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I'll try this again and see if it will allow me to post comments this time.
Here is a pdf of my character set:
Wer has been Blocked.
Are you "Da Man" now? When did you get admin status, dude? Good work!
Now back to the task at hand:
I have reworked the M, N, T, H, E, F, and added some unicase stuff as well. The new M takes in hybrid parts of several alternates and is my number one candidate for default.
I don't know if this is what Eben was trying to tell me yesterday but I added curves to the E and F. This caused me to add curves to H, L, and T with the domino affect. I think it helps resolve the dot issue, too.
Chris, Yeah, that's what I was planning on doing basically. I think it looks very good indeed and relates nicely to the R, B & lc el.
I wonder about how a thinner bar would look on the UC E to be like the lc e & UC H. Probably you tried that already.
And I agree the dot on the integrates now in a way it did not before. Nice!
The new H IS really sweet. I like both Ms too.
What do you think? Is this taking the face in a direction you like?
Another small idea: What if there was a Alt W where it was like the M flipped but witha slight outward bow to the strokes?
RE 'da man'. I agreed to help moderate here at Typophile while I was at Typecon. Mostly I am doing Library/Book stuff with Tiff. But I think hyper-blatant spam probably needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.
Thanks! It was funny, I couldn't quite get what you meant but after I did it, I asked myself, "I wonder if that is what Eben was trying to get through my thick head?" :-)
I think I am ready to go beta test with this thing and finally get one font out the door! I promised myself I would put a font on the market by September and I only have a few days left to move. It has been a fight to finally get the guts to just say, yes, this is not perfect but if I wait until it is, I will be dead and buried!
Thanks for everyones' input and encouragement!
I think your recent numerals work very well--nice solutions. Also I like the new M. The N is better, too, but I wonder if it can be made still more harmonious.
I don't like the new curved inner corners of the EFTL serifs. I think you violated the look of your other characters, where the counters are all 'slots'. To me breaking the slot shape hurts both the strength and unity of the face. It's going too 'soft', and less coherent. Seeing the new and old set in more text will tell the story.
I'm not sure on the H. I guess I want to see it in text. Also if H is the only cap stem with that treatment I'm not sure it makes visual sense.
Such a small thing really does change the flavor or voice of the font in a big way. I feel like it reads more readily now so my vote is cast in the latest direction ( ...as if I had such a thing. ha!). At the same I do recognize that something present in the original has been tampered with. One possible solution - make lemonade.
Instead of two families there can be 2 or more. It might strike you as cheating at first but I honestly think it would be at all. These little things make a huge difference. You might look at Hoefler's Proteus Project.
He did a great job of offering several flavors of deeply related forms. You might do something like that.
What a great work Chris!
The only crit I'd done for now is in relation with the M and the N. So far, at my point of view, I think the original M and N on #5 are the more effective for the legibility. The other are nice too and greatly wise solution, but I think the inner white slant line would cause too much “vibration” in a long text Also, I would try a rounded or a squared dot for the i, ! and ? or at least, less large for the ! ?.
I like the rounded corner on the i, l and some other character. Even though the general feeling seems square you’ve been able to give to the typeface a smooth, fresh and actual look.
This look great for a bunch of purposes I can think of, all of them good, :-). Knitting little whites is one of the best learning experiences I've had.
My largest concern in designing a face so fat as to challenge the very existence of certain features, is to be very hierarchical in determining the size of the tiny little "white" spaces. The micro-counters of "a" and "e" must be finely balanced by slight variation to "equal" those of "p" and "d", which must be finely balanced by slight variation to "equal" those of "hnmu" and so on, so that all, and their inter-letter spaces create the proper clicketty-clack amongst themselves (lowercase), and then with all the rest...
Additionally! in a dangerously fat "some-sans" like this, one introduces in the "F", "J" and "L", "vast" spaces relatively, and though you've managed to minimize these in the "VWXY" there is still a relatively vast (and unkernable) white space left. Where this and the slightly varying counters leaves one is with a need to space very precisely, to ensure less space between a character under spacing consideration and any other, than there is in the counter of the character under consideration, on both sides, always!
This whole area of style, naturally, is a serious challenge in a one-size fits all outline...but again this looks really good so far.
I am revisiting everything again :-) And congratulations to you for your upcoming release!
I really appreciate you taking your valuable time to give me helpful advice! It means a lot to me.
I have been tinkering with slivers of counters and trying to use the tension of proximity to neighboring glyphs to try to achieve some hope of a working solution. I am glad to have the benefit of hearing from your years of experience. I will look back at it all again and try to apply what you have said.
Thanks for your kind words!
Here is my latest version (before I saw David's post).
I went part way back to what I had but with much tinkering.
Wow, I think this is going to be a best seller for you, Chris!
Since your last (26 Aug) M had a distinctive look, you might consider having it as an alternate.
One possibility would be doing an N with no diagonal cuts, to match the M without diagonal cuts, and then have the N and M with diagonal cuts as alternates...
The N would be tough to pull off that way. It would be easier to just have diagonal cuts and no verticals but that is a different beast altogether. The other M is already an alternate, Bill, and so is the roiunder corner N and unicase N.
Thanks for the kind words!
I don't know if I will have a chance to have a slash at the other ideas I had anytime soon but here at least is what I have made so far.
