New brush typeface: Inky (?)

Jan Willem WennekesJan Willem Wennekes Posts: 148
edited September 2015 in Type Design Critiques
So I have dusted off this typeface that I started around two years ago. I actually started out creating the lowercase letters, based on some illustrations and loose text sketches of mine. [background info: I also work as illustrator / graphic designer] But it wasn't until I started working on the capitals that I felt something good was happening. I included the lowercase in the pdf, but I might (read: probably will) ditch them and keep this an uppercase only typeface, as it will be a display typeface.

I've been having issues with the /C /G /O and /Q before, but I think I have them in good shape now. The /S was hard to develop but I'm pretty happy with that one too. So far I haven't come up with a better name than the working title 'Inky' but I'm seriously starting to dislike that, so I'll need to think up something else...




No kerning or anything just yet, these words are put together by hand.

Suggestions or comments are more than welcome!

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Comments

  • The thinnest part of the curves of /C/G/O/G/ is thinner than anything else in the alphabet. You need more consistent contrast, whether by introducing that thinness elsewhere, or by thickening it in those letters. (I can imagine either strategy working.)
    /A/'s triangular counter looks a little too pinched closed.
  • You need more consistent contrast
    Unless, of course, you want an uneven, rapidly-painted feel. But then you’d need to bring that irregularity into other glyphs. Right now those 4 letters stick out.
  • Yes, the offset ellipse in the /O and its kin conflicts with everything else... still, I find these letters quite charming, and I feel that their loss would be sad. Maybe you could make the other letters match the /O set, rather than the other way around?
  • Maybe offset the ellipse in different positions in different letters? Perhaps the thin part could be to the bottom right in /Q, for example.
  • Thanks guys, for the comments and suggestions so far. Good points about the contrast. It seems this is partially an optical difference, because when I compare the various curve thicknesses, some are actually the same or even smaller. See below:



    Granted, the thickness doesn't work the same way (under the same angle) per letter, but still. The /S /N and /V have similar widths as the /O here. More contrast in the other letters feels like a good way to go, will start working on that, there's a number of letters that don't have this thinness anywhere indeed.

    Might be good to mention that I didn't set out to create a brush typeface, but now it seems to evolve into one. Although I'm not sure if I want it to be a typical brush typeface. In other words, if I don't follow all the brush type rules, I'm ok with that. Most of my inspiration for this comes from personal letter illustrations and sign-painted letters, some from brush script. So we'll see how it evolves ;)

    And yes, some inconsistency and unevenness is what I'd prefer, but there's always a middle way of course.

    Michael: Most of the difficulty in finding the right form for the /O /G etc has been with offsetting the inner ellipse wrt the outer one. So good call there. I've tried various combinations but it all felt wrong until I tried the current approach. See some of the previous forms here (the top row are the 'original' lowercase letters I started out with). Right side are the latest forms...



    Also tried your /Q idea, Michael, what do you think?

  • Better.
  • The O is on of the lesser bumpy letters. I would build it from one bend stroke that has two ending like the top right part of the G but heavily overlapped. That you get a texture kind of like the top left of the R.
  • Stephen: you mean the top /Q, with the smallest width bottomright?

    Georg: interesting idea, that would indeed be a 'brush' type approach, I'll try that!
  • Testing that new idea for /O


    Not quite there yet but this is looking interesting. Definitely more 'brush' than before. Though I'm having a bit doubt if I should develop this type all the way towards brush or maybe keep it more as it was...

    Also have been trying to get more contrast into the other letterforms, but that doesn't work out well for every form (most likely because I am applying it in the wrong way). For example in the /L or /Z - not sure if the 'old' ones aren't actually better... Here's an image comparing the old and new version: Proof in the attached PDF for zooming etc...
  • Jan Willem WennekesJan Willem Wennekes Posts: 148
    edited September 2015
    Other way around? From a brush perspective that does make more sense maybe.


