Reina (working title)

Hello everyone!

It's been nearly a year since I started messing around with type design and finally come up to start making my first typeface, and my masterpiece, and took Bodoni as inspiration to it. I'm making something that looks elegant and suitable for use in both heading and body text. Also, something that is comfortable to read (on paper) at 10-14pt, but usually at 12pt, in a long series of texts, such as in novels. I also made this to be a bit sloppy, because Bodoni seem to be too systematic for me.

I'm still completing the punctuations on this roman, as well as frequently tweaking some glyphs that I found a little faulty. I think I should start designing the Italic?

I've done a lot of research on letter forms and put it into practice before I made this attempt, because the first one is quite a disaster. I'm really serious about type design and I'm working really hard. I hope to become a professional type designer someday, so... yeah... It would be really great to have your feedback guys!

Comments and suggestions are much appreciated.

Here's the PDF:
mediafire.com/download/o1dq8mimvytjc81/Reina_smplspc.pdf

I've also attached a copy, just in case you have problems accessing MediaFire.
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Comments

  • Okay. After a series of trial-and-error, I finally managed to embed the font into the PDF. Sorry for the earlier inconvenience.
  • D. Epar tedD. Epar ted Posts: 678
    edited December 2013
    How to you envision this being used, like at what size(s) and for what occupations of readers?
  • Well, sir, I'm trying to make a book face (paperback and, especially, hardcover) that is suitable for both heading at 16pt-above, and body text usually at 10-12pt.
    But can also be used at 7pt for dictionaries and bibles and other books that requires smaller texts.
    And my target readers are young adults to elders.

    I've tried printing sample texts from 7pt to as small as 4pt. To me, it's still very readable. But I'm a young adult, so I have no idea if it would be as readable to others, especially the elder ones.
    I'll start doing some more proof testing as soon as I'm done drawing the rest of the punctuations.

    Sorry if I can't describe it clearly.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,030
    took Bodoni as inspiration
    Really? Other than the leg of the uppercase R, which is out of keeping with the rest of the typeface, there's nothing in this design that suggests inspiration from Bodoni's types. On the other hand, I see a lot of Bram de Does and Gerard Unger influences.
  • Hmm... What about those ball-like thing at the end of some lowercase letter? I think it's present on some other typefaces too. Not sure though. My knowledge in fonts are vague.
    But I kept the numerals to be really close to Bodoni, save the '8'. :)

    I'm certain I've heard the names of Bram de Does and Gerard Unger along with others like Wim Crouwel and Gerrit Noordzij during my research for maybe a few times, if my memory serves me right.
    But I sure do see the name of Jan Van Krimpen for a number of times enough to be carved deeply into my memory. I'm still searching for more samples of his works, especially Romanee, which is really hard to come by. I found one a few days ago but it was too small in size.

    I'll also do some searching on both Bram de Does and Gerard Under later on, when I got more free time. I'm kinda busy these days for participating extra church activities.
  • Hmm... What about those ball-like thing at the end of some lowercase letter? I think it's present on some other typefaces too. Not sure though. My knowledge in fonts are vague.
    But I kept the numerals to be really close to Bodoni, save the '8'. :)

    I'm certain I've heard the names of Bram de Does and Gerard Unger along with others like Wim Crouwel and Gerrit Noordzij during my research for maybe a few times, if my memory serves me right.
    But I sure do see the name of Jan Van Krimpen for a number of times enough to be carved deeply into my memory. I'm still searching for more samples of his works, especially Romanee, which is really hard to come by. I found one a few days ago but it was too small in size.

    I'll also do some searching on both Bram de Does and Gerard Under later on, when I got more free time. I'm kinda busy these days for participating extra church activities.
  • I've just added the question mark and tweak some of the characters to smooth it out. I also did a proof test on 12 and 7pt sizes. Though the question mark was only used in 12pt.

    Can't tell weather the question mark that I drew match the rest of the characters or not. I could only hope.
    Please let me know what you think.

    Thanks for your time.
  • @Nathan, just so you know -- there is already a font named "Reina". See myfonts.com.
  • Thanks for the info sir.

    Since font name must be unique, well, that's very unfortunate for me.
    I... I don't want to give this up so early. Not after the time and effort I spend.
    But I guess I have no choice. Oh well...
    Next time I'll make sure not to make the same mistake.

