Agamemnon 27! Now with Greek, Cyrillic, and Cherokee

cuttlefish's picture

edit: For those of you joining the thread in progress, the most recent PDF files are at the bottom of the list of attached files in this starting post. They all have version numbers, in case you lose track. I'm keeping the earlier ones around for historical documentation of the project, but you should feel free to skip ahead to the most recent PDFs and come back to the old files at your leisure.
--JP, 4-18-07

edit: This project has come a long way since I started sharing it with the community here. As it nears completion, at least in this weight and style, I need just a little more advice to turn that last corner. Eben Sorkin has been an immense help, far greater than I have a right to expect from any one person who I am not paying. The constructive advice of other experts (and I know you're hiding around here somewhere) would be greatly appreciated.
—JP, 2-14-07


Here is yet another project I abandoned long ago. I'm trying to retrace my steps to how I created it and why I gave it that name. It looks more like a slightly circusy wood type with some modern attributes than anything Macedonian.

Indeed, it needs a lot of work yet. My initial output is what Fontographer expells as an EPS of all characters, which for some reason breaks some of the points apart so I can't apply a fill without tediously fixing everything.

I welcome any and all suggestions and comments, including on finding a new, more appropriately evocative name for the thing.

Agamemnon-outl.pdf53.92 KB
Agamemnon2-sample1.pdf20.98 KB
agamemnon4-sample1.pdf21.75 KB
agamemnon6-sample1.pdf22.75 KB
agamemnon7-sample1.pdf27.03 KB
agamemnon8-sample1.pdf27.48 KB
agamemnon9-sample1.pdf27.43 KB
agamemnon10-sample1.pdf28.82 KB
Agamemnon10-layout test-c.pdf78.54 KB
Agamemnon10-pangrams.pdf27.29 KB
agamemnon11-sample1.pdf29.05 KB
Agamemnon11-pangrams.pdf28.68 KB
agamemnon12-allcharacters-2.pdf41.38 KB
agamemnon12-pangrams2.pdf28.38 KB
agamemnon13-allcharacters.pdf41.75 KB
agamemnon13-pangrams.pdf28.76 KB
agamemnon13-randomtext.pdf18.02 KB
agamemnon14-allcharacters.pdf41.88 KB
agamemnon14-pangrams.pdf28.76 KB
agamemnon14-randomtext.pdf17.91 KB
agamemnon15-pangrams.pdf29.01 KB
agamemnon15-allcharacters.pdf42.01 KB
agamemnon15-randomtext.pdf18.07 KB
agamemnon16-allcharacters.pdf43.18 KB
agamemnon16-pangrams.pdf29.9 KB
agamemnon16-randomtext.pdf18.01 KB
agamemnon20-newer.pdf53.86 KB
pr-AgamemnonTwentyOne.pdf131.4 KB
pr-AgamemnonTwentytwo-chrlst.pdf158.22 KB
pr-AgamemnonTwentytwo-12pt2.pdf151.61 KB
pr-AgamemnonTwentySeven-ffd1.pdf298.85 KB
pr-AgamemnonTwentySeven-dis1.pdf348.33 KB
ebensorkin's picture

What about looking at other fonts with similar charcateristics? Ball terminals in them and a heavy weight like this & so on. It might be very useful to observe what they do and how they do it. Also : A pencil & paper might be just the right tool at moment. ;-)

Tiff, thanks for taking a look. If this font seesm like the cup of tea of any typophiles you know please let Jason know. I have been doing my best but I think he would benefit from a diversity of opinions now. Take a look at the 1st version. I think he come a long way. :-)

Number3Pencils's picture

Your y-acute appears to have the accent after the letter.

cuttlefish's picture

In the text sample, yes it does. The proper combined y acute isn't in the font so I typed in the accent after the y.

