Boulder Sans, a Rock on Heavyweight

dezcom's picture

I started another display sans out of need for something bolder than average. This is the Alter Ego version. Some might say the round holes are counterproductive but I kind of like the black hole effect. There will be a tamer version, the Ego version, to follow.
There is Latin, CE, Greek, and Cyrillic with small caps, small numbers, nums, denom, sups, and infs in the figure arena.

Here is the first cut:

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Here ia a link to a PDF:

http://dezcom.com/boulder/Boulder1.pdf

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

very funky and cool. at this moment the only thing that jumps out at me are the diacritics: they seem a bit bland to me. I think this face calls for some more dynamic sputniks. mainly it's the horizontal angles that's bothering me in this regard, i think. more later...

gtrianta's picture

Some suggestions about the greek:
1) I would keep the top bar of the lowercase ksi consistent with the lowercase zeta. It looks a little bit uneven to the right now.

2) I would keep the (middle) cross bars in the uppercase Theta and Ksi straight. Again for consistency reasons.

Anyway it's a really nice work.

George Triantafyllakos - backpacker.gr

dezcom's picture

Thanks Paul and George!
I left the "corrected" ksi on the mask layer. You are absolutely right about it George. I will revisit the crossbars as well.

I am off to my son's high school graduation and will be back later today.

ChrisL
PS: Now we just need John and Ringo :-)

dezcom's picture

Here is the latest with the corrected ksi Theta and Ksi crossbars--and some sidebearing fixes:

http://dezcom.com/boulder/Boulder2.pdf

ChrisL

dave bailey's picture

Ok Chris, you seriously need to finish a typeface and get it out on the market. I think there's a good number of people chomping at the bit to get a hold of what you're churning out!

dezcom's picture

Thanks David. You see my self-made dilemma. Partway trough working on a face, I get an idea for another one or two or eight.
I have several more part-way faces going and need to choose one to move out.

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

Partway trough working on a face, I get an idea for another one or two or eight.

At least you act on your ideas! i've got ideas that still are only residing in the dark recesses of my mind. i'm ready to see a serif face by dezcom. how's that for layin down a challenge! ;^p

dezcom's picture

"i’m ready to see a serif face by dezcom."

I have one in the works already.

ChrisL

dan_reynolds's picture

Finally, a lowercase g that is undeniably sweet! (In Froggy bold, I mean ;-) )
I'm liking Boulder Alter Ego as well, in general. I second David's motion that you bring some of your back catalog to market!

William Berkson's picture

Hi Chris. This chunky stuff is fun. But your using circular and losange counters is giving some of the characters major 'color' problems.

The 'e' is an example, where the 'beak' is too heavy. Would giving it a diagonal cross bar or chopping off the point at an angle make the circular counter work better? Also the diagonal characters at the open ends. Also the D. The numbers work quite well as is.

I suspect that 'cheating' on circles and losanges, like you did with the K, might be the only way to overcome the color problems. Or maybe you could introduce a third shape or more shapes in the counters. Eg, in the diagonal letters keep the semi-circle at the join, but open up the 'v' at the ends of the diagonals.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Chris, I think you need to submit something to the Type Gallery. Use this as a goal. Puhlease!

dezcom's picture

Thanks Dan for the "sweet g-ness":-)
I think I just have to push something out the door to get over the hump of doubt. Maybe I just have to concede that all typefaces are works in progress and release something knowing I can upgrade it later.

ChrisL

ER's picture

These are really stunning in my book (kick a--! would be another term)

My comments could just change the love groove that's going on though. Apologies in advance.

er

William Berkson's picture

Chris, Michael Faraday's motto--he had it always in his desk drawer--was
'work, finish, publish'. Easier said than done, of course. My vote would be for your 'Now Sans' as the first to grace the public market. My feeling is that it is very strong and will have the widest applicability.

dezcom's picture

William,
I know what you mean about the color issues. That is why I am making the companion face "Ego" which will work better at smaller sizes. I still want to keep the funky Lozenge character in Alter Ego though for large size uses. Maybe it is the graphic designer in me that wants to use large display cuts with character. I have been kicking this around for 2 months and have tried "in the diagonal letters keep the semi-circle at the join, but open up the ‘v’ at the ends of the diagonals" as you suggested. It works a bit better at small sizes that way but not well enough (while losing character). That is why I went back to the Lozenge and circle as concept. The Ego version will fix the smaller size issues you accurately described and make a pairing of fonts that will be meant to be used together.
Regarding the name of the face--my jaw dropped when you used the word "Lozenge" since it has been the working title for the font from day one. I still use that name on the file. Here is a screenshot of my FontLab window:

The word lozenge has the same first few letters of my last name as well as fits the shape of the counters. I am still debating going back to using it as a name. I thought "Boulder" was a better search engine name though so that is still a question.
As always, I really appreciate your wisdom and perspective on type design.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

"I think you need to submit something to the Type Gallery. Use this as a goal. Puhlease!"

Thanks Tiff! I am not sure what the deal is with Type Gallery this year. I thought only images from the weekly type battles were permitted? The "Froggy" was inspired by the Cooper ligature week though but it has gone well beyond its Cooper start. Boulder/Lozenge has no basis in the weekly type challenge though--neither do Align Sans, Now Sans, or Weimar Plakat 1923 Pro (all done since last fall) either. So Tiff, "Splehn it to me Lucy" (forgive the Ricky Ricardo schtick Edel:-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Edel,
Don't sweat the "love groove" here in the critique area. I welcome all comments and learn from everything posted so just go for it!

