Crimson Text Greek

SebastianK's picture

Good evening fellow Typophiles,

you may or may not have seen Crimson Text in the other thread. I have started drawing the Greek alphabet and feel a bit stuck. The closest I ever got to Greece were my math lectures, so please be gentle :-)

I'm really, really thankful for your help.

Sebastian


AttachmentSize
Crimson-Roman.otf_.txt198.91 KB
clauses's picture

Well, you need to find out how greek penmanship is performed with your chosen ductus. The axis is not the same as in the latin script. Once you figured that out you start sketching. As it is now the axis of the lower-case letters are all over the place, they should be more uniform, as you would not write with such deviating axis from letter to letter. Well, and then there is a lot of other stuff, but first start over with the lower-case.

SebastianK's picture

Thanks, claus, for your honest advice. That was spot on! I looked at the fonts at greekfontsociety.gr and made some changes. Any better like this?

microspective's picture

This is so attractive I wish I knew Greek. Really nice work (from someone who knows little to nothing about Greek...)

SebastianK's picture

Ah, Thank you! A compliment from someone who knows nothing about Greek to someone who knows nothing about Greek still means a lot to me ;-)

SebastianK's picture

A question for those who do Greek typesetting these days – I hope you find this thread:

What's more popular, the "classical" or the "contemporary" ductus?
(Here are two examples by two of my favourite designers, Slimbach and Stötzner):

I always hear that the Greek shouldn't "accomodate" the Latin, for it's a script in its own right – but I feel that the trend goes towards adapting the stroke axis commonly used for the Latin lowercase. So far I went with the "classical" style, but I'm wondering whether there are any opinions on that choice before I go on.

Thanks!

Sebastian

clauses's picture

If by 'contemporary' you mean using a stress-axis similar to antiqua for the greek, I say nay. It just looks wrong, just as the greek stress-axis applied to latin would look weird. Andron, I'm afraid, is an example of how not to do it. If you want to design a contemporary greek then think along other paths, other ideas that stays sympathetic to greek scribal tradition.

clauses's picture

By the way Sebastian, I think it would be a help if you set some sample text, then it's much easier to see what pokes out at your eye. You can use the optical spacing in InDesign in lieu of kerning. The thing is that you can easily kill a design by over-harmonizing it, it can become generic, and it's much easier to evaluate in a test simulation its intended usage. But I like where it's going.

SebastianK's picture

Thank you, Claus, for your help so far!

I've been looking at whatever Greek prints I could find on Google Images (papers, magazines, books), and it seems to me that nowadays most text is set in sans-serifs, slabs and low-contrast fonts. Toss in a didone-ish headline here and there – but you don't see too much "traditional" Greek. Is that true or just my bad luck? I've read this thread, but I'm still not sure.

I'm asking mainly because Hector Haralambous has offered to help out with Polytonic Greek and Cyrillic, and he suggested looking into more "contemporary" and "less calligraphic" Greek design. He has yet to send me an example of what he means by that, but my point is:

- I don't know what Greek typographers want
- I don't know what Greek readers want
- I don't know what mathematicians want (a separate glyph set altogether?)
- I don't know what matches best with the Roman (is similarity desirable?)

I've done some proofing – I don't have InDesign and its optical spacing unfortunately, but I will upload some improved PDFs soon. Right now, the letters look pretty much like in the last sample.

Any thoughts?

dezcom's picture

>>- I don't know what Greek typographers want
- I don't know what Greek readers want<<

Welcome to the world. I don't think anyone "knows", I think they may decide they like it after they see it. It is better to try something and place your bread on the waters than to wait for a definitive answer.

SebastianK's picture

Oh, I know, I know ... it sounds like I'm looking for The Answer. Really though, I was just hoping for some guidance. Anyone can look at serifed Latin letters and make their own ones. But it seems Greek typography is a hopeless mishmash of foreign creativity.

Crimson is intended to be a traditional text typeface, and therefore the Greek should follow the "standard" of Greek book printing. If someone told me, "80% of books you buy in Greece today look like Andron, and that's what people are used to", then I'll consider going with that pen angle. Similarly, if someone wrote "stick with Slimbach's style, it looks best to Greek eyes. Screw Latinization!", then that helps too :)

Or maybe the Greeks are used to seeing ten different letter styles and don't really give a damn as long as the page looks nice and even ...?

dezcom's picture

Greeks rarely agree with each other so the thought of 80% agreement seems implausible, to me. My relatives could never agree on the best way to cook a leg of lamb, I don't see consensus on typography being any easier :-)

riccard0's picture

My two cents, having been in Greece recently: contemporary Greek typography seems heavily influenced by Latin styles, not the least because of the frequent use of non Greek words and phrases (written using the Latin alphabet).

riccard0's picture

Also, maybe you could ask directly to fellow typophile George Triantafyllakos (http://typophile.com/user/10933):
http://www.backpacker.gr/pages/bio.htm

SebastianK's picture

We might actually just offer two different versions (or stylistic sets) of the family: one with classical, calligraphic Greek and one with a more "homogenized" alphabet (to use Hector's wording).

... maybe even a Byzantine version :)

SebastianK's picture

Here's the latest version. I'd be delighted if anyone cared to comment!

(Btw, I attached the font to the first post. Had to change .otf to .otf.txt, sorry.)

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