Steelworks from Suomi Type Foundry

Tomi from Suomi's picture

A new square, all-caps headline typeface. It's based on a plaque I saw:


This is my interpretation:

http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/suomi/steelworks/

AttachmentSize
Steelworks.pdf100.22 KB
Tomi from Suomi's picture

Indeed, Nina-

Initially I was intrigued by that 'R'; why does it have a round corner on the upper left corner? Was it in fact 'HENAY'? But, after not too long, I decided that liked the design, and so I made my interpritation.

John Lyttle's picture

Wow! I'll have to visit Dan at the Henry Avenue Forge and pass the news on to him. My other photos of this sign are in my Flickr collection.

John Lyttle's picture

One little point about the description at MyFonts, though: It reads, "Steelworks is a headline font based on lettering on a plaque of an American forge" but it's actually in Canada. Winnipeg, Manitoba, to be more precise.

riccard0's picture

Last time I checked, Canada was still in America... ;-)

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Thanks for the image, John. It was an inspiration And if Henry Avenue Forge wants to use the font, please let them know that I'm happy to send them a free copy. And I just updated the info on MyFonts.

nina's picture

That's sweet. I'd love to hear about the reaction of the Henry Avenue Forge people.

John Lyttle's picture

Dan Teichman, the artisan and blacksmith who created the Henry Avenue Forge sign, says this development is “super!”

He’s excited and surprised, as am I. Dan would like to accept your offer of a free copy. I sent you an e-mail message, Tomi, so you can contact him by e-mail.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Hi, John-

I just sent a free copy of the font to Dan Teichman.

farquart's picture

Pity you got the proportions all wrong from the original.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

I did not try to replicate the original; that was never my intention. I made my interpretation of those glyphs shown as a typeface. For example that upper left corner of 'R' makes it too easy to confuse it with 'A'. And 'V' was just too narrow to work with other glyphs.

So, this is my typeface influenced by those very cool characters from Henry Avenue Forge.

Steven Acres's picture

Hahaha, I've just read a few posts that belong to "farquart." His only posts are 100% cynical, with palpable undertones of jealousy. Probably some shitty designer who got fired from his first job and hasn't had one since.

On topic: nice work on your interpretation of the type. The guy you drew from loved it and wanted a copy, and there isn't much more of a compliment than that.

.00's picture

Farquart's comments aside, what is it about the original sign that conveys the charm the convinced the designer to interpret it?

And how is that lost in the digital interpretation, which to me appears stiff and a bit flat?

Is it the rust? Or is it some subtle shapes that have escaped the designer's eye and hand?

penn's picture

And how is that lost in the digital interpretation, which to me appears stiff and a bit flat?

I agree with James on this. It feels too stiff and formulaic to me. There are slight variations in the stroke widths, specifically on the horizontals, in the sign that aren't there in the digital interpretation. This then causes the letterforms to generally have much wider bowls and counters in the digitization as a result. I think a more careful observation of the idiosyncrasies of the sign would have yielded a more honest & human typeface, rather than one that appears to have been made with fontstruct.

I know you weren't necessarily trying to recreate the sign as a typeface, Tomi, and rather to simply use it as a springboard for your own exploration. But I think you could have explored a bit further, as James said, what it is "about the original sign that conveys the charm that convinced the designer to interpret it."

penn

Tomi from Suomi's picture

I did notice that most of 'farquarts' comments being rather on the negative side.

And I agree with both James and Penn; I did not capture those metallic, rusty forms, but just made a digital interpretation of the original. But then again, that was my intention. I was not looking for accurate reproduction of each individual glyphs.

Steelworks is a font, not a sign. To be true to the original, 'V' would look way too thin, and 'W' and 'M' would just look weird, and I had to interpolate lots of glyphs. So, some compromises had to be made.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

But I'm happy that the original designer likes it.

Steven Acres's picture

And how is that lost in the digital interpretation, which to me appears stiff and a bit flat?

If I take a picture of a tree, then represent that tree in vector form, you'll have the same effect as here. There's bevelling, shadows, texture, and imperfect alignment in the photo, which can't be replicated by a vector font.

