T R A J I C ?

Chris Washer's picture


I can't possibly begin this thread without acknowledging my inspiration in doing this:

Miguel Hernandez's beautiful "Garadot".

I loved what he did so I decided to jump on and try my hand at a bitmap version of Trajan. Well, here it is. What do you think? I have tried not to "borrow" any letterforms, but it may very well be that I arrived at similar conclusions (I went through a terrible time just before graduating where someone had used a typeface that looked almost exactly like a creation of my own. I thought they had stolen it! argh!). Either way, it's just for fun.

Also, could anyone point me some information on the creation of bitmap fonts? I am thinking of developing my own composition software in Macomedia Director.

- Chris

Chris Washer's picture

Last minute adjustments.

Still having problems with the X. Just won't come right.


hrant's picture

The name "Trajic" is taken, sorry:

Have you tried giving this stroke contrast? That's a hallmark of the Roman inscriptions after all.

For the "X", one way to unravel it might be to make it non-laterally-symmetrical - offset the top-right and bottom-left arms from the "main" stroke.

As for actually delivering bitmap fonts, the only really robust way is outline pixelfonts.

Lastly, if you make an editor, Flash would actually be better (even though I'm a Director guy myself).


tyleryoung's picture


you are not alone in your admiration for miguel's work. i should think it a complement that others are so inspired by his fonts, that they should pick up the discipline of pixel-fonting at all.

these larger 1 pixel stemmed fonts are perhaps the most elegant of pixel fonts overall--so long as the letter forms are perfect. if they are flawed or inconsistent across the set, then to me, they show their weaknesses more glaringly than their thicker or smaller relatives.

my suggestion is to abandon your initial conception of your project. it has its own momentum now, and since miguel has nailed his roman/trajan so well, you really don't stand to gain much unless you can improve upon his set. this, as many will point out, would be extremely hard to do.

so, play around with the aspecct ratios of the letters, and especially the serifs--to me, they interrupt the grace of your otherwise elegant character lines. the UC N is a good example there.

there is also an optical problem with your uc O & Q when seen next to the other upright characters. i think the serifs aggrivate the illusion, making the circular characters look one pixel too short.

just to clarify myself, i do not mean that by abandoning your original vision of this font there is any implication of failure. i simply mean that allowing yourself the flexibility to follow the letter forms that inspire you is the first step to creating new and exciting character sets as a whole.

as it stands, the unbalanced serifs, slightly shifting baseline, and wide degree of character widths create many directions for experimentation, and therefore many combinations of those experiments.

as an example: uc AY in "fridays". the A really looks like a semiserif. the y looks like a formal serif. what would happen if you tried to give the entire font a more gentle, subtle semiserif look as you did with the A?

anyhow, i like this font a lot, and look forward to seeing how you finish it up.

Chris Washer's picture

Hah! I've seen that before, Hrant, very interesting work! With the "trajic" thing I was not so much naming it as I was worrying about killing it; more of a thread title. But then to others i am, and that is what I really had to consider. ;-)

Bugger, i didn't spot the 'shifting baseline'. That was an accident.

Perhaps I should have spent a little more time developing this before posting. My flatmate just got an iMac G5 (beautiful!) and i've been designing pixel fonts on it over the last week constantly.

I'm quite eager to pursue the pixel font thing as I think it really has value. Hinting seems to be what will really make the difference in the long run, however. I was inspired to make some pixel fonts when looking at the horrible pixel fonts used in video games.

Well, I've got a varied stroke weight version that needs some work. I'll have a fiddle. I'll be posting a few other things I've been working on, perhaps, as well.

I agree with your idea of abandoning the initial concept, though for me as an amateur I'm sort of "finding" my feet. Exploring and what-not. I'm quite in to the roman proportions and produced a sans serif based on them for a university project a short time ago.

Outlines for pixel fonts? Hmm. I have access to fontlab, so I'll try maybe turning emigre's Lorez into my own design.

Thanks for the feedback, people! Its always a great way to learn.

- Chris

hrant's picture

> turning emigre's Lorez into my own design.

What do you mean?

BTW, the new BitFonter outputs pixelfonts (although only 1-bit).
Or maybe FontFlasher could be a cheaper means.


tyleryoung's picture

yes, the new bitfonter is a good tool to use for pixel fonts, but i think that fontlab, with its more robust exporting/metatag options is the platform to choose if you can afford it.

truthfully, the price difference between fl and bf is disproportionate to the broader power and functionality of fl.

however, i do use both, in addition to the other usual graphics programs, in my workflow.

Chris Washer's picture

I meant using Lorez as a template; there may be some special size and spacing issues I'm not aware of. That way I can use the spacing that Lorez uses. Hmm. Is that Illegal?

hrant's picture

I think using just the spacing can't be illegal. But if it ends up helping you out a simple credit somewhere would be good.


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