Fachwerk - display geometric sans (1st typeface)

Hello all.

My name is Paulo, I'm a brazilian graphic designer. A few months ago I decided to recycle myself and got to study typography again. I'm currently in love with the geometric sans and decided to have a try on a typeface of my own after I discovered the FontArk web application - more comments on that below. 

Currently named "Fachwerk", the face is based on timber framing architecture which is very common in my region - we have a strong german heritage here. I've found an interesting image in which I saw some letters and started from there. 

I see it mainly as a display typeface. I played around with a possible beer/brewpub name as you can see in the PDF file (Kreusch Bier) and it seems to have a good vibe for these sort of application.

I am by no means a type designer but I am getting excited about the direction this personal project is taking.
I welcome any critique and hopefully this will become a proper typeface, with lower cases (only caps by now) and all.

In the image you can see a "creation timeline" which is the sequence of letters as I designed them. It started with an /K which has some cool personality and it's directly derived from the reference image, but some of the following letters lost a bit of the original character (no pun intended) so I tried to experiment and come up with some alternatives, more fitting to the initial concept as I saw more letters coming out of the image (apologies for my not-technical description here). 

The PDF has much more stuff and will provide a more adequate view of where the ideas are coming from.

My initial plan is to do this font on FontArk, but I have seen some discussions here about the skeleton/stroke/outline ways of working and I'm not setting up for anything definitive as yet. In Illustrator I've noticed that some tweaking is indeed necessary so this project is all about getting to know the process.

Please feel free to comment on any aspect you feel like and also feel free to use technical terms as I wish to really get to know the process well. A tutor is welcome.

One question regarding tools: I cannot invest on a proper tool at this time and I'm on a Mac. Any opinions on Fontforge and Birdfont?

Well, that's it. I thank you for having me and I will certainly appreciate all your critiques.



  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 689
    edited February 2017
    I don't know anything about FF on Mac, but it works pretty much fine on Windows and Ubuntu. Birdfont is (sorry, Johan) not worth your while.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 2017
    Hi Paulo, and welcome.

    You have a nice start, good first typeface practice, and cool inspiration source.

    I will split my comment to the technical and the styling/design aspects...

    On the technical side, it seems that your letters are not aligned and not at the same size, if this is not deliberate, most of it might have been caused by using 'no-cap' in the cap style on Fontark, this is shortening the stem edges by half the stroke's width, and need to be compensated by scaling up vertically.
    Optical corrections such as thinning a notch of the horizontal strokes and narrowing the top parts of B' S' Z' are required, and you have some spacing work to do as well.

    On the styling side, the angular K you started with is nice but it's uniqueness didn't pass on to the other letters in your first (red) letters set. 
    I like the green K' configuration most and the combination of curves.

    To advance in both aspects it'll be good to see your tests  as texts blocks ,we (us and you) will than see the typeface's appeal, harmony level and all technical stuff.

    As the creator of Fontark I will say that Fontark can serve you well up to the last stages of the design, you'll need another tool only for final tweaks and OT features and such. 
    If you need a hand with it, I'll be glad to assist.
  • Thanks Adam and Ofir for the inputs!

    Ofir, at the moment all I have was done in Illustrator, I have not initiated the work on FontArk yet. I will soon though.

    The letters should be the same size and aligned, yes. Thanks for the headsup on the "no-cap" option on FA, I will be sure to use it properly. I have played around with some variations (weights and inline) but nothing is set in stone at the moment.

    Optical correction is a concept I have just learned about, I saw a webinar from the guys at FontLab and I'm watching the FontArk tutorial as well. :) For what I have understood, I will do this a bit later in the process, after I have commit at least to the main character set. 

    I agree with the 'K, even though the first one was the starter of the idea, the one with curves is much more appealing. Any suggestions on how to apply this concept on other letters is welcome.

    I accept your help to use FontArk, of course, I will PM you shortly.

    Many thanks, hope this project may contribute to the other members as well.

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 2017
    Played a bit with it, the B' and R' seems to me like a good direction to work with the K'. The more you play with it the better you understand the language and find clean solutions.
    It is by far much easier and efficient to do it with FA than Illustrator.

  • Wow, that's amazing! I'm truly glad you liked it! I will try to catch up! :D 
    I have the impression you are a bit more savvy on FA than me though... :)

  • paulopriesspaulopriess Posts: 7
    edited February 2017
    I would like to thank Ofir for his kindness in teaching me the fundamentals of his FontArk tool, certainly FA deserves a lot of recognition and I'm sure it has its very unique space in the field! I'll keep this thread updated as I evolve with the design. Thanks!
  • Thanks Paulo, it takes it's time.
    Looking forward to see you advance with your typeface!
  • Some of the letters look like they can't agree on a baseline and a cap height, such as the /E and /N in «ENXAIMEL». I guess it's because you placed all the vertices on the guideline, but the stroke width then expands horizontal strokes beyond that like while the vertical stroke ends are not extended.
  • Some of the letters look like they can't agree on a baseline and a cap height, such as the /E and /N in «ENXAIMEL». I guess it's because you placed all the vertices on the guideline, but the stroke width then expands horizontal strokes beyond that like while the vertical stroke ends are not extended.
    Hi Christian, yes I did it in Illustrator and I didn't take care of that on the first draf, it was more a test of the shapes at that stage, preparing for FontArk. Ofir was kind enough to do a teaching session on FontArk and he showed how to take care of that issue directly on the app.

    I should have a first version soon.

    Thanks for the input!
  • I just found this typeface and it has a very interesting approach, quite similar to what I'm trying to achieve.


  • 1927, wow. It looks so modern. 
    There are plenty of works made in such styles, it is always a question whether to research (and how much) or jump into the water right away?
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