Critique my display neo-grotesque

Options
I've been playing with this display neo-grotesque for a while now, and I'm becoming a little blind to it. As I'm still a beginner I'd like to hear what you all think about it. :smile:


Comments

  • Typofactory
    Options
    The /a looks droppy, maybe raise the bowl. The /f and /e have over- and under-bites, respectively. The g might benefit from having the sloping part be straight. The m looks like two /n put together. The s suffers from bad quality curves, try to make them transition more easilty. I like what you have done, however, there aren't a lot of optical adjustments it seems. However, I would call this a humanist, not a neo-grotesque. All of these problems can be fixed with a little bit of work and some dedications, but it is showing a lot of potential.
  • Thomas Phinney
    Thomas Phinney Posts: 2,790
    edited December 2023
    Options
    This is not going to be helpful for them, but I write it to help other people who are reading the thread: I am always sad when somebody like “tersaniko” shows up with a complete font and asks for feedback, because they could have saved themselves a TON of work by asking for feedback earlier when they had just a few letters done.

    That said, of course it is super impressive that people hammer away at these things for so many hours on their own! But I do have some thoughts.... sorry if this does not come off gently enough. I am hoping it will be helpful and does not discourage you! I would love to see a second take later.  :)

    Why does the /o overshoot less than /p and /q? The bottom of the /o feels like it doesn’t overshoot at all.

    It feels like you don’t have a scheme for the widths of caps. It has neither oldstyle nor modern proportions, and feels a bit confused about the widths. Why is the /A weirdly narrow? It looks like it is from a condensed typeface. /V and /W are pretty cramped as well.

    /e has a strange underbite

    I don’t feel like I understand your mid-line scheme. You can be normal, or either be consistently high- or low-waisted, or have a “ducking” scheme where some are high and others are low in equal (visual) degree. But you are doing none of these. B is very high-waisted, but that doesn’t follow through elsewhere. P and R have unusually large upper bowls which might be seen as matching the lower part of B, but I do not see E and F playing this game at all. Actually, E has a bizarre EXACTLY vertically centered crossbar, and F seems fairly normal.

    I question your vertical vs horizontal stroke thicknesses. It feels like maybe they are the same, which of course makes it look like the horizontals are too heavy.

    Perhaps you might find this video of mine helpful. The took I am using is pretty much irrelevant, the advice is generally tool-independent. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR-CG5eB3nQi

    Vertical proportions are a bit odd. For something that wants to look like it was made about 1900, you have a surprisingly large x-height. Having ascenders at cap height instead of about 5% higher is also an oddly modern touch in such a quaint grotesque.
  • tersaniko
    Options
    Thank you both!

    Thomas Phinney:

    I am not sure why you feel that the /o overshoots and undershoots less than /p and /q. They all overshoot and undershoot 9 units (1000 UPM). My x-height is 570, so /o is a hair more than 3% taller than that at 588 units. Nearly all my sources say that overshoot should be between 1-3%. What have I missed?

    Round capitals overshoot and undershoot 16 units. To my eye both of these are enough to optically *compensate* their size. If I overshoot them more they are clearly taller than H, at least to my eye... But as I am just a beginner, I want to learn. Should I overshoot them more?

    Vertical stem thickness on capitals is 140 units, horizontal 136. Again, making horizontals thinner than that I really perceive them to be thinner than verticals, and I want them to look the same. But if my eyes are not good enough, I will change the measurements, haha. What value would you recommend for the horizontal stem thickness?

    /O (and /C, /G, /Q) are 142 units on their widest and 136 on their narrowest. How would you change these?

    I will be thinking about proportions and other stuff you both mentioned. :smile:
  • tersaniko
    Options

    I changed the proportions a lot and raised the midline. I was originally trying create an effect with the midlines of /B, /R and /P being clearly at different heights, but perhaps I was too subtle. Not anymore.

  • John Butler
    Options
    Once upon a time Erik van Blokland drew the word BEER with all four crossbars at different heights. Programming that effect as contextual alternates for appropriate words like BEER and BURP does feel like progress.
  • tersaniko
    tersaniko Posts: 7
    edited December 2023
    Options
    Made a ton of changes. Tried to make the curves on /a, /e, /f, /j, /t, /y more consistent. Not sure what to do with /S and /s, though. In lowercase the snakier /s seems more fitting, but in uppercase that would probably be too funky.

    @John Butler , that's a fun idea, programming some kind of progression to midlines! Maybe I'll give it a go later.


  • jeremy tribby
    Options
    the different terminal angles in /C/G/S/c and /s (the more upright version of /s) compared to /a/e/f/g/j/t/y aren’t quite working for me. there are other competing ideas in the design - characteristics of a geometric sans, art deco, early wild grotesques and later refined ones. if the typeface were more consistent with itself it would be less of a problem that it draws from diverse influences, I think 
    the /E and /F stand out as rather wide in this latest version

  • tersaniko
    Options
    the different terminal angles in /C/G/S/c and /s (the more upright version of /s) compared to /a/e/f/g/j/t/y aren’t quite working for me. there are other competing ideas in the design - characteristics of a geometric sans, art deco, early wild grotesques and later refined ones. if the typeface were more consistent with itself it would be less of a problem that it draws from diverse influences, I think 
    the /E and /F stand out as rather wide in this latest version

    I'm starting to see the problems with /C/c/G myself too, so I ditched that idea, and made capitals more art deco. I made /S/s a half-snake between the previous two. I also rounded the joints in /h/m/n/r/u to better match the very round /b/d/p/q.

    I can't imagine a better way to spend the holidays than learning type design.


  • Typofactory
    Options
    The /G doesn’t need to be rounded until it goes back in, it can be a straight line and then take a right angle.
  • tersaniko
    Options
    The /G doesn’t need to be rounded until it goes back in, it can be a straight line and then take a right angle.
    I know, just thought it looks fun that way! I might change my mind later ;)

    Here's the beast now.


  • Craig Eliason
    Options
    Shoulders of /h/n/m/u (and curves of /f/t) don’t share the geometric quality of most of the other letters. 
  • jeremy tribby
    Options
    tersaniko said:
    I can't imagine a better way to spend the holidays than learning type design.
    happy holidays!
    is the contrast a tiny bit too low, even though it is meant to be monolinear? looking at /O and /o or the top oval in /g for example, optically would it make sense for them to be a hair thinner at top and bottom?
  • Sander Pedersen
    Options
    I try to keep the counterspaces of /a and /e analogous. Small eye and large aperture /e; small bowl and large aperture /a. Equally balanced light between the eye and the open counter; same in /a.