Skeletal script face

Hi All,

I frequented the Typophile equivalent of this board a good few years back and always found it helpful. I’ve drawn my fair share of amateur letters since (primarily for logomarks or identity projects) and thought I might try posting some work again, absorb feedback and hopefully improve! I’d love to (at some point) be in the position to release my own faces but there doesn't seem to be a clear roadmap showing what to learn and at what point in the process. At the moment I’m making typefaces for my own use on client work as part of my design practice.

Anyway, it’s been a horrible rainy weekend here in Dublin so for some escapism I delved into designing a script hairline for fun and hopefully to learn more about Glyphs too. It’s a display face but am thinking of doing a variety of weights or perhaps one thin and one thick. I know there are plenty of similar faces out there like Klimax, Marian and Line so I’m curious if others feel this is too close to those or whether it can be pushed to have a life of its own.

Any and all feedback, thoughts or advice appreciated.  



  • beautiful letter shapes and rythym
  • This is cool. I actually like the unusual /f — it's distinctive!

    One small thing that bugs me is that the final strokes on /g and /j look like they're trying to be connecting strokes, but don't really connect to anything. They look cool when they're the final letter of a word, but otherwise they feel awkward (especially when doubled!). Did you try a version of those letters without those final strokes?

  • Dyana WeissmanDyana Weissman Posts: 327
    edited November 2015
    I think this looks great. I agree with @Laura Worthington, the connecting element on the /f and /t are distracting. I second the idea for alternate forms for now. Right now it gives me the impression that the rest of the letters should connect... which is a whole other typeface, really, and a long path to go down. 

    I'm also distracted by the /X, perhaps a straight / stroke, with more of a curve in the \ stroke? Or maybe that it's just too wide. And the /z also pops out way too much at me in text. While the overall look does have a bit of a cursive feel to it, this character just seems too far cursive for me, versus the rest of the letters. Perhaps if there were more very cursivey letters to balance it out, it would work, but I'd be interested in seeing something a little more italic. 
  • Thanks all for the input, very much appreciated. Pdf with updates below.

    @Laura Worthington I tried what you suggested with a
     rounded e which I think might have a friendlier feel to it, let me know what you think. @Austin Stahl I might keep a stylistic set with all those angular connections like /f /t /g /j, I would like to incorporate them and make the descenders connect as per @Dyana Weissman’s suggestion which feels like a more cohesive way to handle all those characteristics. I toned down that /z somewhat but maybe it’s still too much and just needs to be straight like the /Z ?

    The uppercase I barely touched for the minute apart from the specific characters highlighted; still have to look at Chancery styles as suggested, so will let that stew for a bit and see what decorative aspect I could bring to it.

  • I like the /z much better, but as an exercise you might try coming up with 5 different versions of it and see if you don't stumble upon something you like even more. Also, to clarify, I would caution you away from making the letters connect, beyond a few choice ligatures such as the /ct. In the future you can always revisit/expand, but I think this shows a lot of promise unconnected as it is. 
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,398
    edited December 2015
    That /e/ is much more tightly wound than I was expecting, but it works well with the other letters.
    There is so much "crossing over" the stems in the lowercase (e.g. /b/g/p/) that I'm a little surprised the /B/ and /R/ are "detached." 
    How to handle tittles in an ultralight monoline design is always tricky. I think yours might be just an eensy bit too heavy. Did you try vertical-line versions?
    You're getting dark spots where two strokes gradually tangent into each other (e.g. /b/d/m/p/r/) but that's something you can try to clean up at the end. 

  • Did a small bit more on this. The letters in question from feedback above. Still not sure whether to “undetach” the /B and /R ?    

  • Love the teardrop counters in /a etc.

    Some of the transitions from straight to curve snag my eye, e.g. in the tail of /g or top of /f. Maybe tension offloading would help there.

    The /M and /m strike me as too narrow. Maybe the /M could use some sloping outer stems. It nadir also doesn't look centered between the outer stems. Spacing feels very tight in general.

    The clinical caps seem very different in flavor to the lively lowercase. I would definitely plug the gap in /B/R and maybe tune back the curl in /C and /G in the current set.

    I could also imagine a more scripty set of caps (perhaps as a stylistic alternates) could work well. Maybe look to swash Garamonds for inspiration?
  • Thanks for the feedback @Christian Thalmann. Not sure on the /g and /f what you mean by “tension offloading”, I brought the points in the curve to smooth it slightly but dont think that’s 100% what you mean?

    I widened the /M and /m as you suggested and incorporate the sloping which I quite like. I also opened up the spacing a bunch overall so hopefully it feels less cramped now :)

    Looked at these too…

    Will look into the swash caps too! Thanks for all the input.
    Also I looked at a version without the “semi serifs” within the lowercase. Here are pdfs of both.

  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,941
    edited September 2017
    Thanks for the feedback @Christian Thalmann. Not sure on the /g and /f what you mean by “tension offloading”, I brought the points in the curve to smooth it slightly but dont think that’s 100% what you mean?
    It's really hard to make Bézier curves transition smoothly from a straight stem to a curve. I often find that I can make either the curve look right or the stem part look straight, but not the other at the same time. In your /g, for instance, I suspect you tried to make the straight/round transition in the tail as gradual as possible, but as a result the tail's curve looks a bit awkward, like it's been pressed flat from the bottom right direction.

    It's possible, though, if you add another set of on-curve points halfway through the curve (in the diagonal, as it were). Draw your Bézier so as to make the curve look right, add in the diagonal points, and then pull back the on-curve points at the straight/curve transition. The diagonal points will fix the other half of the curve so it doesn't get distorted by the work on the transition area.

    I believe that's called tension offloading, but I'm not sure, I only read it in a forum post somewhere. Maybe ask one of the learnèd people around here to be sure. :grimace:

    As for your sample: The /m still strikes me as too narrow, and the arches are visibly uneven in width.
  • Great thanks @Christian Thalmann, something more like this perhaps or still flat-pressed? wider and more even /m too. 

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