.00's picture

My guess is you don't draw that much type.

Steven Acres's picture

My guess is you don't draw that much type.

I do; however, that doesn't really address anything in the two sentences I wrote. Vector fonts cannot replicate real objects: they only mimic. I'm sure if Tomi took his font and put it into Photoshop and edited it to make it rusted, textured, etc. it would look perfectly fine, but that would defeat the purpose of representing the font he's selling, wouldn't it?

Nostratypus's picture

Young Acres' enthusiasm for type should not be overshadowed by his novice. His point should be welcomed despite the crudity of his articulation.

.00's picture

My comments "stiff and a bit flat" have nothing to do with the difference between real objects and vector artwork.

Nick Shinn's picture

It's strange that your interpretation removes the qualities that attracted you to this lettering, Tomi.
Why not retain the charming proportions (e.g. the squareness of E) and something of the legibilty-challenging idiosyncrasies?
Wouldn't the design challenge be to resolve that issue, rather than avoid it?
Steelworks is a straightforward techno font, nothing wrong with that, but quite apart from whether or not it is stiff and a bit flat, and how useful the face may be, you have missed an opportunity to do something more informed by the source material and more interesting.

Nostratypus's picture

Perhaps it is difficult to plan which idiosyncrasies to include when an application for the design is unspecified. If Steelworks is needed for layouts that include images of the Henry Avenue Forge sign or similar signs, then the typeface is successful without idiosyncrasies.

If it is meant to stand alone and give the impression of this sign, then some idiosyncrasies are needed. Blatant errors should not be replicated and material textures ought not be represented in the type, but small bevels, rounds and curves should carry over. It is important to take advantage of your tools by creating what Fonstruct cannot.

Steven Acres's picture

My comments "stiff and a bit flat" have nothing to do with the difference between real objects and vector artwork.

Ah, I see... you were referring more to the proportions of some of the glyphs, as Nick also mentioned (I think).

Perhaps it is difficult to plan which idiosyncrasies to include when an application for the design is unspecified. If Steelworks is needed for layouts that include images of the Henry Avenue Forge sign or similar signs, then the typeface is successful without idiosyncrasies.

I should have said this before :). It's pretty much the point I was trying to reach. If I were to approach a project that needed the type to look like the original image, I would rather have the actual form of the type so that I could make the imperfections/idiosyncrasies myself, as opposed to having it pre-done inside of a font.

Why not retain the charming proportions (e.g. the squareness of E) and something of the legibilty-challenging idiosyncrasies?

This part, although, I do have to agree with. I prefer the original "E"/"F" forms over the current versions.

.00's picture

Based on your recent comments, and you're previous answer in the affirmative aside, again my guess is you don't draw that much type.

Nostratypus's picture

Acres knows not to whom he replies; road signs have not been replaced in Georgia.

blank's picture

I’m pretty sure that if Tomi had preserved the idiosyncrasies of the design someone would be giving him shit about not polishing his designs before he releases them.

Steven Acres's picture

Based on your recent comments, and [your] previous answer in the affirmative aside, again my guess is you don't draw that much type.

Again, your guess is incorrect. Either way, this release isn't about drawn type, it's about a font (in vector format) release. I'm not even sure how you concluded from my opinions about type semiotics/relationships to real-world items that I "don't draw that much type," but whatever floats your boat.

Acres knows not to whom he replies; road signs have not been replaced in Georgia.

I'm only here for school. My home is in SC which does implement the acclaimed Clearview. :)

I’m pretty sure that if Tomi had preserved the idiosyncrasies of the design someone would be giving him shit about not polishing his designs before he releases them.

Haha, probably quite true. The grass is always greener.

Tomi from Suomi's picture

Well, I got a reaction. And once again, I made an interpretion of that plaque. Any other interpritations are welcome.
In other words, put your money where your mouth is.

riccard0's picture

Any other interpretations are welcome.

http://fontstruct.fontshop.com/fontstructions/show/acciaieria

;-)

piccic's picture

I still prefer Target™… ;-)

Syndicate content Syndicate content