For the sake of elegance and user friendliness the wheel is being reinvented here.
I’m trying to come up with a clear and simple naming system for middle sized families:
- no Extra Extended / Semi Bold / Demi Condensed or other double worded names;
- trying to avoid long and similar looking words if it’s possible (Extended and Expanded; Condensed and Compressed – those look too similar and confusing in the menu, user have to read them);
- trying to avoid contractions or whatever you call it (Ext Exp Cond Comp Nar Bld );
- numerical systems are ok, but rather redundant unless you have about 7 widths.
(these rules can be bent if there are no other options)
Weight range is easy to do:
Semi / Demi
Super / Ultra
But what can you do with widths? Ben Blom
’s system XXXNar XXNar XNar is good for really big families. But what if there are like five widths? Then you’ll get only one X, meaning XNar and Nar, not so good. I like Narrow and Wide (shorter than Extended and Condenced), but how to add one more step on each side, except for Extra Narrow and Extra Wide? Are there any other words for that? Perhaps words that are unusual for font design, like Oversized or something like that?
A bit more specific question within the topic:
At the moment I’m working on a geometric typeface, its normal width with circlular O is quite wide. Would it be ok to use the word Text for a slightly condenced width? Like this: Narrow – Text – Normal – Wide – [Extra Wide]?
too long, eating up alot of menu space and on first glance not looking too distinct
wide and narrow do not have that problem to the same extend.
your weight names seem to be a no brainer,
agree on what u have there.
I recently did a custom job where I supplied lots of widths to test in layout
to figure out which are the best. At the time I didnt think too much about it and came up with a simple numbering to address the widths.
I simply called it: Regular 1, Regular 2, Regular 3, Regular 4, Regular 5, Regular 6, etc…
This Clusters the widths to the weight. not a bad thing per se…
So perhaps it might be something like:
Regular -2, Regular -1, Regular (0), Regular 1, Regular 2.
Does it look functional or confusing?
True! Are there any reasons to use words like Roman or Book instead of Regular?
Seems like it’s not a big deal, but I prefer to have the word Regular, because it’s easier to find by typing (you can type the name in the menu, like “Font Re…”, instead of scrolling).
kind of arbitrary.
im not liking the minus visually I guess i could accept it if the opposite is clearly denoted as such.
Regular +1 / Bold -2 etc…
Are you talking about width designation or weight designation? I’ve lost track.
Regardless, what would that percentage mean exactly? Literal percentage? Perceived percentage?
In terms of width, for example, an ‘n’ that is condensed by 50% (of what — advance width? glyph width? counter width?) and then corrected to look acceptable will end up a different percentage than an ‘m’ that is treated similarly and made to relate consistently.
50 – Condenced
75 – Semicondenced
100 – Normal
150 – Semiextended
200 – Extended
300 – Extra extended
That seems logical to me, but I can’t judge it objectively, so if you’re saying that it’s confusing I trust you
As dislike goes, this is pretty mild, but why create a system that is unnecessarily confusing?
Though on reflection, I do like 'ethereal' as a style name.
So most likely I’m going to use “Semi / Extra + Narrow / Wide” system, which is an ok compromise for me (and users).
Thank you all guys!