Architrave

anonymous's picture

Hi, all. I'm new here. I'm David Thometz (a.k.a. "Gulliver" or "GulliverUT") and I'm out here in Salt Lake City. I've been an admirer of all of your designs for some time, and have been doing my level best to be a self-taught type designer. (Uh-oh... :D )

I have quite a few fonts in the works. This is the first one I have publicly shown, although I have been using my own fonts in my freelance designing for years.

While Architrave is my own design, it was largely inspired by (and could be described as a transporter accident between) Clarendon and Jenson.

I would welcome any comments, as well as suggestions on how to go about marketing and licensing some of my fonts.

Thanks for making such a forum as this possible.

David

ricardo's picture

hello David, your Gulliver is very interesting and beutiful slab serif. I want to ask why who put a hybrid stroke terminal on ur lc b and q? Also the serif terminals that you used on your uc and lc (Cc)have differents positions which break the visual armonity and unity betten letters.
Congratulations for all set. Regards

flingford's picture

Mmm, getting nicer.

I'd be curious to see a sample setting... a short paragraph, perhaps. I think that's the best way to test out how that lc c or that capital F will behave.

Cheers,

//joe

hrant's picture

David, this is cool.

Even though the result could be called playful, to me you're trying something very difficult (trying to put just the right amount of irregularity), and I think you're succeeding!

It's both new and old, and I think you've drawn just the right amount of inspiration from your sources (not too much). The serifs on the diagonals are brilliant, and your numeral zero is a superb idea (since numerals have horizontal stress anyway, right?).

Keep it up - but one word of warning (which you probably already know, though): this design, know when to cut it off; don't spend too much time refining - it's not the point, I don't think.

Best Wishes,
hhp

hrant's picture

I think your running text sample is super.

An aside concerning numerals: I myself prefer to give them vertical stress (like in some of Gill's work) instead of the traditional horizontal. So as much as I like that zero I rarely use it, and have been looking for something nice* with vertical stress that is still distinguishable from the letter "o". Last month I found it: look at the one in Berthold Wittingham.

* The traditional old-style solution of making the zero a thin circle with no stroke contrast I find horrid. And I think it was made that drastic because back then the *compositor* had to be able to easily distinguish it when sorting a type case. We no longer have this issue, so there's no real need to make it so ugly.

BTW, you had asked about marketing, and I for
one think that myfonts.com is the best avenue
for many designers.

hhp

anonymous's picture

I think you're right about both the uc "R" and lc "r". I'll tweak the beak posthaste. :) Thanks for the suggestions!

Anyone else? I really value this forum, and the open give-and-take nature of the critiques.

David Thometz

anonymous's picture

I think its fantastic!!!!!!

anonymous's picture

Ricardo: Thank you for your encouragement and comments.

Regarding the lc "b" and "q", are you referring to the serifs themselves, or the spurs? The serifs were taken from the Clarendon model, and the spurs were elements I liked and exaggerated from the Jenson model.

As for the mismatched terminals on the uc "C" and lc "c", that was a personal preference call. In the lc "c", the obliquely-positioned terminal serif seemed to work, to my eye, something like the Clarendon upright serif in the uc "C" and the ball terminal of the lc "c". I also didn't want the font to look TOO uniform, so I incorporated little quirks wherever I thought it would work without upsetting the entire font. (Other examples of this include the spur on the lc "e" [also borrowed from Jenson, without the slope], the unorthodox lc "x" and the foot serifs on the uc "V" and "W", as well as much of the numeral sets.)

I'd be very interested to hear more thoughts on this as well. Do the quirks work together, or have I disrupted the balance of the font?

Thanks very much for the input.

David

anonymous's picture

architrave2.jpg

Here is the font again, with the bolstered-tailed uc "R", the reduced-beaked lc "r", and the previously forgotten lc "ç".

anonymous's picture

architraveparagraph.jpg

Here is a sample text setting.

As I was checking the kerning, I noticed that the uc "F" was in fact NOT behaving. I made a couple of changes, adding a bar serif to the uc "F" (and hence, to the uc "E") to aid in kerning and overall color.

Comments appreciated, as always.

David Thometz

anonymous's picture

Thanks for the compliments and encouragement, Hrant.

I've always liked the numeral "0" in Stempel Garamond, and I'm amazed that more fonts don't take advantage of that model. It's a great way to distinguish the numeral at a glance from uc "O" or lc "o".

And I agree, the design is close to where it should be. I was hesitant to add the bar serifs on uc "E" and "F", but in the end, I thought they helped solve the kerning problem more than they detracted from the design.

Any other thoughts?

David Thometz

anonymous's picture

Berthold Whittingham: http://www.bertholdtypes.com/bq_library/090195000.html

Yes, I like that form for numeral "0" a lot, too. Berthold's Bodoni Old Face uses a similar form -- vertical stress, stroke thickened on one side (usually the left).

Berthold Bodoni Old Face: http://www.bertholdtypes.com/bq_library/090194000.html

David Thometz

anonymous's picture

David,

This is a really nice face. (We reviewers get a free copy, right?) Reminds me of another favorite Jenson descendant, Parkinson.

Might I suggest airing out the lc "g" a little? The link between bowl and loop seems heavy, and the space above link and below the bowl is closing up.

Just my two cents as a user and lover, but not designer, of type.

Marc

anonymous's picture

ArchitraveZhwamburge.jpg

Thanks, Marc, and apologies for this much-delayed response.

I've made a few more adjustments to Architrave roman, including airing out the lc "g".

I've also been working on an italic companion face to go along with the roman and the sans, as shown here. It's still very much in the early stages, with lower case only so far, but I'm excited for the direction it's taking. Here's a sample.