And now off to attend to:
"Where this and the slightly varying counters leaves one is with a need to space very precisely, to ensure less space between a character under spacing consideration and any other, than there is in the counter of the character under consideration, on both sides, always!"
I have been attempting to apply the concept David Berlow posted here on the 26th. I have redone spacing and am posting results of my 2-day endeavor.
Here is a PDF. With spacing and counters this narrow, GIF files don't do much good:
It's not perfect yet but I thought somefeedback might help at this point.
Chris, if it isn't too much trouble, I'd be interested to see a couple of phrases with 'before' and 'after' examples above one another, so I can more fully appreciate what you've done.
I am not sure I can figure out which was the older file at the moment but I'll try :-)
Night vision failure! FOGET that previous slitty-eyed PDF I posted yesterday. The morning light has opened my eyes and I have made very small (2 units) but crucial adjustments. Here is the latest:
Looks like I missed my September 1st deadline :-(
I have been redoing counter widths and spacing a zillion more times. I think I am real close now but too tired to make a new speciman to post.
I'll upload my final PDF tomorrow.
I haven't looked in detail but to me opening up the counters in terms of width seems to have really improved things. Reading is far smoother. I started to wonder about doing something subtle & ink trappy with the cross bar on the t - or thickening the cross bar itself - or both. I am looking forward to checking out the next file in more detail!
The adjustment of the counters has reduced dazzle, and increased readability. The question is, is that what you want? More dazzle gives more punch, less readability. One option is to go for more dazzle on caps, less on lc.
The dilemma I was running into was that I needed more units between glyphs to differentiate between spacing variations (curve to curve/curve to straight/angle to straight) and the only way I could get it was by opening up counter space. David Berlow's comments helped me to see that. His exercise really helped me see limitations. After much trial and error--a zillion revisions later, I settled on adding 6 units of space to the counters. This may move the sweet spot of the type size down a few points for high rez printing and allow better results for poor conditions like newsprint where spread is an issue. The only other out is an optical sizing structure. I will also double the UPM to 2000 to give me what I need for better kerning. At this point, I really need some 2400 dpi output to really see what I have to do.
I just couldn't leave well enough alone, I have been re-kerning everything and changing the f ligs to allow a sliver of space between elements.
Finally, here is the PDF sample text is in several languages:
A few of the samples are negative tracked at large sizes. This may move towards the effect David Berlow was trying to get through my thick skull.
Here is a comparison of the old with the new counter width and spacing (the new is at the bottom):
Great improvement Chris. Well done
See what others who know the market better think, but to me these two have different, but desirable qualities. The lower more readable, the upper more arresting. Fat Squeeze--regular and obese? :)
You know, it's seeing amazing designs like this that tempt me to never touch TypeTool, FontForge, or any other such programs again... I just can't compete.
I will be making a version later called "FatSqueeze Huge" for big-ass uses only. This is for cases where size really matters.
Wow! Thanks, Alex, but don't let me stop you from trying your own. It isn't about competing, it is about doing what you want to do.
Well yeah, but you pros make it look so effortless... Me, I struggle to draw an 's'.
Effortless? Hardly. Hundreds and hundreds of hours of effort go into making it look "effortless."
PS: I struggle to draw an N.
I like the new developments Dezcom, and like to see the pain and pleasure being squeezed from every reissue ... ;)
Chris: “You know, a lot of effort went into making this effortless.” Type certainly qualifies as an addiction, too.
Addiction is writing a million lines all saying what addiction is :-)
"...pain and pleasure being squeezed from every reissue"
Struggle is the nature of humankind :-)
I could add more, but it would probably hijack the thread when in fact Fat Squeeze looks darn fine and when will it be out anyway?
All good points and many sound painfully familiiar :-)
Thanks! Hopefully, by the end of the month, I will have this one out.
One last time!
I changed the UPM to 2,000 giving me some more wiggle room. I narrowed the counters 2 old units and tightened the letterspacing some so that now,the sum of any 2 sidebearings is less than the narrowest counter. This is not a huge amount and will go unnoticed at smaller sizes but I think it gets closer to what David was trying to tell me. I can "feel" the difference--like when you tune a piano an infinitesimal amount. This setting will allow tracking with less re-kerning for the enduser because the spacing increments are closer together.
This final revision is between the last one and the earlier ones (about 1/3 of the way between. To me, it just seems to "sit" better here. My 600 dpi laser doesn't do the job at anything but bigger sizes so I will have to get some Lino output to check for sure.
Hey, I think you hit the sweet spot on the spacing. Looks good!
I think I am going to get this thing ready to sail :-)
Here is the last version I am posting. Some putzing with diacritics and added kerning pairs. I also changed T and t commaacent to their Unicode names so that they show up in stupic Mac OS apps like Textedit and Mac Word. I wish APPLE WOULD FIX THAT!!!
Thanks to JLT for reminding me of this thread. I just reread it and it was a good chronicle of my struggle. The hard part was the nearly 2 years that passed between this last 2007 post and final release in 2009! The battle to let it free was sreong and the many revisits and tinkerings between are unseen and indescribable but still huge in the process.
I am really indebted to David Berlow for what I learned from his post!
PS: the final result=
Dez Squeeze Pro seven width family now released: