Riona Sans — Type Critique

Hi everyone,

This is my first post to TypeDrawers so let me introduce myself first. I have worked over 8 years as Art Director in advertising. My true passion however have always been typography and type design. First it was just a hobby but now I'm trying to make myself a profession by designing typefaces. I have studied graphic design but I haven't studied type design. So I'm selftought and that's why I thought it is maybe a good thing to ask some critique.

I made Riona Sans couple of years ago but now I decided to update it fully. Riona Sans has 16 weights, proportional lining figures, proportional old style figures and small caps.





  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,146
    Do you need 8 weights?
    How many masters are you working from, and what are their weights?
  • I have three masters: thin, regular and black. I like to use typefaces that has enough weights for a subtle changes. So that the variation between weights is quite mild. That's why i made 8 weights. You think it's too much?
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  • Yeah, I see now that I have typo in that introduction. I meant 8 weights and 16 fonts. 8 italics and 8 uprights.
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  • I guess you could fit a couple of more weights between the heavier fonts. I also thought that I might do condensed and extended versions later.
  • If you ask me you're way past the online-crit point. Having said that, your italic s looks a bit too wide on the top to me, but than again, it's kinda charming.
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 544
    edited March 2014
    Hi Mika, Welcome!
    Great Job as usual.
  • Thanks for the comment Jasper. Yes I had this idea to ask some crit a little late, but it's never too late to have some good critique.
  • Thanks Pablo!
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,146
    edited March 2014
    I think you could get away with fewer weights, chosen judiciously, but I suppose there's no major harm in having as many as you do. There must be some breaking point where the number of options becomes a hindrance rather than a help to the type user, but you may yet be on the safe side of the line.
    At any rate, that Extra Black weight goes too far as designed--all the white space gets squeezed out (so, for example, small-cap E is almost just a black rectangle).
    Cap /S/ is the letter that needs work the most IMO. It looks kind of sci-fi ish to me. /m/ is too wide also.
  • Thanks Graig for good comments. I check the width of /m/. Yes, Extra Black is very thick. Maybe I go over the parts once more that are too blocked.
  • It is a nice idea, but I wouldn't be thinking about a lot of wts until the poles are much better;
    you stop cheating on the round ascender ht., face the issue of a huge x ht. and no clearance in the i, j and f, you look at some other sans italic round shapes, and you do a better job of spacing,

    Otherwise you just make a lot of seriously troubled styles and work for yourself or your clients.

  • Thanks david for your comments. I might have a little language barrier here. What does wts stand for?

    The cheating on the round ascender height is a good point, I have to check that. I have tweaked /S and /s both upright and italic (thanks to Graigs comment) and I think those are better now.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,146
    wts = weights
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,720
    edited April 2014
    @David: face the issue of a huge x ht. and no clearance in the i, j and f

    Interesting how Excoffon handled that in Antique Olive.
    Actually a design solution, whereas letting the problem parts extend way up above the other ascenders is not.
    Would you dare give your /f a low-rider crossbar?
  • That is an interesting idea indeed. I have to try that out. Thanks Nick!
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,720
    FWIW, I don’t believe that every weight of a typeface has to slavishly follow the same basic construction. The classic example of that is how the “tail” of Helvetica’s /a disappears in the bold weights. With more than two poles (you know what I mean) in weight interpolations, no problem.
  • Thanks everyone for your input. This was very helpful.

    I tweaked /S and /s letters and made /m narrower. I stopped cheating on the round ascender height. And I did gave /f a low-rider crossbar (not so much as in Antique olive but still). I think that looks good and adds a little bit personality to this typeface.

  • 4 is much improved.
  • Thanks Stephen. It was actually your comment of that number 4 that made me do this critique thread here.
  • How will "aft futzer" look now?
  • I dropped /f crossbars in Black and Extra Black weights. In which it was necessary.
  • And now let's say either you or your user sees that the counters of the a and e, e.g. in your 3 bolder faces, don't look much like they belong to the background white space, because there is so much whitespace around the letters, the ae counters are like little islands in the middle of a black sea. Since you or your user plan on employing the a and e... it should be properly spaced either by you or your user, to look something like the attached, before you can make decisions like the one you now can more easily see, I hope. :)
  • Thanks David for the clarification. Now I see what you mean. And you are right about the spacing. I decreased sidebarings at the boldest fonts and I must say those works much better now.
  • André SimardAndré Simard Posts: 163
    If you drop the |f| crossbar, what will you do with the |ft| ligature? For me, I prefer to keep the crossbar at the same height.
  • Jack JenningsJack Jennings Posts: 151
    Not make an ft ligature?
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,720
    Dropping the /t’s crossbar is another option, e.g. Laudatio, Palatino Sans.

    Perhaps tittles that overshoot ascender height are not such a bad thing. After all, that is an area where accents (upper case) do occur. See Proxima Nova, for instance.
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