I see your "new" icon just popped in a minute ago--hmmm, have I seen that somewhere before? :-)

ChrisL

ER's picture

Chris,
Between Lozenge and Boulder, I like Boulder. Lozenge is not as appealing, something I have to swallow or something. It's also what we call those things we put over the logos in magazines to tout something (Special Report, Exclusive, etc., let's slap a "lozenge on that", so it could just confuse things. Boulder is manly! Lozenge has a nice link to your name though, but just thought I'd mention these things.

Yep, that's my icon for now, until I find a new way to tick off people, or until I get around to taking a picture of my cat, everybody loves cats.

ER

dezcom's picture

"...everybody loves cats"

LOL!!!

Thanks for your input on the name. I thought boulder would be more descriptive of what a person looking for a font like this would be looking for. I did have a marketing slogan before though:
"Lozenge" for those who want to gain weight, it's a pill of a font!

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

While I am dumping several fonts on this one thread, I might as well add another one I started in the Winter and left to incabate:

ChrisL

I know, I am on a BOLD kick but I am also working on a NOW light italic and a NOW Hairline.

Ivo's picture

I like all of the displayed fonts. Yes, I like them.

dezcom's picture

Thank you very much Ivo!

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Paul,
What did you mean about my diacritics earlier?

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

ah, i just thought the shears along the horizontal made them feel a bit blah. i think they would be more interesting/dynamic if these portions were not perfectly horizontal. does that make sense?

dezcom's picture

"...shears along the horizontal made them feel a bit blah. i think they would be more interesting/dynamic if these portions were not perfectly horizontal. does that make sense?"

I am not clear on what you mean.

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

the horizontal portions along the red lines are what i was talking about. imo, the diacritics would be less bland if these portions were NOT perfectly horizontal.

dezcom's picture

Paul,
I see what you mean now. I just wonder how far to go without getting into the bad diacritics area. When I did Leporello, Adam said that diacritics should be paralel to the base line. You are right that mine are pretty straight forward for this font. I'll putz a bit with them. I have been going back and forth with this and Froggy--trying to keep Miss Tiffany's goal for me too :-)

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

I don't know how your condensed face (just shown) compares to others out there, but it looks good to me and potentially with wide application.

dezcom's picture

Thanks William!

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Also, here is a PNG of Boulder places to go:

ChrisL

fontplayer's picture

Here is a fun PDF:

Love it!

dezcom's picture

Now that I am in the poster mood, here is another one. The full size PDF can be downloaded at:

http://dezcom.com/boulder/BoulderHole.pdf

but here is the low-rez version:

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Paul,
Here is what I came up with for diacritics. See what you think.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Paul,
Here are a few glyphs:

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

Fun solution! Those diacritics work .... IMHO .... can we see some in context?

dezcom's picture

Thanks Tiff,
When I get home later, I will put them in. I just did a quickie AI test for this post.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Chris, I got an idea for a third counter shape, in addition to the circle and losange. This might spoil the effect you want, but maybe not. If you use a 'drop' shape like the new quark logo (and old arts council logo etc)--3/4 of a circle and 1/4 square--or more pointed, that would enable you to get some more even color on the e, etc.

dezcom's picture

Here is a PDF with text with the new diacritics:

http://dezcom.com/boulder/Boulder-testDiacrit.pdf

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

William,
I'll give it a try and let you know how t goes.

ChrisL

andi emery's picture

Chris, that double g on the Froggy is really beautiful! That sells the entire typeface to me - just lovely.

dezcom's picture

Thanks Andi!
I first did that gg lig as part of one of the weekly type battles where we were supposed to make unusual ligatures using Cooper Black. I then decided to make a typeface based on it but wanted to escape from Cooper Black. Froggy is the result (still in early stages though).

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I am having problems with my new diacritics on Boulder though. They don't work even at 18 point for me. They just look fuzzy and too easily confused.

ChrisL

paul d hunt's picture

I am having problems with my new diacritics on Boulder though. They don’t work even at 18 point for me.

do you intend for this face to be used primarily as a text face then? (Just a question for my own clarification)

dezcom's picture

No, not a text face at all--strictly display. I just have to tweak some more to avoid the distraction and fuzzyness.

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

Dez,

From what I can see the Greek isn't as flavorful as the Latin. In many ways it feels like a different typeface. I suppose this might be due to the overall shapes of the Greek letters. I do like it all of it, but I wonder if you can infuse the Greek with a bit more of what the Latin has?

dezcom's picture

Here is my latest redo of the diacritics. They now feel much better to me.

http://dezcom.com/boulder/Boulder-testDiacrit2.pdf

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Tif,
The Greek is much less permissive because the script is not as regular as Latin. Maybe I am also more nervous about it because I don't know it as well and am less able to "see" when something has gone too far. So far, only one native Greek has commented on it, perhaps more will have something to say.

ChrisL

jselig's picture

I like it, it reminds me a bit of Simian from House. The thing that bothers me a bit is the counters in The A and D mostly and I'm not sold on the diacritics, for some reason it reminds me of bunny ears and I find it a bit distracting from the actual word. The lc _w_ is great though, I love it.

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