50pointtype's picture

Your critiques appreciated on this one. I'm fond of text faces that manage to pull off readability with some unconventional angles and stroke intersections... so that's what I'm trying to do here. You can see from some of my sketches that I'm visualizing strokes that fold over themselves to create a little tension in the curves and make for interesting serifs, feet, etc. This is my first go at a text face so let me know if this is moving in the right direction.

50pointtype's picture

And some numbers:

riccard0's picture

TNice hybrid figures! (they looks less quirky than the letters, but maybe it’s just because, in general, numbers and letters have different construction).
Anyway, I like the typeface (not sure about r, though), and think the italic looks especially promising.

1996type's picture

Damn, this is some advanced stuff! First of all, I would like to see a pdf with some text samples, instead of jpg. For a textface, the upward serifs on the top of all stems are distracting. I can see that they are a main characteristic of the typeface, be I would rather have them pointing down. Actually, the same goes for your bottom serifs. For better legibility, just flip them horizontally. The italic allows you to play more with these concepts, but for a textface some of them are a bit too unconventional.

That g is redicilously beautiful!
k is distracting
Replace the ball terminals in the caps by serifs.
s looks to dark.

Keep going!

50pointtype's picture

Sorry about that. I thought my PDFs had gone up. Try this:

Lamond 01
Lamond 02

50pointtype's picture

Top serifs facing down and not so stubby...

50pointtype's picture

So in addition to your comments (thanks), I wanted a little more contrast overall. (See the attached) And here's a handful of characters that best show the alterations.

Lamond 04
Lamond 05

Is that /r/ more of what you're looking for?

riccard0's picture

Yes, better r :-)

50pointtype's picture

Here's the latest. A lot of little changes, the edges are sharper all around, and I worked to get the shapes (serifs, etc.) to be similar across each glyph.

Lamond 07

And some sample text:

Frode Bo Helland's picture

These shapes, particulary n reminds me of trying to write like a southpaw (I'm not).

Those top left serifs still feels a little undecisive too me, maybe they need a steeper angle? The y tail could need some more weight, and I think this also applies to the f. Some other trouble spots: “upstroke” in and general balance in r, œ/Œ joins, ø slash angle, downstroke weight and treatment in x + k.

The t “ascender” is really no ascender, so maybe that one could do with a little folding, like perhaps a bigger version of the top left serif?

Bendy's picture

Nice work.

I preferred the original serifs on m, n, p and r, where you have the branching arch. The others still look a bit distracting (but I'm without printer at the moment so can't say how it looks at target size), I'd maybe borrow the architecture of the u for the ascenders.

JamesT's picture

I like this but my only concern would be confusion between characters with a grave accent and the serifs on some glyphs (most notably the /l/).

50pointtype's picture

Some revisions:

TOP: new top left serif treatment. It seems to behave better at smaller sizes. And works on the /u/ too.

MIDDLE: various changes, per your comments. I'm not sure what needs to be done with the /k/ and /x/ other than adjusting the thickness. Thoughts? On this pesky /r/, I feel this latest one works best when placed in actual words. But I'd love to hear if/how it can be better. Change the upstroke angle? Also I don't quite understand the comments on the /t/.

Changed the angle of the acute/grave to be more obvious and widened the serifs on the /I/ just a tad.

And thanks for the comments BTW. Sorry if I don't understand all of your edits the first time around. :)

50pointtype's picture

A preliminary look at some italics:

Bendy's picture

Those italics are superb! Maybe tail of /f/ could have a flick like at the bottom left side of the stem of /h/?

50pointtype's picture

Thanks. Good idea. Like this?

Bendy's picture

Exactly. 1 is super. Bit lower? (Balance top-heavy?)

1996type's picture

Still on the Roman:

Great work again! It's already much better.

I quite liked the cut at the right in the e, but that's just my opinion.
n h m u could all go a touch narrower.
I have the tendency to make the crossbars in f and t thicker towards the and, so this might just be me, but making it thinner towards the end just doesn't look right to me. They look too thin as a whole.
It has cuts in the bottom of the bowl in d, but not in c e.
Try to be a bit more rational (not too much!) and think of the actual structure that you're using. Looking closely at this ( picture should show you a more rational approach to this idea. The cuts appear at the thinnest part of the curve, as they would with a broad-nip pen. Although this is (yet again) quite a big change I would at least TRY to place the cuts with broad-nip logic in mind, using this picture as a guideline.

If you decide to keep the cuts the same you should review them all the same. The bottom of the bowl in d, looks heavier than the top of n, for example.

This typeface would do great with short descender/ascenders, following a current trend. This is a stylistic choice that you should decide upon though, not me.

To be honest I think you're moving on to the Italic a bit too fast, so I won't critique that for now.

