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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eliason's picture

Okay, I was in love with my G but since you're not the first to take issue with it I think I should at least consider options. Here's a two-story tail as Bendy suggested a while ago. Obviously a rough sketch, but what do you think of the concept?

eliason's picture

A different B, N, M for your consideration:

Sindre's picture

Yes, I think this is step in the right direction. The settings look more balanced now. But your new N needs a lot more weight, compare it to M and W. Is there slightly more air at the lower B join now? It's not easy to see at this resolution. I'd give it even more space. Er, your B is a very closed glyph. I think it needs a hole somewhere.
Your first G is much better than the new one, I think.

>Do you mean with a more horizontal curve and higher ball terminal?

Yes.

Keep up the good work!

eliason's picture

Still another B, M, and N.


This M's too crazy, huh?

Sindre's picture

I think I prefer the previous versions of M and N (adjusted). How about a B matching the R, with a light upper bowl (and perhaps a ball connection)?

eliason's picture

Ooh, what about this?

Sindre's picture

Yes, but try and make the gap wider, and use the original, downward-pointing middle stroke (like the B in this picture).

I think I communicated poorly earlier, I meant that the bottom of the B needed a little more air at the junction, not the middle.

(Criticising type design is hard when you lack the proper nomenclature and write in a language other than your own. I really have to do some studying soon.)

eliason's picture

Is this diagonal too strong? Does the letter look narrow now?
I'm really liking this - thanks for pushing me to try it.

(I understood you fine earlier; the change in the middle was my own experiment)

Sindre's picture

Yes, this looks fab! Just as I imagined it. (Perhaps the upper bowl of B could expand yet a few notches to the northeast.) It'd be great to see it close to an R,

eliason's picture

Enlarged the ball and fiddled with the curves a bit.
Looks pretty trippy next to the R.

Sindre's picture

Yes! This is good. The B works just fine, perhaps the ball could be even larger. That Y needs to go a little deeper, but that will only improve its form, I think. The AN combination is very airy.

Bendy's picture

This is looking really cool now! The B looks a bit like Thai letter cho chaang, which I've always thought looks like a rabbit's head.
An idea: what happens if you reverse the thick and thin on the right side of R, making the bowl heavier and the leg thin (with a ball)?? Something about it makes me want the bowl to be bigger or darker.
That A is gorgeous!
Think the serif (and ball) on S could be heavier/larger. In fact, on C as well I think. Did you try a ball terminal on the bottom of E?

agisaak's picture

I think this design would work very well for Cherokee...

André

Bendy's picture

Now there's an idea! :P

eliason's picture

Y descending like GQ:


A little wide yet, I think.

An idea: what happens if you reverse the thick and thin on the right side of R, making the bowl heavier and the leg thin (with a ball)?? Something about it makes me want the bowl to be bigger or darker.

It's light but I think reversing the contrast will be too strange, and just move the too-light problem to the stem (see my current N!)

Think the serif (and ball) on S could be heavier/larger. In fact, on C as well I think.

Agreed, I'll adjust.

Did you try a ball terminal on the bottom of E?

No. Wouldn't occur to me there, but then I had doubts about one on B, too. :-) I'll give it a try.

Bendy's picture

Like the Y (but yes narrow it down a bit), the new D is wicked, all in all this is starting to look very elegant indeed. I'm not a fan of twiddly but here I say the more exuberant the better!
R — I meant to keep the stem heavy. I think the bowl could be larger and the leg shorter. Have you tried also making K have a curved leg like that?
Without ascenders and descenders it was reading like an uppercase font, so the latest image with all those descenders is really turning this into something outstanding, in my opinion.
It's so much fun to watch the development of a font right from the start!

eliason's picture

Oops, about the R, careless reading on my part, sorry. But I'm still not sure I'm picturing what you're describing.
Here's a new structure for K. Actually this is how my first sketches (on paper) for K looked, but for whatever reason it didn't make it into the FontLab file until now. Strange, because I think it's a nice fit.


Bottom line also shows beefed up terminals of S, C, and the ball-terminal experiment on E. Opinions on the latter?

Bendy's picture

Nice K...I actually meant the bottom leg to curve like the swish of R, but what you have could be successful too!

Like the S and C a lot. I think the spine of S could come down a fraction? With E, I think I'd open up the lower counter some more by moving the ball outwards a bit.

satya's picture

Very nice display face, indeed! Loved the new A.

eliason's picture

Thanks satya!

@Bendy: Yeah, this time I knew what you were saying but freelanced anyway! :-)

eliason's picture

Lower setting shows changes: E's bottom terminal is lowered, and R's ball has become more lachrymal.


I've been thinking of making some or all of my ball terminals more lachrymal, but it certainly makes sense to me to start with R as that allows me to sneak a little more weight into that top bowl.

eliason's picture

Asterisks!

Sindre's picture

I'm going to have to be boring and say number 1. That is one hell of a great asterisk. I think your alternatives are better in theory than they look, and in smaller than huge sizes I think they're going to look weird.

The new R is possibly even cooler than the old one. So is E.

Bendy's picture

Mmm, new R suits my taste ;)
My vote goes to asterisk 1.

eliason's picture

B and K join R in the teardrop club.

