uncial influenced

Michael Wallner's picture

This is a typeface that I have been working on for the last couple of years. I have been looking at it so long I don't know if I have a very good objective view of it any longer. Please give me some comments, criticism (just don't make me cry), praise and name options.



lapiak's picture

I love it! It's fantastic and unique! It feels very antique but also very contemporary. At first the lower case a bothered me as the odd one out, but it works very well in context with all the other characters. I love the s, g, and y. A couple of concerns, the capital B is very similar to the eszett, and the lc d is very close to the partial difference symbol. I noticed that you tried to distinguish both, but I'm not sure how others feel about the close similarities. Otherwise, excellent work!

eeblet's picture

It's great! The 2 bothers me - I like the direction, but I right now I'm just reading it as an upside down 5, which is thoroughly distracting. Other glyphs that distract from readibility for me (at text sizes):

g - just doesn't quite flow for me
D - reads as an o at small sizes
T - reads as a c at small sizes ("cake heed")
B - reads as an R at small sizes
s - I like it, but "ravens" did read as "revenge" for me at a glance. That might just be indicative of a psychosis on my part.

As is, I love it for display, and I think with some minor changes it will be impressively legible for text.


i cant delete my username's picture

It's very interesting. It looks like it is influenced by old Gaelic / Irish letterforms (forgive me for not knowing if there is a more proper name for that style). How "out there" some of the letterforms are from the rest kind of reminds me of Democratica or Jonathan Barnbrook's work. I could see this on Emigre or something. This looks like a typeface that was just made for ligatures. The ß is beautiful. I've not sure if I've seen one with the left side of the crossbar still on it.

I do agree about the 2, it looks too much like an inverted 5 for me. Good work though!

glyphobet's picture

I like this, in general. I agree with jlapiak that the capital B is too close to eszett -- it breaks the feel of the face. If you bring the two bowls together at an angle, instead of a curve, that might fix it.

As soon as I saw the 2 I thought "why is his 5 upside down?" without realizing that it was a stylized 2. If you want to keep the weird shape, that should be fine, just make it different than the 5.

The uppercase A looks too much like lambda.

Other than that, it's great. Be sure to post again when it's available for download. :)

Michael Wallner's picture

I was afraid this is what would be said. The letters that are not working very well are some of the earlier forms I created and really help set the direction of the typeface. I guess I have to start letting go.

"the capital B is very similar to the eszett"
I did base the B on the eszett. I really like the influence of foreign alphabets into english, but German does us the same alphabet and I can see this could cause problems if the face was set in German.

"The uppercase A looks too much like lambda"
Unlike the B/eszett, this one doesn't bother me, because the lambda is from the Greek alphabet and it wouldn't be confused with the A in English. What does eveyone think about that? Am I wrong?

I like the 2/5 shape better as a 2 than a 5. I did something like this in another typeface (posted here http://typophile.com/node/43604) but the 5 is very different from the 2. Would that help or does the 2 on it's own look too much like a 5?

nmerriam's picture

I agree with the others, the 2 is the most distracting character. It's unbalanced, the angularity on the bottom is very un-two in feel. I think you could take the curves of the 5 and use them on the two successfully by being less literal.

I'm not crazy about the length of the lowercase s. Partly because it looks too much like the section symbol, but also because it seems like it was only made so long because you felt if it went below the baseline that it had to go as low as the other descenders. I think it would be a lot more readable as an s hanging only halfway below the baseline -- as it is, I'm tempted to read it as an oldstyle 5 in the small sizes because the shape gets less defined as it is stretched out.

The lowercase t feels like it needs more time to develop into something else.

I really love the lowercase g, j, and z.

It's always a good sign when you get to the end of a creative project and realize the stuff you did at the beginning that was the seed for the character of the rest needs to be redone because it got so much better as it grew. Deadlines don't always let us actually do that :) I know the feeling of getting to the last page and hating page 1 already, though! One of the best pieces of advice I ever got from a mentor was not to treat my creations as precious -- you can never be afraid to throw something out or you'll stop taking risks.

acnapyx's picture

The 2 is strange, but somehow acceptable for me. Still would be better if you remove the lower part of its serif, or at least add a curve at front. The mirrored 6/9 is nice, but this is because it has no serifs to drop under the baseline... If the serif of 5 was not that distinctive, 2 could remain a mirrored design with not that much distraction.

