Leika - Low contrast contemporary serif...?

wongxiao's picture

I recently completed the English lower and upper case glyphs for this design. This is my first real attempt at designing a font, so naturally problems abound... It's getting to the point where I can tell that things are wrong, but I don't know exactly what or how to fix it. Trying to get a consistent color is killing me!

I have yet to even touch spacing/kerning, so I already know that's an enormous mess. No hinting as of yet, either.

I would like to get your opinions before I continue with numerals, diacritics, and such.

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leika_draft.pdf8.17 KB
leika_draft2.pdf9.28 KB
leika_draft3.pdf15.78 KB
riccard0's picture

Nice.
Maybe j is a little unbalanced.

wongxiao's picture

Thanks for the reply!

If you would forgive me, though; I don't think I fully understand. Is the stroke width off (should it terminate more like c and e)? Do I need to move the tittle? I don't feel like it wants to fall over or anything... does it?

..and is there any chance I could get some more opinions, please? Do I need to provide more samples/details in order for people to make a more thorough critique?

Igor Freiberger's picture

In a very quick view, it has a good and fresh feel. But I think the |S| curve is unbalanced toward the right, the |j| leg is very long toward the left and the |r| arm needs to be a bit shorter.

Igor Freiberger's picture

[duplicated post due to server error]

Tristan Bowersox's picture

/S/ is malformed. It's hard to describe exactly how, but when I look at the word "HEISENBERG," the /S/ stands out. I think the lower stroke is too thick, for one thing. And the right/lower curve seems a bit squashed on the bottom. Finally, I think the underside of the top curve should bow up slightly to match the top more closely. I did a sketch:

Very small changes, obviously, and kind of hard to see at this resolution, but you can see where the lines are bumped inside or outside of what you have.

In fact, all of the round characters seem to be slightly overweight. /Q/ and /G/ especially.

/j/ looks like it's being pulled away by someone with a fishing rod offstage.

There are numerous egregious kerning issues. Is this typed copy or was it handset? It's difficult to judge the color and balance with these odd gaps. A larger block of text—properly kerned—will be essential for critiquing beyond the few obvious oddities.

My favorite bit is the counter of the /c/. I think the capital /C/ has a lot of character too.

wongxiao's picture

Thank you for the feedback! This has been very helpful.

/S/ is a very difficult character... and my failure to catch the /j/ issue just goes to show that I should have studied more fonts before trying this! Gah it's so obvious now!

Anyway, I've been away from the project for a while, so upon coming back I added numerals and some other tidbits. They're very rough drafts at the moment; I'm finding eight to be very challenging, and I'm not satisfied with the lower terminal of seven. Six and nine are also iffy, I think.... Of course, fixed the /j/ and shortened the /r/ arm. I tried to fix /S/, but... well, you can judge that for yourself.

Everything so far is typed; I'm not sure how to handset... the closest thing I have would be LaTeX, and it seems that that would require a whole ton of \hspace commands.... I've just been temporarily installing the font on my system and using TextEdit to make samples. In the latest update, I started playing around with the spacing (lowercase only), but before that they were all a constant 24 em units on both sides, with some obvious exceptions. I'm honestly a little lost when it comes to spacing, and I've read that kerning is not to be touched until spacing is perfect... I'm thinking spacing and kerning just might prove even more a challenge than drawing the glyphs!

Here's the update, and I'll put a new PDF up top as well.

wongxiao's picture

I've recently finished a preliminary spacing based on a description I've read of Walter Tracy's method. A new PDF is up top, with blocks of text in 12, 10, 9, and 8pt. I just used random stuff from Miguel Sousa's adhesiontext tool, and made paragraph breaks and changed some punctuation. I set it using XeLaTeX, left-aligned for critique of the spacing.

I adjusted six, seven, eight, and nine. I also changed the tail of the /y/ and the ear of the /g/ so that they're more abrupt and don't taper as much; I think it's more consistent this way (compared to the lower terminals of /c/e/t/ and the seven). Any feedback (especially on the spacing) is much appreciated!

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