Sindre's picture

Looking good! Perhaps the B tear wants to go just a few FL units to the north, and even fewer units eastward, making the curve a tiny bit smoother?

Bendy's picture

Looking great! Agree with Sindre on the B, the tears are looking really perfect. The curve on E looks a bit flat in comparison to the BR and A, can it be rounder?

eliason's picture


Here's a very slightly adjusted B. I moved the tear eastward a few notches (though I'm trepidatious about the gap opening too large. I actually didn't move it north, but rather dropped the "ramp" of the stem's top terminal (and made corresponding reductions in that flare throughout the alphabet). You can see those changes also here at the bottom of B and top of R.
Fiddled with the E a bit - how's it look to you, Bendy? This is tough - I had made it flatter because a) I didn't want the letter too topply and b) as noted before, the interior space of that glyph can get crowded. I moved the ball up and out a little and raised the break into the curve from the stem.

Okay, here's a new M and N. More similar to what I had before the naked humpy versions of three days ago (which I don't really find persuasive), but this time with modified proportions, and not quite as complicated at the northwest corner as that earlier one was.

eliason's picture

W and V join the teardrop club.

Sindre's picture

I say yes to all your latest changes. M and N needed that blackness, all of a sudden they are the authoritative glyphs they have to be. New E is just right. I think E, S and Y are perfectly happy without teardrops. New B is much better, but I can't help thinking the tear terminal should go just four or five units upwards, it still looks ever so slightly squashed to these eyes.

Bendy's picture

Yes, all those are very nice developments, especially M. I agree with Sindre about the top of B.

eliason's picture


Small adjustments to R and P, right side is new. On R, I lowered the branching off the stem, and fattened the top of the tail a touch. On P, thought I'd try patterning the bottom of the bowl after the uppercase form.
A few funky new symbols: section, dollar, and sterling. (I guess dollar is a bit light yet.)

anhng's picture

I never had a chance to comment on this, but this is a great display typeface with a lot of ornaments and goodies. W look like Wordpress logo.

My favorite would be letter A, because you get rid some of its anatomy, but the other letter, you add more to it or change it to different anatomy.

I like the process of you working on letter A, previous A kinna reminds me of Art Institute Logo.

nina's picture

So is the old "E" dead? :-(
I guess I'm alone in this corner of the room, but to me this one still looks very much like a "F" with an unexpectedly curvy base – it doesn't parse as an "E"/"e" as well as the first one. What made you switch?
(I'm going to stop mentioning it after this post if I'm the only one!)

eliason's picture

Thanks, Anh!

Here's the current E, the previous one, and a new one.


I'm not sure any of them are "IT"... I think "old" was too lowercasey in many people's eyes - that's what made me start to rethink it. I think "new" is elegant relative to "old," but I'm not closed to the idea of rethinking it.

Also for everyone's perusal, opinions on making the P descend?

eliason's picture

(That should say "I think “NOW” is elegant relative to “old...")

Bendy's picture

What about if the lower bowl of e poked out left of the upper stem, in a similar way to the Y?
I think P is good with the descender but needs to descend a little less than Y, which has overshoot. It looks like it's the other way rount at present.

eliason's picture

"Newer" is something I just worked out. I think it's less ugly than some of the other options, but is it too close to a pound sign?
Is the lower what you are envisioning, Ben?

I think P is good with the descender but needs to descend a little less than Y, which has overshoot. It looks like it’s the other way rount at present.

Actually that's all illusion - P already descends less than Y. But obviously it needs to descend even less than that!

Ongoing thanks for your feedback.

nina's picture

Hey, that "Bendy" "E" looks a bit like Ben's avatar. ;-)
Interesting, when I read his comment I thought he meant letting the top part curve out of the stem instead of shift it outwards. Dunno, that might be interesting too.

I think the "newer" one is interesting. It's vaguely reminiscent of a pound sign, but not sure if it's close enough to be problematic.

Bendy's picture

Not quite, other way round. Try this?

Bendy's picture

Or even

Bendy's picture

Whee! This is fun! [Sorry for hijacking your font Craig!]

eliason's picture

?:

nina's picture

Ohh, the right hand one in your 1.04pm post is very cool!

eliason's picture

??:

Sindre's picture

Looks like you have to make a lot of alternate glyphs, Craig. Tons of cool options now. I think your last one is probably the best candidate for a default one. I think it could work even better with a serif on the cross stroke, perhaps.

Bendy's picture

I like Bendy3 a lot, though I think the point where the curve meets the straight on the left of the stem could be a bit higher (just the left side). Bendy4 is pretty nice too, it may be more recognisable as an E?

Sindre's picture

Er, I was referring to Bendy2. I see I got my wish fulfilled in Bendies 3 and 4. I agree with everything Ben wrote.

eliason's picture

Here's that last one, with some adjusting and cleaning, and at a bigger scale:

Bendy's picture

Mmm, looks great! I think S needs a bit more weight in the spine (compared next to I). Do you think C could have its top ball terminal further down to make a more curly top? At any rate I think the ball could afford to be bigger.
N may be a bit wide?

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