2 serif faces

juhani's picture

Dear typophiles,
Here are two serif faces that came out of my calligraphy study with Edward Johnston's writing manual. The first type is based on his "simple-written" method and the 2nd on the "gothic" variation of the "built-up" method.

These are intended to be used for continuous text (~8-12 pt) printed on paper.

All comments welcome.

2009march19th-simple-written&built-up.pdf103.18 KB
Quincunx's picture

I love them both. :)

Marcelo Soler's picture

Quincunx: "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."

As you can see in the first typeface of the sample, the counter of the O, the Q, the o and other letters leans to the left noticeably. And, yes: it's a matter of choice. ;-)


Quincunx's picture

@Marcelo, yes, I noticed too. But I think the leaning is a bit more apparent in your design. :)

@juhani, talking about the top image, the C, D, G, O, Q, and S are too heavy.

Quincunx's picture

@juhani; by the way, what manual did you use? From a book like 'Writing & Illuminating & Lettering', 'Lessons in Formal Writing' or another one?

juhani's picture

I'll check the heavier weights and the leaning counters. Both are unintentional. Although regarding the counters, overall balance is what I'm looking for. The 'o' has been tricky. The angularity & asymmetry can get a bit glaring, especially in small sizes.

I've used the 2 books you mention. I didn't use a turkey quill, though.

Thanks for your comments.

juhani's picture

A bit lighter, straighter & simpler round caps, I hope.

I attached a PDF of the two types if someone would like to comment on a printed result.

eliason's picture

Maybe bring in the bottom serif or lengthen the crossbar of 'T'? It looks a little too close to 'I' in the running text. 'C', 'G' and 'S' look a bit like they are dripping from their top terminals!

'K' and 'Z' are the handsomest letters to my eyes. (Maybe 'K' could be a touch wider.)

juhani's picture

Thanks for your feedback, eliason.

I added 20 units to the T-crossbar width (& took out 10 from the bottom serif). I don't know if that makes any difference...maybe the crossbar should be thicker as well.


Yes, the C G & S terminals don't look like what they're supposed to. Perhaps the edge-stroke terminals are impossible (too ridiculous) to bring into type. I'm generally worried about doing a too literal calligraphy imitation anyway. On the other hand, I sort of like the 'drips' because they have a likeness to the thin baseline serifs in the lowercase. Here's a variation & without:


I did some numbers too:

eliason's picture

Did you try a serif going the other way - up and to the right, away from the counter - at the top of C/G/S?

Fix to the T looks good, and those numbers/punctuation are very nice. (8 may be topheavy.)

Miss Tiffany's picture

Really lovely. I cannot help but to love this style. I have a soft spot for the books printed at the turn of the last century. This would suit those nicely I would think.

And I handpicked this thread to go to the front page. :^)

blank's picture

I just want to say that you’ve inspired me to dig those books out and read them.

Quincunx's picture

> I just want to say that you’ve inspired me to dig those books out and read them.

Same here, although I don't have them, so I have to get them first. ;)

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