aquatoad's picture

Here is a first stab at an organic serif. I tried to steer towards the calligraphic: the color is fairly even, but not totally even (which I liked), and I liked the upward angle of the serifs. I tend to hate lc "a"s where the bowl doesn't connect, but I think it's working here with the handlettered feel. I've also softened the intersections to give more of a "wet ink" feel. This may be a problem at small sizes but I'm not planning on setting a novel in it.

I wasn't really looking at something specific. It's more of a "brain dump" after having absorbed serifs for ages and finally attempting one on my own. Hopefully it is "different." But it's so hard to tell when you've immersed yourself in it. I'll call it a subconscious revival, working name Cuillere.

Your thoughts and suggestions desired.
More to follow.


After previewing, it looks like the f could use more weight in the stem. Also, any suggestions for inspiring the caps or should I stick with the subconscious revival method? :-)

aquatoad's picture


Any thoughts on the right stem of the u. In a cursory look at other serifs I haven't found anthing like it. Then again, my knowledge of type history is fairly limited. I'm just doing what I like. Does it bug?


hrant's picture

I agree that the "a" works, but also that the "u" is off. My big concern is that this genre might be exhausted. But if making your own turns you on, that's plenty of reason to do it!

BTW, if this is for text, it needs longer ascenders, and I think a slightly darker color as well - otherwise you'll have to loosen the whole thing up. If it's for display, consider making it narrower.


aquatoad's picture

Thanks for the comments.
I'll take a look at the "u." I guess if nothing else, designing a face of a certain style makes me appreciate that style even more, and notice the nuances that differentiate similar fonts. So i guess in that regard, making it turns me on.

I agree that the color is light. If this was part of a family, this would be the light version. When the alphabet is more flushed out, I'll take a look at all the ascenders.

"My big concern is that this genre might be exhausted."

Enlighten me. What genre are we talking about? And what are some exellent examples in this genre? Honest questions - see my first post. And (opening the door), when is a genre exhausted?

For example, were transitional faces (namely Baskerville) exhausted when Mrs. Eaves was introduced. Or did it carve it's own niche? Or was there just a "good enough" explanation of its intentions to make it special? I must admit, I'm talking out my arse to some degree as I've already admitted I'm no expert on type classification and history. I just read up on Mrs. Eaves at the emigre site.

Note: I'm not trying to be defensive, more curious how a revival and an exhaused genre jive.
Quote: I set out to do something great, and discovered the old guys took all the good ideas.


hrant's picture

> What genre are we talking about?

If it has a name, I don't know what it is...
I'll try to think of some examples.

Assuming you happen to believe my own arse-talking, maybe the best way to pull yours away from the mainstream is to incorporate more subtle "strangeness" like you've done in the "a". The "g" is a prime candidate for that.

> when is a genre exhausted?

Now that's a killer question...

I guess it's exhausted when a new member wouldn't serve a fair amount of users, whether they need it for financial or "ideological" reasons. As for Mrs Eaves, what's great about it is that departs sufficiently from the original to be worthwhile. Just make sure you re-space it, (or you use InDesign's optical spacing)... :-/

> the old guys took all the good ideas.

Ain't that the truth - the old bastards.


aquatoad's picture

Perhaps we should put it in the font identification forum and figure out what it is :-)

I agree with you both. It wouldn't stand up to abuse at 10 point for a few hundred pages. Too light and too delicate for that. So this incarnation is for display purposes. Still curious though, is there a name for something like this? (Secretly, I was hoping someone would bust out a reference to typographic minutae, "reminds me of early sketches from Dwiggins' landmark pink phase... or was it his blue phase?" :-)

Hrant, to your arsing, you have a point on spicing up a few characters. I will look into that. A great example of that is Pill Gothic in these forums. You see the a and the g and say, hmm this is excellent and different than anything i've seen. The rest of the set shoots pretty straight. I think this will make a font sell, but i'm not sure it's enduring.

When the old guys did come up with a good idea, it wasn't about spicing up a letter. It was about shaking up the whole alphabet. In the mean time I will settle for spicing up a letter :-)


Aaron Sittig's picture

When the old guys did come up with a good idea, it wasn't about spicing up a letter. It was about shaking up the whole alphabet.

Well it sure does seem that way when you fly over the centuries, looking at the major stylistic branches. But in between each of the stylistic leaps were long periods of gradual change and refinement. There's just at much room for artistry in refinement as in revolution.

Maybe the flare of the leftmost stems on h, n, and m should be carried more strongly through the rest of their descending stems. As is, the weight of the character seems to rest mostly in the left side, with weaker marks hanging off to the right.

hrant's picture

> is there a name for something like this?

I can think of no name, and haven't really made the time to find example either, sorry...

But what I can tell you is that it seems very early-to-mid-20th-century-German, with an American revival of that in the late 70s early 80s.


aquatoad's picture

Aaron, good point about carrying the flare/added weight in the leftmost stem throughout. As mentioned in the original post the overall color is intentionally un-even since I was going for more of a hand lettered feel. I was thinking the first stroke of a drawn character is usually slightly heavier due to a more loaded pen. As I "handlettered" this digitally (not copying parts), the thinking didn't get into all the characters consistantly. Hmmm, I'll have to look back at this "first stroke" idea. If it makes any sense at all :-) I probably need to weight up right side of the a, the left of the u, the r, the f, and possibly the diagonal spine of the s.

Hrant, it is likely of German influence. I was recently introduced to the lettering/calligraphy work of Werner Schneider. I bet that's where the a came from. Below is a link to classical caps based on his calligraphy work.

BTW. Lets hear it for the new typophile photo option! And the upload attachment feature. Hip Hip.

delgadovic's picture

It is a very nice ensemble. The "e" is especially elegant. No doubt it will be a great font, also because it looks quite new. And don't get lost in the historical reference spaghetti, the style has strength and someone said it correctly, flair. It reminds me a bit of Arrus BT but still it's not quite the same thing, it is just plain distinctive. You should keep working on it, Randy

hrant why do you always want to see heavy fonts? some families are first crafted or conceived in their thin versions...

hrant's picture

> why do you always want to see heavy fonts?

The same reason I like my steaks thick and undercooked?

Seriously: the contemporary aesthetic concerning weight is a little bit too light to carry text (I mean in immersive reading). Smeijers agrees! :-)


Joe Pemberton's picture

It does seem pretty light if it's intended as a text face.

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