Reviving an old project

Those of you who used to post in the old typophile forum (I seem to recall @Christian Thalmann and @Hrant Հրանդ Փափազեան Papazian offered some feedback at the time) might remember this project from around 2014/5.  A combination of factors led to it getting shelved, but I've decided to see if I can get it finished.

I'd really appreciate any thoughts.

A few things remain to be done (including caps and punctuation bearings/kerning), so I'm really looking for any suggestions for improving the Latin and Greek (monotonic) letterforms, and issues with lowercase spacing.

Please ignore the cyrillic glyphs; these were part of the original project, but I'm not planning on including them in the final version.

Thanks in advance.


  • Added test page showing diacritics.
  • And the italic, though I'm lagging further behind with these.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,398
    edited December 2021
    Appealing design!
    Is the /a a bit too wide? /u too?
    Descenders feel a little stumpy compared to ascenders. 
    Most above diacritics feel too close to the letter to me. 
    What's the intended size? Spacing in general seems well suited to small settings, but set bigger it feels too loose. 
  • Thanks @Craig Eliason, really appreciate you casting your eye over this.

    I'll look again at the /a and /u. I seem to recall someone else saying the /a in particular was a little wide.

    Descenders were deliberately 'stumpy'. I think this stems from a comment @Hrant Հրանդ Փափազեան Papazian made in typophile some years ago, but agree they could do with a touch more.

    As for intended size, I guess small to medium settings.  The truth is, this project started started as an accident, when I inadvertently move or deleted (I forget which) a node or handle in the /o from in another project.  I liked the effect and ran with it, more as a practice exercise than in pursuit of a complete font, so I never really had a clear purpose in mind.

    Nonetheless, I'll tighten the spacing a little to make it better suited to larger settings.
  • Alternatively you could lower the ascenders a bit to address the imbalance. 
  • Steve GardnerSteve Gardner Posts: 138
    edited December 2021
    I've lowered the descenders for better balance.  I've also made both the /a and /u narrower, raised the diacritics and tightened the spacing.

    Looking better?
  • Edited the last post with updated PDF to correct error.
  • Love the design. Stellar curves. The italic does feel a few percentages too wide.
  • Thanks @Florian Pircher!

    I haven't started on the italic yet. Lots of things need attention, but want to get this one looking better before tackling that one. 
  • Looks nice overall! At first glance, the /a/ stuck out to me as a foreign body, though. I think it might be the dramatic downslope in the middle bar.
  • is it possible the spacing between oh is a little bit loose, or perhaps ov is kerned a bit tight? I'm not sure what here is spacing vs. kerning but this is the string that stood out to me:

  • @Christian Thalmann, are you talking about the /a in this image?  You think it looks out of place?

    @jeremy tribby, thanks for pointing that out.  I did have an error in the /h bearings.  I also loosed the /ov and /vo kerning a touch.  Better?

  • ov still looks a tad tighter than vo

    This may not be true from a sidebearing perspective, but the particular asymmetric shape of the “o” means that on one side it bulges towards the v and on the other side it shrinks away. So the best compromise is probably halfway between (1) what you have now (which likely equalizes sidebearings and total whitespace), versus (2) making it so that the closest measurement from the v-stem to the o (as measured perpendicular from the v-stem) is equal on both sides.
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 182
    When small, because the cut underneath goes so high, the bend between stem and tail of /a seems very abrupt, and the tail looks like a loose chunk that has been knocked to the right. And I'm afraid don't know how it would be remedied without compromising the weight. I don't think the top of the bowl is out of place, but it may be contributing to the impression of non-continuity stem-to-tail because it all passes through the same place, like it was drawn in one looped stroke with a bend to finish.

  • @Christian Thalmann, K Pease, does the /a work better now?

    @Thomas Phinney, appreciate your feedback.  The issue is complicated further by the fact that (1) the /v isn't symmetrical either and (2) the left stem of the /v is darker than the right. 

    I've adjusted the /o bearings a little, but I'm conscious the more I narrow the gap between the top of the /vo pair, the larger the gap between the bottom of the /ov pair (see flipped image).

  • The /a/ looks good up close, but I'd have to see it in running text to judge whether the problem is fixed...
  • @Christian Thalmann, screenshot and zoomable PDF attached.

    You'll notice there's no punctuation or numerals.  The original font file is such a mess that I decided to create a new one, which has only a small proportion of the intended glyph set.  But, it should be enough to help determine if the problem is fixed.

  • It's not bad, but I still feel there's a bit of a warmth mismatch, particularly compared to the chilly /e/. Have you tried any /a/s with horizontal or even upward-sloping middles? (Otherwise, perhaps sloping the /e/ just a little would help the thermal equilibrium in the other direction...?)
    BTW, the /x/ looks extremely monolinear in that screenshot.
  • @Christian Thalmann, with horizontal bar on the /a.  Tweaked the /x too.  Better?

  • perhaps sloping the /e/ just a little
    I second that as an idea worth trying.
  • I made the bar of the /a more similar in style to the existing /e.  Getting to the point where I just want to put this project to bed.

  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 182
    I like this new /a, it brings back the amount of character appropriate to the face that the smoothing of the tail took away.
  • Appreciate there's a lot of text here (no numerals or punctuation yet either), but if anyone has the time and inclination, I'd welcome any suggestions.
  • Looking good! Much improved IMHO.
    Perhaps the tail of /g/ could be balanced a bit more? Currently the space between bowl and tail is much tighter than inside the tail.
  • The space between baseletters and diacritics is perfect for my taste. Maybe in the case of ó it's a little bit near (nitpicking). But I'm not a type designer.

    Stems of l and i have different width, but that comes from the renderer as the PDF contains a rendered image. 

  • @Christian Thalmann, thanks!  Just the caps, numerals, Greek and punctuation left to do!  :#  And then on to the italic.

    I tweaked the /g as suggested—looks better.  

    @Helmut Wollmersdorfer, the diacritic on the /
    ó is at the same height as in the /é and /ć. 

    You're right about the /l and /i in that their stem widths are identical, so the apparent difference must be a function of the rendering.
  • First pass at spacing the caps.  Any help spotting oversights/errors would be appreciated.
  • Too many changes to mention.  In addition to tweaking bearings/kerning, main changes include:
    • Redrawn /B, /P & /R
    • Narrower /C, /D & /G

  • Didn’t check what you did to P and R but to me in the latest versions the bowls could be wider. 
  • @Craig Eliason, I actually made several revisions to the /P and /R before uploading the previous sample.  I've made the bowls both wider and a little deeper.  Better?

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