first actual font

brianskywalker's picture

This is my first actual font, though I've drawn some letters before in Illustrator. I have used a broad nib pen before, and handled a copperplate pen, if that matters. This is intended to be a Garamond-like text face. I tried to make the lower serifs somewhat triangular too.

I drew all the letters right in fontforge, which I've never used before. It's a bit slow-going, and I also happen to be a perfectionist. If you know about font files &c, you can email me, and I can send you a copy to comment on.

Anyway, you can critique anything, so I'll know if I'm doing something wrong.


recut1.pdf7.25 KB
recut2.pdf11.78 KB
Fontgrube's picture

According to your birthday non-invitation you are 17 now, and your website tells me you established your business in 1999. Now that's what I call Chuzpe :-)


brianskywalker's picture

You're probably talking about my parents business, that's the only one I can think of that's started in 1999. I only got my own website in 2003, and that wasn't a business until a couple years ago.


Fontgrube's picture

I was talking about Zick's Web Ventures
indeed, you are correct. And I only looked this far :-)

brianskywalker's picture

Ah, okay. So any comments on my font?


Fontgrube's picture

Okay, you definitely asked for it ;-)

Making text fonts is the high art of typography, way more difficult than display fonts. So why would you make your own text font? There are so many excellent ones around. What's so new about yours that the world (or you) should have it?

Your font mixes different style elements from different eras of fontmaking. There are many Geralde (Renaissance) characteristics in it (slanted axis in o and e, wedge shaped upper serifs). The "a" OTOH reminds me of modern (classicist) fonts like Century Schoolbook. The "s" borrows from Cheltenham, the "k" even from Walbaum. The bottom serifs are mostly too pointy. In summary, I see no concept in your font, except for using a diamond shaped period and i-dot. You could rather take a Garamond or Minion and replace round dots by diamonds if that is what you're after (remember to check the font licenses first!).

Sorry to be so direct - I'm not American ;-)


brianskywalker's picture

Okay. I have posted another preview - I'll make a PDF when I get home. (At the Library right now.)

Why make a text font? Because I've never made one before; I'd like to make a font I at least can use regularly. I really don't have an extreme amount of display fonts I use. I suppose I don't have much to say about what new thing my font has to offer. I thought of that, though. I suppose it will add just as much as any other text font that has been released -- a different flavor.

I don't think mixing different style elements is bad, per se, as long as they mix well. Though many of those were unintentional. I reworked all of the letters, just about. I think it's better, though I printed a test at text sizes, and I'm sure the eye is too small on the 'e'.

The diamond dots are a bit of an experiment, though I think if I'm keeping them, I need to soften the corners a bit.

Thank you for the critiques, that's been helpful. (Maybe I should change the 's'.)


brianskywalker's picture

Okay, new pdf. I think some letters (a,w) are too dark, what do you think?


magnus_gaarde's picture

I agree with Fontgrube on the subject of mixing styles.

That said I think you have improved a lot on your font. But those pointy serifs still look very pointy and too light in my opinion. Try giving them a little more weight.

Haven't got too much time to look at it right now. Sorry


brianskywalker's picture

Yes, when printed at text size (on a decent printer) the serifs are definitely too thin and pointy. There is definitely also too much contrast, I think. (Though the r probably needs the join slightly thinner, perhaps not though depending on how much I lessen the contrast everywhere else.) Any comments on the spacing?

I forgot to mention, though, that I don't see how the k borrows any more from Walbaum than from, say, Adobe Garamond. Or are you speaking of something other than structure?


Fontgrube's picture

Look how the two diagonals connect to the stem via a short horizontal "bridge". That's quite typical of Walbaum.

brianskywalker's picture

Aye, though Adobe Garamond and Minion both do a similar thing. I suppose a little bracketing there wouldn't hurt, though. I'd have to try it out.

Any comments on the newer version?


dojr2's picture

Interesting work. You probably need to think through the homogeneity of the work, no? What makes your font a font rather than characters thrown together? Try to group them like that

aeg eoc obdpqg hklf ars sz kvwxyz lijt hmnu...

and so forth, to see what does and does not pair up. Do the same exercise on a quality font (Garamond Premier ?) and a bad one (say, ITC Garamond) in order to see what works and does not. Does it also on fonts in a very different genre to get a better eye.

Then, IMVHO, you'll see the changes you need to make and why other people have suggested them.

Gary Lonergan's picture

I like the feel of this face its sharp and crisp but I don't think the lowercase s fits with the rest of the characters. It's to soft. I can see what you are trying to do, but I'm not sure it works. Also in the text setting the i and j dots seem a little obtrusive.
The g reminds me to much of Minion.The lowercase x looks broken I think the strokes are offset to much.

I think sharp and crisp are the key characteristics of this typeface and this direction should be pushed. Think of Frutiger's Meridian. This would mean a rethink of the foot serif on a, and another look at s.

But my initial impression remains "I like this" so keep going"

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