Serif font for body copy - critique wanted

Anne-Line Ramstad's picture

I am currently developing a typeface for body copy. This is my first typeface design, and it would therefore be great to have some critique/feedback from other typeface designers.

The shapes of the characters are inspired by Norwegian national costumes, and Norwegian 'rose paintings', and the main purpose of the typeface is for use within the Norwegian written language.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Liker veldig godt mellomrommene! Rosemaling-inspirasjonen ville definitivt vært spennende å se som en displayskrift.

Det er et par ting du burde ta tak i her, før du går videre:
• Bredde – ‘s' ‘t' og til en viss grad ‘a' virker smale, ‘r' ‘v' ‘w' ‘x' ‘y' virker litt brede. (Når du tegner ‘r' er det veldig smart å løsrive seg mer fra ‘n'-kurven. Den burde være litt brattere, slik at du unngår et stort hvitt "hull" nede til høyre. Det kan være smart å dra den høyre seriffen litt ut også.)
• Avslutningene på ‘f' og ‘j' stjeler veldig mye oppmerksomhet.

Lykke til! Gleder meg til å følge dette videre.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Hått tips: Kjøp gjennomsiktige ark og skriv ut bokstavene i setninger og ord. Hvis du snur arket får du teksten speilvendt – da er det lettere å se hvilke former som er for brede eller smale. Man blir fort litt blind for sånne ting når man er midt i arbeidet.

Anne-Line Ramstad's picture

Here is an updated version of the previous displayed characters + the new upper case characters. I have tried to make adjustments according to the comments given on the last version. Did I succeed?

I would really appreciate more comments (good/bad), since this is very useful for me when working on the typeface. I feel a bit stuck at the moment, and a few comments could help solve that problem.

(There is still a lot of work that has to be done on the spacing, so I am aware that the body text displayed in version 2 looks unfinished)

Anne-Line Ramstad's picture

Smaller version of the image ...

Here is an updated version of the previous displayed characters + the new upper case characters. I have tried to make adjustments according to the comments given on the last version. Did I succeed?

I would really appreciate more comments (good/bad), since this is very useful for me when working on the typeface. I feel a bit stuck at the moment, and a few comments could help solve that problem.

(There is still a lot of work that has to be done on the spacing, so I am aware that the body text displayed in version 2 looks unfinished)

riccard0's picture

The stencil look set me off a little, but I suppose that for really appreciate the effect, one should see it actually printed with ink on paper...
Also, since the main purpose of the typeface is for use within the Norwegian written language, it would be good to see some Norwegian text set with it instead of some lipsum. So to better judge the colour, for example.

johnnydib's picture

I found the "v" "x" "y" and "z" to be a little wide.
The uppercase S is a little narrow. Try to redraw it make it more similar to the C.
The G and the M are also a little narrow in my opinion.

Upon close inspection the thicks and thins in the capitals don't seem consistent but overall they look nice. However I'm worried about the arms on the T and E I'm afraid they'll look too thin in small point size.

I don't know the whole thing looks cool I love the "C" "c" "g" and "r" as drawings. I also liked the comma and the dots on the i and j a lot.

Good works show us better capitals next time.

eliason's picture

The stencilly breaks are interesting (remind me of Auriol). Will they show at text sizes, though? Is there a consistent "rule" for their appearance (e.g. why on 'w' but not 'W')?

nina's picture

It's very pretty. I like the cultural background and how you integrate it into the type design! What I wonder is if this prettiness will come out, and work, at "body copy" sizes. Things like the tail of the "Q": I can see that looking smashing in a headline, but will (like Craig said) the gaps even come out at small sizes, and then what will they *do*? Will they look distracting (adding a bit of "white noise"), or will they help the glyph? Will they maybe – in this case – make the "Q" more confusable with the "O"?
The way I understand things (and I'm a rather new type designer, so take with a grain of salt), text face design is not just about making glyphs look beautiful up close – it's also very much about functionality. So if you're really wanting to target text sizes, prepare to do a *lot* of testing at your target point sizes; and you might have to sacrifice some solutions that look good up close if they don't work at small sizes :-/ – something that doesn't have to happen nearly so much to display/titling fonts, which enjoy much more "creative freedom".

Anne-Line Ramstad's picture

Hi everyone,

Thank you very much for all the comments! They are all helpful, and I now know what to do next.

johnnydib: thank you for your opinion on proportions of the characters. I will do some adjustments on these.

eliason: the reason why the 'w' is 'broken' but not the 'W', is that in the lower case the lines cross each other, while in the upper case the lines 'just meet'. I guess this means that maybe the 'Y' and the 'G' shouldn't have break(?) I also tried to set the 'T' with a break, but didn't think this looked good at all. Have tried a lot of different options with the breaks, but am having a hard time in making up my mind on which ones I like and which ones I don't like.

altaira: I have done testings in a lot of sizes, and I try to have a high focus on the small sizes. The gaps works down to 8pt size. Of course they do not come off as 'hugh gaps' at this size, but one can still see the impression they give on each character.

Lex Kominek's picture

I think the gaps are an interesting feature, but I think for the 'Q' the tail should cross OVER the 'O'. Possibly the Slashed O should be similar - I don't read any languages that use that character at all.

- Lex

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