It exists in the FOG file, but it won't come out when I generate a TT font file from it. I guess I'll have to spring for the upgrade one of these days.

cuttlefish's picture

Just for fun, I've been making some short words and testing them out on WhatTheFont over at, to see if there is anything similar out there already. One thing I've discovered is that their OCR initially recognizes my k as an h, and that there is no other instance of a cursive k like this in an upright font, at least as far as the matching engine can tell.

cuttlefish's picture

In this 14th iteration, the t, r, u, &, ?, and £ have undergone significant changes. There are also subtler adjustments all around.
I'll get PDFs for your high resolution perousal posted shortly.

I'm going to be away from my computer for about a week now, so please take your time picking this apart in detail.

Number3Pencils's picture

To name but two, Bernhard Modern and Berlin Sans have cursive k's despite uprightness. (Incidentally they were both designed by Lucian Bernhard.)

cuttlefish's picture

I knew there had to be something out there. Either it means WhatTheFont is dumb or Bernhard Modern and Berlin Sans are not in its database.

Well, it is possible that those fonts are sufficiently distinct in other ways that they wouldn't score a match with what I have here, but still...

Anyway, any feedback on the latest update?

ebensorkin's picture

Here is some:

- The exclam point is too uniformly fat. It's a good weight but it needs some thin parts too.
- The bottom of the lc g seems too light.
- The cross bar on the t & f seem too light. The bottom of the g too perhaps.
- The double l looks great. The k still seems tasty too.
- The w is too wide. It looks lile it's getting pulled to the left by the ear.
- The u is wider than the n. Why is that?
- The stem width feel irregular. The too wide d, the r too, the might be too thin. the 1 too.
- The 'el' l's bottom could drop past the baseline.

cuttlefish's picture

I appreciate all the help you're giving me, Eben. Still, I can't help but wonder what might happen if still other voices were to make themselves heard.

I'll give the ! a shot, but I'm not sure how much I can do with it.

I may be putting too much effort into making the thickness of the horizontals consistent. There is room for more variation. The t, f, g, and others will benefit.

All the letters with strong diagonals (e.g.: A, K, R, M, N, V, W, X, Y, Z, k, v, w, x, y, z) give me trouble. What am I doing right in some that can be applied to fix what is wrong with the others?

The u is not simply a rotation of the n. Is the difference in width causing further problems? Would the problems be resolved by matching the widths?

I'm fairly certain the stems are of consistent width, but I will measure them again to make sure, Even then, some might be giving the illusion of being irregular and need adjustment to compensate.

You mention a couple pairs of letters (ll, el) I hadn't really given much thought to those or other pairs besides kerning. Should I make a contextual substitution for the el pair? I don't think I can do that in Fontographer. I haven't even begun to touch on learning the wonders of preparing OpenType fonts, and the only tool I have to do that with anyway is FontForge. I'd like to get the basic letter shapes settled before trying the fancy stuff.

ebensorkin's picture

I appreciate all the help you’re giving me, Eben. Still, I can’t help but wonder what might happen if still other voices were to make themselves heard.

I could not agree more.

Do you have good relations with anybody else on the type board? Why not email some people you respect & ask them if youcan email them a PDF?

The u is not simply a rotation of the n. Is the difference in width causing further problems? Would the problems be resolved by matching the widths?

You are right about the n & u not just being rotated! But I think that your n rotated would be a better base from which to work out a corrected u than the one you have now. And you would be starting with a width & stem weight that was matching.

I’m fairly certain the stems are of consistent width, but I will measure them again to make sure, Even then, some might be giving the illusion of being irregular and need adjustment to compensate.

That might be going on. Yeah.

I’ll give the ! a shot, but I’m not sure how much I can do with it.

If it was me I would narrow the beginning of the base of the stroke inward to create a contrasting weight - so that the top flares out in comparison. Have a look at other faces though & see if any of them inspire.

About the diagonals. I have a couple of thoughts about that. One is that compared to the issues you have solved now these were more minor. It may be a good time to adress them now however. On some level I have been reticent to suggest changing these until I saw the effect of the other changes because the two aspects relate to each other and with one thing sorted out for the most part it's easier to se what to do about the next. I also had a sense from you (and I wasn't sure I disagreed) that some of the important character of the design might be caught up in these diagonals & serifs.

