Help with condensed version

grod's picture

Hi everyone. nsfBook (which has undergone a name change and may do so again) continues to plauge me and, now that I am realatively pleased with the roman form and am taking a break from the italic, I've started in on a condensed version. I'll make a better sample sheet soon, but for comparision here are six 'graphs set in both the normal and condensed widths. The condensed feels a little too narrow for lots of text, but I can't decide if it is that all of the glyphs are too condensed or if specific ones are to blame. Any feedback would be great. I feel as though the serifs have suffered a bit, though I have tweaked them.


application/pdfnsamual regular versus condensed
\darwin\users\nfeldman\Desktop\regvcon.pdf (31.0 k)

hrant's picture

> The condensed feels a little too narrow for lots of text

Well, it's supposed to be! :-)

If you want to cast it as an alternative to the "normal" one for text, then I think you have a problem because the normal one is already on the narrow side (although it's also too loose).

But if you decide to go for it:
1) Call it Narrow instead of Condensed.
2) Make it maybe about halfway between where it is now and the normal one.

hhp

grod's picture

First I'm told its too tight, then I loosen it, now its too loose. Arrrgh. Is there a rule of thumb I don't know about?

hrant's picture

No rule of thumb*, just eyeballing refined over time. Observe, measure, think, all the time. Or if you're going to listen to other people's advice, learn to gauge what they mean by things like "a fair amount" versus "slightly" versus "a hair". :-) But whatever you do, note this: it's quite amazing how small adjustments need to be to make sense in type design - I think even seasoned designers are periodically humbled by the degree of subtley required.

* Although I can imagine somebody one day coming up with a killer formula that balances color, spacing, contrast, proportions, intended size, etc. Sort of like PV=nRT in chemistry. Of course it could never be so exact, but it could save a lot of time by immediately putting you in the ballpark.

hhp

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