    Thank you for your time everyone! :)
  • I don't get it. Why do feel like you have to give this up?
  • @Nathan -- I think I understand. I did not mean the font you are working on already exists, just the name. Just change to another name and you're good to go.
  • @Jasper:
    Nope sir, not really. I just really want the name because, well, aside from being a feminine name, Reina=queen in my native language, and I used that to shape the overall feel of this typeface. I can't really put it into words, hahahah! XD
    I'll continue to work on this font family until it's complete. But in the meantime, I'll slow-down a little and start to digitize my second typeface along with this. Something less in overall detail.

    @George:
    Well, sir, as of now I can't really think of a new name as a replacement. Perhaps if I prefixed the name with my initials, would that be valid?
    Maybe I should start to think of a new name anyway...


    Thanks for your time guys! :)
  • Try using adjectives or adverbs; most fonts names are nouns. You might be able to find a word that conveys the same meaning but hasn't already been used as a font name.
  • Thanks. I'll look on to that as well.
  • Martin SilvertantMartin Silvertant Posts: 166
    edited November 2014
    Why did you get demotivated by the name already existing though? That's odd. What about simply an alternate spelling? Reyna?

    My first reaction to this typeface is that it has a lot of potential. It looks dynamic and has character.

    On second glance though I think it's too much of a Frankenfont at this point. I'm seeing elements of Trinité, Ruse and Geronimo. The fact that I see three typefaces from TEFF in this is rather suspicious to me. I'm not accusing you of plagiarism at all, but if indeed you looked at these typefaces in particular, your inspirations show too clearly. If you continue working on this typeface, I would properly establish its own character.
  • You can leave out the funny bits sticking out of the sides of the capital J and U.
  • George HortonGeorge Horton Posts: 8
    edited December 2014
    Hi Nathan,
    Well done on your first type! I'm afraid only the Mediafire link works for me, in Firefox and Internet Explorer on Windows, so I can't judge the text settings.
    I agree with others who see the strong influence of Bram de Does' Trinité in Reina's tilt, asymmetrical brackets, and slanted serifs that turn inwards on diagonal strokes. It's perhaps a little risky to go head to head with Trinité in your first design, since that type's drawing is exceptionally fluent.
    I think the main problem with the design as it stands is that it's mostly a broad-pen-based Old Style, but there are some flexible-pen-based Modern elements too. This is especially troublesome because Reina's verve suggests a basis in calligraphy, but calligraphy with an impossible hybrid pen. I can go into more detail about this if you like.
    Romanée, which incidentally was the basis for Trinité, is certainly worth seeing. Unfortunately my scanner's rubbish, and the sample's not terribly well printed, but it looks roughly like this:
    imageIf you want a better image I can try to haul my copy of Typefoundries in the Netherlands on to the scanner...
  • If you want a better image I can try to haul my copy of Typefoundries in the Netherlands on to the scanner...
    I would love to see a better image myself. Do you know if the book is available anywhere? It seems to be required for me to have.
  • You can check if Nijhof & Lee still has any dead stock but it's out of print almost 40 years.
  • Typefoundries in the Netherlands isn't hard to find - there are several copies on Abebooks. I've uploaded a 5MB, 600ppi scan of Romanee as used in the book to https://flic.kr/p/q6W4FL, and hope you appreciate how much rearranging of kit it took to do ;)
  • I agree about certain similarities to Teff fonts that others have pointed out. There are a couple of things that make Trinité very easy to spot, mainly its counter width (and also the slight italic slant and serifs). These characteristics are also in other fonts, for example there is a Garamond from the Vatican's 1628 type specimen which also has a subtle slant. At any rate, the assembly of all the characteristics together and in one place makes the likeness especially apparent.

    Actually, the Garamond is something De Does himself has referenced while discussing his models for the Trinite design. I don't recall if he expressly mentions the Vatican specimen, he might have some other cut in mind. A good deal has been written about the De Does fonts and there is even a slim volume new enough to be still in print http://amzn.com/9490913367.

    The Ruse aspects are a little more difficult to spot since the ones selected are also often found in many Clarendons. The small section in Middendorp's Dutch Type is a nice introduction to Noordzij's method, not the least because the description is made by someone besides Noordzij himself. With some digging, many of Noordzij's texts can be found online, The Stroke among others, and they offer a more complete analysis.
  • George HortonGeorge Horton Posts: 8
    edited December 2014
    The PDFs with text setting are working for me now, Nathan. As you'd expect, at small sizes the incompatibility of features derived from different pens comes across only in a general sense that the design doesn't yet have a unified style, though it certainly has the beginnings of one. (The spacing is also very tight and a little wonky, but I wouldn't worry about that for now; if you don't already have it, Letters of Credit includes a good basic guide to spacing.)

