Fontin Serif - a branch of the Fontin t(h)ree.

Jos Buivenga's picture

With the generous help of Typophile(s) I made Fontin in 2004. Fontin Sans followed in 2007 and I'm now working on Fontin Serif. I've little or no experience with serifs, so any remarks would be very welcome.

Fontin_Serif_2.pdf19.53 KB
Fontin_Serif_3b.pdf28.89 KB
Fontin_Serif_4.pdf31.16 KB
Fontin_Serif_5.pdf17.62 KB
JCSalomon's picture

I like the general Fontin `feel', and the subtle curves in the serif bases.  I used Fontin Semi for my résumé to good effect, and may well switch when this is released.

That said, the capital J feels like it's missing part of its tail (Semi & Serif have distinct tails), and the joints on the lowercase k & y feel `bumpy' even at small sizes.  Also, most of the serif are symmetrical, even when most serif fonts introduce an asymmetry (e.g. to keep the P from `falling over' &c.).


litera's picture

Very well done!

I agree about the J not complementing the other two fonts.

Something else I've noticed. K. It looks like the top arm is going too much to the right and looks like it's wider on the top thus making it a bit unstable. Or maybe it just need the middle join to be moved a little bit lower. A small bit.

The g looks more serif in Semi version than it looks in the Serif one. To me the Semi version is too serif and you should exchange these two letters from one to the other. Or do something about it.

Lc s also need some work on the end of the bottom stroke, because I think it goes too high and closing the shape more than it should.

Jos Buivenga's picture

Thanks! I'll try to improve most things mentioned this weekend.

James Arboghast's picture

...K. It looks like the top arm is going too much to the right and looks like it’s wider on the top thus making it a bit unstable.

The top arm extending that far right will create fit problems for Y, and possibly W, V.

j a m e s

Jos Buivenga's picture

I've worked on most characters mentioned. Let me know if it's better.
It's much more work then I thought it would be :)

Also did the numerals... and a few other things.
Spacing and kerning still need to be done.

blank's picture

I really like this face. It feel very sensuous and curvy with a dark color, and makes me think of pinups by Vargas and Olivia.

I think that the upper terminals on s and S are too heavy and seem to droop. It has something to do with thecloseness of the the central stroke of the letter, which is why the hefty upper serif is not a problem in C. The crossbar on f breaking up and the left side could come down a little. It also seems like the terminal of the descender on y is lacking the sensuous nature of the rest of the letters and comes to an abrupt end.

Jos Buivenga's picture


I've 'opened up' the top serifs of S and s. Also changed t, f and y and worked on some ligatures and swashes.

blank's picture

Much better. I especially like the swash q and the fi ligature. I do think there’s too much motion in the ligatures of ct and st; right now the connector appears to be crashing into the letters from the upper-right.

litera's picture

But... But... YOu've closed the bottom bowl of "g"... :( both other "g"s in the family are open...

I very much like what you did to K.

But otherwise your Fontin family is really really beautiful. I didn't download them to check, but do they include čČšŠžŽ?

Jos Buivenga's picture

I'm very pleased to read that you (all) like the Fontin feeling. It is really encouraging!

Worked mostly on the accents and made some very minor adjustments. I've uploaded a new pdf.

@ James:
Well, must say that I had other intentions (see image) with the ct ligature then making a crashing appeareance :-)
It looked very logical to me, but maybe I stared at it too long. I changed the 'connector' slightly.

@ litera:
I haven't made up my mind yet about 'g'. I could also use the shape I have now and make it a bit open.

About čČšŠžŽ: Fontin (Semi) none, Fontin Sans only šŠžŽ. But I will update them when Fontin Serif is ready. All my new fonts (and also Fontin Serif) do have full CE support and Esperanto. With the use of 'Anchors an Carets' and 'Class kerning' it's not much extra work.

metalfoot's picture

Mmmm... yes, open g bowl is much nicer.

All I know is that I'm drooling in anticipation of the final release of this font... I think some PayPal may be headed your way soon!

mjkerpan's picture

Awesome work. Fontin is just about the only free original design I know of that's worth the bandwidth it takes to download and once the Serif subfamily is rolled out, I suspect you'll have an unstoppable juggernaut. If I had money, I'd donate to you, but since I don't I'll just feel woefully inadequate when I compare my own feeble start of a font ( to your genius efforts...

Jos Buivenga's picture

@ Alex/metalfoot: I'll keep g open and post my progression soon. Completion will take a while. I'm also busy with Italic now and find it really difficult to 'serif' it.

@ Michael/mjkerpan: There's a great resource here on Typophile regarding free fonts. Lots of font there and absolutely worth downloading. Starting (and finishing) a font is a personal journey in which inspiration -not comparison- guides you.
For your information: I still feel inadequate.

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