Ambicase Modern

eliason's picture

Inspired by the funky Romanian 'A's of the images posted by Florinf (for example here), I have begun to develop a single-case font. Where uppercase and lowercase conventional forms of a given letter differ, I've tried to make hybrid letters that borrow from both forms.

The results are far from graceful, but interesting and more readable than I expected. Does this have any potential?

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ambicasespecimen.pdf425.73 KB
ambicasespecimen9july.pdf433.44 KB
ambicasespecimen18july.pdf437.84 KB
ambicasespecimen1september.pdf449.61 KB
ambicasespecimen3september.pdf453.36 KB
ambicasespecimen13september.pdf464.87 KB
ambicasespecimen12january.pdf89.68 KB
ambicasespecimen14january.pdf92.59 KB
ambicasespecimen23january.pdf106.69 KB
ambicasespecimen4february.pdf121.29 KB
ambicasethicknesstest.pdf31.19 KB
ambicasespecimen11april.pdf226.54 KB
esandts.pdf20.2 KB
ambicasespecimen20July.pdf253.61 KB
eliason's picture

Thanks for the input.

@Riccardo: Doubling the parts (as opposed to morphing them into one) doesn't fit the concept as well, IMO.

@Bendy: Had thought of the VW ball, but hadn't yet mocked it up. Here's a U with a foot - I do think it fits. Some Y variations to consider, too. ("L" is as before)

Bendy's picture

I like the middle Y. The last one is interesting though. Your call!

I'd like to see if U works with the head serifs switched (double serif on the right).

eliason's picture

Another Y that's kind of between #M and #N above. And #P is Ben's suggestion for the switched U serifs.

riccard0's picture

Doubling the parts (as opposed to morphing them into one) doesn’t fit the concept as well

Yes, I completely agree! (but some sort of slashed 0 could be useful ;-)

I still prefer the “original” Y.
And the U number k.

eliason's picture

Another direction for the Y (but not nearly as fun, I guess...)


I think I prefer U #K too.
(Now that I have figures why am I still "numbering" with letters?!)

Bendy's picture

>why am I still “numbering” with letters?!)
Yup, I'm refraining from referring to them with letters!
Agree the switched serifs on U looks best.

Miss Tiffany's picture

The spot where the curve joins the stem in the U is too abrupt.

eliason's picture

Hi Tiffany!
Which do you mean?

(BTW I just caught that the right head serif is too high)

Miss Tiffany's picture

Number 2 :)

Miss Tiffany's picture

The top of the R seems flat. Can you post a larger image of it?

Miss Tiffany's picture

So it was just my eyes good to see. And the U is better too.

Not that I'm suggesting this, but I wonder if all the sharp corners (on the serifs specifically) should be rounded the tiniest bit. You have the interesting organic shapes happening within a lot of the letters but then you end the shapes with a sharp serif. I realize at small sizes, text sizes, it won't really matter, but I wonder if the tiniest rounding or champfering might remove the rigidity. (This is my perception.)

About the Y with the tail. The curve, I think, needs to be exaggerated slightly more or removed altogether to create a smooth transition from the upper stem to the tail?

Miss Tiffany's picture

The alternate A. I'm not finding it in the PDF. But I think it needs to be skewed from the apex to the left a hair.

The cap R. I've highlighted where I think the center of the curve is, but I think it should be down a bit more.

Because the left side of the A is a curve I think I should at least drop down a little more. Not necessarily equal to it.

A similar issue with the @ sign. I think the left side should drop down a bit more. I also think the A within is slanted to far to the right.

Miss Tiffany's picture

(Please tell me to be quiet if my comments are annoying.)

The curve to stem in the G is too abrupt as well.

And I think the left curved apex on the M could be smoother (rounder?)

J - is the terminal a little squooshed?

2- I think the bottom left corner could be pulled out just a hair more. -OR- push the upper terminal in a hair.

