Q u e t z a l

kakaze's picture

The first Q and R were better.

hrant's picture

Great sketch! Very handsome set.

The caps seem to be narrower than the lc. This is uncommon, but could work, depending on their relative height: what is it?

Some specifics:
- Try making the bar of the "A" thicker on the left, like those great recent South American fonts.
- Avoid modularity, like in B/P, C/G and E/F (especially the first, and also the third).
- Splay the "M".
- Widen the "R".
- Narrow the "2" and "6", widen the "4" and "8".
- Don't put trapping in your drawings, save it as the last step in production.

BTW, where are the first "Q" and "R"?

Overall, great stuff!


emor's picture

> BTW, where are the first "Q" and "R"?

In the drawing in the first post of this thread.

I like the first Q and R more as well.

eomine's picture

The first Q, R and A are shown in Miguel's first
post. The sketch is nice, but I think your caps
are too "squarish". Maybe you could make them
slightly wider overall?

hrant's picture

> in the first post

Oh - duh.
I also like the first "R" more, although it'll mess up your spacing. Consider going descending on the leg. As for the "Q", I actually prefer the new one, although a long tail is generally better.


Miguel Hernandez's picture

Here is a Newspaper x weight size test, keeping the concept but making it more transparent than the first sketch. Maybe deserves to design one Book and one Newspaper weight.



hrant's picture

I assume the ascender height is at the top of the "i"'s dot? If so, I think your lc proportions (assuming the descenders will be notably shorter than the descenders) are great for smallish newspaper type, like around 8 point*. But in that case your spacing is way too tight. Also, your caps being narrow, they need to be a bit taller.

* But note that the contemporary tendency is to go larger (partly because of the readership getting older).

Separate fonts for book versus news is a great idea.


Miguel Hernandez's picture

>Try making the bar of the "A" thicker on the left, like those great recent South American fonts.

Which ones from the south or from other places?

Thanks for your comments Hrant.


hrant's picture

Well, I shouldn't leave the impression that there's like 20 fonts with that feature or something... The main one I guess is Australis:

I wonder where that feature comes from. It's brilliant.


Aaron Sittig's picture

> I wonder where that feature comes from. It's brilliant.

Could the source be from, say, the stroke of the broad pen? When the bar of the A dips in the middle, it's natural that the left side of the stroke, as it moves down and right, would be wider. For what it's worth, the crossbar on the H also seems to be chirographically inspired.

Back to Quetzal (great name), the sample settings posted earlier in the PDF looked a bit anemic, especially with the loose spacing. Your drawing of the newspaper cut looks much heartier to my eyes. Were I to use this face in a book, I would prefer the heavier weight but with longer ascenders/descenders.

One problem that I do see with this heavier weight is that the counters of the n and m have closed up much faster than those of the c and o, so perhaps they need to be widened to maintain even texture.

hrant's picture

> the stroke of the broad pen?

That makes sense. On the other hand:
1) If you used rotation and/or expansion (as opposed to just translation), you could make the bar taper even while keeping it straight. (Hey, I'm not as chirographically ignorant as I might seem! "Know your enemy". ;-)
2) That doesn't explain why the bowed bar is so rare. The only mainstream font I can think of that has an "A" with a bowed bar is Ehrhardt. Usually that form is confined to the runic or Byzantine styles.


rs_donsata's picture

The A bar is the F and E middle stem

hrant's picture

Well, that'll make the "AE" look really nice!


hrant's picture

Concerning the tapered bar again, I forgot to mention why I personally like it: not because it comes from chirogaphy (I know, you're surprised ;-) but because it balances the stroke weight distribution so nicely: thick on the left where the thin arm is, thin on the right where the thick one is.

And concerning the bowed bar: in searching the Type Design discussion list's archives for the Parkinson/Downer "separated at birth" thing*, a coincidence fittingly parallel to that one took place! In that thread (now more than 2 years old) Kent wrote the following**:

regarding the bowed crossbar on the A, there seems
to be some precedent for this in various Victorian and fin-de-siecle
(XIX siecle, that is) display faces. The instances
that I recall are more of a bent crossbar, as opposed to strictly bowed
or sagging. This feature can be seen in a modern
copy like Algerian:


I have seen this feature in hand-drawn types on posters from that era.
There is a Mucha poster (not one of the particularly
famous ones) for La Passion (1904) which demonstrates this. Since this
was the era of chromalithography, I believe types
like these would have descended directly to the cigar box that inspired

I notice that Matthew's Sophia


also features an alternate A with the bent crossbar, which makes me
wonder if there is a Byzantine precedent for this form.

As for a bowed crossbar, per se, Jim's El Grande


has a bowed crossbar. But, in a font of this character, I would guess
that Jim probably arrived at the bowed crossbar from
a completely different direction.

And subsequently:
Thought of another example. Frantisek Storm's Serapion has a distinctive
cap A with a bowed crossbar:


* http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/14948.html

** It's public record, but I still hope Kent doesn't mind...


fonthausen's picture

I am starting to like this face very much.

Because you certainly showed us, that you are capable of making a serious typeface, I'd like to comment more detailed and maybe more on the design. If I may.

