Ethiopic font (Feedel)

Aleme's picture

Thanks for helping on this especially Eben . I would like you and everybody to see this samples so that where I am coming from and where I am going .
I am trying to do modern looking font and yet I don’t want to abandon the traditional beauty .
In other words I want to exploit all the modern design Standards and the traditional quality .
Unlike Ethiopic fonts out their my font will be very close to Latin sans.
Eben I agree when you say there is a lot of room for improvement . Your point is well taken Clotting at the joint, good elegant flow most of all to make it
Useable in usable at smaller pt sizes.
I am posting this images so that everybody can see different Ethiopian writing system.

The first image is a poster I made not too long ago using the font I am working on .the last two images are the one I like most .

Thanks everybody !

Aleme


ebensorkin's picture

Some of the black & white ones are ballpoint or felt tip marker - is that right?

Aleme's picture

Yes #6 is ball point pen. It is not very good hand writing .

ebensorkin's picture

These calligraphic examples sure show big spacing! And while there is more variety in heights shown in these examples than we see in Naomi, there seems to be less than in Nyala. Interesting! The thing I noticed the most however was that the in largest example of calligraphic writting, the one with altrenating red and black lines of text - the glyphs really set up nicely with each other. They also feel lively, not just because of the oblique angel but because of the motion of the shapes. And the excellent way they relate to each other. I sure like that. I think that integrating some of the variation in thickness we talked about will help bring some of that into Naomi. I would like Naomi take some of that in. Not lots, but a little. But are you interested in that feeling at all?

Aleme's picture

The one with altrenating red and black lines of text - the glyphs really set up nicely with each other. They also feel lively

I like that too . I don't like too rigid & too mechanical forms in the font. curves sure will give Naomi more expression anb beauty .most of all that is how Ethiopic is . If you see the intention of the calliographers it is to make it livily than mechanical . I also like Adams tought not latinizing non latin font .

how hard is to achive that ?

ebensorkin's picture

how hard is to achive that ?

I suppose that depends on insight & talent. ;-)

The thing ( i think ) that is happening in the example I like is that the calligrapher is placing the forms next to each other in such a way that they balance nicely. You can create a special spacing of two glyphs in a font by kerning. Doing that in some cases will get you nearer to that goal. Of course, ideally speaking you would get the basic spacing values and shapes as close to ideal to begin with - and then kern. Afterwards you may find that you have to redesign some shapes as a result of your looking at spacing & kerning as well. Do you how to kern yet?

The other thing that is happening is that the caligrapher is making subtle changes to the shapes of the glyphs themselves in their context to make them fit even more nicely together. You could do this in an opentype font via scripting. But I recommend doing the basic stuff first! Then in a year or two you might come back & make a 'pro' version with 'contextual altrenates'.

However, the first step is to get some flow into naomi again. Not very much but just a little. Then the flow will have to be made to feel unified. It may be tricky. But I think it's worthwhile. :-) Then spacing. Then kerning.

Aya's picture

I just bump on this site by accident when looking for developments on Ethiopic font typefaces. My biggest frustration is the readability of Ethiopic characters on a computer screen. Your first picture looks very interesting to me – very readable on computer screens. I don’t believe we have to stick to the 19 century typefaces in the 21st century. Does anyone know if there are developments on this issue? The new Microsoft Nyala typeface, which will come with Vista, is an improvement but according to me not that good enough.

Thanks,
Aya

Si_Daniels's picture

>is an improvement but according to me not that good enough.

What's wrong with it? Can you be specific? I know it won a TDC prize, but I doubt any of the judges were native readers.

Cheers, Si

ebensorkin's picture

Was it hinted for screen? Maybe that's what Aya means. Is it? What model would you like to see developments go in? Ato is workling on two solutions at the moment but I will leave it to him to speak about them.

Si_Daniels's picture

>Was it hinted for screen?

Nyala? Yes, as a Vista font hinting targets ClearType.

ebensorkin's picture

Wow. Very cool.

I am guessing it was a style thing then. Nyala is very sophiticated but has one foot in the world of the calligrapher. Talking to Ato I got the sense that he is keen on something which is more modern in feeling and is more fully typographic in orientation.

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