Paramond — an extreme display serif

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Comments

  • Martin: Thanks for the insights! I made a /g_g, /g_y, and /g_g_y ligature, along with some accented versions — does that work?
    It looks very good!
    Also, as usual, I have trouble judging whether my /Schwa/schwa work. I like the way they look, though:
    Do you always add support for phonetics?

    In any case, I would change or remove the terminal on the lowercase schwa. Like Steve, I know nothing about the schwa so take my advice with a pinch of salt, but from what I can see the lowercase seems to get a terminal like Steve suggested.

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    I honestly don't think you should worry much about the schwa looking like an /a. It's not like the schwa has a prominent use, and within the context it's for (phonetics), certainly one would recognize the schwa.
  • Martin: I don't generally support IPA, since it comes with an incredibly large store of glyphs and combining diacritics. While I'm a great fan of IPA as such, I feel these things are best left to the specialists.

    The Schwa, on the other hand, is used as part of regular Latin and Cyrillic orthographies, such as Azerbaijani. I talked to a linguist friend a while ago in the context of Traction (http://typedrawers.com/discussion/comment/9166/#Comment_9166), and he recommended having a serif to represent the onstroke in handwriting.

    I think I'm going with my own æsthetic judgement on this and sticking with the /z-style serif for now.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 926
    edited December 2014
    I have an urge to draw a serif-like spike on the tops of ligatures like /fl. Is that historically sound? It reminds me of the forked tops of some blackletter ascenders.

    More importantly, do you consider it in character? Intuitively, it makes sense to me as a remainder of the right-sided peak of the default ascender top after the connection with /f usurps the main weight.
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  • I tried old-style numbers that rise to 3/4 the cap height. They strike me as a bit coarse. Maybe I should rather reduce them to x-height?

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  • Do both? They are like the tall ascenders and descenders, a bit over the top, but that's your goal? The /five is a bit weird? Shorter arm? The spur?
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 926
    edited December 2014
    Hi Jan,

    I'm not sure what you mean by "do both". Are you suggesting I keep both x-high and 3/4-cap figures in the font? I intend to do that by declaring the 3/4-cap ones the smallcaps figures.

    Meanwhile, here are the x-high figures. Better? I'm intrigued by that /I-shaped /1, but I think I'll keep the more legible version as the default.

    I also looked at various Garamond /5's and /7's and found they had opposite stress placement from what I'd been using, so I changed them.
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  • /7 could perhaps be a bit thicker in the middle, so there is a more gradual transition in the bottom bold part. The reverse contrast works well though.
    I have an urge to draw a serif-like spike on the tops of ligatures like /fl. Is that historically sound?
    I'm not sure. Does it need to be though?
  • I intend to do that by declaring the 3/4-cap ones the smallcaps figures.
    Exactly, that would be nice. The /five and /seven are much better. I like this typeface a lot, fwiw.
  • I'm probably the only one who will ever care, but I removed the x-height spur from /ſ and love it all the more now. :)
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  • I have to say I think it looks odd.
  • We'll have to disagree on that. ;o) Actually, I've always found that spur counterintuitive, sitting there in the middle of a stroke (particularly in a sans, oof...). There's also plenty of examples of spurless /ſ in serif faces, like Times New Roman.
  • Perhaps it's a matter of what you're used to, because I've never seen a spurless /ſ and I feel there should be a horizontal to support the ascending curve. No other ascenders are behaving in such a matter, so there should be something that indicates a center point. I have to say though, the more I look at it, the less awkward it seems. I guess it really is just a matter of getting used to.
  • Perhaps it's a matter of what you're used to, because I've never seen a spurless /ſ
    It certainly seems to have been an integral part of the glyph in historical upright scripts, such as Carolingian. There, it used to be written as a straight downstroke as if starting an /n, then a second stroke down from the apex (making an unsightly ink blot where it overlapped with the first stroke), and the curl as a third stroke.

    In my own calligraphic endeavors, I always write it in two strokes, the first starting from the apex and going all the way down. I find it yields a much more organic shape than the "clumpy shoulder" method.

    In any case, we present-day designers shouldn't feel obliged to stick to calligraphic tradition beyond what is useful and attractive. Quite a few modern-age serif fonts have spurless /ſ, such as TNR and Georgia.
    I feel there should be a horizontal to support the ascending curve.
    I find /l does just fine without a horizontal... if anything, it's the spurred /ſ that falls out of line with the rest of the alphabet. I can't think of another instance of a one-sided serif in the middle of a stroke.
    No other ascenders are behaving in such a matter, so there should be something that indicates a center point.
    The Sulzbacher /ß comes to mind, which is nowadays the most accepted form. In fact, I suspect the /ſ would have made the same evolution if it hadn't fallen out of fashion.
  • Out of faſhion it deſerves to be, meþinks.
  • Smallcaps! And yes, that's a small-cap /ſ, becauſe reaſons. :D
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  • Methinkſ they look ſplendid!
  • D. Epar tedD. Epar ted Posts: 702
    edited December 2014
    I think this is great progress on a worthy design.

    I'd be interested to see f and friends starting from an historically accurate, non-kerning, metal f. Then imagining and enacting the cleaving off and stretching of parts for the related glyphs and ligatures... not that the f you've started with is not gorgeous. You just might land differently on some glyphs "authenticity";)

    I'd also love to see the progression of the g that seemed to be Moonwalking in "Ouagadougou", when first we met. Now it's still different, but a different different.