But now that I see where we are I think that yes you could adjust things. To my mind the biggest blockage in getting the diagonals sorted is the serifs. Most of the glyphs have an unusual pidgeon toes look to my eye. I think that may be fine now and a source of color in the face but I think it may just bee too strong. The serif have a big impact on how the diagonals feel. Why not bring them in on the interior a little in some cases or center them more? I would try both & see what you think. More centering could bring up letter spacing issues of course..

But let's do this. Let's pick just 3 letters & try a few things with them.

- UC V let's try trimming the inside serif on the right side.

- For the K let's try bringing the upper diagonal stroke back to the left a little. The join can occur higher up.

- In the case of the lc x offset the lighter digonals by making the pitch or angle more vertical. You could also widen & open the letter up a little by offsetting the heavy diagonals more too. You don't have to do that with the UC X because the glyph is less cramped with stuff going on.

There are other ways of doing these things too. Look around try different things.

With diagonals the solutions are often one-off. A common approach or priciple might be shared across letters but the circumstances are often too unique for the 'solution' to be common across more than one letter.

about the el: I didn't mean the e & the l. sorry. It's jist that l & 1 look alibe so I was sounding it out. All I meant was that with the base of the l having the shape it does I would be good if it overshot the baseline. You could also change the shape to be flat & sit on the baseline. I am not suggesting either one is better. I just think the l floats as it is & looks odd.

what don't you like about the lc z?

I’d like to get the basic letter shapes settled before trying the fancy stuff.

exactly. I agree.

cuttlefish's picture

There isn't a particular problem I'm having with the z, but it, like the others I mention, has the diagonal stroke, which, by the function of the software's drawing tools, are a bit more difficult to adjust than the strictly vertical and horizontal lines and keep consistent angles and stroke widths, especially when they intersect another stroke. It isn't that difficult, but it does involve some extra steps.

cuttlefish's picture

Good relations? No, but I wouldn't go so far as to say I have bad relations with anyone either. I just don't really know anybody.

So, how is it the I, lc l, and 1 resemble each other? I thought I had made them fairly distinct.
In earlier versions, the l did descend, as did the t.

(Have you noticed that dark chocolate Hershey's Kisses® have a subtle cinnamon flavor undertone?)

ebensorkin's picture

So, how is it the I, lc l, and 1 resemble each other? I thought I had made them fairly distinct. In earlier versions, the l did descend, as did the t.

Oh! I see what you mean - I don't mean in general I mean as far as their bases were concerned. They have flat bottoms with serifs. The l does not. That's what I meant to get across.

(Have you noticed that dark chocolate Hershey’s Kisses® have a subtle cinnamon flavor undertone?)

Yes. Sometimes. I think they do it when they cocoa they are using is lacking something.

cuttlefish's picture

Here it is, version 15ß:

Tell me what changes you can spot before I post the PDFs. I have to run, so that won't be at least until next morning.

cuttlefish's picture

Nobody spotted it?
In addition to most of what's been discussed, I changed the !, ¡, gave all the horizontal strokes a bit of a flare before the terminal serifs, evened out the length of the horizontal serifs all over (though I think in some cases I shouldn't have), reshaped the J and a few other things I can't quite recall.

PDF set 15 (3 files) is now attached on the first post.

ebensorkin's picture

I am up to my eyeballs but I will look again soon. Looking good though!

cuttlefish's picture

You do what you gotta do to put food on the table, Eben. You've already been a far greater help than I could have hoped for.

Now, if only I could somehow attract other experts to have a look at this project. Is it uncouth to advertise this thread in another forum section, like "Design"?

Should I be typing things I mumble under my breath like that?

ebensorkin's picture

Thanks! I appreciate that. You have been good at taking my suggestions in too. About the muttering: I think it's okay.

Here is what I would do: If you have been on the board long enough to know who you respect here; tell them. Ask them for help. Be ready for harsh reality or praise. Whichever it is. It might also be that they don't have time or they don't think enough of the design to rate it. That would be the worst I suspect. But be ready.

