Traction: A text font with grip and bite (in development)

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  • AbrahamLee
    AbrahamLee Posts: 262
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    Congrats, @Christian Thalmann! A release is always an exciting step. The family looks really nice.

    Since Traction has 9 weights, I took the liberty of measuring the stem-thickness of the cap-/i from each one and compared it to some discussions in the past on the subject (like this one). After some playing with the formula numbers and found your 9 weights to most closely match my CSS Ogee curve, but with a weight of 1.84 instead of 1.25 (as described in the above link). This image shows the progression compared to Linear, Impallari, CSS, and Power (or Lucas) interpolation:



    It's not exactly the same as the CSS curve (red dashes), but pretty close. Given that, I'm wondering if this was an intentional choice? Did you start with this in mind and then tweak it once the interpolated variants were created? I'd be curious to hear how you settled on these weights.
  • Christian Thalmann
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    Abraham, you'll have to ask the Schriftlabor people... I designed the Medium and the Thin masters, whereas the Black master and the instantiation were done by my collaborators. I believe the instances were redefined only weeks ago because the previous definition of Regular looked a bit too heavy.

    Is CSS implemented in Glyphs?
  • AbrahamLee
    AbrahamLee Posts: 262
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    ... you'll have to ask the Schriftlabor people... I designed the Medium and the Thin masters, whereas the Black master and the instantiation were done by my collaborators. I believe the instances were redefined only weeks ago because the previous definition of Regular looked a bit too heavy.
    Nice. The Medium and Black weights are my favorite of the set and I think the italics really turned out nicely. Still, it would be interesting to know how the particular weights were chosen, if they were purely by-visual-inspection or if some basis curve was used.

    Is CSS implemented in Glyphs?
    Not sure. My hunch says probably not. I only came up with that curve a while ago, but maybe @Georg Seifert can comment. Does Glyphs support @PabloImpallari's curve? I'm not a Glyphs user yet (being Win and Linux based), but it seems like it'd be a really useful feature if it's not, IMO. Maybe the CSS curve should be called "Inverted Impallari"? ;)
  • Georg Seifert
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    Glyphs doesn't need to do anything to support any curve. Just go to Pablo's website and let is calculate the instance values. And there is a script that can do the setup right inside glyphs. 
  • AbrahamLee
    AbrahamLee Posts: 262
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    I could have sworn I looked through every Glyphs tutorial on "multiple master", but I somehow missed the one that obviously discusses interpolation using the linear, Luc(as) and Pablo methods. Thanks for pointing me to its existence! Very insightful read.

    @Christian Thalmann: are you happy with the weight progression of Traction? Does it optically make sense to you? I only ask because there are arguments against the CSS interpolation curve that makes the light and heavy sides too different and leaves the middle weights to similar, whereas Pablo's interpolation curve has the opposite effect. Personally, I think it turned out great. I for one would be very interested if you were willing to crank out the same set but using Pablo's interpolation curve (or even all three of the interpolation methods available in Glyphs) to see the differences. I'm just trying to get a good feel for the results of all these methods on real designs as I delve into MM myself.
  • Christian Thalmann
    Christian Thalmann Posts: 1,965
    edited July 2017
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    Abraham, the progression looks good to me. I think a fine sampling of middle weights makes a lot of sense for a text font, since those are presumably going to be the most-used weights, and a typographer might appreciate the option to fine-tune the color of the text.

    For instance, Traction Book has a Baskerville-like razor crispness to it, whereas I would probably prefer Traction Regular at smaller sizes or on low-resolution screens.
  • AbrahamLee
    AbrahamLee Posts: 262
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    My thoughts exactly, but I can also see that it might not be the best approach for every design.