Just curious... do you enjoy drawing the thin or black masters more?

Not so much a process question as it is just a curiosity what others find themselves more inclined towards (and probably depends on the design/mood):

Is the more delicate, sometimes neutral monoline balance of the thin/extra light master drawing more interesting/enjoyable? Or the darker, sometimes more character-rich bold/black master? Maybe it's the balance of the regular, intermediate master? Or perhaps they're all equal.


  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,946
    Black is more fun because it’s where I get to cram in some wild thick/thin stuff and weird terminal angles.
  • It depends a bit on the design for me… by default I’m inclined to start with black because it comes with a lot of constraints and optical adjustments that might impact the way I think about the lighter weights. But on an in-progress neogrotesque, I started with the regular weight because that’s where I anticipate it being used the most, and wanted to get the right feeling there first. Meanwhile, on a Roman sans I’ve been working on, I started with the light weight first because I had an idea around higher contrast at the light weight, that would get lower with the heavier the weight, and wanted to get that sorted out early on
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,594
    Black is definitely more fun to draw than thin for me.
  • If it’s a sans, the Black is more fun. For my newest release, Oculi, the lightest weight was more interesting and fun to draw as I had a lot more space to play with weight modulation and curve tension.
  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 237
    edited September 6
    I'm pretty split, but does change some based on the design (so not sure I anticipate a usually clear 'more fun' weight). While I do like seeing how much expressiveness I can get in the black that makes sense, I do find something pleasant about designing the 'purity' of the thin forms in its typically most reduced appearance.

    And, similar to James, with a more characterful serif, the lightest can be quite interesting with how much to turn up/down the light and dark spots. (Oculi is really nice, btw.)
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,456
    The black is a heavyweight fight.  The action is fierce and never-ending. At the weigh in, you don't fear the scale.
  • Team Thin, all the way!
  • My last few thin masters were 10-unit Hairlines, and those are a headache to get right without too much variation in stroke weight. The Blacks are just oodles of fun in comparison. In fact, the Overbold typeface was probably the most entertaining among my projects.
  • Adam LaddAdam Ladd Posts: 237
    Team Thin, all the way!
    What do you think it is that strikes you more about drawing the thin?
  • Paul HanslowPaul Hanslow Posts: 137
    edited September 7
    Drawing Black and Thin masters requires a different set if of skills. You can't hide weight issues in Thin and curves have to be very well balanced, while Black is all about wizardry and maintaining glyph widths and keeping counters open. Both have inherent challenges and I just prefer the challenged of the Thin weight as you can really see a type designers skill when it comes to Thin weights, especially in non Latin designs.

    Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy working in Black weights, I just prefer Thin. 
  • Black. It forces me to make whitespace creatively, and break a couple of the rules that govern the typeface along the way. Drawing curves in a Black, especially those on the inside, can also be an interesting challenge. Lastly, the Black will be interpolated to a Bold (with or without further adjustments), which just means that it matters more, it is time spent wisely. When making a Light I often feel like very few people will actually use it in the end, which is why I often don't even finish the Light weight.
  • Black is more fun and easier for me.

    I have turned to 2000 UPM since I tried to draw a rounded corner sans-serif Thin at 1000 UPM :) As Thomas said, it was just trying to make it acceptable, often picking between two ugly choices. Especially putting orthogonal extremes at terminals of curved letters like C i.e.

    I work with two masters, and I look not to have a too dark Black, which saves me much of a trouble on that end. And I can later decide to add Heavy or Ultra in the future with more optical compensation.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,059
    Black is a horrible chore, when it comes to figure variants and characters such as ampersand and Eszett—and that’s just Latin.
    A big problem is characters that don’t have a consistent angle of stress.
    And, as Paul says, keeping counters open.
    It might be “fun” to draw one or two of these problem glyphs, but there are so many of them in fonts with a full slate of Features and extended language support!
  • I enjoy both in different ways.

    Thin is far more easy so you get speedy results and the pleasure to see things quicly ready.

    Black is difficult, but more rewarding every time you achieve a good design for a challenging glyph.
  • I hate drawing all of them.
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