Geometric Blackletter

This is a mostly useless font, created for fun. It's approximately a take on Fraktur, but quite a few solutions required divergent designs.

This is not designed for legibility, it's designed for aesthetics, with a OH no Type Co. disregard for re-usability.

A few designs in this currently bug me, and I'd like a second pair of eyes to second-guess all the (relatively) strange decisions here.



Comments

  • You may have to decide whether blackletter was just the starting point, or whether it's to be an ongoing reference point. In a sense this is too distant from blackletter for the reader to understand that connection, but deciphering some of the most difficult letters relies on that understanding.

    The tittles and the /O are particularly hard to parse. 
  • I like it. 
    The O is difficult as it tends to look like a D. I would try to smooth the top left corner.
    The U in Fraktur is the a rather simple shape. Why do you pick this one that very close to the A and V?
    This one has some shapes that might fit your style (e.g. O, Y): http://luc.devroye.org/fonts-26254.html
  • Love the idea, but many letters are too disjointed for my taste. I can't read /F/I/O/R/T/. I'd make /O/ rounder, like /C/. The /F/ and /P/ might need a descender. The slant in /H/ and /K/ is perhaps a bit extreme.
    On the other hand, if you specifically want this to be badly legible, none of that matters...
  • This is an interesting exercise, but I think you have put yourself at a disadvantage by using such a heavy line, which forces some letterforms into awkward proportions. If you begin with a very thin line, it will be easier to separate the essential shapes and components from the non-essential. You might also realize that you need at least some smooth curves.

  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,597
    Blackletter caps, on their own, are problematic; drop caps, for instance—“Is that a T or a C?” So you should really finish the typeface with a lower case, which would make sense of the capitals, via context. What I always say to those who show alphabetic specimens: “Get real—show some text!”
  • As I work on this further, I'm naturally inclined to make this blackletter-inspired rather than trying to force the forms of blackletter into these molds.
    For now, I will focus on improving the uppercase rather than creating a lowercase, as the intended (and likely only) use case is in graphic design projects a la Safehaven and Kai Beckman. I think shifting forms will help avoid the awkward proportions, and I think will require no smooth curves.

    I've changed many letters including /F/H/I/K/O/R/T/Y. I've tried a /P with a descender but it always ended up looking either too tall or too wide.
    I have a few qualms with this iteration, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

  • I like the idea but I think the legibility should also be a consideration.

  • I'm sorry, but as it stands this is simply not legible. It's fine if it takes some effort and time to decipher the word, but for most people this will simply be impossible to decipher. I still haven't figured out what the first word is, for example. 
  • All-caps use of textura is generally a horrible idea... unless you're trying to imitate gang tattoos.
  • I guess the basic idea of this design is somehow wrong. It is too simplistic for mastering blackletter.
  • Considering legibility, I may as well redo the whole font. There's not a whole lot I can do about legibility without sacrificing the spirit and intent of the font, IMO.
  • It is less geometric and more, how do I say it, rigid to a grid? I think if you made what is naturally a round element actually round, rather than angular, it would really help with the legibility issue you currently have.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,597
    edited December 2020
    As Jean Cocteau once said (more or less, and in French), develop what people dislike in your work, because it is you.

    Of course blackletter caps are at the dark end of the legibility scale, especially to those not familiar with reading them in U&lc text. So please, redeem yourself by developing a lower case!

    BTW, if you’re not familiar with Judith Schalansky’s Fraktur Mon Amour, it will help.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,597
    edited December 2020
    Yes, a lowercase would be a gamechanger.
    Things that might help legibility:
    • Replace the disembodied top left stroke of /N/M/ with something akin to the right angle in /V/W/.
    • Choose a more closed and rounder shape for /O/.
    • The bottom left thorn of /V/W/ strikes me as weird; perhaps lead the stroke from the right through the bottom to the right in a bowl and detach the left stem from it?
    • Break the /R/ as you did the /K/.
    On the other hand, /G/ and /T/ might almost be a bit too legible for their own good. You could try to bulge the crossbar of /G/ a bit upwards to make it look more blackletter and less antiqua, and maybe use the kind of /T/ that incorporates an arc on the left and bottom sides.
  • Wolf BöseWolf Böse Posts: 35
    I'm sorry, but as it stands this is simply not legible. It's fine if it takes some effort and time to decipher the word, but for most people this will simply be impossible to decipher. I still haven't figured out what the first word is, for example. 
    agreed, you wouldnt set all caps like this anyway using this style i would argue. so where are the lowercase letters? maybe that'll fix it…
  • Evie S. said:
    Considering legibility, I may as well redo the whole font. There's not a whole lot I can do about legibility without sacrificing the spirit and intent of the font, IMO.
    Let’s put it this way: OK for treating letters as illustrations, and thus favoring an "abstract aesthetic", but you either want it to be read or not.
    If you want it to be read, it definitely needs work, if not you can just work on it until you’re satisfied and attain something that you consider accomplished.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,929
    I found that if I squinted really hard, it became more legible!

    But it required doing that to read the first word. And even then, it was pretty difficult.
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