jfp's picture

This page, and image posted here after show a current group project of my type design students, Ensad, Paris (3 hours by week course). As usual, the end of the year, the students have so much to finish, they don't seems serious as it need to finish it! Anyway, its where they are. And its seems interesting to see what the world (Typophile IS the world!) say about it?

Its a revival of a late 19th century french typeface, from a foundry called Fonderie Bertrand, who probably be purchased by Peignot later. Some of the caps proportions are strange, like the B or M.

My question is do we need to stick to this strange proportions, or need to correct them?

The serif structure came from a friendly confrontation between three groups of students (after a close observation of some results of cutting technics). It seems to work for lc, less in some caps, I think about C, G, S, E at vertical position? What do you think?

Any others comments welcome, despite, we don't know what can be done to correct after your comments. Only next friday of work and the typeface need to be achieved.

Bertrand 3

hrant's picture

I think you should keep the strange stuff (we have enough "normal" typefaces), but you might correct optical things: color issues (like in the UC "V"), the lc "k" join, etc.

One thing I wonder about is the descender depths: maybe it's nice to have them different? But if they're made the same, the "y" is the best one to match.

The serif structure on the other hand seems to clash too much with the overall style.


keith_tam's picture

Hi Jean-Fran

aquatoad's picture

This a very hip!

Color is really hard to judge on screen, particularly in a gif. The color in a -> n looks alot more consistant thatn o -> z . Also the numerals seem slightly dark compared to the a -> n set.

Oh, maybe a slightly darker terminal on the a.


gulliver's picture

Upper-case "B", "R", and perhaps "P" all look a bit wide to me.

The numerals are wonderful, except that "5" seems a bit narrow. Perhaps angling the top a bit could create an illusion of being wider without destroying the graceful curve below.

Nice work!


eomine's picture

Jean Fran

jfp's picture

So fast as usual! My answers go to various points made by all of you. Thanks a lot, the students will appreciate, that the job they done is appreciated elsewhere than in their classroom!

Use this link for the pdf of the gif posted here. Don't look to close to the forms, they are done from various methods, softwares, various students!

Ok, lets kept the serifs. Not sure to understand what Hrant say in its last sentence?

Yes, the proportions of the caps are odd, but they are like that in such late century typefaces, very large mono width caps, such we found on earliers Sans too. The S was not on our sample (I think), and indeed, we've done it too narrow!

But, your comments convince me that the B, P, R are really to large for today eyes. We will make them more narrow a bit enough to kept this strange feature, without to be disturbing too much.

Yes, Hrant, the k need to be corrected, i don't asked them to correct it yet!! Some others glyphs need to be corrected too. The ampersand is a pure invention from the student who have done the figures...

Normally, the figures follow an intermediate weight between caps and lc (its what i say during teaching). But, its possible that some are to heavy.

Yes I like quite a lot the numerals! the five in particularly. You right David, we make it little more wider.

thanks again!

jfp's picture

Eduardo, about your cap comment:
Do you noticed that the good old Times feature vertical axis caps when the lc are quite oblique axis?

Anyway, I agree with most of your comments: make less strange, but still strange.

What do you think about the Question mark? Not too soft?

hrant's picture

> proportions ... are like that in such late century

That's actually where I think the serifs don't fit in. On the other hand, it's what makes the face most original...

Looking at the PDF: I think the color is slightly light for text. It seems to be asking for slightly looser spacing, but that would weaken the overall (more), so darkening instead should help.

BTW, The Asterisk is very nice.


eomine's picture

Good point about Times, J-F.
About the question mark, yes, a little less soft would be better.
In the other hand, the paragraph mark could be softer.

jfp's picture

Hrant: I understood, and agree. Little light for text, but its how it is at the time, light page generally, at least in France -- despite, in this case, they pretend that is a OldStyle! The spacing is not done, it will help perhaps?

Same feelings about question mark. Thanks too.

Miss Tiffany's picture

The irregularity of the serifs and the angles aren't so disparate that they need to be made the same. The only thing that catches my eye from my printout is the odd character widths. And really, they aren't so odd. For the question mark, I don't think it is too soft, but what if the front (top) end was trimmed flat and the back (bottom) end was left soft? Maybe this would make it match the somewhat irregular serifs?? I also like the color when it is printed. Maybe a little light for book work at the smallest point-size, I can see that, but maybe only just.

I printed this out on a 600dpi laserprinter.

Miss Tiffany's picture

On second glance. The '5' is a little narrow and the '

Miss Tiffany's picture

hmm. Sorry.

The 'v' and the 'w' seem to be sticking their chins out. That is, if the bottom apex were chins. Falling backwards, leaning backwards a bit.

The more I look, the more I really enjoy the serifs. Don't change those.

jfp's picture

So, the students and myself worked on a new and final version of Bertrand. We've looked at some of your comments and applied the corrections. Thanks a lot. here after the final gifs

jfp's picture

Note that some spacing are due to the gif -- not like that on Indesign. Particularly the word 'caract

jfp's picture

And its an OT font with some features such the ligatures, superiors and so on. funny to use.

jfp's picture

The year is over, and the students have been very happy to receive all the very fast comments from you all! Thanks on the behalf of all of them!

On same page as usual, you can download the final nice pdf specimen they created last friday. Follow the images at the end of the page, to understand how to built it!

direct link:

Finally, for those who read French, or have fun with Babelfish, you can also read a small contribution on same subject!

Syndicate content Syndicate content