  • New specimen setting off the two versions of /O against each other. Comments more than welcome.
  • I feel the brush-style /O harmonizes better with the other letters. I would reserve the restraint seen in the non brush-style /O for another face altogether, as this informal style only benefits from the more spirited version.
  • Well said, thanks for your comment Michael.
  • Jan Willem WennekesJan Willem Wennekes Posts: 148
    edited October 2015
    The option of having that brush-style /O there, with curve width pretty thick on the top and left side, leads me to reconsider how to draw the /C and /G as well. 

    Trying to develop those:


    Some test words, three variants

    Kinda liking that last /G there
  • How about  you make the subtle bump of /R, /P and /B go through all the letters. And make them more consistent that way. You could make upper part of /E and /F similar to /P and /R for example. And add a bump also to /S it feels a bit round and smooth now.

    I feel this bump you have made for the new /O is a bit too noticeable compared to those I mentioned previously. You could make the counter of /O almost oval, maybe a little subtle corner where there is bump now. And make the bump on outside circle of /O more subtle.

    It also feels that the stem of /P is a bit too light. Especially in the word "GAPS". And maybe the /L is a bit wide. There is quite a lot whitespace between /L and /S in last word.

  • Jan Willem WennekesJan Willem Wennekes Posts: 148
    edited October 2015
    Thanks a lot @Mika Melvas, those are good points that make sense. I do definitely see your point about the 'bumps' and that might make the set more consistent. I've been staring at those for some time but haven't yet tried to push the /E and /F in that direction.

    Not sure yet if that is really what I'm after though - have to consider it. From a logical standpoint it would make sense to do it. Then again, I really like that /S for example - so it's either a case of kill your darlings or cherish them... I'll give it time :)

    I was thinking that about the bump in the /O as well, it's definitely a larger gap than the connections of brush strokes in other letters (if that's how you'd see it). There's something there.

    To me the /T isn't working as well as it should now... too much contrast in the cross stroke maybe? And too much of a blob at the bottom...

    Completely right about the /P, too light. I will try a less wide /L too, good call. Thanks!

    Some text tests in the attached specimen by the way... (no kerning)
  • N and W could be a little lighter, C could be a little narrower maybe. 
    I agree that the O treatment should be more subtle.
    This is really looking good.
  • Georg SeifertGeorg Seifert Posts: 419
    edited October 2015
    I liked the G with the small horizontal stroke better. Either the old version or the first try in the image above. It is about having two strokes overlap to have a 'bump'.
  • Thanks @Craig Eliason and @Georg Seifert!
    Attached is a new version of the sampler (pdf) with new /C /E /F /G /N /O /U /T /V /W

    Not sure about going back to that /G with the stroke. It does make more sense as Georg said, but I do still kinda like that other /G too.

    Small image comparing the old (bottom and new (top) version. Larger version here

  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 485
    edited October 2015
    Jan, make the /space smaller

    And here is a list of some basic kerning pairs for caps:
    HHATAHH HHTÆHH
    HHAUAHH HHUÆHH
    HHAVAHH HHVÆHH
    HHAWAHH HHWÆHH
    HHAYAHH HHYÆHH
    HHAOAHH HHAQAHH HHACHH HHDAHH
    HHOÆHH HHDÆHH HHQÆHH
    HHOTOHH HHQTQHH HHDTHH HHTCHH
    HHOVOHH HHQVQHH HHDVHH HHVCHH
    HHOWOHH HHQWQHH HHDWHH HHWCHH
    HHOXOHH HHQXQHH HHDXHH HHXCHH
    HHOYOHH HHQYQHH HHDYHH HHYCHH
    HHKOHH HHKCHH HHKQHH
    HHLOHH HHLCHH HHLQHH
    HHFAHH HHFÆHH
    HHPAHH HHPÆHH
    HHSYHH HHYSHH
    HHBTHH
    HHBVHH
    HHBYHH
    HHFJHH
    HHGYHH
    HHLTHH
    HHLUHH
    HHLVHH
    HHLWHH
    HHLYHH
    HHPJHH
    HHPXHH
    HHRTHH
    HHRUHH
    HHRVHH
    HHRWHH
    HHRYHH
    HHTJHH