I like the overal impression. But the stylistic feature you build in, can be very hard to handle rigth. Let me explain.

By making incisions in the round strokes, you took away one of the most important features of what is called, an expansion face. ('written with a broad nibbed pen'). You have not only taken a lot of wheight and color away by doing this, but also you changed the typical wheight arrangement.

Therefore you might reconsider some of the characters you made. Not only in their form, but as well in their structure.

I'll give you an example, your 's':
* its overall structure is pretty round.
* its form is round as well. (the srifs are partially angular, but those are only part of the whole form)
* ist middle part is far more dark than the upper and lower part. (this is argumented within the context)
If you compare it to your lc 'u', you'll notice a few major differences:
* its overall structure is angular
* its form is angular. its bowl has a more 'stroke'-like feel to it.
* its color i has been equally divided.

So, what I want to say, is that I still have a little problem with the way the wheight/color has been divided within the characters. And that some characters might not fit in totally within the overall concept, when you look at their structure.
Sometimes s little bit of diversity in color and structure is wanted and even needed, but to which amount is a very important and difficult decision. Balance vs. concept!

Like I said before, I like this typeface. And because I think this one could become wonderfull design, I took the liberty of being honest and even a little bit strict.

If you need more explenation....


jfp's picture

I don't spend so much time to look at it. sorry. My mains comments are:

Make figures more figures, less caps. Check good oldstyle figures to learn what are the differences between figures design, who don't follow same rules as latin script.

Give modulation of width in your caps, follow Romans inscriptions more, as in general your style is quite influenced by writing. I will have say differently if you started something like a Century. Get it?

Overally, its a nice face, I just wonder why you use a serif for your "a bit large" r when you use better endings for s.

good luck for it!

fonthausen's picture

Here is a quick illustration to make my point clearer.

It is just a suggestion. You are the designer and you should decide!


hrant's picture

> By making incisions in the round strokes, you
> took away one of the most important features
> of what is called, an expansion face.

Like Dwiggins?...
Especially relevant if this is to be a news face.


Miguel Hernandez's picture

Hello, here are more corrections.

Thanks for the suggestions Jacques. Here a back to the caligraphic forms in upercases, versalitas and lowercases in the pencil sketch. The second is a pdf of some of the new vector stuff.

Maybe the theorethically way works for the hand, but maybe the eye is more important than the caligraphy, making incisions in the round strokes works better on oposite angles between characters, withs the union of serifs, and on the internal spaces.


back to caligraphy

application/pdfnew vector lowercases!
Quetzal minusculas.pdf (23.3 k)

fonthausen's picture

Had a quick look at the PDF. Your digital 'c' tends to fall backwards (to the left).


defrancisco's picture

Hi Miguel,
looking at your pdf I feel distracted by the counter in the "a." It works in the "e"
but I think those curves are a little bit too abrupt in the "a." Maybe they should be
smoother, like in your sketches?

Keep the good work!

defrancisco's picture

>sorry, double post<

hrant's picture

> maybe the eye is more important than the caligraphy

Not maybe.


The "a": the top is too strong compared to the bottom.

The "e": at first I didn't like it, but then I realized it's very interesting.


hrant's picture

I think the "k" is just a little bit too happy.


Miguel Hernandez's picture

Here are a bach to the first pencil sketch, There are details who are not caligraphic, but trying to emulate in some form, to keep the classic aspect of humanist text fonts.. this sample characters are very diferent from the other pdf.

Jacques, i hope you can understand my idea to keep the both, theory and my personal m formula like angles, now it cant be print soon on a laser to make some changes.

Hrant, your right about the k. The characters seems to look more transparent or close to be in that way.

Thanks for your great critiques!


Quetzal serif 2.pdf (9.0 k)

piccic's picture

I think the k was happy as it deserved (this is not to contradict Hrant, I just found it ok).
My compliments for your digitization (remember my first post?), but to me the old k is more lively and adds to the design.

Do you still use FreeHand? I think the way tools behave in FontLab (and in type design programs in general) cannot be replaced by the use a vector program. You have a higher degree of freedom, and you get a first-hand response from the em-square grid coarseness.

xensen's picture

Very nice. Back on the subject of the name
if the name Quetzal is taken you might consider
Tecun after Tecun Uman, the Mayan hero. I
don't think suggestions like Tenochtitlan or
Teotihuacan have the same quality as Quetzal
as they are mostly Mexican and not Central
American and do not have the same cultural

designalchemy's picture

Your design is unique but I can see there may have been a bit of inspiration from Underware, Alias or Hubert Jocham. Am I right?
BTW I think name is a bit abstract for a commercial release.

j_p_giese's picture

Has there been any progress? Beautiful typeface so far; I'd love to see it develop further.


degregorio's picture


juandelperal's picture

Felicitaciones, muy buena. Tiene un estilo Dolly, que es una de las serifs que más me gustan.
Adelante con todo Miguel. Un abrazo desde Mendoza

Juan Pablo

rs_donsata's picture

Si no me equivoco, esta fuente se creó antes que Dolly.


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