Clark — Type Critique

Kyle Wayne BensonKyle Wayne Benson Posts: 14
edited April 2013 in Type Design Critiques
I designed Clark in 2011 because I was looking for a more humanist approach to condensed, modernist, titling type that I kept running into. The more time I've spent revising it, the more modernist it has become. Realistically, the only humanist thing about it was its flaws. I initially wanted it to be used for titling and in display applications, but I'm open to it being used for text. Currently it has five weights.


This is my first time posting, though I've spent a good amount of time reading. I'm hoping to good some good, honest help before I continue into the italics. I'm a graphic designer turned type designer hobbyest — so I'm prepared for the critique of my life. If this face gets you ranting and you want to continue critiquing there's plenty available over at my site:

Character Inventory:
Clark Thin Character Inventory


  • Hallo!
    I designed & published a type called Clark in 2011…

    Your looks nice, but I'll rework the /s/ /a/ & /e/
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,345
    The uppercase and lowercase look like two different fonts. The lowercase I wouldn't describe as humanist nor modernist but really kind of techno.
    There are big weight imbalance problems particularly with the capitals with diagonals.
    I would start by reworking the /a/ -- it seems like figuring that out will help you figure out what this typeface is all about, but right now it's pretty unappealing.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,946
    edited April 2013
    This font is suffering from too many ideas and inconsistent drawing. There’s not a big need for another ATF-style condensedgothic on the market, so I recommend focusing on the techno side of this. Find the things that give it personality and play those up while dropping a lot more of the stuff that looks like it was borrowed from an old ATF design.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,815
    With regard to reworking the /a/ as Craig suggests, consider what causes it to appear to sag towards the lower right.
  • I'm glad I posted this for critique, because I wasn't even worried about the /a/. But it seems the consensus is to focus on that. Honestly, the only parts of it that I'm pretty fond of are the /a/, /e/, and /s/. I must not have an eye for this, yet.

    Craig, I've been worried about the diagonals for a while. As I don't have any formal training in this, I'm never sure how to weight them. Any advice there?

    James, I'm not a big fan of most of ATF's catalog. Anything specific you'd recommend changing?

  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,345
    Craig, I've been worried about the diagonals for a while. As I don't have any formal training in this, I'm never sure how to weight them. Any advice there?
    Start by squinting at the last line of your second image in this thread. Don't the W and A stick out to you as much darker than the rest of the line? The solution: find ways to take away black and/or add white until they don't stick out anymore!
  • Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. They've all been pretty constructive, for the most part.

    With the help of James Edmondson, I made some adjustments to the weight of the /a/. There's a lot of brainwashing in web design (my background) that things be pixel perfect. It's been very hard for me to walk away from that and realize that a lot of type design is optical and not weighted by mathematic distribution.

    Any thought on this adjustment? Should I push it further?
  • Alex KaczunAlex Kaczun Posts: 163
    Kyle—pay more attention to the transition of curves from straight to round. Keep them visually consistent. Repeat shapes throughout font. Here is adjusted "a" to illustrate my point.

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