Eau de Garamond — a sans distilled from the essence of Garamond

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Comments

  • I'm not sure what you mean. The interior structure of /a is certainly objectively lighter than that of the other letters, but the overall impression looks right to me. The /c needs the heavy stem to make up for its gaping counter...
  • Objectively yes. But to me it looks too unbalanced – sorry and maybe I'm wrong, but I'm missing the elegance of the lighter weights …
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,401
    edited January 6
    For the record, I've officially renamed the typeface Ysabeau, and pushed a pre-release of the current status quo on GitHub. The Black master is still very much in progress (only basic Romans, no Italics yet), but everything from Hairline to Bold should be ready to use.
    Happy new year! :grimace:
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,591
    The "a" has the right density, but I think in this design it would work better if at least one of the strokes were heavier. It feels like you are making contrasting, arguably conflicting design decisions in the "a" and the "c"; either would be fine in isolation, but they don't go quite right together.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,401
    edited January 8
    @Arne Freytag: «I'm missing the elegance of the lighter weights …» — I would generally expect the Black cut of any typeface to be less elegant than the lighter weights! :grimace:
    @Thomas Phinney: Hmmm, I've tried to go in the direction you suggest, but I'm not sure I'm succeeding. Is that better (right)?

    The difficulty here is that I have to transition from the typeface-defining closed /a of the lighter weights to the open /a of the Black for lack of space.

  • I think you could make the black 'a' a lot more closed than it is. The black is not going to be used for text anyway. I agree with the others that stylistically, the light and black give off very different vibes. Also an option you could perhaps consider: don't go all the way to black, but stop at bold or xbold, where there is still sufficient room for elegance.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,401
    edited January 8
    Jasper, I'm not going to dump the (largely finished) Roman Black master just because one glyph is less elegant than in the lighter weights. In fact, I find the heavy end of the spectrum significantly contributes to the versatility of Ysabeau as a typeface system. The Bold master works well for highlighting things within copy, but when used as a headline font, its unapologetic Garamond proportions (low x-height, tall ascenders) do not produce that compact slug shape that conventional sanses deliver in such contexts. The heavier weights work nicely in that context, though.
    All things considered, I don't consider that Black /a to be particularly uncouth, it's just a bit of a departure from the lighter weights. I'm happy to experiment a bit more with closed designs, but I fear they're inevitably going to produce a very inelegant arch and terminal.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,591
    Christian: Yes, I think that is a step in the right direction.
  • Of course, it's your baby :) It's just that when I look at the current black 'a', I expect it to be part of something more grotesque, and I think that's something to avoid. Perhaps lowering the middle bar could also help with this? (as well as make more room for the upper part)
  • Lowering the bowl was a great idea. There is, in fact, enough space for a closed design. I guess I was stuck in a local minimum there. Thanks for the push! :grimace:

  • Much better! Final remark: maybe make it a bit less masculine (i.e. more round) all around?
  • I don't subscribe to the notion of gendered type...
    Do you mean the Black, or all weights? The typeface's conventions pretty much demand sharply cut stroke ends, and I want to preserve some of the asymmetry of the iconic Garamond /a/'s arch. That doesn't leave much wiggle room for rounding... I also don't want to let too much white into the shape; it's already lighter than the previous /a/.
  • Jasper de WaardJasper de Waard Posts: 399
    edited January 8
    Just the black. I meant to make the curves that are already present 'more round' as in: decrease the length of the curve handles. I often find myself wanting to say something like that, but not being able to find the right words.

    On second look, I think my issue is primarily with the curve of the middle part.

    Edit: Or its angle. It's much less steep than in the light weights.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,401
    edited January 9
    Just the black. I meant to make the curves that are already present 'more round' as in: decrease the length of the curve handles. I often find myself wanting to say something like that, but not being able to find the right words.
    De-super? :grimace:
    I'll look into that slant thing. My instinct is to say it has to be less steep due to space constraints, but actually trying such things out often proves me wrong (such as above).
    EDIT: Yep, it actually works! :grin:

  • Now that I'm at it, the bottom of the stem of u seems a bit too low. The s looks backslanted in a vertical direction (I realize that probably doesn't make sense. Try this: rotate 90° to left, slant to the right a little, and rotate back.) The two horizontal points on the inner curve of b could go left a little. In short: you have more space for manouvring than you seem to think in the black. I might be exagerating a little here and there, but I think the black is not quite at the level of the lighter weights ;)
  • Ori Ben-DorOri Ben-Dor Posts: 280
    I liked the previous /a better :/ (I mean the one you posted 6 replies above, the one I "agreed" with).
  • I liked that 'a' too, but for a different typeface.
  • Ori Ben-DorOri Ben-Dor Posts: 280
    I like it better even in the context of this typeface :smile:
  • I’d say the earlier version is prettier, but the second one is more in character. The latter is probably healthier for the typeface overall. 