The thing is, when you started this design looked pretty scary. Not that it was ugly. It just had a ton of unresolved aspects. It probably looked like too much work to wade into casually. Now though I think you have a shot. You have done much of the that work now. Your face is decidely quirky but it's getting more solid all the time. And quirky & solid are a great combination I think.

And I do want other folks to have a look in. I think the font will benefit from that.

Do you know how to use the typophile IM?

Do you know how to access user profiles & find out if they accept email or not?


cuttlefish's picture

So anyway, I'm getting more satisfied with how this is looking. I still have serif issues, but right now I'n giving another go at the Q. I have a new design, with the loop in a more customary position, but I'm afraid it is getting too "2"like, and not really fitting in with the rest of the font, no matter how hard I try. Tell me what you think so far, please.

Stupid Canvas 8 won't fix the overlap. I'll do that later, but I'll keep it while I'm working on the overall shape.

ebensorkin's picture

I think there is something worth keeping in this idea. And that there are several ways to find a way of doing that. The idea I have is that you could begin the stroke not inside the o but instead at the left of the loop. But that might be sucky. Try it & find out. I would sketch it in pencil over & over until you get what you want. And I would consider some more expected options too. Leave yourself open to the best solution. Have you contacted/email anybody on the board to ask about the font? I am glad it's giving you greater satisfaction. I have been told by people I trust that sometimes the best thing after an intense bout of development is to take a break & work on something else to give your eyes & brain a chance to freshen up. I am not saying that's what time it is - just that it's an option.

Jeremy Dooley's picture

I like it, although I agree it is much like a 2. In context, it would probably work out ok. You might just include it as an OpenType alternate.

Jeremy Dooley

Marten Fischer's picture

The new Q is very Goudy-looking. It reminds me of his Q in Aries or in Goudy Swash. I think it will work, mainly due to the fact that when in use it will most likley be combined with other characters.

ebensorkin's picture

I just saw a Q very like yours and I finally think I get what you are up to here. It was an Italic Q cut for Elzevier foundry (pub appox 1650-1700?). Unlike your K I don't know if you can made the Italic form work here. But I encourage you to try just for kicks. Where did you get the idea for this Q?

cuttlefish's picture

Two things inspired the new Q. The first being that the previous Q is kind of weird, and the second in that I liked what happened when I added the loop to the pound sterling, so I wanted to see if it would work on the Q. I didn't really look around too much for historic inspiration as much as my vague memories of elementary school handwriting lessons (which among other things gave me a psychological block against writing to this day).

I guess my intention was to get something a little more normal for this character and as far as that goes it failed pretty badly. I suppose I could go back to an early version of the Q resembling an O with a stick through it, but I don't really like that idea.

cuttlefish's picture

@Jeremy Dooley:
I'd love to do OpenType alternates and discretionary ligatures and all that fun stuff, but I'm still using Fontographer 4.1.5, which does not have that capability, and evidently has further problems working in Classic mode under OS X. When I can afford the FOG upgrade and/or crossover to FontLab (or ever figure out FontForge) I'll make an effort at implementing all that.

Choz Cunningham's picture

3 pages of intelligent critique and subtle iterations is alot to wade into! I feel like Eben has already answered very well on all the details that actually have answers, and speculated far beyond my skill level on those that are arbitrary. But outside voices are being welcomed so....

I am going to have a go at the entire set, by commenting on version 0.15's glyphs as they strike me. This may be too little or too much, but I can't tell before I start. No matter how I am phrasing it, I am not saying any are "right" or "wrong", but simply musing. Take any negativity as a mis-emphasis on my part. This face is already beautiful. Ignore most of what I say, please, as I will just write it all, including possibly incorrect or irrelevant details. I have looked at the prior versions only as they come up in the thread. My feedback will consider the designs in context to each other, not as simply standalone letters, but it is based on personal aesthetics, not tradition, which others here are sharper with. And I am assuming that it is targeting both versatile display use (med-large sizes, med-short passages) and decorative use (large sizes, shorter passages).

