An Irish sans in the making

Andreas Stötzner's picture

This is to continue discussion from this thread.

I proposed as a draft of an Irish-style mediuscule sans alphabet:


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As one can see it is not meant as an adaption or revival of some known older Irish typeface. But rather as a reinterpretation of Irish type on the sans ‘instrument’. An experiment, though.

Michael Everson then was so kind to comment like follows:
I find it a bit chilly, but I guess that's OK, as the font is a bit chilly. I dislike the W rather a lot. The hard angle at the lower left of the b is inauthentic. The hard angle at the top left of the F is inauthentic too; follow the f. Same for capital B and L. The ascenders of capital B, H, K, L rise above caps height in many Gaelic fonts.

*Chilly* – yes! This ought to be chilly. (Maybe this is due to the climate, we have 32…38°C in Central Germany these days… )

I followed his remarks to quite an extend; see what changed in the next version:


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And now it looks that way:

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The b issue is rather obvious. Also the rounding of L. The ascenders of capital B F H K L (P?) are to consider. As you see I did not make them strech above the Capitals height. There are neccessary descenders already and also having ascenders in the uppercase would make the set too disturbed, I believe. However, I changed the angles into offsprings and that may well appear more Irish now.
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evertype's picture

Can you set that example with ḃ ċ ḋ ḟ ġ ṁ ṗ ṡ ṫ instead of bh ch dh fh gh mn ph sh th?

evertype's picture

I dislike the w's still. The lower-case d will have to be like the upper-cased d or it will not take the dot of lenition properly. Also you are missing the insular r, ꞃ, and you should show the Tironian et ⁊ in the last line replacing "agus".

typerror's picture

Andreas... for what this is worth :-)

Try and bring the exterior "stems" of the W in a bit. i.e. curve them in slightly. I think the "h" is a bit overdone, it does not have to curve in as much to give the same effect. You could also use the sane approach on the n and m.

I really like where you are going with this tho! Good job. You might want to take a look at Victor Hammer's work. He dedicated much time to these forms.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

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Michael, thanks for converting. There is a bug with the dotted b. Just noticed I had it wrong encoded :-O Whrrroaaaghgh damn

I’m aware of the insular r; I’ll add it. How is it used? With an ambivalence similar to the usage of s/longs in German?

h m n w / H M N W – now I wonder if those should be shaped adequately, be it straight-ended or curved. Straight mM and nN seem to be good practise in many fonts. So the curve should be abandoned in hH and wW too? That would mean hardly another choice for your disliked W, Michael.

Victor Hammer's work. He dedicated much time to these forms.
… as did I. With Andron ;-)

(L. Uebele): yes, Walhalla sans has much to it. Though it’s not Irish but continental.

typerror's picture

No do not abandon the hmnw originals. You can just curve the stems a bit. Like I said the h has almost to much of a curve. A little goes a long way.

typerror's picture

Here ya go. Very quickly sketched, not my usual way of making letters. But it is my point...less is better.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

Sure you’re right, the H had a very strong curve.
However, I don’t think I will make all the stems ‘a bit’ curved, at least not at nN and mMm. I’ve redrawn the H. And tried out a new W.
What would you say to this:

typerror's picture

The bowl of the k should be higher. What about a double story a... half uncial was an early user of this?

The top bars on the o,u,y would echo the t!

typerror's picture

Love the w... the n and m still do not carry the flavour of the time tho. H is still to demonstrative for me but it is yours.

typerror's picture

The problem with the H is that it does not have the exit stroke prevelant in Uncial to visually pull it out. That is why I believe it should be more subtle like above.

typerror's picture

The M and N look more like a modern day sans... I guess that is what I am saying.

evertype's picture

In a font like this I would double and cross two Vs for the Ws. Often the lower-case r can serve as the right half of the k.

Oh, by the way, don't forget to add Wynns to your font. Some Gaelic type made use of this in place of W.

There are of course differences between Uncial faces and a Gaelic ones, Typerror.

typerror's picture

Michael

That is why I put the 2 story k up there! The cross(over) is a good idea.

typerror's picture

I know of the differences Michael. But the buying public is a lot less discerning, but look for the "flavour."

Andreas Stötzner's picture

double and cross two Vs for the Ws

this is the default W-shape in the Lapidaria fonts.
If I recall correctly Ws don’t appear in Irish Gaelic. So we can’t go into manuscripts for reference. But it does appear in … Welsh, Breton, …? What about the W tradition there?

Andreas Stötzner's picture

add Wynns to your font

oh yes. what about the yogh? Others?

evertype's picture

Ws do of course occur, in personal names in texts. Also there is the loanword "wigwam". (I kid you not.)

Gaelic faces were not used for Welsh or Breton.

I still think that VV is better than UU for W in Gaelic faces.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

also for the lowercase/middlecase? vv instead of uu?

evertype's picture

Yes, that's my own preference.

Andreas Stötzner's picture

Now, look here.

Cheers, A. St.

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