Hamfist

matteson's picture

So this is my first attmept, finally, at something resembling a latin text face. If it seems worth it, I hope to throw together an italic companion once I finish fixing all the problems here. Or is this entirely to Rotisy? Thanks for the feedback.

matteson's picture

Here's a PDF too, with some more characters (figures, accents, etc.) and 8 and 10 point paragraphs.


application/pdf
Specimen030517a.pdf (31.0 k)

matteson's picture

So it was a boring Sunday for once and, with nothing better to do, I started on the italic comanion to this face anyhow. The spacing and (yowza) hinting aren't begun yet. Thanks again.

Nathan


application/pdf
Specimen030519a.pdf (104.6 k)

hrant's picture

Has potential - nice serifs.
Spacing too tight.

hhp

matteson's picture

Thanks. Here's 2 more PDFs The first one just has new letters and slightly different spacing. The second is just the regular face with (hopefully) slightly looser spacing. For the spacing I just used FontLab's auto metrics and tweaked some of the letters (notably the f) - so it's nothing fancy. Soon I'll have the beginnings of the small caps and maybe a companion sans.


application/pdf
Specimen030602a.pdf (114.8 k)


application/pdf
Specimen030602c.pdf (68.5 k)

matteson's picture

Oi. So I've started in small caps. I've noticed that some characters (notably the l/c "o") seem too thin at small sizes, and just fine at larger ones. Is that normal? Or is it just a product of my bad hinting? I also can't seem to keep my hands off of the figures - alternately they seem too light and then too heavy. On this PDF, they're leaning towards the too heavy side I think. And are the upper case, across the board, too heavy for the lower case maybe? I can't tell anymore. Perhaps it's time to look at something else. Cheers.


application/pdf
Specimen030605.pdf (130.4 k)

hrant's picture

The bouquet is wonderful. But next time, send some of that 80-proof instead.

The "weight problem" might be hinting: what output are you looking at?

The caps do seem dark.

Smallcaps: I think the height could be a hair greater, but more than that you might make them a lot wider too. This is actually common practice. But don't ask me why... Maybe it pulls them away from the lc. Or maybe that makes them look better in mixed setting with full-caps. (Although this latter application of smallcaps is about a common as a... something or other.)

hhp

matteson's picture

Cyber-booze, eh? What a great idea.

I'm looking at printed samples from an ancient HP Laserjet 4M. I wouldn't think that 600dpi output would be prone to such distortions due to hinting, but what do I know? ;-)

I'll give the wider small caps a shot. These were just scaled down from the normal caps, and then adjusted to match the weight of the lower case.

So, my work's cut out for this weekend - I'll post another sheet when I lighten the caps the widen the small caps.

Thanks again.

hrant's picture

You need 1200dpi to avoid obvious bad-hinting artefacts for normal reading text (like 9-11 point). And the smaller the point size, the greater resolution you need. At 2400 you have nothing to worry about for any size.

hhp

matteson's picture

Aah. I see then. That would explain why the letters look so awful at 8 and 9 points, and pretty good at 12. I guess I'll have to get off my arse and run upstairs to the QMS. I learn something new every day still :-)

matteson's picture

Well, being as it was one of the first summer-like days in Chicago, few of my students showed up tonight and - luckily - I had some time to tweak this a bit more. Wider small caps, lighter caps. Cheers.


application/pdf
Specimen030605c.pdf (155.8 k)

hrant's picture

Looking good! (Although it could be the virtual Absolut... ;-)

hhp

Isaac's picture

i'm too tired and dirty to be of much use,
but i have to say i'm enjoying the
cut-offedness of some of the caps, like
the southern-most parts of the vertical
strokes on H, N, and R. lc italic c & e are
rockin'. the only thing that tripped me
up in the text you set was uc I. the
missing fragment made me jump, but i
reckon that's easy enough to get used to.

p.s. i'll be in town for a week
starting the 11th. if it's cool
i'd like to swing by betwixt one
of your classes or something.
just to say howdy and show off
my farmer's tan.

matteson's picture

Howdy stranger (Isaac)! Good to hear from you again. Definitely swing by next week - fire me an email and I'll give you my schedule.