    HH‘AHH HHA’HH HH’AHH HHL’HH
    HH“AHH HHA”HH HH”AHH HHL”HH
    HH'A'HH HHL'HH HH"A"HH HHL"HH
    HH.O.HH HH.T.HH HH.U.HH HH.V.HH HH.W.HH HH.Y.HH
    HHD.HH HHF.HH HHP.HH
    HH,O,HH HH,T,HH HH,U,HH HH,V,HH HH,W,HH HH,Y,HH
    HHD,HH HHF,HH HHP,HH
    HHK-HH HHL-HH
    HH-T-HH HH-V-HH HH-W-HH HH-X-HH HH-Y-HH HH-Z-HH
    HHT:HH HHV:HH HHW:HH HHY:HH
    HHT;HH HHV;HH HHW;HH HHY;HH
  • Thanks @PabloImpallari - haven't worked on kerning yet. It's tempting though, but I'll try to focus on the letters first. Was indeed planning to use your website for that though ;)

  • Jan Willem WennekesJan Willem Wennekes Posts: 148
    edited October 2015
    Tried Mika's idea of adding a bump to the /S too. I wasn't too eager about it, but now that I tried it, it does look interesting. (click for larger version). 



  • One-piece /S/ is better IMO
  • One-piece /S/ indeed. The /O/ also feels strange to me this way; I would expect the joint on the top left. Nice overall impression, though.
  • I like the two-piece /S.
  • I like that bumpy one but maybe the placement of the bump is a bit off to my eye.

    Sorry for tweaking your image but I thought it would be easier to show rather than try to write what I mean.

    I dropped that bump a little so the top part of /S is a bit more round.
    But that /S without a bump is also nice.


    s.jpg 36.9K
  • Jan Willem WennekesJan Willem Wennekes Posts: 148
    edited October 2015
    Thanks all for your comments! That one piece /S is still something I like so I'll keep both for now and focus on some other elements first, to see which one will fit best later on.

    @Mika Melvas: no problem at all, this is very helpful. Best way to show it if you ask me, thanks for taking the time to do that!

    @Christian Thalmann: I think how you draw the /O depends on culture and custom. Lots of brush / sign typefaces have the connection on this end, others have it more on the left side. Or maybe it depends on lowercase / uppercase?
     See for example:  > I'd expect one to start top right here (uppercase)

    Then again, the bump/connection in the /O might be odd just like the one in the /S

    Also, @Craig Eliason, I'm starting to feel that the letters you pointed out in the beginning of this thread (/O /C /G) might indeed have too much contrast. I tried adding more to the other letters, but as I'm working I feel that I'm slowly undoing that. A bit less contrast in these letters might actually be a better solution...

  • Jan Willem WennekesJan Willem Wennekes Posts: 148
    edited October 2015
    In the meantime, here are some numbers... (click image to see larger version)

    (or see here to see them alternating in one gif)

  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 794
    edited October 2015
    Jan: Your handwriting sample is actually a demonstration of starting at the top left, where the arrow is. You then close the /O and use the loop to get from that starting point to the starting point of the next letter, which is presumably also on its top left. If you were to write that /O starting from the top right, you'd have to leap ahead unnecessarily far from the previous letter, and you'd have to double up on the top arch.
  • You have a point there Christian. I'll try starting it earlier in the circle for sure, to see how that looks. The more I look at it, the wider my current /O seems to become too by the way...

    To continue the point, consider this, here Seb Lester is definitely starting on the right side of the /o. Or this variant, about (granted) copperplate writing, similar approach.

    I'm sure there will be samples of the opposite as well though. 


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