But the lowercase b is really too distracting - too close to cyrillic б; and for anyone using cyrillic it would be too misleading. Maybe add a ball terminal?

Question and questiondown are unfinished - and it is obvious that they derive from lowercase s, some corrections should be done though.

Lowercase w is impressive, but too wide IMHO.

Uppercase S looks upside down, maybe this is deliberate decision. Acceptable for uncial, I suppose.

The lowercase j design catches the eye, but will lead to problems if you are considering designing iogonek, for example.

And the numbersign is too tall (add it in front of some figures to check out, maybe it is just my impression).

It would be curious to see also some accented lowercases, especially C/ccedilla, S/scaron and Z/zcaron. How do you plan to make the accents equally distinctive?

I love the fi and fl, designed this way. Brilliant idea!

Otherwise keep the work in the same direction, the design is really distinctive. Maybe there will be other minor flaws, but you have real jewel, just it needs some polishing.

Michael Wallner's picture

The 2 does seem to really stand out now, but I really like the odd shape it has. Here are two variations to the letter. The first is the original and then two alternatives. Does the middle one look enough like a 2, or does it need to have the curve added.

eeblet's picture

I think I like the 3rd best, but set with some text at a smaller size, I might realize the middle one's not so distracting.


Michael Wallner's picture

Here is the 2 in more of a context. The original 2 is not shown, and I have added another idea that keeps the odd shape but has compressed the height a bit.

Michael Wallner's picture

Here is an updated .pdf. I updated some of the letters that seem to be distracting in the typeface. The older version of the letter is set in gray on the top of page 2.
- s- has been shortened
- w- is now more narrow
- T- is an older version of the letter that may work better now.
- t- is an older version of the letter. I think it may work better, if it was a little wider, as a capital T
- ?- a version based on s rather than S

I am still working on the j, I never thought of the iogonek and how that would work with this j. And I don't know how I feel about the b and A, as to them being from foreign alphabets. I am working a new B and D, but I haven't gotten anything I like yet. I will post them as soon as I find a good solution.


eeblet's picture

Wow, I like! Your shortened 2 solves the legibility, while retaining the spirit of it. The t is also more legible to me now, although it feels a little off to me.

I love this face.


i cant delete my username's picture

I think it's coming together nicely. I like the a and ampersand alot. The @symbol looks a little out of character to me. Have you tried making it the a you have with the wraparound coming from the second story (ear)? Maybe some of your other characters like the cross and double-cross (someone feel free to tell me if there is a proper name) could look a little more like they don't belong to a sans-serif family. LAstly, the i on the fi ligature looks really thick to me. Maybe a little narrower?

Good work!

Michael Wallner's picture

"LAstly, the i on the fi ligature looks really thick to me. Maybe a little narrower"
I do need to still go through and fix the weight throught the whole typeface. As I have been making changes to the forms I have not alway gotten the weight corrected.

"The @symbol looks a little out of character to me"
I don't like it either. It is one of those characters I have been procrastinating on. I will post a new version when I get it.

"Your shortened 2 solves the legibility"
Thank you. I really liked that version the best too, glad to hear I'm not alone

evertype's picture

Ah, the PDFs are gone.

Michael Everson

Michael Wallner's picture

Sorry about that.

I have re-uploaded an updated file for the link above of the typeface. The typeface now has an italic version that is still being tweaked and the spacing needs a lot of work, but I would love to hear any comments about either.

I had also started an new string for this typeface under "Design" because I was looking for some feedback about the diacritics that I created. I would appreciate any feedback about them as well.



evertype's picture

Thanks for posting the PDFs. I have to say, I hate mutant fonts like these. But then some people don't like the splendid Everson Mono lower-case g. ;-)

I wouldn't venture to classify this typeface as being Roman or Uncial. It's playful and I guess we'll see it on album covers... ;-)

One thing that really, really makes me nauseous is your capital B. Please don't base on ſ and s like ß is.

Michael Everson

gerald's picture

i love it

piccic's picture

It's not easy to conjure faces with this "collage" logic.
Many attempted, but few succeeded, it requires a good knowledge of letterforms [or intuition to compensate] in order to succeed.
Besides Democratica (which is more a collage of "anatomic parts" of traditional typographic forms), I would address you to Angus R. Shamal's Deviata
or Mortal
for a comparision.

Syndicate content Syndicate content