Regarding OT Alternate glyphs: I don't have Fontographer, nor have I even seen it in a long time, but I imagine you can create alternate glyphs, name them and assign them to whatever space you like. Does it support Unicode number addresses? If so, you can implement alternate sets, substitutions and such through VOLT, a free tool from MS. To make things simple for now I would just recommend adding any alternates you think are "essential" to some blank spots and ignore the functional aspects.

A:Where there is no accent, It seems that the top serif could have a curve like the top of many other letters. I see it being flattened to fit the accents like it is now, coexisting in the same face.

A w/accents: I love the proportions.

Accents acute/grave: It seems that the bottom curve could look more natural, giving it a less constructed look, and more aerodynamics.

C/G: I wonder why the vertical serif doesn't bend a hair right at the top

D w/bar: The left of the bar seems to disappear at smaller sizes.

E: is this a "flagship glyph" I love all of it.

J: I love the hook's termination.

L w/bar: this comes across as heavier at small sizes.

M: The serifs are... odd. It feels as if it is collapsing in on itself. I think the center of the serif's arc should be contained by the stroke, even if it is still slightly weighted inwards. But I think it would look fine with shorter top serifs and everything centered. Lots of options here.

N: I might tweak this if it were mine, depending on what, if anything, I did to the M. But pretty nice.

OE: The sidebearings for this appear to be tighter than the O's, but I bet they aren't. Probably an artifact created by it being darker. Even tho' I think the -E is the same size, it looks shorter than on the AE.

Q: The stroke connecting the inner loop to the underbar becomes thinner at small sizes. Possibly fixable by making where it intersects the bottom of the outer loop wider by a unit or two. Or just fiddling with hinting. Otherwise, fantastic design.

S: Would a semiserif like the 's' look good, or silly? I don't know.

V/W/Y: The upper-right most serif seems to have an oddness like the 'M' I think the 'X' shows a more soothing arrangement. I realize the stroke has a different angle, but it is still possibly inspiring.

Thorn: The righthand side could be rounder, or the counter could be more like the 'P'.

a: love it. It looks so flowing, yet it has that uniformity that makes tpye cool. should the top of the bowl be thinner at it's thinest part? I suck @ 'a', so just ignore me.

ae: at large sizes, the bottom of the join looks slightly heavier than needed. The righthand of the a-'s counter could hook in, to mimic the naked 'e' contour.

fi: Brilliant. pleasant, hip, general goodness. What about bringing the f's tip's approach in lower, more audaciously. Right now, it is a surprisingly cool look, and fi ligs are show-off glyphs, no? I might try an acute, rotated abt. 45 clockwise or so as the merged dot.

fl: looks good, the top is fantastic.

i/^: I hate dealing with those. Some faces use a skinnier accent.

r: this has come a long ways. very practical, but the width of the counter does a great job of avoiding that rn=m effect, as you wanted.

ss lig: why does the long s look so much like a long s, but the short s looks quite different? Does this contribute? I know I just suggested getting wild with the 'fi', but in this lig, I feel that the part within the heart (the standard baseline-to-xheight) should flow like "normal" letters, for those languages where it is exactly that. Considering that, I personally tend to customize only the top connection.

v/w: These might look really neat with the same effect as the stroke in the 'y'. The sound arrangement of the serifs might be a good model for the 'M'.

y: There is an interesting optical illusion going on here. At very large sizes (several inches) the left diagonal appears constant width (I think it actually is). At medium and smaller sizes (3/4 inch and under)the stroke appears to taper towards the bottom. This may be caused by screen hinting, or has something to do with the serifs on 3 corners, but not the outside bottom one. Just something to consider, unless it is all in my mind.

Either way, this is one of my favorite lc's.

prime: where is it?

double prime: Interesting, in a good way.

Dot period/elipsis, etc.: This seems to feel heavier than the text. I think it would look funny if it was the size of the accents (which are great), but it might look a little more cohesive if they were a hair smaller. In the lorem ipsum, they also seem to sit a little low on the line, intermitantly. I think that must be a scaling artifact.

daggers: alternates with mirrored center strokes could be a great feature, in case users wanted them to match in either direction.

