General advice on 'condensing' a typeface?

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jfproulx's picture
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Joined: 11 Dec 2003 - 2:35pm
General advice on 'condensing' a typeface?
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I'm working on an identity that is already well balanced. It's a long collection of capital sans-serif letters that are already condensed (think of Berthold Akzidenz Grotesk Bold Condensed or Knockout 49). I just need to create a new version, a little more compressed.

(Unfortunately, I can't show anything since it's a commercial project that isn't announced yet).

Do you have any advice on how to condense a typeface ? It's pretty straightforward, but I'm sure there are little expert details that I can't think of right now. Optical adjustments, straight vs. curvy letters, negative space, etc.

Thanks in advance !

Nick Shinn's picture
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Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
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Don’t be afraid to thin stems in letters such as N and W.
Consistency of glyph weight vis-a-vis one another is the goal, not consistency of stem width.
Look at Frutiger’s fonts to see how forthright he is in implementing this principle.

jfproulx's picture
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Joined: 11 Dec 2003 - 2:35pm
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Great tip. Thanks Nick.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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When I was in school, if we falsely squished a typeface, we’d have our fingers broken. I wouldn’t even consider it.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Some/more vertical curves might need to become straights.

hhp

jfproulx's picture
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Joined: 11 Dec 2003 - 2:35pm
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Christopher : Yes. This rule should be extended to any university program (and not just design school).

Hrant: thanks!