Socratica? (As seen on "your latest designs?")

rubenDmarkes's picture

Well, I showed this on that thread where we all showed stuff we were working on and said I'd be presenting it soon, so here it is!

I have a hard time naming my little attempts… I'm calling this one Socratica, at least for now. Not because it seems greek at all, it's just because Socrates supposedly always announced that he knew nothing, but was quite willing to question other people thoughts and opinions (which is really profound and philosophical, but not that hard, in fact). I kind of relate to that. And I also admit I still know little about this, but here I am, trying to learn. :P (Also, Socratica sounds like a generic typeface name, which is nice and comforting.)
It's a quite fragile but rough around the edges titling typeface for display.

So, pray tell me; what do you think of it all? Is this a light to you? Could this be a regular? I'm still having trouble with stroke widths… what about that spacing? I'm thinking it's wide, but I also think that this is kind of how uppercase letters were supposed to be used, am I right? I think this keeps the colour homogenous…
Hope you have lots of stuff to say and hope you like it!

[Edit: let's see if showing a sample can get people's attention… get the pdf!]

Socratica.pdf135.67 KB
Stephen Rapp's picture

I'm working on my first titling face as well, so I'm probably not the best person to offer a critique. I think the general direction is unique enough to keep going.

First thing that caught my eye is that the axis of the O and C are almost Italic in nature. The Q seems better. The middle crossbar of E and F seem too short and the top serif on the heavier E seems to form a dark spot. I would try for more consistent ending of your serifs; some are blunt and others sharp. The inside bowl of the R seems to need work as well. The stroke suddenly gets more angular where it comes down into the stem. The smallcap height might be a tad low, but others could weigh in on that better than me.


rubenDmarkes's picture

Thank you very much, Stephen. I will take all that into consideration, mainly that thing about the round letters. I designed them like that for no particular reason, so I am still considering changing that. But I do really like this, I think it's going pretty well as it is… and I think this slight tilt on the round letters gives the typeface a certain dynamic it could lack without it.
I guess it's important to say how this typeface came to be: I had this idea while drawing uppercase letters very freely by hand. I was doing them in a very relaxed and quick way, and there was really no consistency in the drawings besides the width of the strokes and the style of the serifs; the serifs were all slightly different, even their lengths. So I thought I'd bring that idea into the computer, where I designed every letter in much the same way, only with vectors. There was to be no copying and pasting, every letter was to be drawn from scratch, to stand on its own, to be unique in relation with the others. This makes all the letters quite original, but by keeping the stroke widths and the style of the serifs, it was supposed to evolve into a typeface, almost like those grungy, printed, irregular serifs like Poliphilus and such.
So this inconsistency in the serifs is part of the charm of the typeface. However, if you can be more specific about what you said regarding the serifs, I will change what I feel is just too much. Maybe I'm missing something.

Again, thank you very much. :)

Stephen Rapp's picture

Hi Ruben,
I think knowing your design criteria it make more sense. What I was refering to with serifs is how, like on the S, the top serif comes to a sharp point whereas other serifs end more rounded or blunt. I think removing sharp edges would give a more natural handmade look if that's what you want it too feel like. Even loosely designed fonts need consistency in some details.


rubenDmarkes's picture

Ok, Stephen, I'll look into that. Thanks! :)

BTW, I just noticed that I didn't use the apostrophe on that “'till” (it's a single quote instead), I think the software may have substituted it automatically. Just mentioning it before someone else does! :P

rubenDmarkes's picture

Well, looks like it's just you and me, Stephen… I, for one, am already thinking about my next projects. Have you posted your typeface around here, Stephen? I'd like to see it, share thoughts, maybe rip something off… :P

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