    Jasper, I’ll look into that. I sort of agree on the spur of /u/, though it’s pretty subtle. Not sure about /b/, since the counter is not symmetrical in the other cuts either.

    I think it’s less of a lack of attention to the Black master and more of a blind spot on my side. I’ve only made a single font as black as that before, and it was geometric. I wasn’t aware there was still that much room for humanist nuances in a Black. 
  • Could you show "Ithaca mitigated" again?
  • Ori Ben-DorOri Ben-Dor Posts: 280
    I’d say the earlier version is prettier, but the second one is more in character. The latter is probably healthier for the typeface overall. 
    I'm not sure I agree. I think maybe you took it too far. New black /a is almost too round, in my opinion. That also makes it look almost too narrow. Maybe you could try some intermediate version?

    Actually, I'm asking myself if middle weight /a doesn't suffer from the same problem. It's very subtle, though, so I'm not certain about any of that. I just think I'd keep playing with it a little more.
  • I'm not sure I agree. I think maybe you took it too far. New black /a is almost too round, in my opinion. That also makes it look almost too narrow. Maybe you could try some intermediate version?
    Not sure what you mean by too round here... if anything, it might be a bit too light now, with that new wedge of air coming in from the left.
    As for «narrow», that is a desirable impression here, given that the Garamond /a/ is strikingly narrow. In fact, it's that one aspect of the Garamond /a/ that suffers most from the constraints of the Black weight.
  • Ori Ben-DorOri Ben-Dor Posts: 280
    I mean I wish the top half was a bit more super-elliptical, like the previous version (but maybe not as much). Perhaps a 50-50 blend with the previous version would look nice.
  • Jasper de WaardJasper de Waard Posts: 399
    edited January 10
    The black 'c' also feels a little grotesque to me. Why doesn't the bottom terminal end thinly, like the e? The black 'd' is quite square (or super, as you might call it), while the light one is beautifully round. To some extend that's a necessity, but I feel the black could be a little rounder, especially on the top. Also, the tittles look a little big to me in all the weights, though I guess that might just be a matter of taste. 
  • Sye RobertsonSye Robertson Posts: 226
    edited January 11
    Just saw this now and only want to say that it's looking really interesting to me, and I'm not a fan of Garamond - in the sense I can never seem to find a way to use it well, and I tend to prefer darker text faces. I look forward to seeing where this ends up :-)
  • Sorry, but the /t looks like an accident to me. It has two diagonals on the top. Try to draw the left side more straight vertical like the terminal of /h just beside. Your black face must not be 100% consistent to the other weights. And the tail does still look deformed to me, maybe it should look more the /a.

  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 362
    edited January 11
    In “Ithaca mitigated”, /h/m/d/ draw attention quite a bit because of their mere height. I'm not sure if they're wide, or if the /a/ is light, because this particular string is quite /a/-saturated :) But I think /c/ looks thin next to /h/ as well. How about departing from the nominal stroke width for the /a/? And maybe some other glyphs of rather petite physique?
    About the /t/, I like it, I don't see a reason why there shouldn't be two diagonals.
  • I mean I wish the top half was a bit more super-elliptical, like the previous version (but maybe not as much). Perhaps a 50-50 blend with the previous version would look nice.
    The super-ellipticity made the arch look like a flab rather than a stroke. I'd rather not go back to that.
    Jasper: The tittles also stood out to me; I figure I'll reduce them a bit. I'm happy to try out a heavy-footed /c/. Not sure about /d/, I thought the superness was necessary to yield the necessary weight... but I'm often wrong about such assumptions, after all. :grimace: 
    Arne: I like the current top of /t/ and don't plan to change it. Garamond embraces the almost-x-high /t/ of Carolingian heritage, which I've adopted as one of my signature moves. If anything, the bottom of Black /t/ strikes me as too cursive; I'll have to make it a bit rounder.
    Adam: I'm sure the /a/ already departs from nominal stroke width, what with all that interior complexity. I can maybe try to shift some weight around to the left side. I'd prefer it to keep some of its slender character, though.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 362
    edited January 16
    Oh right, it does! But I meant departure in the opposite direction; now knowing the stems in the /a are more slender, I have to clarify: I would have them depart less. (I thought the stems in /a and /h were nearly the same, so I was suggesting that stems in /a could actually be thicker than in /h, and the whole /a could be wider so that it doesn't compete with /h, among others, and lose badly).
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