Archive through March 21, 2004

anonymous's picture

I really like this font. Has there been any more work done on it, or has it already been released? :) (...and if so, where? ;) )

David Thometz

Miss Tiffany's picture

I'll second that question.

Isaac's picture

reckon i been waitin' myself.

emor's picture

Anyone have a link to the critique of this? I don't see it in the san serif section.

thanks

gulliver's picture

Odd.... What happened to the font sample(s) and the critiques?

David

ideagent's picture

I'm intrigued...what does Pill Gothic look like?!!

aquatoad's picture

Follow this link to get the skinny on Pill and other missing threads:

http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/18545.html?1066163062

Randy

Christian Robertson's picture

It seems like pill gothic has achieved martyr status. I'm affraid that the original won't live up to the hype. I'll see if I can dig up some old images.

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Amen, brother Joseph. Amen!

Christian, if you'd like to chat about distribution of Pill Gothic through Veer, please contact me. It's a killer face.

Christian Robertson's picture

Another pdf. I added small caps and a ton of punctuation to the lineal skeleton. Some of the punctuation is kind of rough, and I haven't done any kerning. Next step will be polishing the italic, then adding weight.

I threw in some OpenType features (small caps and a couple of ligatures). It's not as tricky as I thought it would be. It really irks me that it only works in InDesign, and even their implementation is pretty weak.

hrant's picture

I think the lc "k" is out of character.
Otherwise great stuff overall.

hhp

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Christian, I am assuming that are you building this face using strokes to begin with, right? The only reason I mention this is because when I zoomed in on the PDF I noticed that there are a few end caps overlapping other curves, particularly in the section character.

By the way, did you get my email reply?

Grant

Christian Robertson's picture

Yeah, it's still pretty rough. I've been going through and cleaning up all the bezier curves. Here is a pdf of a middle weight. The punctuation is still rough, but the characters are pretty clean at this point. I think the quotes are wrong, and the g isn't working as well in a body of text. I think I need to lighten it up and possibly give it some more space.

Grant Hutchinson's picture

>Beating down your door...

As long as it doesn't seem like we're a bunch of stalkers.

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Expanding on Joseph's comments, it the quirkiness in those few characters which really sets Pill Gothic apart from being just another DIN (JAD?) I especially like how you've modified the cross-stroke of the e in the ae ligature to slope into meeting the one from the a. Perhaps the standard e should use the same type of diagonal. Without going overboard, there may be a few other select characters that could also utilize that diagonal stroke - the tail of the y and the tail of the Q, for example.

I would agree the M would fit in a bit better dropped to the baseline, and in terms colour across the uppercase, I would consider narrowing the width of the U - it looks particularly out of place the all-caps heading for your regular weight PDF.

I really like how this family is progressing.

hrant's picture

Joe, thanks for that comparison.
I don't know where all the DIN talk is coming from. Pill is further from it than many other designs.

hhp

hrant's picture

I don't think you were insulting (and certainly not trying to be insulting), and I don't know about veins and arteries, but Pill seems quite distant from DIN to me.

hhp

hrant's picture

Caps are usually more convergent - they have a much narrower expressive range than lc.

I think a good way to compare fonts is to look at the texture they make when setting a lot of text. In this regard AG/FG are far apart, as would be DIN/Pill.

hhp

Christian Robertson's picture

Here is a pdf of nearly finalized spacing (the other
one was InDesign optical) without kerning. I also included
the bold (so far, it needs some tweeks--any suggestions
are appreciated) and the accented characters.

I also included some alternate characters. To Grant's
comments about the e, the original e had an angled
cross-bar, but I couldn't decide if I liked the horizontal
cross bar better. I have since reinstated the angled e.

As for the DIN stuff, if Pill is really a useful alternative,
I am flattered. They do have a similar feel, but Pill is
much 'trickier'. Whether that's a good thing or bad I
guess depends on how you use it. I would like to add
some more alternate characters to tone Pill down or
dress it up.

hrant's picture

Spacing: I think it's slightly loose.

M: wider? Hey, the smallcaps one is different! And to me better.

e: I like the angled bar one.

g: I think the open one doesn't work as it stands, but an open bottom might be a great opportunity to try to make the angled join less steep, matching the "a"/"e". The different angle in the "g" has always been the biggest thing that has bugged me about Pill.

k: definitely the straight-legged one.

s: needs work.

y: the curved tail one.

Pound: beak out of character.

I'd put more staightness in the Pilcrow and Section.

Your accents seem out of character - more rigid please! Same with the Cedilla.

