Eau de Garamond — a sans distilled from the essence of Garamond



  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    edited February 11
    I'm considering switching from the present form of diagonal accents (left) to one with horizontal cuts (right). While this is less in keeping with the typeface's stroke principles, it does give the accent more stability and less leaf-in-the-wind-ness. This is particularly apparent in the Black, where in the original the stroke with starts to compete with the stroke length.
    I chose the horizontal cuts for another typeface (Quinoa) and was very happy with the change. I find the situation less clear here, since the horizontally cut accents give up some humanism for the sake of convenience...
    One big advantage of the horizontal cut is that it makes /hungarumlaut more manageable.

  • I think I prefer the cheerfulness of the original, but it does get a bit crowded. Have you tried something in between? Or the new bottom together with the old top?
  • To my eye, the newer accents look a bit steep—at least for languages that have both acute and grave accents, such as French. The acute and grave accents might start to get too similar, especially in the bolder weights? Of course, you being Swiss are familiar with this issue.

    Languages with only acute (and double acute) accents, such as Polish and Hungarian, can go that steep no problem.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 894
    I disagree with Thomas about the “too steepness” of the newer accents. I think they look very French, very Garamond, FWIW. I like them. I don’t think there’d be confusion between acute & grave. (But, then again, my native tongue does not regularly employ these accents, so what do I know?)
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    edited February 11
    I have the strange impression that the new accents are actually more legible... the old Black acute is not too far away from a directionsless diamond, whereas the skewed asymmetry of the new design defines an unambiguous direction.

    I don't think French suffers from grave <> acute ambiguity, BTW. The accent type can almost always be predicted from context. I'm sure there are languages where they mark a phonemic contrast, though. Pinyin comes to mind.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    edited February 13
    The difference is even more pronounced with several accents. The horizontal cuts make them line up nicely, whereas they danced about before.

  • I still prefer the top ones. I think a little 'dancing about' is appropriate for a Garamondish typeface.

    Bottom ones might be easier to read though, and certainly easier to hint.
  • I love the development of this font and how it is different from ITC Legacy Sans. I like the spirit it has, very humanist, but with a lot of original character. The upper handle part of the lowercase “a” doesn’t feel there yet for me. It’s very subtle, but the contrast in the black (or bold) version makes it stand out more.
  • Have you printed the different version in 10pt?
  • Hmm, the more I look at this, the more the dancy accents irk me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to switch to the new accents for the default; not sure yet whether I should preserve the dancy accents as a stylistic set. Seems like a lot of work, and I doubt anyone would end up using it.
    I looked at some other Garamonds on MyFonts. Most of them have this type of accent:
    I.e., a chimera of organic top and horizontally cut bottom. I don't like it. The Garamond I probably respect most looks like this instead:
    Which is surprisingly close to my new accent style! :blush: And EB Garamond is pretty close to that as well:

    Jasper: Since I'm going for a reading typeface (hopefully even a book typeface), I'll take good readability and hinting over a bit of Garamond-specific quirkiness any day... :grimace: 
    Henning: What is it about the top of /a/ that you don't like?
    Georg: Good idea!
  • edited February 14
    The top of the letter “a” in bold (or black) seems undecided. It’s neither open (as in Okay Type’s Alright, the font of this forum, nor closed, as it is more typical for transitional typefaces.
    I know extracting a sans serif out of a Geralde is not a mundane task. (I’m aware of the dispute of classification in regards to the several variations of Garamond fonts.)
    I have been looking at angles of letter endings/beginnings, such as “a”, “e”, “s”, “c” in humanistic, grotesque and geometric typefaces. It appears that geometric fonts to often use stroke ending angles that sit around a 45º angle (Avenir), but there are exceptions, like the C and c of Futura.
    On the other hand, grotesque fonts tend to want to close in a horizontal line, so the “a”, “s”, “e”, “c” all close up more or less close to a horizontal ending.
    A few newer fonts, such as Roboto or Shinn Type’s Neology have broken with this paradigm.
    I have no solution and it is just a feeling. But I think the ball closure in the lowercase “a” of Garamonds is hard to “hit right” with the sharp corners of the ending strokes of a sans serif.
    Maybe something like Syntax did? I honestly don’t know without testing.
  • OMG, Kindle now allows custom fonts! I've just uploaded Ysabeau, and I already love it. Looking forward to some longer reading sessions in it. :grimace:
  • The italic also works nicely:

  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 245
    That’s a pretty wild /ff ligature you’ve got going in the italic.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    edited April 30
    BTW, I've finally deleted the old «EauTest Text» instances from the repo. The Text cut originally provided more legible versions of /a/ and /e/, but that's no longer necessary with the default /a/ and /e/ these days. I've repurposed those instances for a new «Ysabeau Office» cut with horizontal hyphen-minuses instead of the slanted hyphens, no long-tailed /Q/, and tabular lining figures.
    Oh, and the repo is now called «Ysabeau» even in the URL. Might have to change bookmarks, but I think you'd be forwarded from the old address.
  • That’s a pretty wild /ff ligature you’ve got going in the italic.
    Too wild for reading? It's taken straight from Garamond.
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 245
    Not at all. That wasn’t meant to be a negative criticism. It’s just a noticeable design when many text faces are designed to disappear. That’s all.
  • I guess the Italic comes with a higher level of «markedness» to begin with and can get away with a bit more attitude than the Roman.
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    edited May 14
    Eszett demo image for hotlinking to another discussion; don't mind me. :wink: 
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    I've hated that very narrow /f.short/ for a long while now... see the second /f/ in the image. I finally made a wider /f.short/ that better matches the default /f/, see all following examples.

    Still debating with myself whether I want to use /f.short/ instead of morpheme-crossing ligatures like /f_b/ or /f_f_h/. Maybe I should also give the ligatures an overhaul to be fair... currently I'm a bit annoyed at how flat-topped they become in the Light, in contrast with the round-topped default /f/.

  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    edited May 23
    Here's what it looks like with reduced ligatures (only /f_f/, /f_i/, /f_f_i/, /f_t/, and /f_f_t/):
    Works pretty well, but I'm feeling bad about removing ligatures from a Garamond.  :grimace:
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 923
    I like the connecting crossbars. The /f.short is an improved shape, but feels like it's pushing off the ascending letters that follow it. Could its RSB be shrunk a bit more, without necessitating a connection at the top? (You don't have a baseline serif to help fill up the white space like Garamond did.)

    The difference in height between the consecutive /f/s is too great to my eye (but I know you'll show me Garamond's as a rejoinder :smile: ). They also feel too close perhaps (though raising the hood of the first /f/ would increase the area of that top counter and ease the crowding a bit). 
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    Yes, I overshot the mark a bit with widening /f.short/. This works better, I believe?

  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    Test-reading this version, I find that my eye snags on that tiny gap between /f.short/ and /l/. My main beef with the original ligatures was not that were fused, but that they joined too far up, placing the apex on the /l/ rather than between the letters. I’ll try a more organic ligature next. It will probably necessitate a bracket trick. 
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    Aha! Allowing the second component to be lower than ascender height allows a natural shape for the /f/ component...  looking forward to testing this one on the Kindle.

  • Jacob CasalJacob Casal Posts: 95
    Perhaps a dumb question on my part, but I imagine you would hold onto your /f.short for something like a /ı/i distinction though, no? Or is the full to reduced ligatures two separate styles?
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,426
    Definitely. The /f.short/ is employed by CALT even if you switch off LIGA. Both modes should yield an agreeable result.
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