    I was not happy when you raised the x height. I like the first proportions.

    I would explore different designs for the small caps, like a slightly less, but still high waisted A, less contrasting B bowls, a wider L, straight M stems on its sides.

    I'd like to see at least the middle cross strokes of small cap E and F and perhaps all cross strokes of EFLT and Z follow that of f and t, all those serifs being now perhaps too precious and busy for small caps?

    I'd like the upper case U to be more like a "Roman" U for all cap use, with the current uncle uncial U for mixed case initial use, and as the model for small cap, as you've drawn.

    Back to something boring. :)


  • In my own calligraphic endeavors, I always write it in two strokes, the first starting from the apex and going all the way down. I find it yields a much more organic shape than the "clumpy shoulder" method.
    What method is this? I thought the /ſ is actually done in three strokes if you're including the spur.
    In any case, we present-day designers shouldn't feel obliged to stick to calligraphic tradition beyond what is useful and attractive. Quite a few modern-age serif fonts have spurless /ſ, such as TNR and Georgia.
    I don't. My reasons for wanting to see the spur included weren't really based on historical convention. It's true I said it looked odd because I haven't seen it before, but I feel there are good reasons for why the spur is included at all. Or rather, I feel there are good reasons to keep it. As I said I feel there should be a horizontal to support the ascending curve. Yes, /l works perfectly without a spur because it has no curve. There are no letters that seem to curve beyond the x-height or baseline that doesn't have a horizontal. In fact, the only deviating ascenders (f/t) have horizontals to divide the shape. One might call them semi-ascenders to distinguish them from b/d/h/l. I consider it to be logical that if the ascender does curve, there is a horizontal to indicate the x-height (practically below it). Without the spur, you lose some of the texture you will find throughout a serif typeface.

    But as I said, it has grown on me. It looks a bit alien to me, like it's morphing into a different script. This is just a loose association but I'm reminded of Cyrillic. It's for this reason that the spurless /ſ is growing on me. If it's about practicality, I would include the spur. If it's about aesthetics, I'm not sure. Historical convention I feel isn't as relevant in this case. I know you're looking at Garamonds and want to maintain a certain authenticity, but considering this is an exaggerated display Garamond I wouldn't necessarily feel the need to remain authentic. Two variants would be a lot of fun though.

    Very nice to see small-caps! You work fast. I agree with David's points. Some of the small-caps could be wider, especially the /L.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 926
    edited December 2014
    Hi David,

    thanks for your insights!
    I'd be interested to see f and friends starting from an historically accurate, non-kerning, metal f. Then imagining and enacting the cleaving off and stretching of parts for the related glyphs and ligatures... not that the f you've started with is not gorgeous. You just might land differently on some glyphs "authenticity";)
    Huh, I thought my /f was pretty standard Garamond, apart from being waifishly slim. By non-kerning, are you referring to the style of /f with an extremely short flag? I actually consider the decadently long flag of Garamond's /f as one of its most iconic features.

    I have to run now; I'll address some of your other comments later. Meanwhile, here's a sneak peek at the new unicase alternates that I just added to the smallcaps:
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  • I'm not entirely sure about the tittles, but the unicase variant is a lot of fun.
  • You might try unicase variants of /m/n/ that retain the lowercase form but have a vertical lead-in serif. Similarly, for unicase /a/, you could try a serif that stays on the baseline (like /u/) rather than an outstroke.
  • Martin: Made the dotted form into its own stylistic option. :)

    Craig: I was just thinking the same thing. I'll give it a try tonight. I'm not sure it'll work on the /a though.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 926
    edited December 2014
    Works really well for /n/m. I tried it for /a, too, but it was oogly. That tail is just part of the glyph.

    How about that /y? Am I starting to tread too far into Disturbance/Parity territory?
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    David, as for your other comments:
    I'd also love to see the progression of the g that seemed to be Moonwalking in "Ouagadougou", when first we met. Now it's still different, but a different different.
    It just seems too impractical for its own good right now. I might revisit it and mature it into a valid stylistic alternate at some point.

    I changed some of the smallcaps as per your suggestions, but kept /b/m/t/z as they were — I like them that way.

    I do have a regular footless /U design as a stylistic alternate, but I prefer the Perpetua-style /U for regular use.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 926
    edited December 2014
    Martin:
    What method is this? I thought the /ſ is actually done in three strokes if you're including the spur.
    Exactly; I'm doing two strokes without the spur.
    You work fast.
    I use Glyphs. :)
  • After resisting for a long time, I finally tried out a closed form for /ampersand, although I think of them as cramped and stuffy. Turns out I really like the way it came out.
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  • Really beautiful ampersand indeed. I would probably make the weight shift a bit more gradual at the top (a bit on the right side) though.
  • My first cut of this face is getting complete enough to start thinking about the bigger picture. What do you figure this face needs more — heavier weights, or an italic?
  • Italic could be beautiful …
  • I was afraid you'd say that. ;)  An Italic is a lot more work than a Bold.

    Does a display font really need an Italic, though...? Come to think of it, many book covers do employ Italics as well as Romans, so I can certainly see the usefulness.

    I suppose I could still aim for a first release with just the Roman weight spectrum and add the Italics later. I see that happening for display fonts on MyFonts every once in a while.
  • I'm having this dilemma myself with a couple of typefaces. For me, I think perhaps the smarter choice is to make the typefaces more complete before I release them. I have the feeling that I will be missing potential sales by releasing part of the typeface now and an update later.
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