Keep going!


1996type's picture

If you want to work on the Roman and Italic simultaniously, I suggest you use this as a reference fro the italic.

Good luck :-)

daverowland's picture

I love the way this is progressing. I like that it has details which are seriously cool when large but it still works well set small. I disagree with Jasper that it's too early to start working on the italic. Working on them simultaneously will help, as one informs the other and it helps keep them harmonious. One of the biggest pitfalls I fall into it getting stuck on one particular font. I even think it helps to be working on a few different typefaces at a time (not just weights and styles of the same font). It stops you getting bored and what you learn from one can be applicable in another, nomatter how disparate they may seem... Although this could explain why I have about ten unfinished typefaces languishing in a state of perennial limbo!

50pointtype's picture

Great feedback. Florian has a lot of similar elements going on. I'll try not to stray too far into its territory. But good to see how it's done well. I'm glad you brought up the b/d/p/q treatment since I felt there was something wrong there. I think this revised version sticks to the broad nib rules a bit more. Also, I think I've got the stem serifs all behaving similarly. I think.

Q: should the top left of the /a/ get narrower like the bottom-right of the /e/ and /c/? I like how it is now but feel it should follow the broad-nib pen rules already in place.

I think I jumped into the italics to just see what it might look like. It actually helped me figure out the personality of the roman. As a purely informal exercise, I think it helps to inform the designer on other decisions. With that said, I'm going to put that aside and work on the numerals now. :)

50pointtype's picture

My question about the /a/ is between these two approaches:

Bendy's picture

These things should really be judged in paragraphs, but my preference would be the second one.

1996type's picture

Wow! Great job again. You're a quick learner :-)

I prefer the first /a/, this is really quite a personal choice. Go with what looks most natural, disregarding the method behind it.

First of all, if you want to get useful feedback it would be wise to include a pdf with text at different sizes. I like what you've got going on here, and I would like to be able to print it, for better judgement.

I'm not sure about the funky serif at the top left of n, m, u, etc. I like it's quirkyness and it's perfectly understandable if you want to keep it, but it might not result in optimal legibillity to keep it this way. If you do want to keep it like this, than I suggest you lengthen them only when attached to an ascender (b, d, h, k, l, etc.). They don't work at all in the u, but it's not terribly bad to use a different structure there.

Download the RMX tools demo, from Tim Ahrens. Some of your outlines are just a little bit off (positioning of nodes, length of control points, etc.). The harmonizer from RMX tools will fix this easily, as well help speeden up the production process once you start making it into a complete family.

You might want to make the bowl of the /a/ a bit more diagonal at the top, to match with the top of the /a/ (for both the first and the second /a/ in the picture above), but it's not particularly wrong the way it is now. I would also suggest to make the middle bar in /a/ thinner, as well as the middle bar in /e/. I can see the logic behind it, but it just looks a little bit too thick to my eyes.

I would like the bottom right serif in /a d u/ to point up a bit, or maybe even make them into tails.

The bottom right of e and c ends a bit too low IMO. They should roughly match the bottom right of the bowl in d.

I would like to see the bar in /e/ a bit more straight (shorten the part that turns up), like it used to be in earlier versions.

It's your typeface off coarse, but I hope you carefully considered keeping the ballish terminals in /a c f, etc/, instead of just going the Florian way ;-) I quite liked those.

The bar in f and t should be thicker. Roughly the same thickness as the bottom of the bowl in d.

w is too wide, but I like the structure.

The gap between the serifs in x, is larger at the top than it is at the bottom. Should be the other way around.

Consider (just CONSIDER) to make the serifs in s and z more diagonal.

r is too wide and the arm looks a little bit off.

For better legibility, consider (just CONSIDER) a more horizontal ear on the g.

/C D G O Q T/ should be wider IMO.

The curves in D should be fuller. Extend the control points.

The modulation in the bowl of P and R is off. It looks as if there's a straight piece (bottom of the bowl) attached to the top of the bowl.

Lengthen the tail on Q a bit.

I would like to see diagonal strokes all over in the M, but I must say it's a cool quirk.

DON NOT TAKE ANYTHING I SAY FOR GRANTED. IT'S YOUR TYPEFACE, NOT MINE. If this long comment comes across as harsh feedback, it's not. I'm just a perfectionist. You got talent.

Keep going! It'll be worth it :-)


50pointtype's picture

Oof. That's a lot to digest. Back to the lab...

1996type's picture

Hahaha. Don't give up!

50pointtype's picture

Ok, so it seems like a lot of the personality was getting lost amidst all of these little revisions, so I stepped back, figured out the essential traits that need to be retained (sharp cuts, stroke angle, etc.) and tried to reconcile that with everyone's great feedback. Below is what I've got. I could yammer on about every little detail but I won't. Every glyph has changes. Excellent tips BTW. I'm still not sure about the /r/ and /y/.

