Rejected by Myfonts

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Henrique Ibaldo
Henrique Ibaldo Posts: 12
edited November 2015 in Type Design Critiques
Hello TypeDrawers,
after a few years studying calligraphy and lettering design, I decided to create my first digital font for commercial distribution. However, as a self-taught with no mentors, my first attempt to sell on MyFonts was rejected. They encouraged me to continue studying, but weren't much specific about why my font was rejected. They only said they didn't see enough of "design quality, originality and/or completeness". I'm still proud of my work and will try to sell it in other platforms, and I'm grateful for them taking the time to review my work, but as a self initiated beginner, I could really make good use of some more specific critics about the typeface design itself, in order to improve. Saying that, I would like to invite you to have a look at Querencia, my first digital font, and give me any critic you think pertinent. Every word from you guys will be much appreciated and mean a lot to me, considering that everyone here has a valuable time. Proof sample attached.

Comments

  • Michiel Drost
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    Hi Henrique, I have just looked at Querencia. The basics for a font are certainly there, you just have to smoothen-up the curves a little bit. The capital K seems too wide. So it is just down to the artwork; drawing smooth curves. You will get better at it the more you practice. Keep at it!
  • James Puckett
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    This seems more like a cacophony of old font trends with no driving concept. You pulled lots of ideas together, but there’s no concept that defines the font. It’s just a love letter to other fonts you like—Mrs. Eaves, Gotham, Bodoni, Bleeding Cowboy, Domaine Text. That’s not something a graphic designer can use to express something. 

    If I were you I would just move on. Treat Querencia as a student project that you designed for the sake of learning. Start designing simple stuff with simple ideas before you move on to bigger projects.
  • Austin Stahl
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    Hi Henrique: I had a similar experience, getting rejected with minimal/vague feedback. Don't be discouraged! I'm actually glad it happened, because my skills are already so much better now than they were then — I needed to focus on continuing to learn rather than jumping right into selling.

    I think this looks a little too much like "Mrs Eaves with chunky wedge serifs." There's not quite enough to set it apart.
  • SiDaniels
    SiDaniels Posts: 277
    edited November 2015
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    Jan gave a talk on this subject at ATypI. I think the team that reviews submissions is small and they have to review a lot of fonts.
  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hi Michiel, thanks for taking some time to look at Querencia. I totally agree with you. I even made a contextual alternate for the capital K to "fix" this (I had a loose traking in mind when designing the typeface - does it make any sense?):
    About curves, I had the feeling that I was getting better on the latest designed letters than I was with the first ones. I will focus on getting better at this from now on. It will be one of my top priorities for sure. Thanks again for the valuable comments Michiel!
  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hi James, thanks for sharing your opinions about Querencia. The concept behind Querencia is Rio Grande do Sul’s (South of Brazil) culture, people and nature. It was based on transitional typefaces for historical reasons, so you are right about some references (is it too obvious?). My intention was to bring the tough personality of the Brazilian Gauchos to a typeface, which explains the "chunky wedge serifs" Austin mentioned. Also, it should have simple straight lines to make it easy to engrave on wood, iron or stone, giving it the rustic feel prevalent in southern Brazil. My biggest problem with the concept I was following was that Rio Grande do Sul doesn't have a solid and original typography history, so Querencia tries to simulate what would be a typographic heritage of my people (so there is a bit of fiction in it). However, the end result, in my opinion, really has the personality I was looking for, I mean, I can really see my people in it (and so can other southern Brazilians who saw it). I couldn't say that any of your mentioned fonts are a Gaucho font. I can with Querencia, though.

    Unfortunately, I thought I had reached this concept in a more universal level. You made me understand that for the rest of the world, Querencia might be just a "Mrs Eaves with chunky wedge serifs". Just the phrase "that’s not something a graphic designer can use to express something" teached me a lot. I have a feeling, per contra, that in a regional level it's going to mean something. Your comments helped me a lot, James. I really appreciate it, and will consider every word.
  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hi Austin! Thank you so much for the kind words! I will just keep learning as you said. I think you're right about "Mrs Eaves with chunky wedge serifs". My main historical reference was Baskerville, though. Thanks for taking some of your time to look at Querencia and for your encouraging feedback. It means a lot to me.
  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hi SiDaniels, they might have a lot of work, but I don't even think it is their job to give more specific feedbacks. So please don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining or anything. They were actually really nice to me.
  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hi Jan!

    It means a lot to me having you personally joining this discussion. I'm thankful for this, as I am for your feedback and for having your team reviewing my work, and I have already learned a lot from your generous contribution. I completely understand that it's not your job to personally coach everyone, this wouldn't even be viable, giving the amount of submissions you receive. However, I am grateful to you for all the valuable  (priceless) return I'm getting from TD, since getting feedback from experienced peers was an encouragement you gave me.

    I want to apologize if I ended up taking too much of your time, it wasn't my intention. I'm just tying to learn. I understand that Querencia's rejection wasn't a matter of personal taste, but a quality issue. Just having something to show you guys was a huge step for me, and I hope someday I'll be good enough to reach up to MyFonts' standards. In the meantime, I will keep seeking learning, as you advised me.

