Besides the g

Marcelo Soler's picture

Hi, TPh's! This is a glyph I've been working for a while and need some help in deciding which trend to follow, if there's one:
---excuse me by relating the image---

  • #1 is the most 'normal', being the loop dominates the width
  • #2 is a variation I like: the link is wider than the loop (which is narrower) by its left side
  • #3 is similar to #1, except for the inflection in the link
  • #4 –quirky– is similar to #2 (narrower loop), but the sharp link

Forgive the noticeable imbalances: it is the shape as a whole what I'm trying to choose among these.
I guess the upper counter and the ear work fine for a text font, even though I need to refine the contrasts and the overweight in junctions, but there'll be time to.
Here I post a PDF for better inspection.

MarS

AttachmentSize
my_g.pdf2.52 KB
my_g-evolution.pdf1.61 KB
Typophile.pdf38.71 KB
KindaTest.pdf41.71 KB
SpringKindaTest.pdf42.05 KB
Marcelo Soler's picture

"I’m somewhat ignorant about the fact that it is normal for Geralde typefaces"

Well, as said, it is not only common in Garalde letterforms, but also in modern serif fonts (i.e.: Greta or Reminga), especially for text (printing) sizes –6 to 12 points– at regular weights, being it won't work well in screens because of aliasing (hinting for display is quite harder). The aim is to resemble some calligraphic gestures –by the other side, usual in wood or metal types– to escape from visual monotony and annoying grays in large blocks of text, beyond keeping alive the soul of writing in production.
Naturally, the O and the Q, being both are almost absolute shapes in terms of symmetry, make it more apparent. When working in context, and if well spaced, letters become sinergically balanced and rhythmic.

MarS

Quincunx's picture

> Well, as said, it is not only common in Garalde letterforms, but also in modern serif fonts (i.e.: Greta or Reminga)

I see. Interesting. :)

Although the examples you mention seem to be leaning to the right instead of the left. But I guess that is a matter of choice.

eliason's picture

0 - quite narrow! Maybe it just results from rotating ellipses, but that high extremum on the right outer side bothers me.
2 - consider ways of closing up the top counter or opening up the bottom one. Something about the relative weights of the top (near the serif) and the diagonal seems a little off, too - could you establish the weight you need with just the serif and let the stroke thin a little more?
3 - at the top, see 2
4 - some nice little details here!
5 - curved stroke gets too fat at the top, or gets fat too fast. (compare thickness to the six right next door)
6 - seems to me too sudden of a break between a gentler full-height curve on the left (like parenthesis) and the quicker x-height curve on the right (like 'o'). as a result there's an awkward bend at the lower left
7 - falling right but that may be okay
8 - curves are nicely drawn
9 - see 6

You may want to make the counters of your 5 more even (lower the middle part) and/or make the counters of your 8 less even (raise the middle part).

Marcelo Soler's picture

Although the examples you mention seem to be leaning to the right instead of the left. But I guess that is a matter of choice.

It depends on the angle of the pen, and, for sure, on a personal choice :-)

MarS

Marcelo Soler's picture

Craig:
Nevermind: I posted my numbers late night. Now I see them like a "boutade". I'm reconsiderign some odd criteria I adopted when drew them by hand, because they had nothing to do with the entire face. I'll upload the new version ASAP.

MarS

Marcelo Soler's picture

After sleeping for a while, I drew these sketches:


(The 6 and the 9 lean to the right, ain't it? Sorry, the 9 is still a 6 upside down :-S )

Let's try this one:

MarS

eliason's picture

4 looks a little dark; 3 looks a little too fat in the middle.

Marcelo Soler's picture

Some adjustments ahead:


I'm posting before I decide to edit changes ;.)

Also, an experiment on an open P:

Now I'm trying opening 6 and 9 ;->

MarS

speter's picture

Now I’m trying opening 6 and 9 ;->

You could open the 4 easily, and the 8, although that's less common.

(In fact, this could be an interesting experiment in a well-crafter, seriffed, "stencil" typeface.)

Marcelo Soler's picture

"You could open the 4 easily, and the 8, although that’s less common."

Probably I'll leave 'em as alternate glyphs, at least.

MarS

Marcelo Soler's picture

Having fun with numerals, there I post some simple alternates.
This is my current 4:


This one is the same, but without serifs (I feel it is pretty better, but don't know why).

