying the font Neo Sans, I would like to accuse Frod of copying 4 fonts to his very modified font Aften:
http://www.frodehelland.com/?page=aften

1) Droid Sans Mono: http://www.google.com/webfonts/specimen/Droid+Sans+Mono
2) Liberation Mono: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Liberation-Mono
3) Inconsolata: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/Inconsolata
4) Cousine: http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/cousine

Frod copied each some letters from these fonts to his font Aften.
Frod thinks he's always right and the best, and he's the one who never copied.

Frod is a Macf** douchebaggy and stuck-up rich gentleman viking. It's why he's a hater. At his site, he put his screenshots of his jobs with the Mac OS X's tollbars and windows, only for showing off that he owns a Mac and is the best than the other. Yes, a stuck-up and snooty rich gentleman. And a Linux, GPL and freedom hater. Poor of Norway, a country of stuck-up rich gentlemen and ladies vikings, suffered a massacre of young people by an ultra-right Neo-Nazi terrorist.

I will never pay the fonts for a Macf** stuck-up rich gentleman like Frod. I prefer paying the fonts for Natanel and the humble typodesigners.

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