Tacit; a Helvetica from memory

Tomi from Suomi's picture

After a stint of some headline serif (and false-serif) fonts, I went to the opposite direction to neutral sans serif, and drew a font to resemble Helvetica. I made an effort not to look at any samples of Helvetica during this (pretty much impossible to do these days, I found out).

Here is the result of my week:


I was surprised how ingrained the basic Helvetica(ish) shapes were in my head. And I was also surprised how wide the basic Helvetica is; my design is almost condenced (well; I'm a Finn, so narrow typefaces come naturally to me). None of the glyphs are an exact match to Helvetica, but the overall look comes pretty damned close. Some glyphs I decided to make clearly different. Some of the glyphs were a bugger to draw; this sort of neutral design allows very little bumping…

I also made an alternate two-storey g and a single-storey a.

Some glyphs still need a lot of work, but overall it's starting to be representable.

What's your opinion?

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Tacit.pdf153.36 KB
Tacit2.pdf161.27 KB
scannerlicker's picture

@Tomi
Finally, Helvetica with character! :P

riccard0's picture

I like the narrow design!
Some random notes:
double-storey g is too narrow (and has a very big hear)
single-storey g is a little too wide at the bottom (on the left side)
top of s is a little too close
quotation marks sure are pointy! ;-)

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Thanks, guys-

Alternate g is way too narrow. Single-storey is too wide, and that terminal is too high as well. Lc s is wobbly in way too many directions. Needs a lot of work. If I remember correctly, Helvetica has pretty pointy quotation marks as well. I went with round punctuation.

More to follow.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Here is a new version with corrected g, s and another g. And now with lower case numerals.


I'll attach pdf to the original, since I have no glue how to do that here…

1985's picture

Slow down, Tomi!

- Tittle on i is too small and close
- t is very narrow
- Bicameral g is from a totally different font (reverse italic)
- 8 does not relate to construction of other characters
- % does not require ligature (Is that what this is called in this instance?) IMHO
- Inside of n too symmetrical
- w is black
- Helvetica comparison is undue (stronger influence of contemporary fonts)

I think with a font like this you must spend many months as the originality of
the design is not the main concern and cannot deflect attention from the quality.
I have noticed you draw very quickly but… Hare and the tortoise with some things.

Best wishes

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