I really like this or I wouldn't be poking at it. :)

eliason's picture

(Please tell me to be quiet if my comments are annoying.)

No, please, keep it coming. These are sharp and helpful observations.

A couple of requests for clarification:
"I’ve highlighted where I think the center of the curve [of R] is, but I think it should be down a bit more." Do you mean where the extrema are, or something different by "center of the curve"? (Do you want the whole pseudo-bowl lowered, or just the thin not to arc as much towards the northeast?)
"About the Y with the tail. The curve, I think, needs to be exaggerated slightly more or removed altogether." Do you mean a sharper curve (or an angle) cutting further into the black near the join?? (And which #version of Y are we looking at?)
"And I think the left curved apex on the M could be smoother (rounder?)" Maybe on the underside? (This is tricky because the hump has to turn and head down pretty quickly in order to maintain a rough symmetry and approximate the massing of a cap M.)

Here are four H's with increasing softening of the corners (and trapping of the acute corner). Or actually the top left is as before, with right angles and no trap.


Maybe lower left is best?

Miss Tiffany's picture

I apologize. I really am rusty with the terminology.

R - I think the bowl is a little egg shaped. But on an angle. I think the bowl could just be more round.

Ok. Without vectors to monkey with here are some super rough sketches of what I mean.

Either exaggerate the curve.

Or eliminate the curve.

Right now it is isn't either.

I think the top needs to have a circle in there. and the blend down from there. Here's my attempt.

Miss Tiffany's picture

And here's my attempt to show you what I mean about the R.

eliason's picture

On the Ys, that wimpy vertical played an important conceptual role in suggesting the vertical of a capital Y, but I suppose not well enough. Here are some more directions on the Y that bring in more of the uppercase form. Maybe #4 or #5 would work.


Here are those H's again with increasing softness, this time at a different scale. Is even the softest (rightmost) treatment perceivable?

I'll work on suggestions for VW690RAGMJ2 and alt A at some point soon... Thanks everyone for the constructive feedback!

eliason's picture

Two more Ys. Maybe I can work on the lightness at the bottom, but perhaps this is what I've been after?

Bendy's picture

>Is even the softest (rightmost) treatment perceivable?
Not really! But I like the idea of softer terminals a lot.

With Y, I prefer #2. Perhaps all you need to do is slide the right arm join up the heave stroke a bit to give more curve sticking out like Tiffany suggested. That way the arms could be at a more symmetrical angle.

riccard0's picture

My eyes aren’t what they used to be, but I cannot notice a sensible difference between the Hs.
As for Y, I think that trying too much to have it uppercase-like will end in losing the lowercase feeling. The last ones increasingly seem hybrids between Y and J...

eliason's picture

@Bendy You mean #M? X-\

Bendy's picture

yup.

eliason's picture

Thanks - maybe #10 is it?

Bendy's picture

I like 11 actually, though 10 may be less distracting.
Here's what I came up with!


First is roughly what you had as #10, then I brought the stem over but kept the curve. Then I remembered there's not many fonts with a reversed tail on y but that might be an interesting alternate? :S ?

eliason's picture

Why do these Ys have me thinking of this?

Think I might aim for one like your middle one.

Miss Tiffany's picture

#11 for me. :)

But I do like the first of Bendy's proposal.

H - And of the original image with the 4 I like the bottom right.

eliason's picture

Still more Ds!

eliason's picture

On the rounding of corners: In each pair, the left is the fourth example from before (the most rounded of them) and the right is even more rounded.

eliason's picture

Rs (new rounder bowl on right)

eliason's picture

W-ball experiment:


Other fixes and tryouts:

riccard0's picture

Beautiful Ds, 1 & 2, but, I’m afraid, too wide.
3 & 4 are more ornate than lowercase.
Go with the ball on the W!

eliason's picture

Yet another A possibility:

riccard0's picture

Please, don’t.

eliason's picture

Ouch!

