First timer here, looking for an honest review !

I'm new to this community, and I've been seeking some advice regarding some fonts I've be on. 

I've been working on these two fonts. But I've got my head stuck in it, and need some help.
If any of you could take a look and tell me frankly anything that comes to your mind, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks a lot ! 



Comments

  • Hi Kieran, welcome to the board! Here's my 2 cents on your typefaces.
    Laura:
    • Vertical serifs on letters like E, F, L, as well as horizontal serifs on A, V, W, Y, feel a little weak compared to the rather enormous primary serif on I, H, etc. Maybe make the latter a little narrower, and the former a little wider.
    • Diagonals on M, N and K too heavy.
    • Ball terminal on J and j feels too light.
    • L could be a lot narrower, would help a lot with reducing that pocket of negative space.
    • Crossbar on E a bit high, on F even more so (you want the F's crossbar a little lower than the E's, as an optical correction for the negative space below it).
    • Heavy diagonal on the Y appears to be getting thicker as it goes towards the stem.
    • S also too heavy and awkward in shape. Everyone here will agree it's one of the hardest letters to get right.
    • The bowls in B, P, R don't have consistent curve tension. B and P could be a little rounder.
    • Bottom right of G could be brought a little lower, don't try to make it match the C perfectly.
    • D might be a touch too wide, and the bowl needs to be heavier.
    • arm-joint in k is too high.
    • y should be as wide as v
    • Overall form of figures looks good but weight distribution needs work. Bowl of 3 is way too light, whereas the horizontal is too heavy. 6 and 9 too light. Etc.
    • Not going to get too deep into spacing but it does need work. i needs more space to the right. j should have far less space on the left sidebearing, kern away problem pairs or design a contextual alt. Overall spacing could be a bit looser.
    Maar:
    • Lot of weight and width inconsistencies, which becomes very obvious in a rational grotesque. D, O, U are too light, C, K, Z, too heavy.
      O, Q, S feel narrow.
    • Curve tensions inconsistent. O and Q are more squarish, C and G more rounded, S even more so. Similar issues in the lowercase.
    • K feels awkward, arms need tapering.
    • G's terminal should match C, S, etc: horizontal.
    • g... I'd try that one again from scratch.
    This may feel nitpicky (I mean, it is nitpicky), but I hope it helps you assess some of the issues. It looks like you're trying to recreate some classic fonts, which is a great exercise for a budding type designer. Perhaps the best advice I could give you is too keep observing the fonts you're recreating (times and helvetica) for the fine details. Yes, you will end up with something derivative, but you'll learn a lot from it, which you can then apply to more creative projects.

    You have a good start, so keep at it!
  • thank you so much for your answer !

    I'll follow your advice and come back later with an improved version. Indeed, these two fonts don't really have anything special, but I felt they'd help me "sharpen" my eye to get better at it. 

    Thanks again for your detailed answer, I was really not confident about showing this, but I guess it needed to be shared for me to improve !

    I'll keep you updated ! :)
  • @Kieran Burr My pleasure! I completely relate to the feeling of laying your work bare for all to see and criticize, but just know that nobody here is judging you. We all started somewhere! And by allowing this critique to happen on a public forum, you may also help other student type designers. Look forward to seeing your updates.
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 167
    Overall, you know that if you fix everything in Maar you'll just have Helvetica, but the serif Laura has its own potential. Mostly in the capitals. The wider capitals and the narrower romanji-like lowercase do not seem to be of the same face. A good goal would be to try to capture the strong round quality of the capitals in a new lowercase.
  • jeremy tribbyjeremy tribby Posts: 118
    edited January 4
    hi kieran,

    here are some things I noticed in maar, I hope it's helpful. it's off to a nice start. I disagree it is just helvetica, or at least not necessarily, depending on what you do to it. I talk about this in the /a section (which talks about your /R).

    caps:

    /J descends lower than expected in a non-humanist sans
    /K has uneven weight in the three strokes. I'd expect the left-most stroke to be heavier, for starters
    /V is heaviest at the crotch and then the strokes taper upward. I think you'll want the opposite, for the stroke to be at the thickest at the top, and maybe a tiny bit thinner at the bottom (to get rid of some of the black at the middle). this may be a problem in other angled letters
    /S - the spine is a bit diagonal. I'd expect more of a curve, and that it be heavier
    /D - lumpy at the shoulders
    /Z  - diagonal stroke is heavy. you could try and relate it more to the /M and /N (and to itself)
    /X - constructed in a way that doesn't fit in with the rest of the typeface. if the there were two symmetrical strokes, like the lowercase /x, instead of 3, it might fit in better

    lowercase:

    /a - typefaces with this style of /R with a little foot like this are more common in older grotesques and might appear on the /a or other letters to match. you might want to look for dan reynold's online archive of old german grotesks for reference, I bet there's something in there like this.
    /e - the right shoulder's curve appears pinched as it approaches horizontal bar
    /f - should the terminal be a straight line like the other letters?
    /g - bring some of that wildness into other letters or it won't work here either, IMO
    /o - the counter is a bit too almond-shaped
    /b/d/p/q - the curve tension on the bowl feels a bit too low, these letters feel a little diamond-y?
    /s - check the spine, I don't think it's consistent at top and bottom

    welcome and happy new year!
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 687
    Welcome to the board, and a happy new year!

    As was already mentioned, if you fix the problems in these fonts you would only have the originals, like Helvetica. I would suggest to instead give each of the two typfaces its distinct look - the beak on top of A is, in my opinion, a good idea how to develop the whole set. Look at similar established fonts to learn how to make the design with the beak "work". Also, create an opposite version for each font - a sans to go with the serif and a serif to go with the sans. If you do this, I think you will come to some important realizations about your designs. Don't be afraid to make mistakes!
  • Hello Jeremy & Vasil ! 

    Thank you so much for your time and answer, I started working on it last week, almost from scratch, and I have made some few changes since, but thanks to your comment wow I really see all the changes that needed to be made ! 
    Thanks for your tip on Dan Reynold, I'm digging into it right now.

    And Vasil I've never thought of working the two fonts "as one", I'm going to do just that !

    I am going to implement your feedback in my new version, I'll come back later with (I hope) a much better version to show you guys.

    I've gotta say, the feedback this community provides, is just exactly what I was looking for, and it is heartwarming to know that a place like this exists considering the time it must take. 

    Thanks again and happy new year !
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