&: Very cool. I love the arced serif on the right, and the grace of the diagonal stroke.

@: the very end of the hoop seems like it could have a flaring, like the c/e, but that might be a dumb idea, too. :)

Numerals: A third numeral with a ball terminal could compliment the 2 and 4.

Superiors: The horizontals feel very light, especially as the face gets smaller. Not that they should math the regulars, but just a little more weight?

Superior 3: It looks different from the regular 3, but it doesn't feel like there is a purpose to that alteration. Is the regular 3 too noisy to condense?

fractions: the inf. 4 seems to sit differently in 1/4 and 3/4

Infinity: The "two thin stems next to each other" looks kinda forced, and without precedent elsewhere within the face. Additionally, it seems to kinda go against the spirit of the symbol, which is a continuum. I like the thick/thin/thick idea in general.

Delta: I love the horizontal that looks a lot like the face's serifs.

mu/micron: I don't care if this is in other faces or not. A real keeper. The beauty is wound well into making it more useful as a symbol, esp. at smaller sizes. Great job!

Latin ordinals: Overall, nice and legible. You may look at how the bar interacts with numerals, and consider making it narrower. I can't guess from looking at the documents.

%/perthousand: the 0's dominate the bar.

equal or greater / equal/less: Do you have a preference for them touching? Does anyone? Is there a correct approach? I happen to usually prefer them as discrete shapes (like plus or minus), but I haven't researched it.

cent: has a much heavier vertical bar than '$'. Why? (Keep in mind my treatment of both on !Crass Roots, I might just be crazy, and even considering my opinion batty on your part.)

Euro/Sterling/etc: I love the center bars on these, they feel good to the eye.

Florin: This is the most inconsistent glyph, in my opinion. The broadening, serifless shaft seems to just make it stick out, and the join with the top arch looks a touch abrupt. The vertical proportions however, look good, not too heavy-handed.

cuttlefish's picture

Damn, I had a lengthy response to all your points too, and the browser ate them. If this were an ordinary form field I could have just hit the "back"button and had it all there again, but evidently this is something special here.

cuttlefish's picture

But thank you, Choz, for taking the time to go through all this stuff and say something about it. Hopefully you will find many of the points you made addressed in the next version.

cuttlefish's picture

I was going to reply to each of your points in a single message, but I'll break them up to a few at a time.

Florin: Is this still a valid currency symbol? I thought any country that had used such a thing is now in the Euro zone. Anyway, I agree it is the most inconsistent character in the font, but it is one of those that is pretty inconsistent in any typeface I've looked at, frequently based on the italic f, and more often than not an italic f from a totally unrelated font. In an earlier iteration I had it as an integral with a crossbar, but that seemed less right (or at least more wrong) than the one I currently have.

¢/$: You're right, the vertical bars are different weights. I'll see what I can do about that.

%,‰: Again, good point. It is a struggle to get those "o"s not to dominate without making them too light.

∞: I didn't want this to look like just a sideways eight, but it looks like the magnetic field diagram doesn't translate well either.

Choz Cunningham's picture

I've learned the hard way, too. Whenever I am about to submit a monster post, I do a quick copy-paste into notepad, just in case. I trust the intarweb as far as I can throw it.

If I want the 0's to look like real inf/sup numbers, I try that trick of making them independent of the intended combined symbol. Or, I go for something else completely, and draw the percent as it's own item, then duplicate the last 0-type-thing for the perthou.

On ∞, I'd say that your overall proportions are successfully distinct, and that it would still be a far leap to say it would look too "8" afterwards. Especially when the '8' of the same face is the more classical offset thins touching a thick. There is some decorative face that probably has an '8' like your ∞, but then there is probably one where the x looks like your asterisk, too.

Perhaps a fresh single-character thread might do the trick, if you aren't confident in the design.

I appreciate your taking time to consider all I said. I know how annoying it is to have to recreate a post, but if you had anything else as meta-feedback, I'm curious. If any of it was crazy-talk, I'd like to learn from this as well. Or, if there was something I didn't explain well enough, I can revisit it.