The "OE" is a "CE".

The Bold: I think it needs some modeling to avoid dark spots. But be very careful not to soften the character.

Almost there!

hhp

Christian Robertson's picture

Tricks! More tricks! Just kidding. I don't like tricks for
tricks' sake. I didn't want a simple oblique, so I added
some curves to make it feel more italic, for lack of a
better word. Here [swf.7k] is what I had previously
done on the italics. The y needs some work, of course,
and some of the other forms will change, possibly with
some alternates.

hrant's picture

That's nice! Some great glyphs there.

The only things:
- The "Q" is too tricky. :-)
- The "S"/"s" don't look happy - maybe soften their spines.
- I'm not sure about the descender of the "f" - in this face it seems contrived.
- You're gonna put dots on the "i" and "j", right? Maybe circular ones.

hhp

William Berkson's picture

Pill is original without looking odd, which is an achievement, especially in a sans serif.

Somehow the original higher middle on the M looks more consistent with your face, but is a bit awkward in your original. Johnston Underground, which looks wider (as Hrant suggests) and ends further off the baseline, has a nice balance. http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/p22/underground/

On the S and s, Palatino's unusual S's (also in the italic) might give you ideas on how to keep your 'pill' arch at the top and bottom, and make the connecting stroke stronger.

josch's picture

Wow - there's still a lot of action in the development of Pill Gothic. Nice.

Great work, Christian! Since I wrote you early in the year, I am looking monthly, if there is something new about that font :-)

I hope, it will be finished soon. that would be the perfect type for all of my things.

I MUST have it! ;-)

Josch

aquatoad's picture

Hi Christian.

Just noticed the lower case s.
The top curve is feeling a little pinched.
Try lowering the spine just a tad so it's
only a hair above optical center.

Cheers,
Randy

Hildebrant's picture

christian:

Im quite fond of this face. Please keep up the good work. I think you have found that many of us here appreciate this very much.

Would love to see it released, like Grant offered, maybe through veer?

Hildebrant.

dylan's picture

Dylan want. Dylan want.

Please?

Christian Robertson's picture

I have been tweeking on the spacing and have added some
kerning pairs. It is very close to being finished. Any
commentary on spacing would be appreciated. I have also
added some old style figures for text settings.


application/pdfSpacing Test PDF
spacing-test.pdf (30.6 k)

ideagent's picture

Christian,

Great work! Your font is beautiful and I will definitely be adding it to my collection when you are finished. Let us know when it goes live.

As far as spacing, the overall color seems very consistent. Although it is difficult to get a feel for the true spacing when the text is justified. I tripped over a few words in the second graph, but this could simply be because those lines were a little cramped.

I would love to see the old style numerals as the default. They really play nicely with the other characters.

Go Christian!!!!

Christian Robertson's picture

Yeah, yeah. Here's the ragged text. : )


application/pdfSpacing Test PDF No. 2
spacing_2.pdf (16.2 k)

hrant's picture

Stephen, good call.

--

It's all "clicking" very nicely.
The overall spacing looks great, except:
1) Important: your blank space is too narrow.
2) The "r" is loose on the right.

The OS numerals bother me. At the very least I think they need to be bigger in the body, like the height of the smallcaps.

Some other stuff:
1) In both sets of numerals, the "2", "4" and "7" are dark.
2) Why is the eszet short?
3) Some of the diagonals are a bit dark. Like look at the "Z".
4) The bars of "f" and "t" need to be thicker.
5) I think the "S" needs a rigid spine.
6) Wassup with that megatrap in the Bold smallcap "A"?

Almost there!

hhp

hrant's picture

Well, I don't know what's already been kerned in there, but you have to account for linguistics, like how often what ends up on the right side of the "r"; that determines your base spacing - and then comes kerning. Plus you have to decide how bad touching is - I think people who have kerning off don't mind touching that much. Also, in a sans face with such a strong-beaked "r" you're in a position of relying more on kerning to really make things click.

--

That "A" can be seen in the December 29 PDF, in the captions for the side stuff on page 1.

hhp

Christian Robertson's picture

Yeah, the small-cap A was messed up. It has since been
fixed. Here is the same text set in bold.


application/pdfBold Spacing
spacing_bold.pdf (14.5 k)



Here's a question. I have the font set up as a multiple
master, where the regular weight (as seen in the above
samples) is 400. The bold (as seen in the pdf in this post) is
1000. I plan on releasing a light (0), regular (400) and bold
(1000). I don't think that a meduim weight (650) would be
gratuitous. Would any other in-between weights be useful,
or would they just be more font list clutter? Opinions
please:

hrant's picture

Four weights is much better than three, if they're paired right. James Montalbano once explained it (on Typophile) very sensically - assuming I remember it right: the Regular should be weighted for text, the Bold for emphasis in a body of Regular; the Light should be an alternate weight for text; and the Semi (or Demi) an emphasis weight for the Light. All this means that you don't want them spaced mathematically, but instead according to function.

