Structured Slab

I've not been active on this forum much, and for good reason — I hadn't been making much for the past few years. Recently my interest has been spiked by various things - my favorite band having 2 custom fonts, maybe. Anyways, this is a sort of a "revival" of one of my later Fontstruct fonts. It isn't that special of a slab serif, but I haven't seen a font with the sort-of ball terminals on letters such as /a here. Spacing is temporary - played around with HTLetterspacer, and I'm not so sure about some letters, so I'd like some feedback before I flesh this out into a full font.


  • Generally speaking, I find this pleasing enough to the eye. My only two quibbles are 1) the tail of the lowercase a is too thick—it jars my eye when it's next to a serif; and 2) the curves on the lowercase s are funky, and the overall shape looks top-heavy—I like my S shapes to have a little more butt.
  • This is very nice work! Pretty polished for something at an early stage.

    The /s has a few issues. The top terminal is heavier than the bottom, making it look unbalanced—if different, the bottom should be heavier, but probably should just have the same terminal top and bottom. Whichever one you prefer, make them the same and it will look more even. Also, the top aperture is too big compared to the bottom; traditionally the top is noticeably smaller. (They may well be the same size, but that “looks wrong” for optical/historical reasons.) You could also move just the slightest bit of weight from the top and bottom of the /s in favor of the spine.

    The arm of /r could be a little bit thicker at the end.

    Although I love angled /e crossbar in general, I am not convinced it is really working at the moment.

    The /p and /q x-height serifs end up feeling a bit weak compared to other serifs, including the descender serifs on the same letter. It is a side effect of how you have thinned the vertical they attach to. Even though the serif itself on /r is pretty much the same, the /r feels much sturdier. I would be inclined to move that junction between the serif and the bowl on /p and /q more towards the bowl to make the vertical stroke stronger there.

  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 242
    This is a nice start, as others have said...

    To me, I think the /z could also have a little more width at the base, maybe just extending the bottom out stroke to the right just a bit for more balance.

    The down leg of the /k feels a little thin/weak and could perhaps use a little more weight (see the /v for comparison).

    I don't know for sure, but optically it almost appears as if the weight balance is flipped on the /x.
  • Evie S.Evie S. Posts: 74
    Update with the suggestions implemented. Hopefully the /s looks better, I think I've been staring at it too long to tell.
  • Agreed, this is a solid start. What typefaces are you referencing for this?

    My eyes pick up that the /g is a little off in weight distribution. The middle horizontal is traditionally the heaviest part. The top bowl on the right and bottom-right side is a little too heavy, as is the right and bottom of the loop which could also pull a little further right, about even with the ear. Look at PMN Caecilia, and TheSerif by LucasFonts, specifically their weight distribution.

    The /r arm can still be heavier at the terminal, imo. Since it doesn’t have the round-slab serif it looks bottom-heavy. 

    /k counters could also be a little more even in color. One way would be to lose the inner serif on the leg. Or, extend the inner serif on the arm.

    Are the /t and /f crossbars heavier on purpose? I would be inclined to have them the same thickness as the /u serifs.
  • To me the old /s was better balanced in terms of the angle (not weight) of the lower terminal. I.e. I would push the terminal a bit down, or do something else to break the strong diagonal impression that the now-identical terminals bring in a generally orthogonal-stress environment.
  • /k still looks unbalanced. It's not just the stroke thickness as you've adjusted--pay attention to the relative sizes of the counters. I think you'll want to raise the connection, since the baseline serif cuts into the white space. 
  • Evie S.Evie S. Posts: 74
    As for references, I occasionally check in on PMN Caecilia, Adelle, and more recently Graublau Slab. I went to a halfway point on the /g suggestion, moving the ear up and left and making the bowl slightly bigger and wider. Followed all other suggestions - a bunch of tiny tweaks on the /k, and changing the crossbar weight revealed that /z needed slightly less weight on the top and bottom.

  • Nice improvement overall, Evie. That /g, though, still need some consideration. I would even suggest drawing one or two possible replacement options (slab for an ear, single storey, different loop structure, etc.). This one, maybe it is just the leafy-ear, but also the sloping horizontal, feels too organic and soft among those chunkier slabs.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,896
    edited January 2020
    The tail of /a/ looks truncated to me — maybe something as in /d/ would work better?

    And is /k/ just a bit too narrow?
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