    I was very happy to be informed that all of the Foundry Guides are available now. The first two, "Getting Started on MyFonts" and "Are you ready for MyFonts?", had already helped me a lot as I'm sure it has been very resourceful to many others, and I was looking forward to read the next four.

    Thanks again Jan, for all the time and attention to this matter and to us, aspiring type designers. I guess at the end of the day, we all just want more beautiful typography in this world.






  • Ramiro Espinoza
    Ramiro Espinoza Posts: 839
    edited November 2015
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    @Henrique: Studying the proportions and features of classic roman typefaces relevant to our typographic tradition (i.e., the types of Pradell, Rongel, Gil and Espinosa) would be a good training exercise.
  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hi Ramiro,

    it took me some time to understand what you meant by "our typographic tradition". Thank you very much for the historic and cultural reference. I wish I had seen it before starting Querencia. This is something that I am very interested but know little to nothing about. I will try to dig deeper into the Caracteres de La Imprenta Real, and try to learn not only about the designs but about the history behind it and it's influence "down here".



  • Igor Freiberger
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    Querencia is a modified Berthold Baskerville regular. Basically, you changed serifs and terminals, keeping the original forms. It is a valid learning exercise, but not viable to commercial release.

    Besides the critiques already posted, I think you should define and follow general criteria to achieve good results. For example: you said the larger serifs aim to make easier wood or stone engraving. But if engraving with a rustic appearance is a target, you need to treat under the same criteria other elements. Q tail, g open bottom and most figures are not rustic at all and make wood engraving quite difficult.

    Considering Rio Grande do Sul's culture (I also live in Porto Alegre), you may also define what kind of expression you want to take as main reference: rustic, rural wood engraving, or late 18th Century typography used in most publications here until 50s. Both are culturally legit, but a first project mixing so different sources seems quite challenging.

    What about a visit to Hippolito José da Costa Museum? A regional face project would benefit a lot from the old newspapers texts and ads.
  • Ramiro Espinoza
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    I just spotted: the swashes look clumsy.
  • Michael Jarboe
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    (insight and idiom have to mature like wine IMHO)

    Love this.

  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hi Igor,
    thanks for joining the conversation! Querencia was already accepted by a major distributor, besides MyFonts rejection, but I'm not releasing it before improving some details. I was really lucky to get the help of a very experienced and generous designer who is now guiding me on this.

    I was also thinking about how the rustic feel could've been more explored, in order to have a stronger concept. I guess you are right about how challenging it was and I am very convinced that I didn't get exactly were I wanted. However, giving all the help and encouraging I'm getting, I have a feeling that I will get much closer next time.

    Visiting Hippolito José da Costa Museum is a great tip, I will definitely do it, probably even this week. Let me know if you want to go too, you could join me, we could get some references and change ideas.
  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Ramiro, if I could learn something about swashes from someone, it could certainly be from you. Would love to hear a few more words about it, if you please. Thanks for giving Querencia a second look.
  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hi Frank,
    I'm glad to have you taking some of your time to look at my work and sharing some thoughts. You have actually answered real doubts I had when designing the glyphs. Thanks for the illustration, it is very clarifying and shed some light on where to improve.
  • Michiel Drost
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    Hi Henrique, Our esteemed colleague Frank Blokland raises a valuable point in relation to type design; 'insight and idiom have to mature like wine'. So far I have designed more than twenty typefaces, none of those is suitable for commercial use (IMHO). I am still learning. It can be a long journey.
  • Ramiro Espinoza
    Ramiro Espinoza Posts: 839
    edited November 2015
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    Henrique, the fact that a distributor has accepted your font does not make it better. There are people out there that would publish anything, even more now that Myfonts is more picky.
    And if it is true your fonts share digital data with other commercial font, you could be risking receiving a cease and desist letter at some point. 
    My advise is to just abandon the project and start from scratch a new project trying not to repeat the same mistakes. 
    About the swashes: they look like you don't understand the contrast you should be using or/and you are not accustomed enough to draw pen strokes. In any case, you need to sketch and practice more before digitizing such things. 
  • [Deleted User]
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  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    Hello again everybody,
    I'd like to thank all the time, care and support I've had from the community so far. When I first got here, I wanted to learn things I knew I couldn't figure out by myself. What I didn't expect was the enormous amount of knowledge I was about to get. What I've learned from all the members contributions (public and private ones) is priceless to me, and way more than I could expect. Some guys here are like rockstars to me, and I was more than honored to have your critics and insights. I guess it is also important to mention that what I brought here was not, in any form, a modification of digital files provided by others. I wouldn't think it would worth your time, if that was the case; I wouldn't even want to distribute the font for free.

    Finally, I hope you keep the good will of sharing your knowledge with beginners like me. As Michiel said, it can be a long journey, and I'd like to add that this journey, for some, would be impossible without the generosity of others. In the future, on my next projects, I'll do everything possible to honor the knowledge and time you provided me here. I wish you all the best!

  • Henrique Ibaldo
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    By the way, thanks for sharing Latin 512 here, James. Analyzing it will be a masterclass to me, for obvious reasons.

  • Simon Cozens
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    Adam: and that's only because people like yourself (and many others here) are prepared to give their time, considered opinion and considerable expertise to help us newcomers onto the ladder. So thanks once again!