letter "Y" in Francker font... need your advice

design-invader's picture

...that is my first post here so; Hello to all of you!

I am working on a logo which make use of font Francker
I need your advice and knowledge about the solution used to construct a capital "Y" letter in this font. Maybe its my ignorance but i found a corner circled in red a bit annoying.


Please take a closer look and tell me why this letter is constructed that way? Is there any other solution which will help to get rid of the "corner"?

Thanks in advanced for all your comments.

oldnick's picture

You would probably have to ask the designer “why?”—but it appears to me that he/she was recycling the design of the X. In any vector drawing program, it's not terribly difficult to extend the slanted sides down so that they meet the stem, if that's what you're after.

Nick Shinn's picture

…why…

When stems cross, they create a dense, thicker area.
This is especially apparent when they cross at an angle, because the acute joint “fills in” one way or another.
Type designers have traditionally addressed this issue in letters such as Y by tapering the angled strokes (check out Frutiger Black to see this method vigorously applied).
However, in Francker it appears that the designer would prefer to keep the stems of an even thickness, so has devised other means to alleviate the heavy spots.
One of these is to offset the “chevrons” in X (Frutiger does that too), and, interestingly, another is the “notched” technique in the Y.

design-invader's picture

hmmm... i know how to extend it in vector program.

The problem for me is that any changes looks silly - especially when compared with other characters...
here is example of modified and oryginal "Y" >

My guess is that 'corner' is there because cap hight of letters is quite low, and in heavy wheits of this font there is simply no room to do it in different way - thats because stem of "Y" is becoming quite short.

design-invader's picture

@ Nick Shinn; thank you for your answer - it will help me to go deeper into this issue...

Anders Francker's picture

@design-invader: The 'corner' is there due to the reasons that you and Nick Shinn have already mentioned.
Due to the superellipse-inspired design and the spurless lowercase letters, the characters of Francker generally look quite big compared to those of other more tradionally designed typefaces. To match the overall look of the typeface I wanted to keep all the angled strokes of letters such as A, K, R, V, X and Y of an almost equal thickness, with only a small taper for optical reasons. An extreme taper of the two angled strokes of Y and no 'corner' would lead to too much white space in both sides of the character.
Especially in the heavy weights the characters become very wide compared to their height and therefore it was not a good solution just to extend the strokes of the Y as shown in your example - the letter would look to much like a V and have a big dark spot in the middle.
The inspiration to the 'notched' design of Y comes from the small letter y where the left stroke, in some typefaces (including Francker), is connected to the right one so that there becomes a 'corner'.

Annoying or not - I personally think I have come to the best solution for the Francker Y!

Regards,
Anders Francker
Designer

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