Paramond — an extreme display serif

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  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 933
    edited January 2015
    How's this /g for a start?

    And here's the bold roman /g:

  • I don't think your g was bad weird, just a little hard for the reader. The current angle of the last proofs, I think brings it further horizontal than it needs to be, so well within the threshold a reader expects.

    Amsterdam Garamond does the less-decending g, among others. There are reasons for g to leave the descent line, some involve a small counter on the top bowl, and in some, much heavier weights of some designs, the proper minimization of the little counters and the maintenance of an even smaller little white gulf between top and bottom, is more important than the descender alignment. Much of the issue here though is brought on by long descenders, and a little top bowl.

    I made both the Bureau Grots and Giza descenders like the old days, whatever was right for shape and weight, regardless of the alignment. That is going to look weird relative to the modern designers penchant for modern-looking fonts, but for old looking fonts, whatever inconsistencies one can possibly get away with, I think I've tried. ;)

    I also like the y you chose. 


  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 608
    edited January 2015
    The italics in that last post look great to me.
    I think in the bold the straight stems that ascend or descend look heavier than the other thicks. Perhaps the /e/ crossbar (and other non-serif hairlines too?) could take on a little more weight (cf. /f/t/ bars)?
  • Really liking it so far, Christian.  I think the terminal of the italic /j/ looks a little weak relative to the /s/, /c/, /r/, etc.  The bold /g/ also looks to be leaning ever so slightly to the left.
  • Thanks for the feedback! I strengthened the thins, made the /j more confident, and tweaked the /g.

    Here's a family picture of the bold lc and the first two bold caps:


  • The shoulder in hen doesn't match the shoulder in the regular. It has a more stern feel to it. Why not give the bottom of eszett the same terminal as s? Still a really interesting typeface, though!


  • Jasper: I'm not sure what you mean about the shoulders. They look pretty consistent to me, and they interpolate well. Do you suggest to bend the top further away from the arch in the bold? I'm not sure there's enough space for that. Or should I make the arch rounder...?

    As for the /eszett: I believe my first design of that glyph had an /s-like terminal, but I wasn't satisfied with the resulting shape and switched to the teardrop instead. I made a new /s-footed /eszett for comparison, but I think I still prefer the teardrop. Since I'm using the Sulzbacher form of /eszett, it doesn't really feel like a /ſs ligature, so I don't feel obliged to stick to the design of /s closely.

  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 933
    edited January 2015
    I tried making the arch rounder in the Bold, and it does look more consistent with the Light now. Good catch, Jasper!  :#

    (Left old, right new.)

  • First draft of the bold caps completed.

  • Are /H/ and /U/ too wide?
  • I see what you mean, Craig. It's strange how some glyphs want to become wider in the Bold (such as the /B) and others narrower... anyway, I made the /H and /U somewhat narrower.  The left leg of the /U felt strangely heavy afterwards, so I thinned it down a little. Does it show...?


  • Philip JacksonPhilip Jackson Posts: 38
    edited January 2015
    Something about the top of /f/ that irks me, probably drooping too forward. The u-s-i combo really needs kerning. The /u/ is slightly wide, and the /p/ make my gut think there is something wrong with the bottom where the bowl gets thin. (i really need to google terminology; at least I didn't say "that thingy where the thick thingy gets thinner in the bottom right really is stupid my gut said)"
    Also in the most recent image, what is that gray thing over the /O/ in HOUSING?
  • Hi Philip,

    thanks for the feedback.

    You're right: The /s/i sequence was too widely spaced due to overly generous sidebearings in /i and a slight asymmetry in the sidebearings of /s.  I've changed both. I made the /u narrower and shortened the serifs while I was at it.


    I'm not sure what you mean about the /f. I had a lot of trouble coming up with a shape that I liked for the Light, but the Bold strikes me as a rather natural extension of it. I deliberately chose a generous forward arc for the /f in general because that's one of the things I like most about Garamond, and it fits the decadence of this typeface. I suppose it looks particularly notable here because the extenders are so tall.

    As for the /p, I figure you meant the thickening where the bowl meets the stem. While pen logic sort of demands it, I noted Garamonds often cheat there, so I did the same. I thickened the thin bottom of the bowl a bit but reduced the thickening towards the bowl. I think it's an improvement.



    The grey thing was a cursor mark from the line above in Glyphs.
  • Second glance: the /t/ gets a little thin on the bottom of the apex. The /R/ is a little odd, it looks like there are a crossbar and a sharp curve mixed together and I think it should be a little more graceful. Also on the /R/ I think you should refine it as it looks spontaneous and impulsive. It's just my opinion.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 933
    edited January 2015
    Huh, I thought the monumental capitals had a three-stroke /R front, but apparently the loop is supposed to be one stroke... very well, then: is this better?

