Presenting RADICAL display

Synthview's picture

Hello everybody,
well… I'd like to ask for any feedbacks and/or suggestions about the first font I’m publishing.
At the basis I’m a web&graphic designer but I’d like to work in type-design too.

I’ve called my font Radical Display: it is an uppercase-only font family inspired on european typographic tendencies of the first half of 20th century.
It looks rational, geometric and blocky. However, it is based on optical proportions.
This font face is designed to be used for headlines, visual identities or short sentences.
Lighter faces provide a more contemporary and design look&feel, while the bolder ones look definitely retro.

Here below a little demo:

I’ve also created a micro site to show it, add more informations and permit its download typography.synthview.com.

I plan to complete this font by a series of condensed versions afterwards.

Thank you in advance.
Jan

hrant's picture

Looks pretty solid, and has some cool character traits (like the wide "A"). But "radical" it ain't, sorry... Which doesn't mean you have to change the name; but you might come up with something more evocative.

hhp

Stephen Coles's picture

Hrant's right. This is far too similar to Proxima and Gotham to be called “Radical”. In fact, from a design standpoint I would depart further from those typefaces if you want it to have its own identity. The geometric direction you're headed with the figures might be the way to go. Just don't get too Avant Garde about it.

Stephen Coles's picture

On second glance, I see more of a geo favor in the other glyphs that aren't shown large in your sample up there. While not radical, it's a slightly new take.

Stephen Coles's picture

As for a name, maybe look to some of the sites and buildings that Paul Shaw refers to in his piece on "moderne" architectural lettering. It will reinforce what I assume is some European (not strictly American) influence.

hrant's picture

BTW, for an all-caps face "Titling" is better than "Display".

hhp

Synthview's picture

Thanks for your feedbacks! In fact I'm not so good in naming :)
I have chosen “radical” just because
1. I like the word :) it makes people talk :) and it doesn't seem to be already taken for a font.
2. I had more in mind the radical choice to have blocky, solid, geometrical shapes + all-caps only. A choice that was radical in the 30s of course, as the italian futurist movement was (but don't want to cite futurism for font naming to avoid any link to fascism).
I know very well my final design isn't "radical" at all in 2010, it's not the scope.
The version shown here is the wider one (so more round and closer to Gotham); I'm working on condensed versions that look closer to the link Stephan kindly posted. In fact I've an type-photo project ongoing too.

@Hrant: Titling sounds much better, thank you!

riccard0's picture

I like the "European Gotham" feel of it. :-)

Synthview's picture

I'd like to precise I haven't in mind to do something similar to Gotham at all. But as I made a research similar to Hoefler&F.J. (type 1900-1930/40) the results are obviously close.
On my font’s microsite you'll find a sub-page with some pictures I've taken around Europe.

poms's picture

Really Wow!!!

riccard0's picture

Jan (Synthview), that was exactly what I meant: a similar research in time but not in place, which results in a distinct feel

Arno Enslin's picture

I like the actual name and the font, too. And you seem to have invested much time in the spacing/kerning, which is not of course, especially not for a font with such a generous EULA.

Maybe you should let O, Q, C and so on a bit more overshoot.

Congratulations and thanks!

Synthview's picture

Thanks for nice comments :) I was a bit afraid posting on typophile.
Kerning is my enemy nº1.
I spent many many nights on it. Now I'm kerning the condensed versions of it..gosh.. but I'd like to ask some little $ for them, leaving these actual 6 weights free. We'll see.

Yesterday I heavily looked for an other font name, and even had an argue with my girlfriend about it (!!!)

I'd like to ask for your preference (if changing to or not) to one of the following:

1. Rational titling (funny wordplay to me, but I'm not native English so maybe pitiful)
2. Novecento titling
3. Europæum titling

Frank ADEBIAYE's picture

Europæum titling is really nice !

Arno Enslin's picture

Rational titling (funny wordplay to me, but I'm not native English so maybe pitiful)

Well, sexuality can be interpreted as the most rational activity of the enlivened part of mother nature – if you mean, that you are playing with the word tits (Titten in German).

Synthview's picture

Doh! not tits!
I see "Rational titling" as rational:adjective titling:action
like saying : (s)he did the titling in rational way = rational titling.
well… never mind… :)

hrant's picture

"Rational": not really - that "A" for example is a loose cannon! :-)
The other two sound like moldy serif fonts to me.

