Hi! I'm new to this forum, so let me present myself. I am a graphic designer who lives in Rio and have always loved and admired calligraphy and typography. I try to study and read the most that I can, but sometimes (ok, every time), only the opinion of someone more experienced and with a very good eye to help someone who is beginning on the subject. I want to draw my first type family and as a beginner, I just want it to be usable and honest.
Ok, my first question may sound silly:
What are known "acceptable" ending terminal cuts, specially on the bottom of lowercase "e" and both endings of lowercase "c"? Is there a "wrong" kind of terminal angle of cut?
*I don’t mean that they should all be the same, only that the nature of consistency should be an important consideration of the typeface design.
Thank you so much!
The most dominant (or first noticed) thing is the characteristic of the /q/u/b/h, which are dynamic and warm (maybe) and stand out, then you have the /s/e/c which are much more calmed down and neutral. The /r is nice for itself, yet it's shoulder thickness is widening too much and doesn't relate to anything else. The /g is not distinctive to any of the stylistic properties and it's loop's thickness is lighter than the rest of the characters. the /k is a bit narrow and it's sharp corner (and gap from the stem) doesn't "work" with the /w/v/y.
/y is very neutral. /t/f/j seems from a different style.
All finals should be examined. The /d/h/k/b ascender diagonal chop is nice, and may be a basis for something, yet all the other finals (/s/c/e/t/f/etc') are chopped vertically, it may look and work better chopped perpendicular to the stroke's direction.
Consider how the typeface would look like if was "unified" to each of the different styles, than choose the one that appeals or suit you most and go in that direction.
As for the e/c question: when you get into heavier weights or when you have a lower crossbar, sometimes a good solution is to open up e's mouth a bit wider. If you look at very bold fonts, you can see lots of e's with a "low lip".
I think instead of only following rules, type more words and see how the letters get along with one another. You can create a rule system when you're designing but in the end it doesn't really matter. When you see the letters in words, you can see what works and what doesn't. And sometimes, by not having a consistent rule system, you end up designing something more interesting. For example, the kinks on the r,n,m... How does the r work with those? How about the f and the t? Maybe the f and t crossbars could harmonize with those kinks? Let the letters affect one another.
When you talk about the "low lip", do you also mean that the "baseline overshoot" is gonna be even lower?
I've been testing this a lot and typing as many different words as I can. What do you mean by kinks on the r,n,m...?
Thank you so much for your feedback, Ray!
P.S.: Is there a way I can post images here instead of uploading the pdf?
Funny you say that about drawing the lower case /g! I also had this same fear! The thing is, of course I want feedback, but being a beginner, sometimes it is difficult to see what to others is very "in your face" and to me still looks "subtle".
On working with test phrases, I'm using "adhesiontext", "hamburgefontsiv" and "videospan". Of course I test various words, but mainly these.
Opening the e probably wouldn't require an adjustment of the overshoot. Think of the overshoot as relating to the size of the circle. Even if there's no actual circle, just imagine one there. If you have a J with a tight curve it probably needs less overshoot than a big, round O.
Sometimes when I'm having trouble doing optical adjustment, I'll deliberately make it wrong, then tap arrow keys until it looks right. That way I'm not biased by what I know to be mathematically precise. For example, I have a V, and I've measured the stems so it's technically correct and symmetrical. I deliberately mess it up, then use the arrow keys to bump it back into place. I try not to look at the glyph window, I just look up at the preview window and see how the shape changes in context of words. I keep banging away on the arrow keys until it feels correct. I guarantee, if you do that, and you do a horizontal flip, you'll be surprised how asymmetrical it really is.
When using test phrases, sometimes you need to make stuff up to see how a certain letter will react next to lots of letters at once. If I'm working on a g, I might go with Agogoagpgghgyfgtggle just to get the basic mechanics of it right. By mechanics I mean: will the g collide with a y or another g. Does the ear touch the t or f. That kind of practical mechanical stuff. After that's all worked out, I can use it in real words to fine tune it.