Modern & Blackletter Combo, 3 choices

weinziet's picture

Hi guys,
I'm working on this face and font for my senior project. I am using Modern and Blackletter influences. I can't decide which to continue to develop.

#1 is the original. It's really jumpy, and would only work as display.
#2 is not as jumpy, but looks simple and not detailed.
#3 looks more sophisticated to me, and is way more legible.

What do you think? Which has the most promise?

And also, if you think of any similar faces, please inform me. I don't want it to look too much like someone else's work.

Thank you,

three choices.pdf199.19 KB
terrance typophile sample.jpg203.06 KB
Untitled-2.jpg110.49 KB
Untitled-3.jpg188.7 KB
Dan Gayle's picture

I like the first and second ones. They seem more calligraphically informed. And, believe it or not, I think the first one is the better one. It seems more natural than the other two. The curved strokes give it a little humanity, I suppose. That's why I don't like the third as much. Too mechanical.

Perhaps emphasizing the rotunda influence a little more will make the jumpiness work for you, instead of against you.

Use the f, a, and d from #2 with the rest of #1 and I think you're on your way.

Also, watch the weight of the first a and e compared to the second and third sets. The stroke is heavier, in a good way, in the first.

weinziet's picture

Thanks Dan.
I have been torn over this during the last week. I've received mixed reviews. I'm having trouble with the diagonal characters, v, w, x, y, and z.

I posted a lorem ipsum sample, (the second attachment) but the font has a different 'a' than the other sample.

Thanks for the link too. Its funny because I was looking at rotunda samples a while back, and decided to stray from it. But, now that I am getting stuck, I've come full circle. :)

Dan Gayle's picture

The k is perfect. And I like the smaller eye of the original e.

The u seems a little wonky. It really makes things seem jumpy. I would make it more like the n, which is very nicely done, making the x-height more stable.

I would also say that the v and x work fine. I don't know about the y and g, and I can't seem to see a z.

Remember to think about the stroke. Everything should match up to what you can physically draw with a wide-nib pen if you want it more natural. That should help you troubleshoot problem areas.

weinziet's picture

Thank you for your time and considerations.
I will take your advice and refer to rotunda style, and work some things out with my calligraphy pens.

I am struggling with the uppercase as well. Do you think it needs to continue the angles, or could it function with a more traditional construction, level with the cap height? Specifically the head serifs.

I will post some uppercase examples and variations later tonight, if you want to check those out as well. Otherwise, thanks again. I feel more comfortable with the direction.

Scalfin's picture

Can you make fonts different at different sizes? If so, you could modify one and three in such a way that three is one at small font sizes (though that may require intermediate forms as well). In a similar vein, the a in two makes me think it could be an italic.

glyphobet's picture

I really like all three of these. The first is clearly the best, and if you *must* abandon one of them, abandon the third -- it's the most traditional. I think you have some interesting fonts here that could work together well, with maybe #2 or #3 as body text and #1 or #2 as headline and subheadline text.

The top of the lowercase s in the first version should be at an angle matching that of the other bowl-top characters e, o, c, etc. Fixing that will remove most of the jumpiness.

I agree with DanGayle about the u. Bringing the left side of the bowl of the u and the y to end a bit higher will also improve jumpiness.

I like the uppercase that you have in the sample. Keep going in that direction. Preserve the angle from the lowercase. You might add a second, narrow vertical stroke to the left-hand vertical strokes in each uppercase letter, as is often done in blackletter text. If you do it subtly enough (make it as thin as the horizontals) it will blend in and look natural, and even out the color of the uppercase, without being intrusive.


weinziet's picture

Thanks guys.
I am considering keeping one as a textface, #3, but I may not have time to fully develop it. My show is in less than 70 days, and my goal is to have a regular and bold weight.

Yeah, I agree, the u and y need optical adjustments. Also the s and z, which have horizontal x-height strokes, will be changed.

I think the possibility of swash capitals is interesting. Perhaps I could develop both sets of caps.
Thanks again, and please check back for updates. :)


weinziet's picture

I have added 2 new images, the untitled jpegs, which feature some changes we have discussed, including a new lowercase g, s, and z, optical adjustments, and the nearly finished uppercase.

I was reading in Karen Cheng's Designing Type, that the uppercase stems should be heavier than the lowercase counterparts. I tried this in the current sample, but I think it is too thick, or I need to increase the stroke weight on the bowls. I'm not sure about the N or M. Traditional constructions didn't look quite right, so I kept the construction of the lowercase n and m.

I am feeling more confident and comfortable in my direction now.

What do you guys think?

glyphobet's picture

The s is much improved. :) I'm not sure I like the new g. The bottom bowl is too symmetrical, and the stroke connecting them should be separate from the shape of the upper bowl.

I like the uppercase generally. But the M and N do look out of place. Not sure what you could do to fix that.

weinziet's picture

I have a few different g's. I agree, the current is too symmetrical. I'll plug in some substitutions and figure it out.
I'll let you know when I have made some other significant milestones.

Thank you,

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