Agamemnon v.36, needs a new name! Help please?

cuttlefish's picture

Agamemnon began as an experiment I did on Fontographer years ago. I revived it over a year ago and began discussing it here on Typophile. That original thread is here, but has become long and unwieldy, potentially frightening off new critics trying to wade through the history of revisions. I've since moved development of this font to FontForge. The ability to edit with Spiro curve technology has been invaluable!

The font could be categorized as transitional and slab serif. The serifs and horizontal strokes are cupped and curved, creating a visual texture that should maintain legibility at small sizes and great distances. The current weight, though, is a tad awkward; too heavy for a book weight, but not quite a bold.

Over time I have expanded the character set. Once started with a basic MacRoman, I have since expanded it to include most of the Unicode Latin codepages, as well as basic Cyrillic, Greek, and Cherokee, plus Latin small caps, tabular oldstyle figures, fractions, stylistic alternates, special Icelandic ligatures, and a whole lot of currency and miscellaneous symbols.

And the snark, uppercase eszet, ruble sign, & al.

The PDF files attached here are all development version numbered, beginning with version twenty-nine. Earlier revisions are documented in the original thread linked above. The most recent one will have the highest number. Files with the same number are different settings of the same version.

AttachmentSize
pr-AgamemnonTwentyNine-ffd.pdf324.53 KB
pr-AgamemnonTwentyNine-text.pdf400.04 KB
Agamamnon30-b1-i1_text_sampler.pdf55.4 KB
pr-AgamemnonThirtyFive.pdf473.76 KB
agamemnon36-12ptsample.pdf120.25 KB
Agamemnonß36 Cherokee de comparison.pdf31.85 KB
sasapetrova's picture

In view of the raised topic (Omega), I am posting a page with altenate designs of Omega.

sasapetrova's picture

By the way, the Greek typedesigners usually keep width of the oval shape of Omega at the same size as the oval of the Latin letter 'O'. There are deviations from that of course and we can make the Omega a bit wider, but this happens rarely.

Also, note that the horizontal bar at the baseline of Omega is always the same sroke width as in the letters 'Xi' and 'Sigma'.

kholvn's picture

Although the YI might be confused with O, it's still different. But this is one of the things I like about your font.

Ga, De and Du are always confusing to the novice. But after they really start getting into it they begin to tell the difference between the three.

So, Quo and Yi are the only ones that might be thought of as really different but I don't believe it will cause that much trouble.

As I said, they are all readable. I can hardly wait until you deem your font finished.

However, there is one thing about me that you should probably know. I'm sort of a maverick in teaching our language. You would think that people around here would all know how to speak in our own language, but such is not the case. All three tribes are scrambling to teach the language to the younger generation, hence the language classes sponsered by the tribes. But where other classes teach reading and writing right off - I've always believed that the folks needed to speak first. So that's what I begin with. I teach my students how to say words and phrases first before I get them into reading and writing. I don't believe other classes do this. They go straight into reading and writing. So in this matter, I'm... kinda different from other teachers of our language. Which might explain why I look forward to your release of your font. I believe the new look will spark a desire in the youth to learn how to use the syllabary and ultimately learn their own language.

sasapetrova's picture

Cuttlefish, I have just posted the AlternateDesignOfGreekCharacters.pdf that I promised at Semele (previously known as Thetis). I belive that you will find it of some interest to you in respect to designing Greek characters.

cuttlefish's picture

Someone posted this link in another thread: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latin_characters_in_Unicode

Through that I've managed to explore the usage and meaning of some of the more obscure characters. There is some weird stuff in there. A lot of obsolete IPA glyphs in particular.

speter's picture

A lot of obsolete IPA glyphs in particular.

What in particular do you mean?

cuttlefish's picture

well, there's the db and qp ligatures, a whole bunch with curls and hooks, um... darn I'll have to sift through the thing again.

suffice it to say, at the time I did it, I had just got a hold of the Unicode PDFs and went crazy trying to fill in every Latin slot there is, and included a whole bunch of stuff that of use to very few people, and some that is of no use to anyone, except perhaps for archaic orthographies. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

speter's picture

I would agree that IPA is not used by many people, but as a linguist, I don't find the glyphs obsolete. I wouldn't expect them in every typeface, but it is nice to have choices.

cuttlefish's picture

I have not put in many of the IPA characters as listed on its separate Unicode range, just those that happened to lie on other Latin pages. Have a look through the latest PDF I posted above. (I thought I had more up there. I'll have to replace those that I think are missing.)
Let me know if you need any IPA characters that aren't included, or if any of the included ones are malformed.

DTY's picture

I would agree that IPA is not used by many people, but as a linguist, I don’t find the glyphs obsolete.

There are obsolete IPA glyphs too (glyphs that have now been replaced by different forms, especially at Kiel 1989) and I think they are in Unicode for backward compatibility with prior 8-bit encodings. They should probably be included in any font that has the IPA, though, because it may be necessary to set documents created using earlier versions of the IPA.

guifa's picture

Ack who left a tag open? [edit: apparently me ... but the italic thing is recent and that post of mine is ages old]

The trick for IPA is making sure that you leave combining mark information for every single glyph that can be used in IPA. (I'm going overboard at the moment with Coruña and including top, bottom, top-right, overlay, and cedilla marks for EVERY SINGLE alphabetic character and most symbols haha, but that's abnormal).

I'm going to try to get myself a nice document with lots of close IPA transcription that will include the potential double or triple diacritics on some of the letters (oh yes, I forgot, you need combining marks on your combining marks :) )

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

speter's picture

There are obsolete IPA glyphs too (glyphs that have now been replaced by different forms, especially at Kiel 1989)

Officially obsolete, yes, but linguists just love using all kinds of signs. Not everyone transcribes using "approved" IPA.

cuttlefish's picture

Some lingering problems:

I'd like to be able to output a limited version of the font, say, containing only the characters designated in the Adobe Latin 2 character list. I don't presently know how to do this.