As always, comments are very much appreciated.

anonymous's picture

architraveitalic1.jpg

Here's the character set so far of Architrave Italic.

Comments appreciated.

David

Joe Pemberton's picture

David,

I really like this. Particularly the roman serif
version. And the italics are coming along great.

It's occured to me, though, that the tail of the
y seems a bit fat where it bends. Or perhaps it
doesn't taper quickly enough.

I mostly noticed this from playing with the Architrave
sample in preparation for the Typophile Fifty show,
but you can see this characteristic in the sample
you posted today--as well as in the bottom of the t and
in the top of the f.

Any thoughts on this? Is it just me?

//joe

anonymous's picture

Regarding Architrave Italic

Nice work.. I think the lc 'g' should get rid of the chinese-looking pony-tail. You should perhaps also open up the lower loop in 'g', it need to be stretched in its height. Lowercase 'x,y,z' need some serious work. They all have weak endings (tails) and look like skecthes. Also.. I dont like the '0' (zero). I don't think it's needed to differentiate more it from the uc 'O'.

Characters that I really like are;(lowercase) b,h,k,v,w.....and a few of your ligatures.

Good luck!

Sbo

anonymous's picture

Joe:

To be completely honest, I've hate a sort of love-hate relationship with the shapes of these characters as well (lc "f", "j", "t", "y" and, to a lesser extent, the tail of the lc "a"), and for the very reason you mentioned. My opinion pendulum swings back and forth from "novel, quirky and interesting" to "odd, unfamiliar shape that seems wrong" and back again.

I decided to take the risk of showing them as is, trusting that unfamiliar might just be unfamiliar and not necessarily bad. I'm actually surprised that you're the FIRST person to mention it on the forum -- I really thought more would have before now. (One of my friends offline mentioned it as well, with the same reservation against passing final judgement until I got more of a body of feedback.)

I tried a few alternate forms, such as a "buttonhook" curve (which ended up being used instead as the lc "f" and "j" and the smooth-curved "t" in Tinhorn, showing elsewhere on the Serif Forum). I also tried forms based more closely on Clarendon and Jenson, but neither of these seemed quite right for this font either. The final curve shape could be described as roughly similar to Clarendon's ball-terminal lc "j" with the ball knocked off, or a bent-and-thickened Jenson lc "j" (at least, as revived in the Centaur & Hightower forms).

So, now that it has been mentioned, does anyone else have an opinion on these forms? Are they "novel, quirky and interesting" or "odd, unfamiliar shapes that seem wrong"? Or something else?

=====

Sbo:

Of course, the only glyphs that I have completed for the italic set are the dark black ones on the Architrave Italic display. The greyed glyphs are merely sloped romans, and will be replaced as the italic characters are completed. The italics are being designed generally narrower than the romans, sloped to an average of 12 degrees right of vertical, and as cursive in stroke form as is feasible.

Regarding the lc "g", do you think that only the italic form should lose the "ponytail" ear, or are you suggesting losing it in the roman and sans forms also? I considered both a horizontal ear and also an abbreviated curve ear for the italic "g", but I kind of like the distinctiveness of the exaggerated ear form as designed.

As for the italic lc "g"'s tail, I modeled it after many versions of the triangular-shaped loop of the Jenson italic form (compare Centaur Italic [Arrighi], Bembo Italic [also based on Arrighi], Hightower Italic, and Adobe Jenson Italic, among others). Architrave is a rather heavy typeface in weight, and I know that it does tend to clog in greyscale JPEG images onscreen. It doesn't seem to have that problem when printed or in vector-based applications. Getting the font's hinting done may help solve the problem. Still, I'll look at ways to air out the loop. Some time in the future, I'm sure I'll get around to doing a lighter weight for book and long text applications.

I have to agree with you somewhat on the italic lc "x", and "y" -- they are the greenest and most unruly of the forms I posted so far, as they are only a first draft. I do want them to be distinctive and playful, but these currently look like they might throw a disk at any time. (Watch me get sued for negligence by my own font....)

The lc "z", however, looks pretty good to my eye, except for some obvious need for careful kerning and hinting. The swash tail was a deliberate design decision. What specifically would you suggest for these characters (x, y, z)? They're only a couple of days old, so I know that my eyes are still not seeing them completely objectively...

The forms for the "0" (zero) were also a deliberate stylistic decision, as I have always liked the "sideways stress" forms. They serve not only to distinguish the "0" (zero) from the uc "O", but also to provide visual distinction from the "6" and "9" figures. I'm sure I'll adapt the form somewhat for the italics, but don't expect a narrower uc "O", at least not in this font.

I'm still working on the italic ligatures, as I naturally want to finalize the component characters first.

=====

Thanks for the comments, all! I hope I'll hear more. I'll post again as the fonts develop.

David

anonymous's picture

Regarding 'g': It should not lose the ear completely. It only need to be modified. I am suggesting it for the Roman and Sans form also. Try shorten it down, losing about half the ear.And adjust.

The 'l' looks pretty, but is heavy on its tail.

About '0': It may be a stylistic decision, but its not working for me, and looks as if something wrong happend in fontographer.

I would like to see the text set tiny. And perhaps a light version, which would be more userfriendly..

UHm.... Consider to be more generous with the uppercase 'R' when it comes to its tail. Perhaps it should go under the baseline, and get more of a curve.

Just some thoughts...

Good luck!

Sbo

flingford's picture

I've always been a sucker for Clarendon. This is certainly a nice twist. I think the beak on the l/c r looks overyly exaggerated. Also, I like the tail on the u/c R, but it seems to need some bolstering.

Nice.

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