Also, in practice the Semi can serve very well for text, except it doesn't have a "bold" (in a set of 4).

hhp

William Berkson's picture

Overall very impressive.

I think the lower case s could still use some work; to me it is a little falling backwards to the left. The upper case S also does this, but only very very slightly. The lining 2 also I think does not work so well - something about the curve of the spine; the hanging 2 works.

Christian Robertson's picture

Here are the four weights, along with the complete
character set.


application/pdfFour Weights
sample-4-weights.pdf (105.6 k)

aquatoad's picture

Don't have access to a printer to give any real insight, but i did notice some path direction issues (overlaps) see the eth, yen, D-bar, not equal, and a couple other (in all weights). To that I only want to add: superior job on this font. Well done!

Randy

ideagent's picture

Christian: These weights look great. The only thing that stood out though was the numeral 4. It appears heavier than the other numbers on screen and on laser proofs. It is most noticeable with the fractions. I think because it's closed, it tends to appear heavier than the surrounding numerals.

hrant's picture

Christian, sorry to pester, but could you show some samples with the four weights intermixed? Like a block of each with each of the other three used for emphasis.

And a question: what made you include the L-bar and l-bar? I've been getting mixed signals about whether to include them in my own "base" encoding or not.

Oh, and I think your curly braces need more oomph (a highly technical term difficult to explain*).

* Credit goes to David Berlow for that one.

hhp

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Christian: I just emailed you an annotated version of the four weight sample PDF. Hoepfully everything makes sense in my comments.

Christian Robertson's picture

I'm still chasing down all the gremlins hiding in the curves.
Who knew it would be such a pain in the neck? I'm getting
pretty close, though. Here is a sample with the weights
intermixed. For fun, I turned on the alternates in the Light/
Medium combination. Thanks for the comments.


application/pdfFour Weights PDF
testing_bold.pdf (42.5 k)

hrant's picture

Both look solid to me.

hhp

vanisaac's picture

Hinting needs some work, though. light/regular lc l, h, p, u have inconsistent rendering in that test, though in 4 weights sample they don't seem to. Did you lose your hints somewhere?

tIPODgraphic's picture

Christian, can you implement the Spanish characters?

Christian Robertson's picture

Alavaro, si, he implementado todas las letras necesarias para espa

aquatoad's picture

HI Christian,

Nicely done on the extra light. So tricky to balance the modulation!

Your obliques look pretty good to me. The following picture illustrates the major distortions that happen when mathematically skewing a font. All letters are thinned vertically as you mentioned (and fixed). The letters that get most distorted are the round ones. You may know all this, but I thought I'd post it anyways for typophile edification:



1. The verticals become more thin as noted above
2. The bottom right and upper left (if applicable) thin out
3. The upper right and bottom left (if applicable) thicken up
4. The upper right and bottom left contract (the curve gets tighter)
5. The bottom right and upper left expand (the curve opens up)

Also note generally that the distortion gets bigger and the glyph more narrow as the angle increases. In my (limited) experience the tricky and time consuming part is fixing 4 & 5 (usally 2 & 3 at the same time). I was given this tip by Ed Benguiat:
The obliqued curve should look pretty close to what it would be if you oblique it half as much. In other words, if you oblique it 20%, make the curves emulate the 10% version. I find pasting the 10% version into the mask layer a handy guide. You still have to fix the modulation problem, but it's a good start.

Cheers,
Randy

eomine's picture

More about curve compensation on italics and obliques at Briem's website.

I think your obliques are fine, Christian.

aquatoad's picture

Superior Eduardo.
Briem seems to slip my mind too often.
I forgot the rotation the additional degrees!

BTW I agree that pill obliques are working.

Randy

hrant's picture

Obliques: I don't see much distortion, but I do think they need to stand apart a little more from the roman. Your angle is already steep, and you've already made it narrower, so I'd try making the obliques slightly lighter than their roman counterparts, and maybe change some forms too (like make the "a" and maybe the "g" mono, but don't make the "f" descending - too old-fashioned).

And a question:
Are fractions for old-style numerals supposed to be full-height, or really small?

hhp

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