Miss Tiffany's picture

R - YES!
D - #4 is interesting. Maybe with a little more restraint?
A - I really like that new alternate. But not the one just above me.

Miss Tiffany's picture

The left side is still sitting too high.

Should the tail be tucked in just a bit more?

The A looks a lot lighter than the 2. Maybe a review of your thicks and thins? And maybe this A is a bit wide?

eliason's picture

Reining in the Ds (bottom three are new).

eliason's picture

A refinement of the controversial new A form:

Miss Tiffany's picture

Hmmm. I like 5 and 7 ...

And the new A is interesting because I'm almost seeing a lowercase a.

G - I'm now wondering if the tail needs to bee so long?
A - the left bottom curve. I think he needs to drop a bit below the baseline. I adjusted it in the middle word.

Bendy's picture

I love D4 even if it's more extravagant than the other letters.
I think the ball on W is great, perhaps it could be larger?

I'd be tempted to go with an uncial A, with a simple straight diagonal on the right (representing the uppercase) and the bowl starting quite high up (lc)...I'm sure you're well acquainted with the historical roots of upper and lowercase and how they diverged. But perhaps your approach to this is more a fusion between UC and lc than finding a common ancestor to build on?

eliason's picture

Overview of front-running As, including two new ones (#3 and #4).

@Bendy #1 started me thinking about uncial forms, too. One concern is that a closed bowl with that kind of diagonal starts to read like a 'd'.

eliason's picture

Some other changes.


Gave some curve to the thins of V and W. Brought in top corner of 3; lightened horizontal stroke of 4; increased weight and height of middle horizontal of 5.
@Tiffany Does this G look better?

Bendy's picture

I like the curves and those numerals are looking sweet!
With A, what about the crossbar being angled rather than horizontal? I think you're right not to close the bowl. 4 is most successful for me.

eliason's picture

Thanks!
You mean something like this?

Sindre's picture

Gee, this is a funky and fun face! I wish I had the imagination to do something like this ... Could you post a new pdf showing status quo? That would make it easier for someone who just saw this to criticise.
I really like the direction this is going, though. The new A is fab. The R is weird, but brilliant. I think the G suffers a little for looking too much like a raised, upright swash G. Could something be done to the inward pointing middle serif?

Bendy's picture

Oh yar! That's exactly perfect!

eliason's picture

Thanks both of you. New pdf up top.

Sindre's picture

Some quick thoughts, jotted down in the dead of night. My eyes are blurred from insomnia, so I might not have the best eyesight right now. So take my critique with quite a few grains of salt.

A: Lovely, just lovely. Perhaps it looks a little too simple compared to some of the more complicated glyphs?

B: I understand why the lower bowl curls up before meeting the stem, but I think it looks a little cluttered. Perhaps it should be more curled?

C: Should the top half be more like the F top half?

D: Perfect.

E: Is the bottom curve just a little too sharp?

G: See last comment.

J: Perhaps the curve is a little bumpy.

K: Looks upside down. Cool, but might look awkward in context.

M and N: I think these are slightly too complicated compared to the A. The N has too much white to the left of the diagonal, perhaps.

Q: Very cool shape, but it gets very black where the hook joins the circle.

R: Delicious.

S: This S looks very polite, and a little shy. Great!

T: A little weak in the left side?

W: A little too black?

X: The fat diagonal looks a little broken.

Y: Jolly good! Just lovely.

Z: Too conventional?

Lovely numerals, but I think the 4 is too fat.

Looking forward to see further development on this.

eliason's picture

Thanks so much Sindre for your encouragement and your valuable suggestions. Your tired eyes are working well!

Here's still another new A, #6. The difference from #5 is that the "crossbar" changes direction slightly. I think it fits the character better than the swoosh-like #5, and perhaps helps with the too-simple issue Sindre observed. #7 has the little notch at the top that #3 had.

I'll review the other suggestions.

EDIT:
C: Should the top half be more like the F top half?
Do you mean with a more horizontal curve and higher ball terminal?

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