First Font - Thoughts/advice needed

Hi all,

This is my first attempt at font design. It's a geometric sans-serif font based on some Modernist fonts.

So far, I've created a full latin glyph set with 7 weights (Thin, Light, Regular, SemiBold, Bold, ExtraBold, Black) and tweaked the kerning. I am planning on adding an actual italic set in the future. 

There's been a huge learning curve but I'm pretty excited to get some feedback and thoughts from experts and polish this up before publishing. 

What do people think of the overall style? I am worried it seems too "generic".
Thoughts on the lettering/kerning (understandably the image doesn't cover all kerning pairs)?
What can I work on? What seems to work well here?

Thanks in advance! Definitely still a long ways to go! 


  • Thomas Phinney
    Thomas Phinney Posts: 2,800
    edited February 2020
    Yes, the overall style is not unique. But that’s OK! It is your first typeface, and it is mostly a learning experience. I think the most important thing is to spend some more time on the craft of type design. In particular, there are a lot of optical issues that need to be dealt with. Here are some that stand out for me.

    - A little more overshoot for the rounds would be welcome in both regular and bold.

    - in the bold lowercase, the tops and bottoms of curves on abdghmnpqu are all pretty pinched. The highest and lowest points of the curves on these offset shapes need to be, well, offset. Take a look at just about any professional typeface in a medium or bold weight, and see the difference in where the topmost point of the “n” is compared to the matching point below it. Then look at the rest of those letters.

    - the “corners” (NE, NW, SE, SW parts) of your rounds often look a little pushed in. Looking at COobpq, etc. For some of those letters, the correction above may help as well. Might be more so in the bold. The hmn shoulders particularly feel “slumped.” The previous correction might also help with this.

    - In the bold, h and m could use more thinning where strokes join. Actually true of most of your glyphs, just more so in those.

    - Ss feel top-heavy in both regular and bold. Probably they are just symmetric, but that is pretty unusual.

    - top of the “f” really isn’t working in the bold. Needs more of a defined interior for that top hook.

    - EFPR feel much more high-waisted in the bold than in the regular. Nothing wrong with being either high-waisted, or more conventional, but you need to choose one and carry it across the weights. (With conventional proportions, the F lower bar should be lower than the E middle bar. In a high-waisted design you might get away with having them more similar, or *maybe* even the same.)

    OK, back to kerning for me. Thanks for the distraction!  ;)
  • machinekerning
    Thanks so much for the very insightful feedback. I'm hoping to build a better intuition for lettering and was glad you had some examples.

    Any resources you might recommend with more "conventional" guidelines to learn from? I'm basically just eyeballing it right now haha
  • Thomas Phinney
    This tutorial of mine was in good old FontLab Studio 5, but the guidance is fairly universal, doesn’t matter what your font editor is:
    It might help a bit. Also consider horizontal vs vertical stroke thickness, something I noticed but forgot to mention.
  • Andreas Stötzner
    please remember: this is a real-names forum.