Thick Display

Hey all,

I'm an industrial designer turned graphic designer, now experimenting with type design. 🙃

This a first attempt at a thick, display sans serif (hopefully with some character). So far it's only uppercase, figures, and punctuation which has been roughly spaced but not kerned. 

Overall, I'm interested to know if this direction is worth continuing to work on or if I should call it a learning exercise and try something else. Of course, any and all feedback on curve quality, proportions, and general design are appreciated!

Thanks!
(image below and PDF attached)


Comments

  • Jacob CasalJacob Casal Posts: 90
    My, what an interesting /G! However, when I look at the open counters of your other characters like /3, /5, /6, and /9, even /@, which have strokes that make the counters appear as continuous “closed” shapes, it seems that the /G (and /C to a smaller degree) are a bit too offset and their counters “broken” instead of “closed” in my eyes. That curved spur of the /G already has a connection with the tail of the /Q, and I think this would possibly strengthen that bond as well.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 889
    edited May 29
    I think everyone should start with a heavy all-caps display typeface. I think the gaps in the S569 should feel more related. I know a fat S is a struggle but those gaps needs a little more air.

    You've established a pinch on 569... how narrow the stroke is pinched at the intersections. But then on the G, there's a different technique.

    Considering how broad and tough the letters look, the W feels a bit wimpy. Maybe give it a slightly more squarish shape. V feels lighter than the A.

    For fat punctuation like mathematical symbols and brackets, I like to first determine a math stroke. In this case, I'd go with the thickness of the fraction slash...the slash on your %. Use that as a guide for stroke thickness on plus, minus etc. and brackets. As far as lining brackets; they often seem like a fine idea until you see them next to accented letters. Do some test accents and that can help you determine your bracket dimensions.

    Compare the 6 and 9 to the 8. See how the top of the eight is smaller than the bottom? Apply some of that thinking to your 6 and 9.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 891
    Overshoot on the curved letters is too great. /J is too wide, as are /two and /five.
    Middle arm of /E could be longer (or maybe the other two shorter). 
    Ampersand seems like a workable form, but looks a little topheavy to me. 
  • Matt KhindaMatt Khinda Posts: 7
    edited May 29
    Thanks so much for your feedback. I take it that means it's worth continuing (at least for now)

    I made some of the revisions you all suggested and attached an updated PDF below. 

    Changes made:
    • Reduced overshoot
    • Narrowed the 2 and 5 
    • Opened up the S
    • Narrowed the J
    • Reshaped the counters on the G and C
    • Lengthened the crossbar of the E
    • Tried to balance the ampersand

    Let me know if that's headed in the right direction


  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 891
    I think the overshoot is still too great. In the image above, for example, in the strings "BCD" "FGH" and "NOP" the middle letter looks like it's popping above its neighbors. And similarly the seven looks dinky height-wise in the midst of six/eight/nine.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,554
    E and F look wider than other caps. H a little bit as well. Y seems narrow, given its low waist.
  • Matt KhindaMatt Khinda Posts: 7
    Okay, adjusted the overshoot again. (and shortened the E, F, andslightly)

    @Craig Eliason any better? Thanks for bearing with me on the basics.

  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,378
    That /G/ shape doesn't work for me at all...
  • Theunis de JongTheunis de Jong Posts: 84
    edited May 30
    I wonder if making the bottom arm of the /G thin out towards the right, as in /six and /nine, would make enough room for the center bar to be a bit wider.

    The foot(?) – the part that goes vertically down from the horizontal bar – is not aligned with the right hand side, but its slant suggests it should. Either make it clear that it's going to not happen (and at that point you probably want a bit of that bar sticking out to the left as well), or see what it's like if you align it with the rightmost point. It is more traditional, I know, but I have a hard time seeing it other than a /C with some embellishment.

    Did I mention I like the overall look? I do! I'd like to see a sample text with a mix of uppercase and digits.

    If I had this as a font I would probably experiment with tracking – super-tight or super-loose – and see what happens.

  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 891
    Okay, adjusted the overshoot again. (and shortened the E, F, andslightly)

    @Craig Eliason any better? Thanks for bearing with me on the basics.

    To be honest I'd reduce overshoot still further! In EYES and TO for example the last letter seems bigger than the others.
    But get input from others too. 
  • Jasper de WaardJasper de Waard Posts: 396
    Overshoots are fine IMO, but that S needs work. You cannot get all the space you need from thinning the middle. You'll have to thin the top and bottom a little bit, and make the middle a little thicker. It's alright to be quirky, but that S is way more quirky than anything else in there.
  • Overshoots are fine IMO, but that S needs work. You cannot get all the space you need from thinning the middle. You'll have to thin the top and bottom a little bit, and make the middle a little thicker. It's alright to be quirky, but that S is way more quirky than anything else in there.
    I personally loathe that odd weight distribution used on /S (in general). I find it amateurish. Unless the intent is to look "untrained", I’d discard it in favor of either a uniform weight distribution or the usual one.
  • Matt KhindaMatt Khinda Posts: 7
    edited May 31
    Thanks for all the feedback. 

    Clearly I've got a lot to keep refining (and a new G to design), but in the meantime here's an attempt at a more balanced S

    Is it still too high-contrast compared to the rest?
    Am I back to the original problem of it being too closed?
  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 115
    edited May 31
    Getting closer... one variation you could try is to have the terminals on the S directed a touch more outwards (instead of curled in as much as they are towards the spine, which can make the counter spaces seem more closed off). Then you may have a little more room to make the spine thicker. Don't want to lose the look and relationship to other similar characters though.
  • Jasper de WaardJasper de Waard Posts: 396
    Getting closer! The middle could still go a little thicker. Personally, I don't really mind the small gaps. Also, I think you'll want to make the top a little narrower.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,378
    Actually, I rather liked the top- and bottom-heaviness of the original /S/, even if its curves were unrefined. You could even lean into that and make the middle bar of /E/ thinner than the outer ones. Would at least make a nice stylistic set.
  • What Claudio means (I expect) is that the usual weight distribution for an S is to make the spine heavy, and the top and bottom a bit thinner.

    This has the advantage, in a bold typeface, of having less "competition": you have one thick spot instead of two. So the thins will not need to be as extreme as the single thin you currently have.
    Yes, that’s what I meant… My english “on the fly” has large margins of improvement… :-P
  • Matt KhindaMatt Khinda Posts: 7
    I think this will be the last update before I take a longer while to proof and refine on my own, but here's what I've landed on for the G:

    A spurless rounded G and an "all-spur" version as a stylistic alternate.

    Again, thanks for all the comments—I've learned a ton and hopefully the typeface is better for it too. 
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,554
    For the G with the spur, the bottom curve is a bit off. The on-curve point on the bottom needs to shift left a bit. The off-curve points connected with it might move not at all, or half as far... have to try it and see.

    (As it is, there is a discontinuity in curvature from the left side which is looser, to the right which is tighter.)
  • Jasper de WaardJasper de Waard Posts: 396
    Looking much much better already!
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 33
    Another G that could look at home in this would be a Handel-like form, all square on the right.
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