My first variable font is out — thank you TD

Igor PetrovicIgor Petrovic Posts: 263
edited January 2023 in Type Business
The release of a new font is not big news on a type design forum. Still, I want to share it, because the knowledge I got here made it possible. This is a big thanks to all the kind, peculiar, and genius people of TypeDrawers.

This is an important moment for me. Ever since 2015 and my first type project, I wanted to complete a full-font family. However, it wasn't an easy task for me. I am of those too-careful and too-systematic guys, who don't deliver much in terms of quantity.

So I picked the small character set and focused on the classic typographic virtues: balance of weight and proportions, consistency of the style, spacing/kerning, well pronunciation of diacritics and punctuation, curve quality, and decent font production and testing.

As for the typeface, it's essentially the display slab serif. But besides its main typology, it incorporates subtle allusions to a spectrum of typographic and visual traditions, from calligraphy, ordinary handwriting, blackletter, and medieval uncial script to the neoclassical Didone and industrial typefaces.

It has wide proportions and mid-to-high contrast. Slab and wedge serifs are applied in parallel, vertical stems are tapered, and the curves are apple-like (the raised center). Special attention is given to solving problematic letter pairs through contextual alternates, enabling better spacing and smooth joints.

I spent weeks just for the specimen, falling into a medieval writing workshop atmosphere and listening to quiet lute music. I really enjoyed it, and the only thing I wanted but haven't designed yet (because I had to set a deadline at some moment) is to set a broadside ballad in my font. Here is the link for the full specimen:


As always, feel free to share your impression, what you like — and maybe more importantly — what you don't, thanks!


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    Wow. Really fabulous, Igor! Remarkable piece of work, and of course more so for being a first typeface. Congratulations!
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    It's impressive! Great work.
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    As a medievalist, I really love this font! It captures the spirit of the medieval pen stroke while remaining extremely legible for modern readers. Congratulations!
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    You've found the perfect use for it too. The personality of the typeface is ideal for the subject matter.
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    @Thomas Phinney @André Simard 

    I am honored to hear that, many thanks, it means a lot to me. 

    Sorry I wasn't clear about my type journey. I've started to design typefaces in 2015 and completed a few of them so far, but this is the first time I managed to have a complete family and VF.

    That's why I wasn't able to access major font stores so far, or why I am not on the Klingspor Museum list of type designers i.e. which has 12k names and was mentioned in one discussion here on TD. I am more or less invisible which was a bit frustrating given the passion I have for type design. Hence this fanfare post :)

    This last release took me about a year and a half. Although not worked on a font all that time, I still think it's waaaaaaay too long for such a small set, especially because I had 5 years of experience before started. And if I have to start a similar project again I would give myself 6-9 months to finish it, that sounds reasonable to me. 

    However, I learned a lot about font production during the process, which took a significant amount of time. TD was irreplaceable for that matter.
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    Great stuff!
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    Thanks to all! 

    Really glad to hear that evoking the medieval theme is not perceived as a cheesy take in the eyes of people familiar with the visuals and texts of the epoch. It's a thin line and happy to know I ended up on the right side :)

    The same goes for the specimen. It's natural for promo images to deal with visual stereotypes because the purpose is to give ideas for the most used/useful scenarios. Also to articulate customers' "it reminds me of" thought in an attractive way. That can end up as commonplace very easily, so thanks for this comment :)
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    Evoking medievalism with your font can be cheesy; but you have done it well, and differently than most.   :)
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    Igor PetrovicIgor Petrovic Posts: 263
    edited February 2023
    Thanks. On that matter, the fact that I didn't have a direct reference typeface probably helped. I had a number of vague associations in my head, but all decisions had to be reconsidered in the context of the actual typeface, not taken for granted because a well-known reference typeface already made it a legit choice. I rejected a few things I was very enthusiastic about, just because I didn't manage to incorporate them properly. 
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    A wonderful work! Bravo! And a for a first variable typeface.
    I'm at my third one and I know how hard it is.
    If it's not too indiscreet: how did you create the animation?
    Because it's really nice. And hard to find a way to do that!
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    Now, right after the release a kind of vacuum opened, where I am waiting for stores to review the font, the web to index it, etc. Kind of emptiness (which is usual I guess). So I really appreciate all the kind comments and support, thanks to all!

    @Yves Michel 

    I've seen your comment about my font on the other thread. It means a lot to be recognized by colleagues in that way, many thanks!

    As for the animation, I've done it in Cavalry software. I've used a free version and had no previous experience with similar apps. I am really delighted with how simple and effective it was. It has native variable fonts support! So I just typed text and set the weight parameter to change during the time, no shape morph/blend or any similar workarounds. Also, it has pretty cool "easing" options. For example, I've set the slider button to have some inertia approaching the extremes of the line, for more eye-pleasant movement.

    You can write me if you need any further info about how to start with it, will be glad to help. Good luck with your current VF project!
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    Those who like it might vote for my font Razumec on Typography.Guru running contest:


    It would be a significant thing for my otherwise very limited promotion space :)
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    Considered the unusual decorative forms, it looks well drawn, Igor. Congratulations!
    The only weight I don’t like (in general) is an unmodulated hairline, in this case the one you called "Thin": personally I would have kept at least a bit of modulation, or just started the weight range using "XLight" as the starting weight.

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    Thanks for your kind words and careful look Claudio! I was aware of that stylistic shift between Thin and Black, and it was a subject of dilemmas I had during the conceptual phase.

    The thing is that the Thin weight was the source idea for this typeface (not the Black or Regular) because it is based upon my handwriting forms using a thin monoline pen. But I wasn't satisfied with how the concept looks in bolder weights keeping the usual weight addition. So in the end I decided to have the masters with a somewhat different voice as long as I can manage to interpolate them. I picked that side of compromise :)

    Also, I tried to preserve as much handwriting origin as I could but simply had to make things more consistent. In that handwriting i.e., A has no baseline slab for the left diagonal. But it looked odd when digitized, especially lacking a weight element in Black.

    One more example is thin weight has vertically cut terminals while Black has angled (normal to stroke direction). Angled terminals looked logical but my gut feeling was against it for the Thin.

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