And this other is open counter, not so bad, but unbalanced to my eyes:

That's what happens with 6:

And with 9 (I guess the 9 is better than the 6):

The Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges wrote a short story called "The Garden of Forking Paths". I think I'm walink on such kind of labyrinth.
;-)

MarS

speter's picture

The open 4 is too open, which is why it seems unbalanced.

Marcelo Soler's picture

You're right, Steve. Now it looks nicer:

I'll definitely quit the serifs.

MarS

speter's picture

You might want to try angling the top of the stem for the 4 and see if that looks even better.

eliason's picture

The diagonal and the vertical of the open 4 have such geometric regularity. Steve's idea for the stem is worth trying, and you might consider some kind of terminal, taper, or bend that would soften the diagonal, too. You could afford a little weight towards the top of the glyph in any event.

Marcelo Soler's picture

Tell me what you think about those alternate 4:


I'm trying to find the structure; then, I'll soften the geometry.
The first case is my original 4, whithout serifs (I like that figure).
The second one is the open version; I've slightly emboldened the diagonal to catch some weight (the orthogonal cut helps in making it to appear heavier); the solution for the top of the stem –thanks guys– seems to me very pleasant.
In both cases, perhaps the horizontal bar looks a bit high because the lack of serifs, but may be it's me; along the numeral series it seems to work well as is:

Going to sleep now.

MarS

Marcelo Soler's picture

Well, after some rest, here we go again.

This is the complete lc set at its current state, which is still unrevised.


I added here a sample text PDF for better examination.

BTW, I'm missing some critique... ;-)

MarS

hrant's picture

The ascenders are pretty short (especially with those long descenders).
What size is this for?

hhhp

nina's picture

I don't really have much of a meaningful comment except for "yum!" indeed! This is looking very cool. I know I said at one point I was missing some personality in this, and I'm officially taking that back!

Except maybe this: I know we've been talking about the "g" a lot, but at text sizes (also depending how much smaller than the sample you want this to work), I wonder if the white space in the "g" is looking a bit cramped in places? Dunno if you might try lowering the top of the tail by a tiny fraction of a hair maybe? But that's more of a question mark in my head really…

Marcelo Soler's picture

Newspapers body text, it is, 6-8 to 12 pt.
Though I realize they are very short.
I'll expand them.

MarS

hrant's picture

Actually, if it's for ~7 point, I'd keep those
ascenders and make the descenders shorter!
(More work, I know. :-)

hhp

Marcelo Soler's picture

LOL!
MarS

Marcelo Soler's picture

Perhaps:


[I left the "g" as it was: think it works well without any shortening]

MarS

Marcelo Soler's picture

I wonder if the white space in the “g” is looking a bit cramped in places? Dunno if you might try lowering the top of the tail by a tiny fraction of a hair maybe? But that’s more of a question mark in my head really…
I was thinking of a lot on this matter –my concerns were strong, for sure– and made some tries:


Even when hinting is not well refined by now, at smaller sizes the terminal of the loops seems to disappear in favor of the opening.
Nevertheless, I have an alternate "g" (the last one at the right), that still looks nice, I guess:

The other solution is a shortened-flattened loop like this (15 units shorter):

Actually, I have dozens of alternate g to chose from ;-)

MarS

hrant's picture

> I left the “g” as it was

Newspapers often use zero leading, so you should avoid leaving one extender (especially such a wide one) hanging lower than the rest. But I just measured it and it's not as low as it appears* - it's almost there with the rest. If you decide to shorten it I would make the diagonal less steep, the lower bowl flatter, and the tail serif shorter. If you do all three each will only have to change a smidgen.

* Because it's so wide.

This is where my favorite paradox kicks in: in a text font, especially one for very small sizes, the "g" must feel a little cramped, otherwise the balance of compromises isn't ideal. Ugliness isn't something to shun, it's something to assimilate.

hhp

nina's picture

Marcelo, you've convinced me – that small sample looks good indeed.

"in a text font […] the “g” must feel a little cramped"
Wow.
Text face design truly is head-exploding stuff! ;-)

[This should be under Marcelo's post with the small sample so I edited it again]

Bendy's picture

> Ugliness isn’t something to shun, it’s something to assimilate.

Wow, another great quote, Hrant! :)

The y seems unnaturally narrow but maybe it's intentional or maybe it's me (because I'm working on a wide font at the moment).

How is j looking now?

