Redrawing a geometric sans for text use

Miles NewlynMiles Newlyn Posts: 111
edited November 30 in Technique and Theory
I have a low contrast geometric sans design with fairly circular rounded shapes, double story a and g, and monotonous (not monospace) widths. I designed it for logos and headlines and now I'd like to make a version suitable for long text.
Are there any good models for this, or design theories that I should consider?


Comments

  • What is more important: the formal concept of the typeface – or the legibility of the text?
  • What is more important: the formal concept of the typeface – or the legibility of the text?
    The readability of the text, primarily at 16px in browser. The formal concept is not important at this stage.

  • Increase the contrast; make it narrower, and looser; and possibly open up apertures. What are your vertical proportions like?
  • Don't increase the contrast, make it wider and looser, and make it larger (esp. the lowercase) at a given size. Like 16px. The Sitka project has shown that the best way to increase readability was to make all glyphs bigger on the body (you can redraw but you can also just reduce the UPM size while keeping the rest untouched). 
  • make it larger (esp. the lowercase) at a given size.
    That's assuming the x-height isn't already too large. Because distinctive silhouettes are critical.
    http://typedrawers.com/discussion/2285/brain-sees-words-as-pictures
  • What I'm doing has little to do with size. I think it's mostly concerned with relative glyph proportions and especially letter widths. 
    The existing design (unfortunately I can't show it due to client confidentiality) has wide a, f, r, s, t. That is to say there is a monotonous rhythm which I don't think is good for readability. I will make these letters narrower, but by how much I'm unsure. I'm tempted to try LS Cadencer with this project as I'm sure my monotonous spacing is also hindering the visual freshness.
  • More generous side bearings is the biggest key I think. 
  • What I'm doing has little to do with size. I think it's mostly concerned with relative glyph proportions and especially letter widths.
    Hi Miles, I'm attaching a zip containing various schemes of advance-widths for each letter, in different unit systems. You can use it as a guide. Hope its useful.

  • … I will make these letters narrower, but by how much I'm unsure. …
    Don’t think too much, trust your instinct.
  • When we designed FF Mark, the standard version was very geometric and felt too wide for text use (though German magazine Page uses it successfully for short texts). Later, condensed versions were added to FF Mark and we thought the slightly condensed FF Mark Narrow was the best choice for text.
  • When we designed FF Mark, the standard version was very geometric and felt too wide for text use (though German magazine Page uses it successfully for short texts). Later, condensed versions were added to FF Mark and we thought the slightly condensed FF Mark Narrow was the best choice for text.
    I remember reading that. I don't think a circular o will ever be good for text because the width and it's implications on b c d e p q make a typeface that forces the eye to move too far for comfortable comprehension.
  • Miles Newlyn said:
    I don't think a circular o will ever be good for text
    To me a somewhat wide "o" –and notably, not any other letter by consequence–contributes more to readability via divergence than it detracts from it by putting slightly more text outside of visual resolution.
  • Miles Newlyn said:
    I don't think a circular o will ever be good for text
    To me a somewhat wide "o" –and notably, not any other letter by consequence–contributes more to readability via divergence than it detracts from it by putting slightly more text outside of visual resolution.
    Agreed, thus a vertical stem that intersects the circular counter in letters b d p q good.
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