Please, again, don't take anything I've said too seriously, unless perhaps you keep hearing it from others as well. Anyway, it was great to focus like that on a face, and I sure look forward to seeing .16++!

cuttlefish's picture

M: That is one that has given me trouble from the start. I have yet anouther new design in the next iteration, and corresponding changes in the N, but I still feel it isn't quite right.

Superior/inferior/fraction numerals: The numbers are based on the full size forms of an earlier version, and haven't yet caught up with subsequent changes. I do like this older version of the 3. At full size it made a pleasant <3 emoticon, but didn't fit in with the rest of the font very well. I think it fares well enough at the reduced size, tough, and I may keep it. They could all stand a little beefing up in the horizontals, but too much will durn them into blobs.

Œ: The sidebearings are: Œ 50 80, Æ 70 60, A 70 70, O 40 40, E 80 60. The horizontals are longer on the plain E, but I'll pull back on tthe E side of Œ to get them lined up. This may not always be right to space ligatures the same as their respective components, but it's a good thing to point out if their difference is too obvious.

Choz Cunningham's picture

One last note. I am certain it might have been an encoding error, or a problem with working in Fontorapher, but I didn't see a snark. Perhaps it is an issue with encoding PDFs in Canvas, or something like that.~

cuttlefish's picture

What is the preferred Unicode position of the snark?

ebensorkin's picture

Oh that snark... ha! There is no Unicode place for it yet is there? Or did I miss something?

Choz Cunningham's picture

You didn't miss a thing. $E2D2 is a spot in the Private Use area. ;)

cuttlefish's picture

I did at last figure out how to get the y-acute and multiply characters to appear in the font. For some reason they won't be saved in the TrueType font file when saved with Mac Standard encoding, but they will when encoded as Mac Expert, even though they appear in the Mac Standard character set. Weird, huh?

The Mac Expert set includes positions for small caps and punctuation, OSF, more superior/inferior/fraction numbers, and lots of spaces marked .notdef. Most of these positions, even if they are defined, don't have Unicode numbers assigned to them. It'll be a pain to put everything in place, but I can do it once I find out what those numbers are.

cuttlefish's picture

Did you know that Fontographer puts the wrong Unicode numbers on the f ligatures? I found that out and fixed them, but now other things are squirrely. Anyway, I got it all working in the new PDFs on the first post. I'll come back in a bit with the sample image.

Choz Cunningham's picture

Looks interesting, more new treats than I expected! At first glance, I really like the slight emphasis on the lefthand curl of the snark's tilde. And that the lig is more than a simple sum of components. The new second serif(?) on the l is very fun, and still very readable. I notice the fl and ffl don't share this, but they look consistent, nonetheless. I will give the entire update a longer take this weekend. [edit: Sun night]

cuttlefish's picture

Building on your earlier comments, since they didn't change significantly from the last version:

preiod, comma, et. al. punctuation: The base dots ride low, dipping 14.5% of their height below the baseline.

Double Acute (Hungarian umlaut): You mistook this for a double prime. I have not included any primes yet. Actually this one changed a lot from 15 to 16.

Choz Cunningham's picture

I made a long reply, but it never landed, and I lost my copy after not noticing the failure to post.

Sigh. To summarize myself, The M looks very good now, and sets well amongst the other characters and on its own. The N's modifications reflect this very well, too. I am not sure which Q you prefer, meaning I feel like you are still trying to decide between them. I think the former style suits the neo-wood motif. The flare on the @ rocks, bringing it into the package very well!

What are your thoughts on your tweaks?

cuttlefish's picture

I kind of forget what all I tweaked in v.16 and whatnot. I came down with the flu last week and am only just now recovering—I think I was in a bit of a delirium when I posted the last package.
I stole the idea for the mid-stem serif on the l from someone else's project on here. There is historic precedent for the thing so I hope the one I was inspired by doesn't mind. It actually helps to solve a lot of the spacing problems that letter was giving me. I wouldn't put that spur in the fl and ffl ligs because that would basically extend the crossbar into the l, making a confusing A like shape. I know lots of fonts have that feature, but it's not a good one, in my opinion.

