Slab Four Rounded font

jordy's picture

Ok, I will just dive right in. I am new to this forum but will submit this to get some reaction and criticism, suggestion, etc. Whatever you think and wish to say, especially helpful things, will be helpful to me. The font is based loosely on wood type, but lots of slab serifs are similar in that respect.

slabtest.gif

larger letters to see more easily are these

slabtest2.gif

I very much appreciate feedback. Don't be afraid to be negative, within reason.

Jordan Davies
jordy@together.net

jcoleman's picture

Jordan-

It looks good, but I have a few suggestions:

The x in the lower case appears too dark - try eliminating half of the serif on the inner counter of the thicker stroke.

The Z in the upper case could be bevelled at the corners.

In a font like this, the tail of the Q can afford to be a bit more exhuberant.

The figures irk me a bit. I understand that you're going for an old style look here, which is fine, but it can stand to better match the rest of the typeface. Strokes on the 1, 4 and 7 appear too dark. Plus, that aforementioned stroke on the 7 should come down as a descender.

In my opinion, the punctuation seems too small for the rest of the letters.

You've got a great start - I look forward to the end result!

-Jake

jordy's picture

Thanks Jake

Your ideas and suggestions are all good, and I will work on them. The most obvious fault both to you and me is the inconsistency in the look, stroke weight, etc. of the figures. Will post when I get the chance. This will be fun. It is great to have feedback. Thanks again.

Jordan

jordy's picture

Jake, et al

slabtest3.gif
slabtest4.gif

Here are some changes, most importantly to the figures. The uc & lc Z do look better with the bevel at the corners. Not sure about the Q tail but does look better than that weak thing it had before. Needless to say, I am working on this. I would have to say before someone asks that I can guess that the approximate time it took to make the font so far has been about 2 months, not every minute of the day, but when working on it as I did today just on the changes, about 4 hrs per day. I enlarged the punctuation and put some different letters in one of the samples. The lc x is improved I think.?

Jordan

fonthausen's picture

To quote Coleman; you have got a starting point. Although a lot of work as to be done, still.

Beware of your 'n', 'h' and 'm', they look too much like those of the FF Sheriff ones for my likings.

Jacques

hrant's picture

The foundation for this face is strongly geometric - and that has its validity. But I would caution that there has to be at least a small non-geometric "compensation" somewhere for it to click as a usable face. Futura's subtle modulation where the rounds meet the stems is a good example.

hhp

jcoleman's picture

Jordan-

It seems to me that if the lower case x were to be set at a small size - e.g., 14-point and below - its serifs would appear as one long line. A humble suggestion in alleviating this extra weight:

lc x

Just an idea.

-Jake

max_hancock's picture

Seeing the uppercase and lowercase interacting, the uppercase looks much thicker and taller. Maybe get those to match in scale.

Also, Jordan, just to let us in on the info, what are you trying to achieve with this font?

jordy's picture

Thanks everyone for the help and suggestions. It will take me a while to think through all of the suggestions and come up with something. Max, the differences in stroke thickness between uc and lc was indeed deliberate, perhaps though overdone. As to what I am trying to achieve with this font, hmm? I have to think about this. Hrant, your point about little 'compensations' as in Futura is a very good point. I will be back after I work on this some. Thanks
just curious - anyone going to the Toronto thing?
Jordan

sevenfingers's picture

I wish. I can't justify a plane ticket to toronto with my salary though :)

I like it, it does need some work though. It looks slightly "highschool". uhm, like the typefaces they use on cheerleaders tops. yeah. :)

Stephen Coles's picture

Jordan - re: TypeCon... I'll be there with my chicken.

Stephen

jordy's picture

slabtest5.gif
slabtest6.gif
slabtest7.gif

Here are some fairly substantial changes, most notably in the lc, but in all of the characters, the serifs have been widened, the tops of the joining strokes lc b,d,h,m,n,c,r,p,g have been rounded, rather than going straight in a very geometrical way. I printed out some samples at small point sizes, 10, 12, and the differences between uc and lc didn't appear to be a problem. See sample in 12 pt. I was not familiar with FF Shefiff but did look at it, and yes, there was a simiilarity in style with h, m, and n letters. This was not intentional, but it is changed anyway. Jake's suggestion re lc x was implemented. I am still thinking about where this is going, in response to Max H's question. Modern wood?
Jordan

marcox's picture

This face is getting better by leaps and bounds. I'm not crazy about the "s," though. It's so square compared to the rest of the characters.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Yes, the subtelties you're introducing are
starting to give this face some promise...

gulliver's picture

I've been intending to post a comment here for some time, but haven't been able to devote the time to a full critique yet. I largely agree with what has been said so far.

I can also add that you should look at the proportions, especially those of the upper case. The uc "A" and "V" seem a bit wide, and the "Z" seems a bit narrow, for example.

I also agree that both the uc and lc "S/s" characters seem out of place with their present squarish forms. I'd like to see rounder forms to complement the "C/c", "G/g" "O/o" and "Q/q" designs.

Also, I'm curious as to why the numeral figures seem so small -- the ascenders only reach the x-height, yet some of them have descenders that drop below the baseline. Are you planning multiple figure sets (such as lining cap-height figures, descending old-style figures, etc.)?

I love the direction that the font is taking. I'm a fan of good slab-serifs, and I have a soft spot for geometrics as well. :)

David

jordy's picture

slabtest8.gif

slabtest9.gif

slabtest0.gif

Ok, after much work, little rest (just kidding) I have done some more work, most importantly bringing the uc into shape so that it conforms to the lc, rounded S, s, rounded top strokes to the P, R & B, rounded C, c, G & D, O, Q a narrower A & V so that they are related to each other more correctly, plus other changes like a bit wider E & F. While there is unquestionably more work to be done here, I did print it out at 7 over 9 and it looks ok. The differences in weight between the uc and lc in this size really don't seem to make a difference I can see that would be annoying. I suppose there is just enough here which is quirky to distinguish it from others of its kind, but ...
Jordan

sevenfingers's picture

There seems to be some inconsistencies in the weight if you compare the lower and uppercase, I have no prob with the lowercase, but the bowls on the "B" seem a tad to dark for instance.

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