Baguettes ... early days

This is Baguettes (working title).

It's the first work I've felt confident enough to show you all. 

My key question: am I heading the right direction, please?

Plenty of books say that you should make sure you get your early glyphs as good as possible, to avoid multiplying mistakes across the whole set of characters. What should I change, please, to prevent this?

Technical stuff: I created this using Glyphs. I drew some caricature extreme light and heavy weights (thanks @Ray Larabie for that tip); the third line is my "regular" that I designed before I learned about the possibilities of interpolation.

Best wishes, and thanks in advance. Andrew.



Comments

  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,641
    Making your first typeface is a lot of work, so congratulations on getting so far along. A few thoughts....

    In the light:
    • h, n, d are pretty narrow. e and c are fairly wide.
    • Others are in between (including the o).
    • The a seems lighter than the rest, while the c seems bolder.

    Overall/elsewhere:
    • The o seems a bit lumpy in multiple weights.
    • The dot of the i is too close to the stem in the black. (If it has to go above the ascender height, that's life.)
    • You could increase the overshoot just a bit, maybe by 1/4 again as much.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 911
    edited March 11
    On the right track. I think the x-height on the light weight should be a bit lower.

    In the heaviest weight, look at the thinnest part of the n and h. Compare with the same part of the d. They don't need to be exactly the same but I think the difference is too much.

    It seems like the light weight has similar sidebearings to the heavy with some padding. That can work for most glyphs but pay special attention to LTft. The kerning and sidebearings for those are very different. I know you don't have an L yet but think about a fat L...in general The right side is like a wall, feels like it needs more room when it's adjacent to a flat-sided letter like H and physically can't tuck under U. Now think about a thin L. That feels more balanced when it's tighter to a flat-sided letter and will tuck neatly under U. A similar thing happens with f and t. The decision of how long the crossbars will be and how tight the sidebearings will be is partly determined by the rhythm. Before you go further, get that sorted out. You should be able to type nnnfnnnntnnn and it flows with no distracting gaps.

    In the heavy, you've got a steady rhythm. In the light, you have an erratic rhythm. Make the heavy erratic or the think steady...or a bit of both.
  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    Gentlemen. Thank you for being so generous in taking the time to make such detailed comments! That's a lot to digest and I'll apply it over the next few days. NB if either of you are ever in Hong Kong, please let me buy you a beer/wine/coffee/beverage of your choice at the Foreign Correspondents' Club.

  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    Thanks again for the advice. I hope I've applied it well. Here's version #2. Thanks in advance for any further advice.

  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 915
    The personality comes through most clearly in the heaviest weights. Hood of /f/ thins out too much in all weights. 
  • First things first: we can't see your vertical proportions.
  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    edited April 27
    First things first: we can't see your vertical proportions.
    What's the best way for me to show them, please?

  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    edited April 27
    The personality comes through most clearly in the heaviest weights. Hood of /f/ thins out too much in all weights. 
    I agree, and as this is my first face, I'm at a loss how to solve that personality problem. Any advice gratefully received.

  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,549
    edited April 27
    Andrew Wood said:
    What's the best way for me to show them, please?
    Just a "g" in "handlove" would be plenty.  :-)

    BTW this is quite decent for a first effort.
  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    Andrew Wood said:
    What's the best way for me to show them, please?
    Just a "g" in "handlove" would be plenty.  :-)

    BTW this is quite decent for a first effort.
    Ah, I was afraid you might as for a "g". I've had a go at both types, but nothing so far that I feel confident enough to share. I'll polish them over the next day or two. I'd be interested for your opinion on whether a one- or two-storey "g" would work better, please?

    And thanks for the compliment. :-)
  • OK then a "p".  :-)
    And an "H".

    The safest "g" would be a monocular one. But most chances I get I recommend trying the under-rated Koch form, like in FF Ernestine:
    http://ernestinefont.com/
  • Justin PennerJustin Penner Posts: 10
    edited May 3
    When I was new to type design (not that long ago), I found it really helpful to have someone with more experienced eyes point out any errors they could find in my letterforms. Here are a few for you:
    1. In the boldest weight, the left stem of your h and n looks heavier than the right. You might solve this by slightly reducing the left stem width, or by moving the straight-to-curve node up. The latter would also make it stylistically better matched to the light weight.
    2. As others have mentioned, the hood of your lightweight f tapers too thin. Right now it looks like an error, so you'll need to decide whether you want to make it a defining feature of the font (make it even thinner) or correct the error (make it a little thicker). If you choose the former, you also should look at which other characters can share this stylistic choice, i.e. the tail of the Jj, t, maybe even se, and so on.
    3. A very small detail, but look closely at your tilted e. If you're going to tilt it, it usually makes sense to tilt the stress to the same angle. In your e, the stress appears to be vertical.
    4. The downward stroke of the t seems to veer into a curve a bit too soon. This used to seem almost counterintuitive to me, but lowering that pair of nodes will make the transition from straight-to-curve look smoother.
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 508
    I didn't see anyone mention the /v, which appears to have a bottom that is off-center, giving it a tilted-to-the-right look. Very slight, but noticeable. The two strokes appear to differ in weight.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 915
    The personality comes through most clearly in the heaviest weights. Hood of /f/ thins out too much in all weights. 
    I agree, and as this is my first face, I'm at a loss how to solve that personality problem. Any advice gratefully received.

    The way the /n/ hump (for example) branches out from the bottom of the left stem is more apparent in the heavier weights. The tittle is (relatively) bigger in heavier weights too. I think those details contribute to the personality difference.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,641
    Also, it looks like maybe the spacing needs work, still. The sidebearings of straight things seem like they are about the same as those of the rounds, and that makes them look tighter.
  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    edited May 3
    Also, it looks like maybe the spacing needs work, still. The sidebearings of straight things seem like they are about the same as those of the rounds, and that makes them look tighter.
    Oh dear. I was quite pleased with my spacing. Looks like I've got even more to learn. Back to work, then....
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,641
    edited May 3
    Well, the spacing improved significantly from your first showing to the second one, so you shouldn’t feel discouraged!

    I did a video a while back on how to space a font. You might find it useful, regardless of what tool you use. I am doing it in FontLab Studio 5, but the principles are not tool-specific. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbc_O7bNROs
  • Andrew WoodAndrew Wood Posts: 42
    Justin PennerCraig EliasonThomas PhinneyHrant H. PapazianRay Larabie
    Many thanks everyone. Lots to digest. It took me five weeks last time to make (most of) the changes suggested. I hope I'll be a bit quicker this time.
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