>in the text you set was uc I

The uc I doesn't exactly light my fire, but I'm not sure what else to do with it. Perhaps I'll post a GIF of the other variants I had and see what you think. The letters that are really starting to pi$$ me off are the uc and lc Xs. I can't tell if they're too lop-sided or not.

>lc italic c & e are rockin'.

I think that I like them too, but Keiser said last night that they bothered him. I think that I'll stick with them though.

>Although it could be the virtual Absolut... ;-)

Who released Absolut Hrant? I can't seem to find it. Though I'd loke to see who I'm looking like...

And thanks again guys.

matteson's picture

So in the course of not teaching today, I did some more work on this. Started a sans companion - the Ss are wretched. Did a little work on the uppercase italic.


application/pdf
Specimen030606a.pdf (139.8 k)

matteson's picture

OK, Isaac. Here's an image of some of the previous uc Is. Let me know what you think. I kind of like the last one because it has the cut-offed-ness you mentioned.

Isaac's picture

i think the one i complained about is probably the best, just because, surprisingly, it looks the least like a lc l. but i also like the last one.

if it bothers keiser, there must be something good about it.

sorry for my loss of type-related vocab. too much sun and dirt.

matteson's picture

I'm partial to the first one myself. And it jives with the opinions I got this weekend.

>sorry for my loss of type-related vocab.
Me too. It's 7am on Monday. Too much beer and Thai barbecue this weekend.

beejay's picture

Nathan - The tail on the R...tasty. I wish we had
more Rs like that. Certainly not a ham-fisted effort.
Quite solid.
Reminds me of Carson-era, but not in a bad way.

By the way, do you have any idea what you've
gotten yourself into? :-)


bj

matteson's picture

>...tasty
Thanks BJ. I'm still working with the rest of the italic upper case, trying to differentiate them from the roman without going overboard.

>not a ham-fisted effort.
Yeah, I owe the name to a student of mine - he thought it'd be a humorous sort of irony. Works for me.

>do you have any idea what you've
gotten yourself into?
Erm, I think I've just begun to realize :-)

Thanks again guys.

matteson's picture

Been fartin' around today - any thoughts on these new glyphs?

hrant's picture

I like all the new ones except the "Y".

hhp

gulliver's picture

Try a curved uc "Y" using the same left-branch curve as in uc "O" and "Q". It should appear smoother than the solution you've used.

David

matteson's picture

That does seem to work much better :-) Thanks David. Slowly I become less retarded. This whole project has been on the back burner for a bit since it's getting close to exam time, but when I get something worthwhile done I'll post more.

matteson's picture

So instead of cycling through Northern Ontario as I'd planned, circumstances caused my bike to become acquainted with the fender of a police truck, and a fragment of my front tooth to become acquainted with the inside of my lip. So I've spent my summer break redrawing Hamfist and trying to make it not as gimpy and ugly as I currently am. At least I wasn't attacked by a moose.

The general aim's been to make it more consistent as far as both the stroke weight and size of the serifs go. And I ditched all the fruity curvy stuff in the italic face - except the descending leg on the u/c R. I also decided I was going at this arse-in-front by doing a semi-serif first, so I put all the serifs back, and I figure I might make a semi version after this one's done. That makes more sense all the sudden. But maybe it's the pain-killers.

But a few questions about widths: (1) are the italic l/c b, d, p, and q too wide; or (2) are the italic l/c c and e to narrow; or (3) both; (4) are the l/c r and t too wide/narrow respectively; and (5) is the u/c N too narrow? And (6) is the u/c G really ugly?

I've only just started setting the spacing - not with FontLab's algorithms this time - but, in general, are there any opinions as to whether is too tight/too loose? Here's a PDF too:


application/pdf
Specimen030703.pdf (64.0 k)

hrant's picture

Ouch. Well, that italic sure has bite... ;-)

I like it. The only things I'd change in the italic are the UC "P" and the shear angles on thin arms of the lc "x".

The spacing is too off to judge if it's too tight/loose overall, sorry. :-/

BTW, this face is reminding me of ITC Octavian all of a sudden. Which is a great thing.

hhp

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