Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 516
edited February 2019 in Type Design Critiques
a generic grotesk going up to 11 (file attached below). Will have italcs. Family name is open for debate. :)


  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 171
    edited February 2019
    The Blot weight is interesting. Though, have spacing and kerning been worked out yet? That sticks out to me as needing refined more. Along with balancing some weight/contrast inconsistencies between characters (e.g. /k feels very dense compared to /c or /o in the bolder weights). In only some of the intermediate weights the stems have tapered/angled terminals where the curve joins (e.g. /r /g) while others are straight (e.g. /n).
  • Definitely raise the tittles, put at least some space under them. Ideally, center them on the same height across weights (Of course Blot can be an exception).

    To start to tackle the inconsistencies you'll have to decide whether this is meant to be a grotesk of visually equal strokes, as prevails in the capitals, or of noticeable vertical stroke contrast, as in most of the lowercase. The clotting of diagonal joins in the heavier weights will need to be addressed with cutting the negative space deeper to make subtly flared strokes, and/or, if the latter, token diagonal contrast.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 516
    edited February 2019
    K Pease said:
     You mean that the each lc is overall visually lighter than its UC? :)

  • The spacing is also going to need some work. The Light and especially the Thin need to be loosened up a bit. The Extrabold and Black need to be tighter, especially the Black. The spacing in the Regular is just a bit inconsistent: "gu" shouldn’t be obviously tighter than "ul," and "ar" seems tighter than the other straight-to-straight combinations. And it seems like the left side of the "a" is super crazy tight.
  • You mean that the each lc is overall visually lighter than its UC? :)

    Not exactly that, though it is a symptom. I meant that in much (but not all) of the lowercase, the difference between horizontal and vertical widths as exemplified in "o" goes a little beyond optical compensation and starts to resemble what we would call the "stroke contrast" or "stress" more often typical in serif faces. The capitals give the impression of a consistent weight. These two approaches are both valid, but they do not match each other, and as you're having more success with the capitals I would suggest you go that way.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 516
    edited February 2019
    Yes, I have to agree on both contrast and spacing remarks, thanks.
    Anyone notice any width inconsistencies? 
  • In "Medium" the lowercase m and cap M seem narrow compared to the "u".

    T and M seem a bit narrow; L and E a bit wide.

  • AbiRasheedAbiRasheed Posts: 187
    edited February 2019
    In the black version, k seems super heavy and 'a,c' look very light. UC for B and E seem a tad a too thick? There's also something about the 'a' all across the board, like it needs more negative space and wider.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 516
    edited March 2019
    Is the name appropriate? I based it on "moxy". I tend to avoid non-English names for branding reasons.
  • The name sounds more like a name for an over-the-counter medication to me.
  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 171
    I like some of the punchiness to it, but I also seem to too quickly connect it to "toxic". 
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,854
    The weight difference between the caps and lowercase is really visually jarring, for me. Particularly (but not only) in the Medium and Bold samples.
  • Rob BarbaRob Barba Posts: 41
    Is the name appropriate? I based it on "moxy". I tend to avoid non-English names for branding reasons.

    Moxie particularly comes to mind when you said that.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 516
    edited April 2019
    I am having trouble getting Adobe products to recognize the Hairline, Normal and Blot weights. I looked at similar fonts and tried to rename them in the FL5 info panel as Thin, Normal and Heavy or ExtraBlack, respectively, but neither InDesign nor Illustrator register the change. Any ideas?
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,854
    I’d want to peruse the font metadata (names, usWeightClass) to figure that one out. If you would like to share the fonts privately I could do so. I'd run CompareFamily, etc.

    And of course there is also the possibility of font caching being the problem. I wrote about that (and solutions for it) on my blog a while back:
  • I PM'd You
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 549
    Rob Barba said:
    Is the name appropriate? I based it on "moxy". I tend to avoid non-English names for branding reasons.

    Moxie particularly comes to mind when you said that.
    And it comes from an Abenaki Indian word meaning "dark water"! And here I thought it came from the Chinese word "moksha" as in moxibustion - the variant of acupuncture where the needles are heated.
  • Isn't it a term for "gutsy"? The magician Pen Gilette named his daughter Moxie CrimeFighter Jillette, that's where I got it from.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,854
    edited April 2019
    @Vasil Stanev
    So, yeah, your Windows menu names and style linking data in these fonts is... less than ideal. What tool are you making these with?
    Note that while some of the requirements are Windows-based, the style linking also gets used on Mac and in Adobe apps (that do their own platform-independent thing).