(and: I'm doing all this in TypeTool, so those fantastic third-party tools will have to wait. The full FontLab is on my list of things to own.)

Lamond 18

50pointtype's picture

Just thought of these changes to the /R/ and /k/. (Little tail serif on the legs)

1996type's picture

I'm not so fond of your idea for R and k, but I guess it's just a matter of personal preference.

Tge top of A is too narrow
Serif on C and G too short
f and t: the part of the bar left of the stem should look more like a serif. (thinner towards end)
What happened to your modulation? For legibily, the previous modulation model was definitely better. It's up to you to decide though
Top of c to the right
/a/ too dark (middle line too thick and terminal too large)
r is just ugly. Start again, from the n. The cut doesn't have to be a lot deeper than it is in the n. Just a little bit will do.

Cheers :-)

50pointtype's picture

Noted. Could you explain what you mean by the modulation?

1996type's picture

The modulation is how and where you place the 'cuts' (in your case on the inside only) in curves, generally based on broad-nip calligraphy (like Florian). Hope you get it now. Your previous update was quick, a bit too quick perhaps. Don't be easy on yourself. This font is worth some extra labour.

50pointtype's picture

Just to make sure I'm clear, are you referring to the before and after of the bowls in these instances?

1996type's picture

Yes, I am.

LexLuengas's picture

The gestalt of your font reminded me of this.

Somehow, I found your last changes counterproductive. You're good, but be careful to not lose your own style staring at other fonts for inspiration. Work, draw, and find yourself in the process. Keep being original as when you started.

Why is your font called Lamond, if I may ask?

50pointtype's picture

Thanks for the pep talk guys. I'll be back after some more analysis. Lamond is half the name of a nearby neighborhood here in Washington, DC.

50pointtype's picture

So aside from any other elements, I pose this to you about serifs. I had been proceeding with version A but I really feel that version B fits more with the flavor of the original idea. (Plus it doesn't look like so many other faces.) Does this look like a good way forward?

1996type's picture

Yes. Go for A if it feels right. I prefer A too. I just love the uppercase E!

Trevor Baum's picture

Wow, I'm surprised how great this looks at text sizes. It still looks a bit too much like Skolar to me. Or maybe just the gestalt is similar.

1996type's picture

I wouldn't say TOO much, but yes, there are similarities. B is more original, but originality should not be forced.

50pointtype's picture

Ack! Yes, it is a bit Skolar-ish. I hate it when that happens. Thanks for the tip. I think this latest round does well to keep its own personality. I'm much happier with the terminals on the /a/c/f/r/ and the serifs overall. Everything is based on this shape, where strokes are generally straight and get wider on one side. (see: tails of the /J/y/Q) Also, /B/K/P/R/ feels right, now that they have a little "air" in them.

Lamond 23

1996type's picture

Gettin' better!
Just a couple details: Compare the shape of the bowl of R and P. Leg in R should be the same as the leg in K (serif only on the right side). Zz might be a bit dark.

Now, time for something boring...

Your curves (specially in the lowercase) need refining. I can't really explain this in any way unless you could send me some pics of the actual outlines (with nodes, control points, etc.). When you want to make curves look smooth (which I suppose you want), try to see the inner and outer curve as two different lines. The nodes don't have to align, or rather, shouldn't. Try to approach all curves the same way. Hope this makes some sense to you.

Bendy's picture

Looking good! It would be best to judge in a paragraph, but here are my quick observations. I like the funky letters A, G, J, R, f, g, y, z.

O: I'd maybe bring the stress round a bit further.

Diagonal of N looks a bit light?

I like the difference between K and R, it might even help readability by reducing confusability :)

Tail of g looks like a dark patch.

Tail of Q could be funkier; looks a bit unsure.

Roof of r may need more thinning where it joins the stem.

LexLuengas's picture

Definitely making progress. I specially like A, B, E, s and y.

Some thoughts:

