Argon (working title), with Thai

Bendy's picture

Following Hrant's request, I'm happy to post Argon here for some crit.

This was one that I drew in my sketchbook whilst travelling. I wanted to explore what would happen if black and white shapes became somewhat disconnected. Counterforms are made of perpendicular straight lines while outer edges are wide superellipses.

I wanted to try my hand at Thai glyphs, so added the main alphabetics — a few vowels and tone marks are missing for the moment.

Think there's already a font called Argon, so any name suggestions also welcome ;)


EDIT, adding a nice pic!

Argon Specimen.pdf182.8 KB
eliason's picture

any name suggestions also welcome

"Spaceport" might work.

I'm intrigued by the layering idea.

hrant's picture

As I've told Ben, it's rare for me to feel envy... but I do badly wish I'd made this! :-)

The main "global" concern I think is the optical illusion of warping where straights meet rounds, most visible in the "oh": look how the counter seems to have bulging corners. Now, you might actually want this effect; but if you don't it might be tempting to pretend it's not there since it's a bit of work to fix, but of course that's weak.

- The "r" and "w" are too wide.
- The "E" and "F" seem too plain; I'd add a shear like in the "f".
- The diagonal of the "2" tapers too much towards the bottom.

I know little about Thai, but it seems nicely NON-Latinized to me. Except for that "w"-like shape; I wonder if it can be authentically "twisted" somehow, like you've done so nicely with the "s"-like shape.

Name? Retro-futuristic? Galactica!


Bendy's picture

I wondered if you'd notice the changed 'ร', Hrant, but of course! Thanks for pushing me to reconsider :)

Hm, about the bulging...I can't fully see what you mean — I guess I've been getting used to the shapes so I don't see optical difficulties so much. Anyway, I guess either you're seeing the centre of each round corner being pulled outwards, or a bump where the straight meets the round?

Agree on r; w I'm not sure for the moment but will see what can be done. Are the vertices too wide or the overall width do you think?

2: thanks, I hadn't caught that. I'll take the right side of the join outwards and take a bite out of it too. I find 2 pretty much the hardest glyph, apart from the section mark.

E&F: I was considering a Handel-style E and F, but really liked the squared forms better. Interesting idea to shear the crossbars, I'll try that.

I'll see what other examples of ผ, ฝ, พ and ฟ I can dig up from online research!

Galactica, nice, I'm rather fond of that cap G!

hrant's picture

The bulging is a classic optical issue - like if you attach exact semi-circles to the ends of a rectangle it doesn't look smooth - you have to shift the joins. But if you like the way it looks as it stands then there's no problem; in fact it might give it a nice organic twist in contra to the pervasive rigidity. Just be prepared to say "yeah, I meant to do that" :-) when certain pesky type designers challenge you on it!

w: I think you might make the center overlap more.

พ and ฟ: Why not curl the left stem outward? Spacing trouble? It could be a small curl.


Bendy's picture

Hm, I was reading that Din Rounded pdf that explained about the bulging; I wondered if there was also something else at play here though. I'll do the 70:40 thing and see if that fixes it. Won't be too much work (relative to building a whole font!)

EDIT: Whoops, that was misremembered...

1985's picture

Ben have a look at this book:

It's hard to tell from that image but the inner counters for the artist's name have been modified to a more square form. It creates a very technical impression. Designed by Gavillet & Rust.

In Frutiger's sans serifs the inner contours are a bit squarer than the outer contours.

For me your lower case is much more successful than the upper case. In the lower case the presence of curved outer contours is natural - less so in the capitals.

Bendy's picture

Interesting, but to me those rectangular bits look random, I would have made it subtler and more systematic somehow.

So you think my BDPR could go with squared joins?

eliason's picture

I wonder if /R/ and possibly /P/ should have their midsections raised a touch.
Top contour of first hump of /m/ looks a little off. Is the extremum too far right, or is the curve too flat ramping up to the extremum?
I love the /M/ and /N/!

1985's picture

Interesting, but to me those rectangular bits look random, I would have made it subtler and more systematic somehow.
I think that was the effect they were going for!

So you think my BDPR could go with squared joins?
Like the top of the 5 maybe?

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