Feedback wanted

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Hi all,
I'm new to designing type and have started on a font that I would like feedback on. So far, I only have the lowercase letters roughed out in illustrator. Please let me know how I can improve on any of the glyphs. 
Thanks

Comments

  • Thomas Phinney
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    Some time soon you need to move to an actual type design app. That will allow you to work on the spacing, which is an important part of the design.

    The z establishes a baseline, but you don’t seem to have overshoot relative to that baseline, or perhaps just not enough.

    Bottom left of the outer curve of d and g seems to be pushed in a little… perhaps a problem on other bowls as well, top right of b and p. If it were more pronounced it could be a deliberate design feature, but it is just a bit “off” right now.

    Leg of k is strangely thin (should be at least as heavy as the main stem, perhaps more so).

    If the descenders went a bit lower, then the tail of j could tuck under preceding letters. Right now it is going to create nasty spacing problems.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,056
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    I think you have a reasonably good handle on the idea and an understanding of how it might be applied to various letters, although not all the solutions work equally well. You have a lot of weight, width and curvature issues to iron out, and you can only diagnose these properly in plentiful word testing, where you can see all the letters adjacent to each other in lots of contexts. A lot of your bowls appear thinner than your straights, and need to made heavier to balance properly; it will also help if they swell more abruptly so that you’re not losing so much weight in the shoulders. At the moment, the bowls of b d g o p  q are much softer and weaker than the arches of a h m n. That t isn’t going to work, but there is precedence in display lettering for a form with a bifurcated terminal like you have with the right branch flowing into a conventional t hook. I like you c and e, which have masses of character, and are so far the only shapes that probably don’t need much more work: the challenge now is to make everything else work as well and to be able to balance with those strong forms. 
  • Craig Eliason
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    A lot of your bowls appear thinner than your straights, and need to made heavier to balance properly; it will also help if they swell more abruptly so that you’re not losing so much weight in the shoulders.  
    Here it may be you've fallen into the trap of thinking that the thick strokes should all be the same mathematical thickness. Since curves in a modulated typeface are only at their thickest at one point of the stroke, while straight stems are thick for the whole stroke, the curved ones read as optically lighter than straights that match their max width. Judge by eye, not by ruler.

    I'd be tempted to try flipping those asymmetrical bifurcated baseline serifs, so the thicker bit heads right instead of left. That feels more intuitively pen-like to me, for what that's worth. 

    Conventional practice and consistency would have d's ascender swoop from the left like all of the other ascenders. Again, for what that's worth--purposefully defying convention can be legitimate too. (Both x-height serifs of /u would conventionally head left as well.)

    As said above, get this into a font editor and start testing arbitrary letter combinations and spacing!
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,056
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    @Craig Eliason
    I'd be tempted to try flipping those asymmetrical bifurcated baseline serifs, so the thicker bit heads right instead of left. That feels more intuitively pen-like to me, for what that's worth. 
    I considered that too, but I suspect the forms may be more stable as they are now, and will also make the t construction I suggested trying easier. Flipping the lower terminals creates a lot more motion in the stems from top-left to lower-right, which I think risks destabilising a design in which so much is already going on.

  • Paul Hanslow
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    I'm working on a typeface similar to this and it will be interesting to see how the capitals progress. Bifurcated stems can be tricky to get working on letters where the stem meets a large bowl shape (such as with the /D). The bifurcated notch can then appear tight on the stem side and loose on the bowl side due to the outside curve needing to cover more space.
  • rnevers
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    Thomas, yes, I've downloaded Glyphs 3 and have dipped my toes into it, and will move over to that for my next iteration. I'm unsure what you mean about the letter z and the baseline and overshoot. 

    John, thank you for the input on the curves. I try to make them better. 

    Craig, thanks for the tip on flipping the thicker baseline serif to the right. I'll look into that to see how it feels.

    Paul, yes, the uppercase should definitely be interesting to figure out.

    Thanks all for the input. I was hesitant to upload and get feedback. But I'm so glad that I did. I'll be sure to upload my next round to get more suggestions.
  • Thomas Phinney
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    Overshoot is the degree to which round elements stick out more than flat ones, so as to appear to be at the same extent. Because of your rounded/bifurcated stem endings, you have almost no flat elements. Nonetheless, the flat parts of the “z” should be at baseline and x-height, and the more rounded shapes stick out the right amount more (below the baseline and above the x-height) to appear to be at the same height. This will also help the baseline look even when on the same line as another font.

    Typical overshoot is about 1.5% or 2% of the height, for something like a round O. But it is quite design-specific.
  • rnevers
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    Thanks for the clarification. 
  • Thomas Phinney
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    BTW, this video of mine might be of help. Besides explaining overshoot, it covers a lot of other visual compensation issues. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR-CG5eB3nQ

    (In the video I used FontLab Studio 5, but the content and concepts are largely independent of any particular tool.)
  • rnevers
    rnevers Posts: 5
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    Sorry for the delay, but here's my second round for this. Overall I think it's a nice round 2.
  • Craig Eliason
    Craig Eliason Posts: 1,417
    edited March 2023
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    /w feels crowded; seems to me like the thins should connect closer to the ends of the thicks. (/v too)
    I don't think the bifurcated serif works on the /x. 
    /z looks short. 
    I wonder if the round bowls /b/d/g/o/p/q are a little too stiff and symmetrical
    Change from thick to thin is too abrupt in /s. Its terminals seem too light too. 
    /r arm needs more weight. 
  • Paul Hanslow
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    it would be great to see the typeface in words as its easier to assess this way
  • rnevers
    rnevers Posts: 5
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    Round three. Thanks all. Everyone's feedback is greatly appreciated.

  • Linus Romer
    Linus Romer Posts: 186
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    I would change the middle part of the /s to something like this: (Give the diagonal more space by leaning it more to the horizontal)
    The /e and the /c are too wide in my opinion compared to /o, /u, /n, /b, /p, /d, /q. I think the /o is a bit too light. I like the shape of the upper terminal of /c. You may consider applying similar terminals to the lower part of /j, /g, ..., the upper part of /f (but lighter). The terminal of /c is probably a bit too heavy (at least compared to /s and all the others): The darkness of these teardrop terminals of /c, /r, /s, ... should be more similar.
    I would apply more curvature to the diagonal part of /a.