Correct way to build an /X/???

wolfattack's picture

I don't know if anyone else has this problem, but every time I get to designing an /x/ or /X/, I wonder "am I doing this correctly?". After 3-4 year of doing type design work, I still can't seem to figure out the correct approach to optically correcting an /X/! It is also frustrating because on just about every other glyph, I can see the problem areas, but for the /X/ I can't ever seem to tell what I need to do...

It seems a bit easier on a sans, but i've referenced some serif and slab serifs and cannot seem to figure out how the designer got to the final thing (alignment of the points on the central joint, all the serifs are a bit different size...).

Does anyone have any tips on how they approach the /X/, or maybe links to previous posts about this (I had a lot of trouble searching for a single letter on the forum).


hrant's picture

Good question. But, first of all: display or text?


eliason's picture

1. Draw it uncompensated, with the strokes crossing each other.
2. Cut the thinner stroke at the center of the intersection.
3. Lower the inner end of the upper piece and raise the inner end of the lower piece equally and incrementally until the optical illusion is gone and the thinner stoke looks like it shoots straight through.
4. At some point remove overlaps.

Of course, there are other ways to do it (you could create four nodes on the thin stroke within the intersection to make a parallelogram, and then skew those, for example).

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