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Johannes Neumeier

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Johannes Neumeier
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  • Re: Quador – a squarish serif

    What makes you approach this as a display type? Looking at your design a whole array of reference typefaces come to my mind that have one or another feature you are also experimenting with, and none of those types were primarily aiming to be for display use. I'm asking because in regard to your questions the use case and size probably will give the best pointers to decide in terms of shape and stroke contrast. One the one hand features like the angular insides of the n shoulders echo something of a Swift, and seemingly aim to advance text readability. Some of the more strong and wedge like serifs make this design rather suited to smaller than larger sizes, in my view. On the other hand, the extreme ellipse can really only work when the point is to capture the eye's attention. I don't think the problem is how far can you push each aspect, but how to combine them.

    Overall I find myself glancing at the serifs at lot, which seem to have a couple of different appearances and come off as somewhat undecided and inconsistent. To my eye also the overshoots, especially in the caps, seem like they would need to be more pronounced.
  • Re: Color will be the new Italic. Color will be the new Bold.

    Mark van Wageningen / Novo Typo said:
    The reason to use color was to introduce hierarchy in the layout of the page. Later on color was often used to separate paragraphs with a colored pilcrow ¶ or a colored silcrow §. This brings us to the second direction in which color is used within typography.
    I'm sure no one is disputing the role of color in typography per se. Color fonts as letters constructed with several colors within every letter is different though. This breaks the idea of positive and negative shape that is so inherent to type. As you point out, this can be interesting exploration, and the examples you show have a visual novelty to them.

    In my opinion, this doesn't qualify this style for serving as highlighting in the way italic or bold works. In fact, the examples you show contradict this, since they are (have to be to work) display uses, where the visual attraction of the letters is the main focus, not differentiation from other, regular, text. Just because it's different doesn't means it's a synonym for bold or italic. To me, your claim sounds much like 'grunge is the new italic' or 'geometric fonts are the new bold' - it's too specific and too much of stylistic choice to be universally useful in the sense that you propose.

    Maybe the introduction of variable fonts might groom users to typeset with more intricate influence over the fonts they use - but the reverse deduction is equally valid: If variable fonts and the interfaces for manipulating their axes don't prove worthwhile to users, so might interfaces for setting the different colors or color schemes in color fonts.
  • Re: Color will be the new Italic. Color will be the new Bold.

    To me personally this trend mostly speaks of a longing for the analog. Be it illuminated scripts with color decorations, carvings with inlayed color, or woodblock prints with layered impressions of different color, the current trend in these types (be in implicit sets to be used in conjunction or multi-color font formats) relives that tangible aspect of typography - which readers young and old alike have come to reminisce about. As such, I think it's worth cherishing these new forms as stylistic evolution.

    From the point of view of designing type, however, I feel it's a gimmick. In the stylistic sense it is something that is easily recognised as trendy, and from a marketing standpoint innovators can thus claim new markets. Maybe it's because users of type don't feel confident (or can't afford to, in terms of time investment) to do these type of very graphic design laden experiments with type that they are comfortable with type designers picking colors and variations on their behalf - which makes this whole affair a tad bit more sad altogether.
  • Re: TYPE "A Magazine for People Curious About Fonts"

    Great stuff, curious about future posts! I know it's very 2000, but might I suggest you add the RSS link for the blog posts someplace visible? :)
  • Re: Sigil Serif - My first attempt at a font..

    Many designers seem to agree that is very fruitful to design not letters, but words. This will help you work out your typeface's tone and make you more appreciative of how the different shapes of the glyphs work together. Equally, keeping in mind a setting or use case to which this type would be applied to can guide you with design decisions and inspiration. Will this be a poster headline for an Art Nouveau exhibition, or the text on a commemorative stamp, or cast in iron as a fence gate? Each in turn informs your design by giving you some limitations within which to flesh out your idea, and a frame of reference from which to draw inspiration and insights.

    In terms of the actual shapes, I think you need more coherence in the reasoning behind the different modular elements. You have very playful, sharp and bendy arcs and the bowls, but the roofs and bottom of the serifs are blunt straight lines. A similar contrast of shape vibrance happens between the mathematically straight stems and round shapes in general. And by this I am not siding with either, nor am I saying the contrast is bad per se, only that it appears undecided. It is good to start with common shapes and "generate" new characters from those blueprints just like you did. However, especially with mirroring elements you need to be careful, as it can have a very unnatural feel (for example the j tail and mirrored p bowl on the q) - unless that is part of a victorian machine-made cast iron charm? 

    Keep drawing, keep posting, it is an interesting start!