Sofa: a cosy typeface

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Dear forum members,

besides Terra Nova, I have started another Typeface out of an urge to do "something different".

After doing some pencil-drawings of some letters, I started working on "Sofa – a cosy typeface". It is kind of a humanist egyptienne with no (or almost no) sharp edges, slightly curved outlines, and flowing, handwritten flavour in the basic shapes.

Sofa won't be a "monster" like Terra Nova, I don't plan to do that much opentype-scripting, alternate forms, ligatures etc. as I've done so far there. At the moment, there is a basic character set with Upper- and Lowercase, numerals and some punctuation. Also, some basic spacing is done to test the font in text-sizes.

Do you have any suggestions or objections on the general concept, or (if you like it) on single glyphs?

Thanks a lot for your feedback and your help, I hope I can give some knowhow back later (after a lot more years of learning...)


More members of this family
Sofa italic
Sofa sans

sofa_120_125.pdf642.55 KB
Sebastian Nagel's picture

Thank you Miss Tiffany

paul d hunt's picture

very solid, IMO. just a few things

Roman: the bar on the eth seems a bit wimpy; i'm not sure what the h+macron is, but i don't think it's an hbar; i think your join on the k makes the outside counter too large and the inner counters too small; the diacritic on the dcaron, tcaron and lcaron might be a bit too discrete, you might be able to make it a bit longer; i think the tail on the y is too strong for genetral text use in English where y's are actually quite frequent.

Cyrillic: the De seems a bit too narrow (same with lowercase de), it looks more narrow than the El; the Pe seems very wide; the teeth on the De don't seem to be long enough, same with the tails on the Tse and Shcha (same for de, tse, shcha); the arms on Ka and Zhe seem a bit weak and i think they would work better with similar terminal treatments - these forms should correlate; The Zhe and zhe look much too narrow; the horizontal serif on the left foot of the El looks very strange, it would likely work better if it matched the kind of terminal that you put on the foot of the U (U looks similar to Y) same problem with the lower case el; the central bar of the Ef can overshoot the Cap and Baselines so that your counters can be larger; the tail on the Hard Sign might be able to be a bit larger; the be seems quite good to my eyes; the pe looks odd with the upper serifs missing as do tse, sha, shcha with missing lower serifs; the upper counter of the che seems a bit too large; The legs on Ya and ya seem week - same problem as with Ka and Zhe

there you go, i hope that helps. gook luck!

paul d hunt's picture

heck, i'll even take a bit of a stab at the Greek:
beta, theta and delta seem very wide compared to the rest of the characters, some characters may be too narrow, that's about all i can say on that one.

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Thank you Paul, especially for looking at the diacritics as well, they are often forgotten, and there are not many sources to rely on, as you could see with the "hbar" (I must somewhere have seen this h+macron form and thought it was correct).

I have done the corrections you suggested, and I am especially more happy with the "k" now, and I have also changed the "y", which now should be less dominant.

About the Cyrillic and Greek: As you can see, I just don't know what I am doing there, it's like flying a jumbo jet on sight instead of on instruments. I can have a look at other solutions, but I just don't know if they are good, and chances are high that I mix things up. I have done some corrections now, but I'm sure they are not good yet, especially the "Ka, Zhe, Ya" problem is still present, and of course many forms don't have the tension yet that I'd like to see. But first I have to become aware of the basics...
For the Greek, I have orientated widely on Adobes Garamond Premier, because I've heard that it has a fine greek alphabet, but of course it's something different to do a Garamond Greek than to do an almost monolinear slab serif Greek.

paul d hunt's picture

path direction on Iogonek is wrong, or you didn't remove overlap.

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Thanks for pointing me to this, I have checked path directions some versions ago, but they already were a mess again... Now all path directions are postscript and when removing overlaps there are no more white artifacts (I have checked through everything in Indesign and PDF in different zoom levels, so I hope I have not missed one).

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Concerning Opentype SMCP and C2SC features:

I have special small caps figures, currency units and some other symbols in the font.

