andrew_baker's picture

Hello everyone. I happened upon this site a week ago, and I must say I enjoy looking at all the original logotypes and custom lettering. So much so that I felt like dusting off an old project.

The loose name for the face is Shard. It is not done yet, and it needs Caps. I thought I'd turn to the online type community for inspiration.

Btw, I am without $549 at the moment to buy Fontlab, any other way I can turn this into a font from an EPS file?

Thanks much,
Andrew Baker


andrew_baker's picture

this is a cropping from a poster i did

beejay's picture

Ebay has fontographer for sale


There's also a book to go with it, courtesy
of Stewf. That'll cost you a little bit more.


beejay's picture

As far as the font, it's very cool.

Looking forward to the UC.

andrew_baker's picture

thanx for the link, BJ

I am going to start drawing UC when I get some time.

Plz feel free to post your likes/dislikes about the font. I want to improve it as much as possible.

aquatoad's picture

This is nice. I'm not sure what i'd use it for, but
it's still nice. The only comment I'd make is
that your numerals look too bland compared
to the lc. So much, that it looks to me like a
different font. Add some of the "shard-ness" or
was that "sharditude," to them.

On the other hand...
I'd say your lc is just right. Yes there are
some characters that have less of the
"shardification," but i tend to feel like less
weirdness is better because it makes a font
more usable/readable (particularly in a lower
case) . Otherwise it becomes really difficult to
read and really narrow in it's application
(klingon spaceship lettering only :-). You've got
it right here IMHO.

If you want, I'd think more of the caps could be

Good luck

Oh... shard is also just the right name.

andrew_baker's picture

Thanks Randy, some criticism I can chew on!
I will work on making the numerals more 'Shardical'.


William Berkson's picture

The 'd' is wonderful, as well as p and q, and I like your round letters generally. I think there is a problem with the junctions in the vertical letters, especially in 'f' and 't' where readability is affected.

Is the problem that the bottom of the left vertical on h m n etc is too fat? That the cut at the joint is too deep?

Is the 'southwest' part of the e and c too fat?

I suspect the bottom of the 'l' either straight or like the right bottom of h will look more harmonious.

I think that your round letters are so original and good that making the vertical ones more harmonious with them will result in a very useful display face. Even if the vertical are more conventional, but harmonious, the look will still be very original and intriguing.

I am a beginner so listen to the pros, but I think you have a gem that is still half in the rough.

andrew_baker's picture

Thanks William! I will take your comments into consideration. I also plan to put words up at some point.


johnbutler's picture

Andrew, I strongly recommend you not buy Fontographer. Instead buy the $199 Scanfont from Pyrus, which comes bundled with TypeTool 2.0, a light version of FontLab that still matches or exceeds Fontographer. Once you need the added power of FontLab, they'll sell you an upgrade at a reduced price. It's really the best family of products if you're new at this.

Telling a newbie to buy Fontographer is like telling them to buy Ikarus. You're not doing them any favors.

beejay's picture

>> Telling a newbie to buy Fontographer is like telling them to buy Ikarus. You're not doing them any favors.

John, c'mon I saved him $157!

Seriously, for a hobbyist type designer with a penchant for display fonts made in a vector environment

johnbutler's picture

Fair enough, $42 for Fog is pretty cool, assuming that's what it finally sold for. But I would still not recommend it for someone brand new to the craft who hasn't had his UI preferences skewed toward The Fog Way.

He should at least download the TypeTool demo and see if he likes it better.

By the way, Shard is a pretty good design, so if he's going to get started in this, he might as well try starting in TypeTool.


andrew_baker's picture

I sat down on Sunday and did a little sketching... Here are some letterroughs.
Comments always appreciated.


piccic's picture

Some of the capitals you've drawn are very good sketches. Especially the C, D E and F.
For the G, try to keep it consistent with the C. The same goes for B and R.
If the idea behind Shard is to have a pretty good deal of anarchy among letters, you're always in time to add it later.
Out of experience I can tell you it's always best to keep an internal consistence among letter parts. Then, you may change many of them and introduce the desired degree of randomness.
Maybe after the summer I should post a typeface I started in 1999, full of hydiosincracies and with a wide array of influences. Usually I find uncomfortable to discuss in public, and I prefer single discussion with each one of friend and colleagues, but I got stuck at least two times with that face: it's too varied.

