Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
edited February 4 in Type Design Critiques

I'm developing a typeface for a jewelry designer's branding,
it should be minimalistic and clean.

I try to flavor the style with wide /O/N/o/e, narrow some others like /D/Z/X.

Things I'm not sure about are...
- The width of /K/k/A/V/v
- Terminals (some are horizontal, some vertical and some diagonal)
- Applying the contrast on the letters with diagonals (/w/v/y etc')
- Contrast in /g

/e bar is too thick, I know.
I try to keep the two sides of a straight stroke parallel, and not apply optical corrections by breaking parallelism.

Proofing file attached
(lc are not kerned yet)

Would appreciate any critique.


  • Paul HanslowPaul Hanslow Posts: 157
    edited February 5
    these are my comments from looking at the image of the individual glyph sample attached. I didn't open the PDF proof. Apologies if these comments seem brutal; this isn't my intention. Type design is more about constant reviewal more than anything else. 

    The midstroke of the /G/ looks high.

    The Tail of /Q/ has a weird angle. Id increase its angle by moving the tails connection leftward.

    I'd drop the bar of the /F/ slightly but this is a stylistic decision. A lot of art deco typefaces keep the /E/ and /F/ bar at the same heights. I'm aware this isn't an art deco typeface, but mentioning it to demonstrate stylistic preferences within sans.

    /B/ looks a little dark to my eye. It's probably because the main vertical stem has an identical width to the /H/. In bolder sans id strip a little weight from the stem. Due to this glyph being narrow (which is perfectly fine as a stylistic preference), it looks dark. Strip weight out of the curves and such until it balances nicely.

    Things you're not sure about:

    The midstroke of the /e/ needs lowering to open up the counter.

    The /w/ looks high-waisted. Id solve this by pushing the bottom apexes inwards so the angles of the entry and exit stroke lean outwards more. The /w/ is hard as there's always a tipping point where the bottom apexs can make the glyph look unbalanced, or too wide. The /w/ is also a little dark so strip some weight from the overall shape.

    The /K/'s s too wide. The lowercase is better but my eyes say its needs a slight narrowing.

    /Y/ looks low waisted (i.e where the strokes meet. Id raise it 20 or so units.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 5
    Thanks a lot @Paul Hanslow
    Not brutal at all, great insights.

    What do you mean by 'constant reviewal'? I constantly review the font while i'm working on it :))

    I kind of like the /Q tail
  • I mean more time is spent reviewing outlines than actually drawing them.
    Similar to how an author is a writer, but actually spends more time rewriting.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    Yes sure, I speed up the drawing part just to get there.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,940
    It’s difficult to judge a typeface intended for branding without knowing who the client is, how the typeface will be deployed, and factors such as the client name, current or planned taglines, coordination with a logo, etc. that might be important. Of course, I don’t expect you to reveal who your client is. [I’ll also note that most of my clients would not be happy with me revealing a typeface before the branding launch.]

    I generally agree with Paul’s comments, but wanted to add this observation: the uppercase G is very striking and has a ‘stronger flavour’ than most of the rest of the alphabet. The flat segment and hard corner in the lower right make this letter stand out, and also contribute to the letter appearing quite wide compared to some other caps. That might be intentional, e.g. if this letter is prominent in the name of the client or their product, and this strong treatment is intended to create a distinctive word mark. I quite like this strong feature of the G, and wonder if you might create a more distinctive typeface—which could strengthen the branding—if you were to apply a coordinated feature elsewhere in the design, e.g. the lower right of U, or even, more radically, in B D or even S.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,703
    What John said about the uppercase G, I will say about the W/w (both cap and lowercase). Inner stroke angles so wide and outer so tight seems quite unusual to me. Not necessarily BAD, just unusual, more than most things in the typeface.

  • Things I'm not sure about are...
    - Terminals (some are horizontal, some vertical and some diagonal)
    I would recommend resolving this before anything else, if only because it affects so much of the typeface. based on what you have already drawn, it is the helvetica-flavored horizontal terminals in the /S and /s that stand out the most as being off, but you could easily change the others to match. I think the diagonal terminals (e.g. the /e) might suit the design best, but that's just my opinion. you could take a look at frutiger (vertical), helvetica (horizontal), futura (mixed), and akzidenz (diagonal) if you want to quicky get assess how these decisions can affect things overall, although you may actually want to avoid looking at them lest they cause an unwanted influence :)
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 5
    Thanks @John Hudson and @Thomas Phinney !
    This typeface is developed with and along a Hebrew script, which is strongly rectangular, the /G corner comes from it, and I like the /W/w to have tight outer angles, as if rectangulating it.