As I said before, I switched the encoding to Macintosh Expert, and now all the glyphs seem to encode properly in the TTF file, but now I have twice as many character slots as I had before, and half of the new ones are not defined. What am I supposed to do with those? And what of the ones that are defined but don't have a unicode value? None of them have a keystroke, either.

Anyhoo, I think I'll revert back to the v.15 Q and move this new one to an alternates set.

ebensorkin's picture

I have not looked at the font in a while to try to see it fresh eyes. Now that I have come back to look again here are my suggestions:

Move thedot on the i up It looks cramped. The i deresis too.
Make the w slightly less wide. It's a little ungainly
Wheras the r & m are really strong designs, the t seems unfinnished. I would start again with it maybe. That r is maybe the best thing in the font. It's so robust & confident. You might have to reduce the anle at which the arm ends to get better letter fitting later on but its tasty!
The little serif on the g is too light. It doesn't fit. It lacks confidence.

This would be a good time to start looking at the white shapes between letters and see what you are making. The white shapes should be balanced with each other. You can solve a portion of this with kerning but you should try to get 50-75% there with the basic combinations so you don't make yourself crazy making special kern combos for 1000s of combinations. To get good interletter spacing you have 3 choices- modify the shapes, modify the side bearings, modify the kerning. It's tricky.

The nice robust body weight of the shapes of the font seem like they need slightly beefier serifs to me. The letters look like tigers with the feet of deer. What if they were thicker or if you reduced the curve very slightly?

I think the crossbar on the l creates as many problems as it solves. The l's shape ( especially the height at which the tail ends ) is the problem along with the sidebearings. In contrast the i is working.

The extreme thins vary a little too much maybe. I would think about harmonizing them. Look for example at the lc o & the uc E or UC L. To me they don't belong together. I think the n gets the contrasts just right.

I hope some of this helps.

cuttlefish's picture

I'd hate to be trampled by a tiger with deer feet.
Is it all right to make the serifs thicker than the horizontal strokes, or are you suggesting I make them longer?

ebensorkin's picture

I’d hate to be trampled by a tiger with deer feet.


I am suggesting making them more hefty or thicker not longer. But try anything you think might work. Anything is okay if it looks right to you. Including leaving it as is.

Does my comment resonate with you at all? I am just seeing the rest of the face as more robust than the serifs - so much so that they don't seem to go together to me anymore.

Maybe take a look at other serifed faces as they become heavy like yours - clarendon, Unger's work, Font Font serifs etc. You will see a wide range of options used but also a certain relationship maintained. It's nature is perceptual & optical not mathematical.

cuttlefish's picture

So I find I'm in a bt of a bind. Since I changed the encoding, I can'r get the font to work in Canvas or CorelDraw, or just about anything without full Unicode support. That pretty much leaves me with just TextEdit, which I've been using for the last several sets of PDF samples. There might be a way to generate an image from that, but I haven't figured it out yet.

ebensorkin's picture

You could use 'Grab' which is in the utilities folder. It can take a screen shot.


You could save as a PDF ( built into OSX) out of text edit & see if you can read it in Preview or Acrobat as a PDF afterwards.

cuttlefish's picture

That's exactly what I've done to generate the PDF files from TextEdit (it's actually a function of the Print dialog, not Save as... Go figure). I should have thought of just using screen capture for the in-thread displays. Now I feel dim.

cuttlefish's picture

OK, I figured out how to do this. It added a bunch of steps and I get these red dotted lines that I can't seem to get rid of even with the spell check turned off. This is still version 16 here. I added in most of the characters that I couldn't get Canvas to show, but I think I missed a couple.

cuttlefish's picture

I've been away from this for a while, but I'm back at it. Above are a set of old-style monospaced numbers I've been working on.
This isn't the full update. I'll be bring that out later this week or maybe next. I also have some small caps but those aren't ready to show.

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