Freitag — toying around with a geometric display sans

So I've had this inexplicable urge to start drawing one of the most redundant fonts imaginable — a geometric display sans. In particular, I thought I'd try to make it stand out from the crowd with some creative alternates and ligatures, such as a Maestrale-style /f that reaches over the following letter. The working title is Freitag.

Given how saturated the market is for such sanses: Do you see any merit in this, or should I just cross this off my every-type-designer-has-to-go-through-this-phase list?

Warning: If not dissuaded, I might be tempted to make the /A a big version of the /a. At least in a stylistic set.  ;o)


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Comments

  • Made the descenders shorter. And I gotta say, I like the /A. :grimace:

  • I like the first of your double storey g's, but the second one's ear looks like a diacritic. I also like your /A and think you should keep it, but what are you going to do about U+2C6D (Ɑ)?
  • Since I shortened the descenders (twice), I don't think I can pull off those alternate /g anymore anyway.  :frowning: Maybe I can find another two-storey design that will still fit.

    I've never added Ɑ to a typeface before, and this seems like a bad time to start. :tongue: 
  • Christian Thalmann said: [...]I've never added Ɑ to a typeface before, and this seems like a bad time to start. :tongue: 
    Heh, allright then ;)

    I am looking forward to seeing more of this design.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 794
    edited September 2015
    I am looking forward to seeing more of this design.

    More! :grimace: 



  • Marc OxborrowMarc Oxborrow Posts: 74
    edited September 2015
    FWIW, as an art director who mostly traffics in editorial design and branding, the lack of a conventional A would prevent me from licensing this. This single-story A would be fun as an alternate, though.

    My personal taste runs to shorter descenders -- the /g jumps out at me.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 794
    edited September 2015
    FWIW, as an art director who mostly traffics in editorial design and branding, the lack of a conventional A would prevent me from licensing this. This single-story A would be fun as an alternate, though.
    I definitely will include a series of boring conventional capitals as a stylistic alternate with a dedicated spin-off font, so that won't be a problem.

    So would you consider licensing it otherwise?  :blush: 
    My personal taste runs to shorter descenders -- the /g jumps out at me.
    Still...? Alright, I'll try some even shorter descenders and see whether I like them...
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 794
    edited September 2015
    Alright, shorter descenders! I'm not sure whether I prefer it this way, but I suppose it works.


    I also made a few more weird creative capitals and made sure there is a boring conventional alternate available for all of them. The lowercase-style /E is probably too much even for my taste.

    There's also a smaller stylistic set that removes the spurs off of some of the letters and makes them more geometric:



  • Hey, I'm just a market of one -- don't make design decisions solely based on my feedback! :) But I do like the shorter descenders.
  • Hey Christian, this looks interesting. I like the capitals als big versions of the lowercase letters. The new /E doesn't really feel ok though, to me that is. I liked the previous /E better. Or you could try something like a reversed /3 maybe? The short descenders are also a nice touch. 

    Other glyphs that stand out to me are the /v and /w - feels like they should use the same 'system' and they aren't (the /v is sharp edged and the /w is round)

    I can't really predict anything about market response or anything, but as long as you keep diverging from the 'standard' choices with this, I feel you are developing something nice and new here. Keep going! 
  • Jan, thanks for your thoughts. I don't find the new /E particularly pleasant either, but it seems to fit the design philosophy. I'll give your epsilon-shaped /E a try, though.

    As for /v and /w, yes, it would be preferable to have both in the same style. I feel like the current /w is the way to go, rather than making /w diagonal. I've avoided diagonals everywhere else so far. Problem is, if I try to adapt /v to the philosophy of /w, I end up with something that will be read as /u. Can you think of a round shape that will be read as /v?

    Cheers!
  • The African letter V-with hook (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ʋ) is round and can be read as a v. I don't know if a curled /v will fit into this font, though.

  • I don't see anything wrong with having the /w rhyme with the /u instead of with the /v. It is called a "double-u" after all (in English anyway). 
  • Hey Christian...
    At the beginning of this thread, when you wrote that you were going to tackle a "geometric display sans", I thought to myself, "Good God, why would you want to waste the time?".
    Then, as your work progressed and you added the lowercase-style /A, I thought to myself... "Good God, that is just going to make it look childish".
    But damn if you haven't piqued my interest. This IS looking really great and I think you are onto an interesting variation of the same old boring "geometric display sans". Keep going!

    I vote for the shorter descenders.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 794
    edited September 2015
    Thanks Matt! :grimace: 

    As for that /E, well... that mirrored-/3 design is not working for me. I might just stick with the lunate-epsilon, or even use the rectilinear one for all styles. Though I gotta say I find the scaled-/e version really sexy in all-caps! Definitely will have to offer it as a stylistic alternate.

    EDIT: Oh, I'm really starting to like that /E.  :grimace:


  • Good going. I do like this new version of the /E as well (2nd line). Fits your original idea of using larger versions for uppercase of lowercase letters. I do like the last version (5th line) of /E, maybe you can use that as an alternate or something.