But since Barry Deck pretty liked it (his Eunuverse was one of the initial influences) I might find useful any imput.
I said this because, in some ways, Shard has problem(s) similar to the ones I find in my own freezed typeface.

dana's picture

I, also, think that this face has tons of potential. While looking at the l.c., I wonder if you have considered reconciling the ascenders of b, d, h, and k? More specifically, could the ascender of the d (which is a handsome character) work if inverted horizontally to match that of b, h and k?
Also, when setting your characters in rather short entries (headlines, etc.), is a "font" absolutely necessary at this time? Could the letters be placed carefully in a vector drawing program and then imported into the final application of choice? Yes, I know, quite a bit of labour... but in the short term, this procedure might replace the absolute necessity of purchasing a font-building program... until you have more coin.

andrew_baker's picture

I finished all the caps, but opted not to post.
Due similarly to the reasons stated by Claudio, the caps were too inconsistent. A type Professor who I show my work to advised me to start afresh on something more traditional.

Thank you all for your comments. I'm going to put shard away until I understand typography a great deal more.

BTW, I have a copy of Fontlab now, and it looks complicated.



hrant's picture

> something more traditional

Screw that.
I think Shard needs a lot of work, but don't waste too much time imitating dead people.


andrew_baker's picture

well, here's what I've been working on.

fonthausen's picture

Hi Andrew,
first: who is your type professor?
second: You seem quite able in sketching, why don't you use this and really start up from scratch to answer your professors demand (if you really want to answer it!). I am saying this, because the last sample you showed us is not as good as shard. Try sketching on different ways 'hamburgerfontsiv' and the digitalize it. For example with Illustrator. You'll see that you'll come up with more interesting results and you might even start to understand 'typography' quicker as you mighth think so.
Third: In your last post your have mixed up several styles. Beware. Typography can be about concistance, sometimes combined with small irregularities.


andrew_baker's picture

Jacques, I know that drawing my letterforms by hand is what i should be doing. So why dont I do it? I am stubborn. Hand-drawing for good results requires much practice, and I am impatient and want to dive in.

John Langdon was my professor at Drexel and not surprisingly he tells me the same thing. To draw to a refined form before I digitize. I keep saying that I will, but I dont.

You can see his work at

haag's picture

Hi Andrew,

I think you should continue with Shard. See, the lowercases are really nice. I respectfully disagree with your teacher, who asked you to draw more tradicional characters. The lowercases are far from traditional designs, so should be the uppercases.

Also, about drawing sketches... to me it's something very particullar the way we design. That's not a rule that you have to draw all characters on paper. I respectfull typefoundry I know, sketches just main letters like "n" and "o" and do the rest directly at Fontographer.
One think I'm sure, no matter if we design type with hand or mouse, the most important are our eyes.

hrant's picture

That new "conventional" design is only useful for practicing certain skills in type design - otherwise neither the culture nor the market of type design need it.

John Langdon is a talented letterer more than a type designer.

There is no real requirement of drawing on paper first (although that's how I do it myself). Although it can be argued that drawing software has yet to be made as compatible with the human hand as the pencil (and not the fancy broadnib pen - I'm talking about drafting, not chirography), one should also note that the very best designers (like Carter) draw directly on the computer. So it seems to be a matter of personal affinity as well as getting used to it.


andrew_baker's picture

Fabio, sorry for the miscommunication. What he had advised is not a more traditional approach with Shard in particular, but to put it aside and experiment with something less unique. I took this to mean "more traditional". Maybe I mispoke.

Hrant, I suspect Carter has had his share of drafting experience under his belt, and now works exclusively digitally? I'm just one year out of design school. Realistically, I wonder if I can be expected to work competently digitally.

I think I may have jumped to digital too quickly given my knowledge of type, hence the noticeable inconsistencies of my designs. I find the constant reworking on paper more frustrating to deal with than tinkering with glyphs on a computer. Probably I just ignore my mistakes much easier on computer where I cannot on paper?


andrew_baker's picture

Also, Hrant, how do you approach a new design?
What is your process?

hrant's picture

I'm probably not the best person to ask...

I'd recommend starting a new thread in General Discussion with this question posed to everybody.


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