    FontLab’s guidance on this stuff is here:

    Reading one or both of these may be helpful to get a general understanding. Basically, the legacy Windows family and style names (name ID 1 and 2 on Windows) need to be divided into "Windows families" of no more than four members, which can have styles of Regular, Italic (or Oblique), Bold, and Bold Italic (or Bold Oblique). Typically these days type designers always keep italics in the same Windows family as the upright, and link the regular and bold and their italics together. For all other weights, they do two-member style groups.
    In your family you seem to have, urm, missed these Windows requirements. Hence your trouble!
    The "bold" flag in TTF is specifically about the style linking, so it might do some odd things if not synchronized with the NameID 2 info.
    I'm sending you the output from running a CompareFamily check on the fonts, btw.

  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 904
    Moxie comes from the trade name of an American soft drink popular in the late 1800s, early 1900s. It was flavored with bitter herbs that were purported to strengthen one’s nerves. In popular slang, having Moxie came to mean “having strong nerves, courage, or gumption.”
    I don’t believe the Chinese have any such word as moksha The Japanese word for mugwort (the plant used for moxibustion) is mogusa, from which supposedly the moxa- component of moxibustion derives.
    The word moksha that I am most familiar with is from Sanskrit — mokṣa (मोक्ष) — and has nothing to do with any of this.
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 549
    edited April 2019
    Either my memory is playing tricks on me, or the TV show I had heard a mention of "moksha", in a context that made it seem like it was basically similar to "chi" or qi in meaning, was mistaken. Doing a web search, I see you're right.

    And, incidentally, the special ingredient of Moxie was gentian root, not mugwort, so that doesn't connect to the name.

    In the early years of MAD Magazine, Moxie was referenced in its artwork, keeping its memory green.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,854
    edited April 2019
    So, I got FontLab 5 VFB files from Vasil, and found a few issues....
    One small thing: if the weight used in the file name and the internal value of the font are different, this is likely to lead to confusion. Best to keep them the same (looking at hairline/thin and blot/heavy).
    Each weightclass must be unique. So having two styles Regular and Normal both getting 400 is bad (and weird). Having two 900s is not so weird, but equally problematic (black and blot/heavy). I suggest renaming "normal" to "Medium" and giving it weightclass 500. Change the bold label to semibold and make it 600. Extrabold to bold and 700. Black to Extrabold and 800. Then Blot/Heavy to Black and keep it 900. Then you have eight unique weights and all will be good in that regard.
    You'll be changing the PS Font Name and the Full Name (at least) doing the above exercise. 
    Once you have those things unique....
    ALL of these fonts have the same "Family Name"—but this being FLS 5 "Family Name" means the old four-member style-linked family. No more than two weights plus italics. You have eight weights sharing this. That is a Problem.
    So, for every style OTHER than Regular and Bold, go into FontLab 5 Font Info, and under "Names & Copyright" click on "OpenType-specific names" and then click the green diamond to build these names automatically.
    For each style (*other than regular and bold*), after you do that, go back to the "Basic set of font names" and...
    1) for "Family Name" change it to include the style. So for example, the Black style will have a Family Name of "Moxic Black".
    2) For every style other than your new Bold, UNCHECK the checkbox that says "Font is Bold"
    3) For every font other than the Bold, take the "Style Name" entry and set it to Regular. There are only four possible values here (well, six if you count oblique as well as italic). This is about the style-linked group or "styling group" and not about the full range of styles possible. Think Windows style groups, not abstract styles for this.
    (You could have done this earlier, but then you would have had to do the OpenType style names by hand, so that's why I had you generate them before making the legacy Windows family names more Windows-friendly.)
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 516
    edited April 2019
    Thank you for the detailed and extremely useful help! Much appreciated. However, I am beating my head to how also resolve the internal weight issue. UC is currently too heavy for it's lc in almost all weights, as pointed to me above. The font runs at two speeds simultaniously, I see it clearly now.. I have a mind to generate a MM just for the lc and generate new, slightly more correct weights. But that would mean losing all the work I put into finetuning each weight. Perhaps there is some smarter way...?
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