    Interesting Craig, that you mention the "double u" - in French they say "double v" ;)
    Anyway, Christian, do whatever you feel is best. Now that Craig mentioned it I think you can let the /w resonate with either the /u or /v. (I've actually had some struggles with /u/v/w/ myself creating Abraham)

    Keep it up!
  • SS02 now offers a complete set of «well-behaved» capitals:



  • I think /U/ in the second set shouldn't have the foot. Should /B/ in the first set be lowercase form like /P/Q/?
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 794
    edited September 2015
    Hi Craig,

    fair enough, I already have a footless /U from SS01. I've added that to SS02 as well.

    The lowercase-style /B doesn't work in the least, though. It doesn't have enough vertical space to read as a proper /B. Also, the other lowercase-style letters I've used so far have had some traditional precedent in script and blackletter, as far as I can tell. This /B doesn't profit from that familiarity. Finally, I find the current default caps' lack of ascenders rather attractive.

  • Fair enough. FWIW I think there's much more promise in those SS02 caps than in the other sets.
  • Dang, it's really a shame about the lowercase-style /B; I really like its stylistic compatibility (even if it'd be confused with /D). Totally loving the ambicase UC and all the curves -- kudos for finding life in a geometric sans! The /X and /K and both forms of /Y are my favorites. I'll admit, the inner angles and outer curves of /M and such are weird, but they definitely grow on you.
  • Craig, I realize the default caps are «exotic», but I don't think they are more so than, say, Ambicase or Parity. There's gotta be a market for this kind of originality, if only to brand snowboarding gear.  ;o)  In any case, the «tame» set will be available as a dedicated font, so there's no need to force a choice of one over the other.
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 485
    edited September 2015
    I do like the exotic uppercase forms, but will suggest to also focus in its proportions. Some caps are looking wide, other look narrow.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 794
    edited September 2015
    Good point, Pablo. I like the generous rounds of /O etc., so I've made the narrowish letters wider to match them.  I also restructured the /ẞ and gave the lowercase /s a much-needed widening. Is that better?




  • Here are some examples of capital thorn reaching below the baseline. I think a similar shape could be a good fit for Freitag.

  • Good progress so far, and interesting to see this develop further. I now find it a bit confusing to see some uppercase letters using a 'standard' uppercase form (/B/D/F/H/R/T) while most others are uppercase variants of the 'standard' lowercase form. At the same time I do see the legibility issues with letters such as /B and I don't see an immediate solution or midway. I do really like your idea with this, so keep at it.

    Maybe use even shorter ascenders and descenders for these capitals? I also like Christian's idea above, something like that might work too. Or, maybe the ascender on something like your /B needs to be the capital height, and the bowl could be lower than that (not sure if that would work though, especially since the /P and /Q have bowls of same height as the /O)

    Somehow the /G stands out to me, as does the /Y (although I love their forms, they do very well if you see them standing alone). But in the group of capitals as they are, their descenders seem almost too long, and maybe too lengthy horizontally? In comparison with your /J for example, which has a very short descender, both vertically and horizontally. No idea if, but would that work for the /G and /Y (good chance it won't, but it might be worth a try)

    And oh yes, I agree with Craig that the /U in the SS02 caps doesn't need the foot.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 794
    edited September 2015
    Christian, I'm already doing that for the default /Þ.  :grimace: 
    Jan: I sort of see what you mean, but it doesn't bother me much. I'm aiming for a unicase feel, after all, not a lowercase feel per se. Some LC letters just don't work as UC. At least with the current layout, the /B and /D keep the /R company.

    As for descenders: I don't think I can make the UC descenders even lower; the /G's tail is already very tight, and I don't want to make its bowl visibly smaller than the /A. Actually, I rather like it the way it is. (I did shorten the descender of the /Þ, though, since it was higher than the ascender, which looked weird.) I have a feeling that I would viscerally dislike shortening those descenders horizontally; it's why I can't stand Interstate.
  • Good points there, looking forward to see more! I always find it hard to decide between (logical) consistency within a typeface and going for aesthetic or otherwise sound choices. Sometimes something doesn't fit in logically, but it just looks good and gives a typeface something extra.

    The numbers, /@ and ampersand are great looking by the way, and that new /s also looks really good. The only one standing out is the /1 right now, but I see what you did there and am guessing why. So that makes sense.
  • What do you mean about the /1, Jan?

    I'm starting to dislike that default /W. Maybe I'll adopt the /W.ss02 as the default, and stick the current /W into .ss01 along with the other spurless arches?
  • Jan Willem WennekesJan Willem Wennekes Posts: 148
    edited September 2015
    Oh, I meant that it could have been without the top horizontal perhaps, but then it might look too much like the /i or /l. As the others don't have any serif like shapes, the /1 might get away without one too? Just an idea, it might as well not work of course.

    Not sure about your curvy /W. It does resonate nicely with /U /X and /K so there's that. I'm not to keen on the 'angular' /W (SS02) - reminds me too much of the (old new) NASA logo somehow (even though on looking that up, it doesn't even match).

    Just for reference, I meant this (ouch!)
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