    I'm not responsible for the branding in total, mostly the typeface part, that's because the client is my dear sister :)

    Unfortunately her name has no /G, not even /N or /O, but they will get their presence in the Jewelry names and general graphics.

    I've decided to get rid of the contrast in the diagonaled letters all together, I think it's better this way. Still have to balance the weights, but I feel like i'm getting there.

    I will test out John's cornered /B/U/etc idea and share.

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    @jeremy tribby you say Futura's diagonals are mixed?! I'll expose myself to that influence :) I definitly dislike the vertical terminals, I guess i'm too technical, I respond better to radial and perpendicular logics.

    How do you find the /r ball terminal, migrated from the serific world?

  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,396
    To me, frankly the /r looks like a sort from the wrong font got dropped in. 
    It could be more fitting if ideas like that were propagated through other glyphs in the typeface (like what John was suggesting with the outlier /G). But if all other curved terminals (like in /f or /a for example) are more monoline and unseriffed, the ball on /r will look more like a mistake than a feature.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 5
    Thanks @Craig Eliason, I'll check it out on the /Cs and others, I don't like it on /t/f
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    I'm not sure about cornering the /Us but it's not bad.
    Don't like the /Cs balling, it makes the typeface too ornamental imo.

    Checking out expanding 3 Hebrew letters /מ/ס/ט, it's working nice, but don't corresponds to the absence of expanded letters in the name in caps (MEYRAV SHAVIT) :smirk:

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 6
    Keep on forging.

    Reduced the contrast at circle-straight joints (/b/p/etc).
    I'll carry the ball on the /r a little bit more, until it drops, or something develops of it.

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 6
    There's something here, but I know how it goes... you start with a smart bronnet, and ends up with a curled redhair Tiffany.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 6
    It's not working at all in this direction. I'll have to turn it to a high contrast serif to make it. I do like the /f though.

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    Only with /f/r balled...

    Btw i'm using @PabloImpallari 's great testing page
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,936
    edited February 6
    Those sporadic thins are way out of character. I don't mind the dotted /r/ for some reason, though. I think it resonates with /i/. Maybe the ear of /g/ could pick it up too?
    The round letters, especially /o/, strike me as too wide compared to the other letters.
    Jewelry is precision work; make sure to polish the typeface as one might a gem... Currently it still makes a quite rough impression on me. (The irritating shape of /W/w/ probably does more than its fair share to contribute to that impression...)
  • Print it out and look at it from a distance, see where your eye falls.

    For me it falls on the /w, /f and /g. You don't really want letters that stand out more than other letters.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    Thanks @Christian Thalmann and @Simon Cozens!

    Made some work with the /g, i'm on 6 now. Need some more tunning.

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,703
    For the most part, you need to decide how much contrast (stroke variation) the typeface has. The newest /g looks out of place with the rest of the font, I think. It is not BAD, it just doesn’t fit the rest of the typeface. I think it was OK a while ago and is going in less compatible directions.

    Also, n-h-u seem like the counters are the same widths as m, when they should be wider. But u can be a tad less than the others.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    I think i'm getting it with the /g
    @Thomas Phinney the /m counters are a bit narrower, is it not enough?

  • Now I'm seeing the /a which is really narrow and the /e which is really wide.
  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 396
    edited February 7
    @Simon Cozens yes i've narrowed the /a a bit more.

    I've started testing the concept of the wide /e/o now, getting deeper into the styling aspects in context of the practical needs from the typeface.

    I'll make a version of proportional /e/d/b/etc' too.

  • Things are stabling with this sans.
    I got fed of the balled /f. Made the proportional lc version and some family members and let them work with it for a while.
    I see that there are weight issues in the balder weights...

    But while working on this sans, I've also experimanted a bit with it and came up with the following style...
  • Would love to know what you think about this...
    *still in draft level

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