Critique my Garamond (yes, another one)


I have been busy designing a new Garamond from a nice specimen I found. Here is a proof:
Any help will be greatly appreciated (and probably added — I am not a great type designer)


  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,366
    First thing is to loosen the spacing, particularly around the round letters.
  • Sander PedersenSander Pedersen Posts: 29
    edited November 19
    Consistency is an issue, and some curved segments are bumpy – how smoothly and where they transition from thick and thin is uneven. There are some quirks in the source you've based it on that are hard to carry over without looking like mistakes, so you have to make some decisions if you should depart from them.
    Determine how thin the hairlines should be, and keep it consistent between letters.
    There seems to be some inconsistency in the stem thickness between letters. Compare /I/J/K.
    Comparing the junctions of /h/m/n/r/u and /b/d/p/q, they are mostly different. The part of the hairline that just meets the stem can be a little thinner, but it should be consistent between letters. The bowl of /d looks strange – it should be more like /q, but /q also has an issue. Calligraphically, in this style diagonal stress should make the bowls of /b/p thickest above the center, and flipped + mirrored in /d/q, so the thickest part is below the center.
    Compare the upper left parts of /c /e /s and notice that /e more smoothly curves from thin to thick, while /c and /s looks bumpy, starting out a bit too thick. /D thickens too much in the upper right when /C/G/O are much more vertical in stress. Compare the thickest part of the bowl of /O to /Q.
    Compare the color of terminals. The top of /C compared to /G, and /E to /F. Try to make them all more consistent in color and how thin of a point they come to, more in line with the serifs.
    Following the sources, /u should have flat serifs at the top, and the bottom right serif should be more alike the same part on /d (which is too thin here compared to the foot serifs). /d also has a head serif that differs from the rest for seemingly no reason.
    The bottom leg of /k is too thin. Compare it to other diagonals.

    Some of these are more detailed adjustments, but I hope it helps seeing how they make a difference to the whole.
  • Thanks, I will spend a little bit working on consistency. Tell me if I am wrong, but the main points are: smoothness of curves, thinness of hairlines, stem thickness, terminals size, the source (/u), thickness of diagonals (and all strokes), head serifs. Of course, this isn't exhaustive, but it is pretty close.
  • John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 195
    edited November 20
    A nice start. The letter shapes look rather historicist, while the spacing looks rather ITC. And the descenders are unusually long in contrast to the ascenders. I dig long extenders in general.
  • Daniel CaldersDaniel Calders Posts: 16
    edited November 21
    Mind you that the specimen you use as your main source (the caractères de l'Université) is not a design by Garamont, but a seventeenth-century design by Jean Jannon, later wrongly attributed to Garamont. 
  • My first viewing of your specimen almost sent me into anaphylactic shock, so tight was the spacing.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,098
    I suggest making a text setting, rather than an alphabet dump, to assess one’s design.
    Perhaps of the same text as the original specimen.
  • After reviewing the specimen, I just realized how bad the spacing was. Honestly, I’m disappointed in myself for letting that be something that I made.
  • Don't be disappointed. Be content with learning and realising there's room for improvement. Type design is a process of learning just as much as designing.
  • After reviewing the specimen, I just realized how bad the spacing was. Honestly, I’m disappointed in myself for letting that be something that I made.
    Lower expectations and you will be less dissapointed.  ;)  You're doing great.
  • This particular font has already been digitized, by Francois Rappo at Optimo. He called it Jjanon. Just sayin'. 
  • Typofactory, do you happen to be using either Glyphs or Robofont? If so, you may find the LS Cadencer Tools a good value (49 €) for automating your spacing.
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