What about "Continenta"?
I thought of "Zeitgeist" but it's taken.

BTW, the name should:
- look good set in the font.
- work by itself, without necessarily adding "Titling" every time.

hhp

Synthview's picture

naming is harder than kerning I guess ;)

riccard0's picture

Well, I like Novecento, and I think it’s a very apt name. Unfortunately, I’m afraid the deeper references of it would be lost for a non Italian audience (in such cases, exoticism would often come to rescue, but still).
Europæum reminds me too much of Trajan-like Roman capitals.
One more suggestion on top of Hrant’s solid ones: try to avoid English common words (rational wordplays notwithstanding ;-)

Stephen Coles's picture

Facciata

Synthview's picture

Thanks for your feedbacks; typophile is a lovely community :)
I think I'll stay on "novecento" : it is the name that seems the most liked among all the people I've asked for and it convey no strong meaning (as radical or rational which can be perturbing).
@Stephan : thank you for your nice suggestion; the only problem in it is Italian facciata in common language means also "the fact your face violently hits on a solid object" :D

Stephen Coles's picture

Awesome!

hrant's picture

OK, listen, I got dibs on "Facciata", arrright?!
;-)

hhp

Queneau's picture

Really nice font, thanks for being so generous to give it away for free! I like Novecento as a name as well. Though there is already a (free) font with that name I believe, I don't know if that's a problem? I'm curious about your condensed weights. I would be willing to pay for it, if it's as good as the regular. Congrats!

Queneau's picture

By the way: great site! You seem to know what you are doing!

Synthview's picture

Hello Queneau, I've looked for "novecento" on internet and patent registries and found no results. Are you sure about your free font?

By the way, would it be useful/necessary to register the name or not really?

Queneau's picture

You are right, I thought I had seen it, but its name was quatrocento. Should have chacked, sorry.

Synthview's picture

hopefully :) thank you for checking

Synthview's picture

And what about these traps I've done on the condensed version?
I feel it's useful especially for monitor/pixel usage, as I feel it creates a lighter black, that makes your perceptive system to interpret it more like a spike: it should do in your mind what a classic inktrap does on paper.

zoomed

small/screen view

What do you think about it?

hrant's picture

I love trapping, but those look problematic.

And now for my requisite interjection:
http://themicrofoundry.com/ss_trapping1.html

hhp

Synthview's picture

A very interesting post! Bookmarked :)
However, I don't think a classic ink trap suits my needs, as my font would not be usable for big sizes any more.
I want something that adds just a bit of optical white when small size, and would be perceived rather as a stylistic feature on big size.
I see no reason to use my font on very small on paper, so I don't care about ink bleed.

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

Hi, the effort you put into giving people this free font is big! Downloaded because it has unicode chars.
"J" is too wide by the way.

P.S. You can use scrabble generator for naming ideas: http://wordsolver.net/

Synthview's picture

Thanks Minerva!
I'm going to relase a new subversion soon with many fixes and changes.
Subscribe to the mailing list on my type-site to keep informed about changes.

hrant's picture

Also the diagonal of the "Z" seems a bit too thick.

Is there a PDF with a charset/pangram anywhere?

hhp

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

Actually, same applies for A diagonals.
Look at R+A combo.

Synthview's picture

mhh not yet a pangram sorry.
I've uploaded a sort of charset here.
your A and Z suggestion are already taken in account (at least, I try)

Synthview's picture

Rehello!
Here there are new inktraps on condensed:

and at this new post the 2nd version of my font, renamed Novecento and corrected (I hope)
http://typophile.com/node/82236/

hrant's picture

The trap shape is much better now. But the sizing is inconsistent, so some traps will be visible and others not, at a given size. For example the traps in "M" needs to be bigger than the ones in "Z". That's where a tool like the Trapping Flower helps a lot.

hhp

Synthview's picture

oh… ok. don't you have a Trapping flower in vector format? :)

hrant's picture

It's just a bunch of circles.

hhp

Synthview's picture

Ink traps version 3 on condensed.

Better?

hrant's picture

To me they seem OK now (but still need to be field-tested).

hhp

Synthview's picture

Thank you hrant!
In fact I say to myself this font isn't supposed to be used for small texts, so this tyny ink trapping could be ok.
On the other side, I feel when used on digital, the hinting (I suppose) algorithm makes the ink trap spikes more spikey, and I like it.

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