Condensed Slab Display (no title)

Chris DChris D Posts: 76
edited January 2016 in Type Design Critiques
Hi there,

I'm working on a rough idea I had a while back for a condensed slab serif display, something that has a bit of a solid, masculine feel to it, but also a little antique and rugged. There's no real purpose for it yet other than it being an exercise for me to get back on the type design saddle again, after having yet another long break from it! But I hope to eventually expand it into a full Latin alphabet set.

These are the only letters I've drafted so far after a half day's work, and the lowercase /g/ is really just an idea i'm tossing around at the moment, and I may make it an alternate if it's too distracting. I wonder if the sharp barb on the tail of the /g/ is a bit too jarring, or if that sets a nice point of difference in the design.

One thing I'm making heavy use of in Glyphs 2 is the smart components feature, where you can quickly make up serifs that can be adjusted across the entire design, and "morph" other things like the shapes of the shoulders of the /n/ vs /m/ fairly rapidly. It's a pretty incredible time saver I have to say. 

Anyway I'd be keen to hear anyone's thoughts and suggest anything that could be improved on a bit more as I continue developing it!


  • Regarding to proportions, the 'n' looks wider than the 'o'. Remember open shapes look always bigger than close shapes. The 'm' is too wide, it shouldn't be a double 'n'. The space between characters is too tight.
  • Chris DChris D Posts: 76
    edited January 2016
    Thanks! Tightening the /m/ shape has helped a lot, and I also widened out the /o/ a little more. I've attached a new sample, do you think the spacing is still a little too tight here? Spacing is not one of my strengths... 

    Edit: Sorry, I noticed the spacing was too tight on /g/ so I've uploaded Proof 2a.pdf as the latest.
  • When you do the metrics, it is helpful if you check it in different sizes. If you design this typeface for body text, the space between characters is definitely very tight. Check it for example at 10 or 12 pt size. Think about the white space around the letters, you have to create a consistent rhythm. The white space between letters should be balanced with the inner white space of the letters.
  • I wouldn't get too hung up on small details right now. You have a very long way to go, and if you're going to ask advice every time you do a letter it's going to take for ever. It would be best to create some more letters to get an overall feel of the design then come back when you have done the caps and lower case. You'll gradually gain more confidence as you go along and have an idea of what does or doesn't look right. As you progress with the design you'll also see how the spacing should be, but you can sort that later.
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