"Modern" a typeface inspired by Bembo, Garamond, Centaur, GFS Didot and Bodoni

Hey people from all over the world, that's my first time ever designing a typeface ever, litterally. 

A little bit bit of me:

I'm kinda young, only 20 years old, from Brazil and started to study design around 2.5 years ago. Even before i always had a feeling that some things look nicer than other and something that always carried my atttention was the letters, at this time everything that i knew was that those "things" were called fonts and that's it. 

Again something around two years ago i started to study design and discovered something called typography and was imediate identification, a true art, since i fell in love with modern design (so yes i'm a univers guy).

Now my typeface:

Around one year ago i started drawing on paper a modern serif typeface because for me they have an inherent beaty to it, true art... I tried, again, again, again got frustrated and just give it up. 

But three months ago i opened fontforge and started to drawn one of the letters that i had most difficulties with "B". And i for me was an revealing experience... a WOOOOWWWW.


I know, looking to it now it doesn't fell great, it's bad, really bad... 

Many revisions after i've decided to combine everything Bembo, Garamond and Bodoni (on the middle i found GFS Didot and Centaur to use as a visual reference), but now, it looks a little bit off. One of my intentions was to make a modern looking typeface with garold characteristics and the challenge was that it should be smaller than garamond but still readable.




So please any tips, recomendations and critics. 

notes: the name of the typeface will be changed in the future due to monotype ownage of the name, and any critics will be welcome but please consider the fact that that's my first time designing a typeface ever.


Comments

  • edited June 2023
    Hi Diego. Welcome to the type design world. A very exciting field, as you have experienced already. Certainly I see many things to improve in your work, but everyone starts that way. I certainly did.
    Have you read Karen Cheng’s book? I’d say it will help you to understand proportions and relationships among letters at a deeper level.
    I don’t know if you are aware of this, but Bembo, Garamond and Centaur share many visual features because they are Renaissance typefaces, and both Didot and Bodoni share many visual features because they are, in Bringhurst’s terminology, Romantic typefaces (other experts, such as Paul Shaw, think they are better labeled as Neoclassical, but that is not important at this moment). My point is that you are taking two groups of references very apart from each other. I am pretty sure both worlds can be mixed together, but it is not an easy task. I’d recommend to stick to one of these groups, even if you add a little bit of Renaissance into your Romantic letterforms (or the other way around).
    A third comment: I’d say the strong part of GFS Didot [i. e., Greek Font Society’s version of Didot] is actually the Greek, since in essence it is a revival of the Greek typeface designed by Firmin Didot, later introduced into Greece by his grandson, Ambroise Firmin Didot. I am informed that this typeface was almost the only good choice available for setting Greek at the time. According to GFS, the Latin part is based on Hermann Zapf’s Palatino. And, if it is the case, I’d rather use Palatino for reference which, by the way, it is much more into the Renaissance mood than in the Romantic/Neoclassical style. A more faithful Latin Didot would be HTF Didot (go for the L11 Light or M11 Medium fonts, because they are intended to be used for text point sizes), or Linotype Didot for display (mainly because the thin parts are too weak for running text).
    Hope some of this helps. :)
  • DiegoSouzaDiegoSouza Posts: 38
    Hi Diego. Welcome to the type design world. A very exciting field, as you have experienced already. Certainly I see many things to improve in your work, but everyone starts that way. I certainly did.
    Have you read Karen Cheng’s book? I’d say it will help you to understand proportions and relationships among letters at a deeper level.
    I don’t know if you are aware of this, but Bembo, Garamond and Centaur share visual features because they are Renaissance typefaces, and both Didot and Bodoni share visual features because they are, in Bringhurst’s terminology, Romantic typefaces (other experts, such as Paul Shaw, think they are better labeled as Neoclassical, but that is not important at this moment). My point is that you are taking two groups of references very apart from each other. I am pretty sure both worlds can be mixed together, but it is not an easy task. I’d recommend to stick to one of these groups, aven if you add a little bit of Renaissance into your Romantic letterforms (or the other way around).
    A third comment: I’d say the strong part of GFS Didot [i. e., Greek Font Society’s version of Didot] is actually the Greek, since in essence it is a revival of the Greek typeface designed by Firmin Didot, later introduced into Greece by his grandson, Ambroise Firmin Didot. I am informed that this typeface was almost the only good choice available for setting Greek at the time. According to GFS, the Latin part is based on Hermann Zapf’s Palatino. And, if it is the case, I’d use Palatino for reference instead which, by the way, it is much more into the Renaissance mood than in the Romantic/Neoclassical style. A more faithful Latin Didot would be HTF Didot (go for the L11 Light or M11 Medium fonts, because they are intended to be used for text point sizes) or Linotype Didot for display (mainly because the thin parts are too weak for running text).
    Hope some of this helps. :)
    thanks for the answer, and yes, that's my wish. i want to make a text typeface. one book that i read about font design said that's one of the most difficult things to do, so i took it as a challenge.

    this book 


  • edited June 2023
    Very good book! I’ve read it too. At a technical level, it will help you a lot. And yes, designing a typeface for running text is very difficult. The usual path is to start with something more playful, typically for headings.
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,389
    Also https://learntype.eu/ just came out

  • DiegoSouzaDiegoSouza Posts: 38
    Also https://learntype.eu/ just came out

    thanks for the recommendation, seems to be really interesting and full of content 
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