Marcelo Soler's picture

The y seems unnaturally narrow but maybe it’s intentional or maybe it’s me (because I’m working on a wide font at the moment).
How is j looking now?

Ben: I prefer to keep a narrow "y" –I mean, it's intentional– as in my previous "yum!" sample.
About the j, here's the pair:

MarS

Bendy's picture

I think you've done the right thing shortening the descenders rather than lengthening the ascenders. The previous j looked a bit long and dangly before; now the proportions are spot on. :)

Marcelo Soler's picture

“in a text font […] the “g” must feel a little cramped”
Wow.
Text face design truly is head-exploding stuff! ;-)

As somebody said before, probably we are assisting to a Hrantization of type design. Personally, I like these kind of challenges.
;-)

MarS

hrant's picture

At your service. :->

hhp

nina's picture

:-) That's funny. Do you remember who said that, Marcelo?

Marcelo Soler's picture

It was Steve, his exact words were "We call that hranting..." (anyway, I prefer my neologism), but probably you won't like to visit that thread again.
MarS

nina's picture

Hmm, to be honest I read that remark quite differently (I think "hranting" is a fixed term in Typophile land ;-) ). But yeah, yours is nicer.

Argh, Marcelo, could you please close that "strong" tag? I feel so bold today. :-p

Marcelo Soler's picture

Everything in my screen became bold.
Let's see if it works...

Got it!
It was an unwanted "Iphonization" of the thread (Zeus, how persisten it can be).

MarS

hrant's picture

Oh, "hranting" is different - it comes from "ranting". :-)

hhp

Marcelo Soler's picture

Let's see how "bdpq" look:


Not bad. Though I've got the tempation of making the joins of the bowls with the stems thinner a bit.

That's how the new "g" works with other descending sisters, say, the new "y". Still you think my "y" is narrow, Ben?

I have a concern about my "a". Ain't it quirky? I'm not convinced about it. Perhaps the bowl needs to be less vertically slanted.
The "j" is fine as is, I guess.
I like the unstable balance of the "z".

I'll need to start working on spacing, better sooner than later.

MarS

Bendy's picture

Spacing...good luck ;)
I find y a bit narrow, yes, but if that's what you like then stick with it.
Did I already say how much I like your s?
I'm not sure which way you're thinking to slant the a's bowl so will wait to see what you come up with.
z is a good, strong shape but not too pointy. The bowed thins really work well.

Marcelo Soler's picture

Did I already say how much I like your s?
Thanks! It's an economical one. It would be more if I curve the inner of serifs, but at the cost of losing character.


I'm still working on the balance of the counters...

MarS

hrant's picture

Make sure to put explicit inflection points on the spine at the end.

hhp

Marcelo Soler's picture

Do you mean that, Hrant?


I was just being rough to find the shape I really was sure with.
:-)

MarS

Marcelo Soler's picture

BTW, take a look at these:


I wonder which one of both solutions is more suitable: the vertical or the 15° slanted cut?

MarS

eliason's picture

The inside of E's main stroke looks naked top and bottom. See how the inside contour of the bowls of PRB comes down before the corner, and how that motion is a sort of twin for the serif on the other side of the stem? Could something like that benefit the E?

Bendy's picture

O is looking a bit light? R and B are looking great. There's something a bit confusing in the right foot serif of R though. It looks somehow droopy.

hrant's picture

> I was just being rough to find the shape I really was sure with.

OK - I was just checking. :-)
In fact inflection points only harm easy
development if they're included too early.

hhp

Marcelo Soler's picture

How they look now?


New subsets added:


MarS

speter's picture

I love the pinch on the ampersand, but the main leg gets a bit thick visually where the tail crosses it. I also wonder if the leg of the R wants to start at the end of the P counter.

Marcelo Soler's picture

Steve:
I thought the same about the "R" (though, actually, their bowls differ in size and height), and immediately tried that early solution:


Oh: I modified the "&" (the first one is the new &, the second is the old).
MarS

Bendy's picture

I prefer the previous R, with the sticky-out bit. The foot is much nicer.
B is a great shape, but next to E it looks narrow doesn't it? Maybe that's normal. Wish I knew more about proportions!

speter's picture

I like the new R, although the gap is perhaps a bit large. The new & also looks much better.

Bendy, you should read Catich's The Origin of the Serif, which looks extensively at the Trajan column inscription. There you see that the E is relatively narrow.

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