    Made the top of /t a bit heavier:

  • I like those /R/s. 
    /A/ has too much overshoot up top. 
    Looking at ROMA, the hairline width seems inconsistent (/M/'s look thinner than /A/'s for example). 
  • I think the /p/ has too little of an angled contrast. In absence of typeface terminology, here's the thin part. I put in 10 arrows to help you. Hopefully these arrows will **gently** guide you.  :p
  • Craig: Good point about the /A. I changed that and tweaked some of the other thins, too:

    Philip: Thanks for your valid, if passive-aggressive, point. The term you're looking for is "kerduddle".  ;o)  Better?


  • Yep. When one fails, go into "complete-clear-perfect-no-miss-version" mode. A nice artifact of having a fun personality (who knew my initials described me so clearly? [my profile pic]) and a perfectionist point of view.
  • In both /M/s (but especially the bold), I'd consider adjusting the strokes so that the two side counters come up closer to the same height. 
  • @ Philip: A perfectionist point of view is certainly a useful thing to have in type design!

    Making the stress in /p (and in /d, I guess?) more diagonal: Well, I've given it a try, but I'm not sure yet whether I prefer it over the more symmetric version. Do /p and /d look a bit eccentric now when juxtaposed?


    @ Craig: Good point about the /M; that previous bold version looks positively weird in retrospect. Better now?

  • The /p/ and /d/ look very nice; I think it gives it a natural handmade feel.
    Also, the apex on the /v/ and /w/ don't match the /A/, /V/, and /W/.
    The upper bowl of the /a/ is slightly square.
    **The capital /Q/, /O/, /C/, and /G/ are optically wide. It looks like... Times New Roman. Being the perfectionist for you. By the way, could you lengthen the /J/'s decender? It's killing me combined with the /j/.**
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 933
    edited February 2015
    Philip: Looking at the Garamonds on MyFonts, it seems like those with a tapering as opposed to teardropped /J design typically keep it shallower than /j. I think that might be because a /J reaching the descender line looks out of place in all-caps. I've now made a deeper /J for regular use to match /j, plus a shallower /J that gets substituted into all-caps by the .case feature.

    Vertices in /v/w: Good catch; fixed it.

    Squarish /a: My gut reaction was, «That /a is the seminal glyph for the whole typeface; I've doctored around on it for ages, and if I could make the top work without being squarish, I would have done it.» Then I did it anyway.  :# Nice catch!


    (old new old new)

    As for overly wide round capitals: I do think a certain generosity in the rounds well suits both the decadence of the typeface as well as the Garamond heritage. I might have been overdoing it a bit on the Bold, though...?

    Here I reduced the rounds by 10 units for the bolds. That seems to work quite well. I think I'll keep it.

    I did the same for the lights, but I'm less convinced here. I like the circular look of the /O and the overall airiness. I might keep the wide version here.

    It looks like... Times New Roman.

    Them's fightin' words! :p

    I've heard that before, concerning a different font of mine. I didn't agree then and I don't agree now, either.


  • Philip JacksonPhilip Jackson Posts: 38
    edited February 2015
    @Christian Thalmann  The /G/ is wide compared to the /o/ in TNR. I guess I can say Helvetica **not neue**; pretty wide caps there. Gill Sans, maybe? I checked out the comic thing that shall not be named; same thing.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 933
    edited February 2015
    How's Alcyon, Alcyone, or Alcedo for a name? They mean kingfisher in Latin. I've seen kingfishers near my home recently, and they just look gorgeous. There's some ancient mythology involved in the names for good measure.

  • Those (the first two) make me think of "halcyon," which certainly feels appropriate for a tribute to a great design of the past.
  • Yes, halcyon and alcyon are two Latin transliterations of the same ἀλκυών. Halcyon seems to be taken already.


    I like the classical air of Alcyone, but if I look at the name for a longer time, it starts to look really weird to me. There's also a certain cool inapproachability to it.

    Alcedo strikes me as a warmer but less known name. The sequence of round letters makes for a nice visual rhythm.

    I'm also considering Eau de Garamond, which I had originally intended for a sans project. It might make the font sound more derivative than it is, though...

    I also like Caerulean, both visually and acoustically, and it showcases the small counters in /a and /e well, but there's already an existing font called Cerulean NT. Is that a problem?




  • > I'm also considering Eau de Garamond, which I had originally intended for a sans project.

    If you choose this one I'd suggest using "Garamont", usually Eau de ... refers to a name.
  • Well, Garamond is just a different spelling of the name Garamont, right? The latter might be the hiſtorically accurate one, but the former is certainly the more well-known nowadays.

    usually Eau de ... refers to a name.

    Actually, I intend it rather to mean "distilled essence of [the] Garamond [typefaces]", in analogy to "eau de vie", "eau de parfum", "eau de coings" etc.


  • > Actually, I intend it rather to mean "distilled essence of [the] Garamond [typefaces]", in analogy to "eau de vie", "eau de parfum", "eau de coings" etc.

    Right, this will work.
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