  • The inner and outer curve of the n, h, m have an urge to work together.
  • Taper the shoulder of the r and push the entire arm a bit to the left. See if that helps. I think the curve of the r should be abrupter in matters of contrast. You can also try to straighten the curve at the joint (just the upper curve or both) and then gradually bend it . When the shoulder joins the stem at an almost collinear angle it needs too be lightened to compensate the illusion of the stem swelling. Just to say that, whenever possible, try avoiding dark spots.
  • The r is difficult, but it's even more displeasuring to try to draw a smooth arc for the U. I detest drawing Us. Its straight-curve transition refuses to look good. Work on it. Perhaps you are luckier than me.
  • The horizontal stroke of the t falls as if it was a plank fixed with one single nail. Hmm... Take care of that :). The bulk at the bottom of the stem doesn't look organic. As for the tail, the round curve from the outside doesn't match the inner crisp, straight lines (I'm not saying rounded lines can't match straight and edged ones, but in this case it doesn't).
  • The dot of the i lacks of simplicity.
  • The terminal of the f doesn't look integral, i.e. it is too abrupt.
  • You decided to make the upper horizontal of the Z curved from below (like the T). That makes the right side, where it joins the diagonal, too dark. Making it straight at the right won't hurt, I think. That should settle what I think Jasper ment (maybe after also thinning the horizontals a bit).
  • The spur of the b seems to float over the baseline.
  • The tail of the a is too long.
  • Flipping over the n to create a u may result very practicable. Nevertheless, the arc of the u usually starts later, closer to the bottom, producing a more bent curve than that of the n.
  • The ascendent diagonal of the x may need subtle tapering.
  • Add contrast to the e.
  • Bendy knows best about the N.
  • The upper diagonal of the K can be thinner.

    The counter of the K is irregular inside. You made it straight at the bottom; I like that, but the angle it makes with the curve should be sharper if you wan't to distinguish it from the curve.

    X doesn't look balanced

Polishing your curves is very important, as Jasper stated. After working at your font, take a breath looking at other typefaces you like to compensate your visual accustoming to your design.

Finally, it would be great to see samples of running text.

Keep scrutinizing!

Bendy's picture

Don't you guys think the non-smoothness is the charm of this face? In which particular glyphs would you suggest the curves are not good? I do agree with Jasper that the inner and outer contours should be treated independently, but I don't see any massive difficulties in the curves.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Lamond is just the working name, right? Don't forget about Typofonderie's Le Monde.

I agree with Bendy. The 'non-smoothness' is the charm of this face.

Bendy's picture

Somebody told me that the most important thing is to keep the vitality of the original sketches even when there's a temptation to normalise everything and convert to neat mathematical beziers. I think that's especially true with this design.

Miss Tiffany's picture

I'd agree that the soul of a design should never be ignored. But, on the other hand, a design can change. I guess it is about intent. We can critique and suggest, but at the end of the day it is the type designer making the final decision. Right?

LexLuengas's picture

Right. But it's also the type designer who makes the decision to enter the colosseum of the critique section, not by accident, but precisely to receive constructive and most of all heterogeneous feedback of the work presented. That's critique, isn't it? To expose your art to other's opinions ;b. Then, the designer takes into account only the ideas which fit best with his/her intention. And then, voilà, you make progress!

I agree with both of you that roughness is a main attribute of this font. When I wrote "polishing" I didn't want to say smoothen. Surely typefaces like Kinesis, Delphin or even Scala were polished although they still look rough and informal. Look at their italics! They seem perfectly rough to me :)

Bendy: I work with beziers all the time, and I doubt there is something mathematical when using them. The maths stay happily and safe within FontLab, and when I use beziers to draw my letters, I really draw them. The actual challenge is learning how to use them to get the desired result.

50pointtype's picture

So much to absorb. Ok, back to the lab. Gotta find the time to work on this.

I keep going back and forth on, for example, the /n/ and whether or not to keep a sharp angle on the bar. But that runs into some advice to smooth it out. Possibly taking away the original vision. This is tricky stuff. I imagine the answer lies in observing other typefaces, seeing what has already worked, and getting a good quality printout of everything at text size. I'm definitely going for "unvarnished" but those all-caps words look a bit stately. In a good way. (maybe that's what happens when you set the president's names in any face.)

50pointtype's picture

Ok, here we go again. I took advice to increase the x-height. I like it. (You may have some subsequent feedback because of it) I tried to address all of your comments. Please excuse me if I didn't understand the particulars of each one.

Lamond 26 - UC
Lamond 27 - lc
Lamond 30 - text

*Note that the spacing/kerning is rudimentary at this point. And Numerals and punctuation are still from old versions.

1996type's picture

It looks a little narrow now and it's a little light, so you could just scale everything horizontally (fix diagonals manually afterwards, off coarse) en fix both at the same time. However, colour and width is completely up to you :-)

ear on g is a bit short
x needs to be wider to create room for the serifs
Curves in /m n p q d b h u/ (specially inside) create an optical illusion. From the pdf, it looks as if you wanted the first part of the curve to be more straight (control points close to actual line). This is perfectly fine, but you made it too straight, making it look as it bends upwards first, before bending down again. Send me picture if you don't get this ;-)
c and f lack modulation (copy modulation from e)
Copy serif on arm of /k/ from /K/.

Middle bar in E and F looks as if it's falling down, and is light.
U and B need 'cuts' in modulation.
Remove 'cut' from R.

Great Improvements!

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