Mobius Display Type

Hi everyone!

Though I've posted on here before, this is the first time I've posted about any of my work. (for context, I'm a graphic designer who has done a few type design courses, so I'm more of a beginner than a total novice)

I'm at the very early stages of developing a display face which is based on a letter O that I carved out of linoleum and printed. The O itself has a lot of qualities I like, but most importantly, it has a sense of three dimensionality and it's a stencil face, even though I don't think it immediately looks like one (which is a good thing in my opinion). As I say, this is at a very early stage, but below shows a few ways of approaching the H, E and L, as well as the O.

So... while I am still at this stage of defining the DNA of the design, I thought it would be really valuable to get some opinions on it. 

The issue that I'm having is that the way in which a horizontal stroke joins a vertical stroke only works if that is a corner. Once it becomes a 'T junction', it doesn't look good at all - as shown in the second H above. The first H is more distinctly an H, and therefore works better, if a little basic. Using that DNA, the E and L should logically also have square corners. However, these also have the potential to work with a slightly curve corner, albeit one which is much less extreme that the O.

Logically, you'd expect the H, E and L to be of the same construction, but maybe this design warrants doing something different?

Alternatively, the H could become more curved and expressive, but I'm struggling to see how that would happen.

Despite these problems, I can see potential in this - though maybe that's just me being a naive beginner, and it would be better to keep this as a piece of lettering than a type design project!

Any opinions would be greatly appreciated.



  • I don't think this has any of the practical advantages of a stencil typeface (the gaps are just too thin), and also not the aesthetic, so I would forget about that for the time being.

    Having said that, the concept is pretty cool! The O is looking very nice indeed. Go with the first E and L. For the H, neither option is good enough I'd say, so keep trying different structures! Abd in fact, the E and L could also still use some improvements. The O gives a sense of being 3D, because the curves look like a ribbon that is gently curved, not folder. The corners in E and L, however, look like they were folded tightly, which takes away some of the 3D charm. Although it's probably good if the curve is smaller than in O, I think it could use some more roundedness.

    Good luck!

    p.s. In a later stage, I would also think about adding very curvy 'swash' alternates for the caps.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,598
    edited July 2020
    You should be aware that there is already a Mobius typeface, and a Moebius typeface, and several designs exploring the same territory: Zelek, Bron, Soleil, Macula, Escher, Frustro, etc.
    Hope this helps.
  • The problem some of the letters is that a Mõbius Band is a continuous strip, and—as with cursive writing—you have to double back to make the cross-strokes. Yagi Link Double does the switchback thing well, but there are open ends on several characters.
  • It might help to start with the swash versions. And then try to simplify the shapes if needed. 
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