    There are many directions in which you could take Reina, but one might be towards a more robust, more typographic version of some of the jaunty romans written by calligraphers in the eighteenth century. At least in Britain (I don't know much about calligraphy elsewhere), the usual style was much less broad, slow and formal than the inscriptional romans that influenced Baskerville and were cut as type by Isaac Moore for Joseph Fry.

    I hope John Hudson doesn't mind my showing one of his uploads from Bickham's The Universal Penman, which includes lots of snippets of calligraphic roman. There's more of this sort of thing in the parentage of the mature Bodoni than in the parentage of Baskerville, I think, though this is from the 1730s:
    image
    If you did want to do something along these lines, I would recommend buying a flex-nib pen - they're also very useful doodling tools whatever your purpose. Noodler's make cheap ones that don't have much flex (unless you go for the more expensive Neponset), but they're easier to use and harder to damage than other kinds.
  • George, do you happen to use Noodler's pens yourself? I notice some flex pens with a #2 tip and others with a #6 tip. Which one would you recommend getting, or is it worth getting both?
  • George, its nice to see someone bring up fountain pens. I'm curious if you have any other recommendations along those lines.
  • George HortonGeorge Horton Posts: 8
    edited December 2014
    I've been using Noodler's Nib Creapers since they came out. By all accounts they're nowhere near the quality of the best old flex pens (that is, they write less smoothly, require more pressure to flex, and have thicker thins and much thinner thicks) but they're unbreakable, undemanding and cheap. They are my doodling tool of choice. Dip pens are also cheap but a pain to use, even with the temperamental Ackerman pump, and high-end old-skool flex pens checked by a nibmeister are seriously expensive and rather frail. I only just found out about, and ordered, a Noodler's Neponset, which has a three-tined "music" nib for greater flex. #2 and #6 are just the sizes of the nibs used by the Nib Creaper and Konrad/Ahab models respectively. The ones that come with those pens are two-tined semi-flex nibs.
  • Thanks, I'll have to try them.
  • Martin SilvertantMartin Silvertant Posts: 166
    edited December 2014
    I would love to try a flex pen but when you say the Noodler's are less smooth and require more pressure than the old flex pens (which I'm not familiar with though), that honestly doesn't sound great.

    Regarding the calligraphy pens I found many of the regular brands to be lacking, and apparently it took the innovative nibs of the Pilot pens to get a truly smooth result. They're simply the best I've tried. I suppose there will be better pens out there, but honestly I think I will have trouble finding one, and certainly for that price.

    Do you find the Noodler's flex pens to be of such standard? You say they're not as good as the best old flex pens, but I'm not sure what that says. It may be an unreachable standard for relatively cheap pens. The fact that the Noodler's are your doodling tool of choice is perhaps rather telling about the quality it does provide though. I suppose they're the best you found for the money, or you wouldn't stick to the brand.
    The ones that come with those pens are two-tined semi-flex nibs.
    Could you say something about that? Which pens did you find most suitable for what purpose? Let's say I want to design book typefaces and I think a flex pen could give me a lot of inspiration for it. Which pen would you choose?

    Also, do inform us about what you think of Noodler's Neponset once you've tried it. It sounds nice.
  • George HortonGeorge Horton Posts: 8
    edited December 2014
    Noodler's pens are generally regarded as pretty crappy. I've just got used to them. Specifically, I've been using Nib Creapers, but only because I never got round to replacing them with Ahabs or Konrads when those models came out.

    I've found them really inspiring. They've taught me how you (or at least, how I) actually invent a novel text type: by endlessly doodling to find out what modifications do to the mood of a letterform or letter sequence, throwing each sheet of paper into the bin as soon as it's filled. The letterform-making is a mixture of writing and lettering, but it's all very quick with a flex pen on paper offering the right degree of friction. For instance, in a type driven by the motion of an implied hand and arm - not necessarily an implied pen - you can try out many different kinds of curve and they'll all seem natural because they are all natural. I've spent the last year doing that, pretty much, and have learnt an enormous amount.

    And I've only just noticed that Nathan's original post was from December 2013. Good luck Nathan, wherever you now are.
  • Is there a particular reason why you stick to Noodler's despite them generally being regarded as pretty crappy? Are the better ones too expensive? What would you get if you had an unlimited budget?
  • George HortonGeorge Horton Posts: 8
    edited December 2014
    Yes, the better ones are too expensive. If I had an unlimited budget I'd probably get one or two Waterman wet noodles from a flex nib expert. Some day I probably will. Hope you liked the higher-quality Romanee scan I put up for you.
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