Which version is better?
— SMCP only changes lower case letters, C2SC changes upper case, figures, symbols
— SMCP changes lowercase, figures, symbols, C2SC finally changes upper case as well

At the moment I have implemented the second variant.

Sebastian Nagel's picture

And: is there a website, link, thread, that explains the problematique of turkish dotless i and ligatures? I could not find a good explanation yet, and I'd like to do this "right" from the beginning.

How is it going?

Roman: Bugfixing, but finished.
Roman Italic: Bugfixing, almost finished.
Bold: derivated from Roman, almost finished, looks good (this was surprisingly easy)
Bold Italic: working on it at the moment (this is quite difficult)

yader's picture

Maybe these threads can shed light on the turkish dotless i / ligatures problem:

ferfolio's picture

Nice work!

i like this type, keep up!




JRGcisterna's picture

Very good job
A very attractive typography
I also liked the way in which we show
From Chile

Jojoto's picture

Very nice! Can't wait to see it finished.
José Rodriguez

Sebastian Nagel's picture

just an update (see first posting for PDF):

- serif roman (finished)
- serif bold (quite finished?)

"serif roman italic", "serif bold italic", "sans roman" and "sans bold" coming soon (not included extensively in pdf as the need one more round of polishing).

zoltok's picture

Hello Sebastian,

Love the face. I will leave the deep typographic critique to the experts here, but I just noticed that in your specimen the apostrophe faces the other direction than I'm used to seeing. Is this intentional?

Looking forward to seeing more updates!

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Thanks for your comment. Can you tell me on which page (or which sentence) the "wrong" apostrophe can be found? It might be an error in the font, or just in the example text (which is quite copy pasted without much revision...)

Sebastian Nagel's picture

BTW: The current versions in the PDF do not have hinting applied yet. I've tried Autohinting with Fontlab + AFDKO, which works quite fine, but if I do that, the f_f_h and f_f_k ligature are not visible anymore in Indesign CS2 (not tested in other apps yet). All the other ligatures and glyphs work fine. Any ideas why this could be?

laserj's picture

Check out pages 8 & 11 of your pdf, second to last line on both, the word "Don't". That's the only two I saw. She's a beaut by the way. Good lookin' specimen to boot.

Sebastian Nagel's picture

Thanks. It was just an error in the test document. Will be corrected in the next update.

zoltok's picture

I also spotted it in the sample copy – the french paragraph is the only one with multiple instances of apostrophes, and all are facing to the right.

_Palatine_'s picture

Hello everyone. My old e-mail addy was consigned to oblivion a while ago, and with it went my ability to re-open my old typophile account. So I made a new one.

Recent projects have pulled me back into the font scene, and this "Canape" face is looking very good. I understand it's scheduled for release in 2008. So is it already here? Or soon to be?

Warm regards,


benkiel's picture

I've just updated the betterGenerateFont script. It's better now.

AccessGuy's picture

I would love to purchase this slab serif typeface as I think it is even nicer than Nexus Mix, my current favorite slab serif. I am a bit confused as to the naming it "Sofa" or "Canape?"

AccessGuy's picture

Hmmm I see that my last post was THE last post! Have there been any developments with this type face in the last THREE years?? Please let us know!!

Sebastian Nagel's picture

I just came here, looking for some old details i was asking then ...

I was working on Canapé heavily the last half year again, and I have production ready Roman and Bold Serifs, and I'm heavily working on getting the italics there too, looking for family inconsistencies, bugs, etc., especially in metrics and kerning.
The bugs are getting rather rare now and things keep looking good whatever text i throw at that family ... can't promise a realease date yet (I'm building a home sideways), but the next font that comes out from me is Canapé Serif in a 4-members family or one more member (a ultra bold).
December 2012 is a very optimistic perspective, Feburary 2013 is more realistic. It will be available on and I'll make some noise right here too of course ...

On the name: There is a "Sofa" typeface out there, so i moved to Canapé. I still like the name, i guess i'll stay with it.

flooce's picture

I love Tierra Nova. Regarding „Sofa“, describing it as cozy, dude that is so Austrian of you :D

J Mayfield's picture

Nice work! Has a lovely feel to it.

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