I also am having trouble resolving the linespacing issues resulting from stacked diacritics.

These are probably better asked on the FontForge users ML, after reading the manual, but it's what I'm stuck on for the moment.

Nymus's picture

Hi cuttlefish, I like the Agamemnon Greek very much, superb zeta, xi and sigma1. Its characters have a distinct and definitely novel look. Have you designed the Extended Greek characters by the way?

cuttlefish's picture

I haven't attempted any Greek extensions. I had a hard enough time getting it this far, being totally unfamiliar with that alphabet before making this attempt. I'm glad you like what I've done so far.

nithrandur's picture

Hi cuttlefish,

I think you should lower the glyphs with the bended lower serifs. If you put those – for example, lc l — and a circular glyph (which needs to overshoot), then word would look really odd. Maybe try putting the apex of the arc of the bended lower serif at the baseline and let its serifs overshoot?

That aside, I like the figures very much, especially 4.

–Josef

cuttlefish's picture

The cupped serifs are designed to compensate for the round letters short overshoot. I tried making the overshoot greater before and they looked odd.

piccic's picture

I also am having trouble resolving the linespacing issues resulting from stacked diacritics.
Which kind of trouble? I ask because I've had to solve myself recently a linespacing issue, and often it's enough to adjust the "Typolinegap" value, to avoid cutting-offs.

cuttlefish's picture

As far as line spacing, the design rides low on the em, as I've heard it put, so it appears small relative to many other fonts set at the same point size, but also I find that the main version with the full complement of stacked diacriticals (for Vietnamese and Livonian support) the space between the lines is much greater than the versions without those glyphs.

I really must move my monitor so I can thoroughly read my software's documentation without headaches.

guifa's picture

Jason, you use FontForge, yeah?

Element -> Font Info... -> OS/2 -> Metrics.

Take the non-accented file and uncheck "Is Offset" by all of those fields. Those are the numbers you'll want to manually input to your accented file if you want the accented one to have exactly the same line height (this will cause overlap of course with some combinations).

«El futuro es una línea tan fina que apenas nos damos cuenta de pintarla nosotros mismos». (La Luz Oscura, por Javier Guerrero)

cuttlefish's picture

Yes I do use FontForge. Thanks for the tip.

cuttlefish's picture

Welcome back! I finally got a new monitor, a beautiful and affordable Acer H213H, so all those CRT artifacts I kept griping about are a thing of the past.

Now, on to the revision. I've let this sit a long time, but I finally got around to fixing the line height in the manner guifa suggested. I've kind of lost track of what else I changed between this and the last one, but I'm sure most of the comments were taken into account. Now that the new release of FontForge has the print setup bug fixed, I can output its sample directly to PDF (see newest attached file "pr-AgamemnonThirtyFive.pdf" in the first post).

cuttlefish's picture

Damn, a few months really does bring the bugs to light! I thought I'd just be working on the spacing and kerning and tweaking accent positions at this point but I'm making some fundamental changes to important glyph shapes like "a" again.

I should have version 36 up before too long. In the meantime, let me know if you spot any glaring problems in the current sample.

cuttlefish's picture

I've sat on this for nearly a year again, haven't I?
I generated the 36th test version today and will have samples up shortly in the style Hrant recommended in http://typophile.com/node/66781.

cuttlefish's picture

All righty! Finally some progress. "agamemnon36-12ptsample.pdf" is up on top. The character set is entered in the order they appear in Unicode. I included excerpts from Wikipedia in the four major scripts as well as a section in Anglo-Saxon to draw out some of the more exotic Latin characters. This is set at 12pt with normal line spacing. It seems I've tackled the growth factor that the stacked accents brought in. Somewhere along the line the alignment of some accents shifted. That needs to be corrected.

I made some significant changes in the Cherokee glyphs, some of which are sure to be controversial, and I am open to changing them back if that's what the language requires.

I did notice a strange phenomenon when entering the combining accents one after another; they stacked on top of each other, creating a bit of a smear through the line above them.

cuttlefish's picture

Added a PDF regarding the Cherokee syllable "de"

cuttlefish's picture

It has come to my attention that there is a free font being circulated by the name of PR Agamemnon by Peter Rempel. Since he brought it out to the public before I did, I won't dispute his claim to the name, not that anyone could claim a historic figure as a trademark anyway. Still, that leaves me with finding a new name for this thing. Any suggestions?

riccard0's picture

I would stay in the same field. The first paragraph of the Agamemnon article on Wikipedia, for example, lists several names of people or places suitable for a typeface.

matt_yow's picture

My vote would be to totally keep the name Agamemnon, its so heavy metal! but regrettably, it has been claimed.
riccard0 is right though, that wiki entry is absolutely full of possibilities. the genealogy map is a good start.

cuttlefish's picture

Aw crud, I've gone and revived the older portion of this thread. Blech. This font started out scary looking and has evolved into an entirely different monster. Anyway, for the sake of getting it all in one place, here are those screenshots of the currency symbols again:

cuttlefish's picture

Tragically, I forgot the Dram, not least because it's not in the main Unicode currency symbols block. So I just made one, and included it with all the legacy encoding currency marks I already had:

I guess that leaves the Afghani, Rial, and Khmer Riel

hrant's picture

That was fast! But the top-left shouldn't be so droopy - more like a short stem.

hhp

cuttlefish's picture

Hopefully this dram will look more assertive. I also made some changes to the sterling and bhat.

hrant's picture

Funky, but could work.

hhp

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