Garvis Serif

JamesT's picture

I've decided I'm not going to be able to get what I wanted out of my typeface in its semi-serif form so I've decided to go ahead and make a true serif text face.

Specimen 5-14-12

Spec Sheet 9.15

AttachmentSize
Specsheet_9_15.pdf84.92 KB
Specsheet_9_20.pdf113.84 KB
Specsheet_9_25.pdf117.81 KB
Specsheet_9_28.pdf122.44 KB
Specsheet_5-2-2012.pdf214.32 KB
Specsheet_5-10-12.pdf205.82 KB
1996type's picture

The serifs are too weak, or the thins in the rest of the letters are too thick.

JamesT's picture

turns out both were the case. I've been working on trying to solve the mysteries of the serif (and optically balancing them).

Here's a quick shot of the numerals as they currently stand

JamesT's picture

I've added a new specimen sheet which includes many updates and a glimpse at the progress on the italics.

1996type's picture

Nice! Don't let the semi-serif (which you based this on) slip away though.

JamesT's picture

I think the semi-serif may be saved for a later project. I really want to focus on a text face with both a fair amount of character and well-developed language support.

A new PDF has been added to the first post.

JamesT's picture

I would really like to change the name of this typeface but I really have a hard time with this part.

Right now, I'm thinking of: Essex, Nacre, Lisa, or Burnham. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to anything.

JamesT's picture

Right now, I'm leaning towards Bantam or Essex. Both appear not to be taken.

riccard0's picture

+1 Bantam

nina's picture

Lisa is taken. I like Bantam for the sound of it, but isn't it some boxing weight class? Wonder if that would seem weird if you do a «Bantam Heavy» later :)

Celeste's picture

There is also a “Bantamweight” weight in HTF Champion Gothic, if I'm not mistaken.

Celeste's picture

And “Essex” is only one letter away from “Wessex” (FontBureau), which is also a text typeface.

JamesT's picture

Bantam is a type of chicken, apparently. My primary reservation is the fact that there is a Bantam Publishing House; therefore, "Bantam Book" Weight sounds a little odd... I do like the sound of that name.

The main issue with the current name is that /r/ and /v/ are an ugly letter combination.

LexLuengas's picture

Being an anagram of Batman, it's very probable that many misread it. Maybe that's advantageous...

JamesT's picture

I've added a new Specimen sheet to the first post.

LexLuengas,
Interesting observation...

JamesT's picture

A brief update.

I decided that I didn't lower the x-height enough when I transferred over to a serif face. The regular weight is now 460 units from the baseline and looks a lot better in text settings.

JamesT's picture

I've added a new specimen sheet which shows the new x-height and some drastic changes to the italics. I wasn't happy with them before and I've decided to base them on a more Aldine-esque model.

Comments are always appreciated.

1996type's picture

The gaps between serifs are really small now (look at /m/ for example). It feels a bit like Mrs. Eaves now :-).

That /g/ needs work. I see that you're trying to be original, but it just doesn't look right. Look at the /g/ in calluna, lexicon, mrs eaves, and some other serif typefaces. Make a couple variants of a /g/ for your typeface. Choose the best one.

Cheers! jasper

JamesT's picture

Jasper,

I've worked on adjusting the serifs (it becomes slightly problematic in the heavier weights).

The /g/ is something I've been struggling with for a long time. For some reason, I was able to get the italic double-story /g/ the way I wanted with very little problem; the roman, however, is not so easy. I like the /g/ in Calluna but I fear I might be making a clone of it if I keep adjusting it the way I have been. I'll post an update with the /g/ when it is further along.

Thanks for your help!

JamesT's picture

Alright, since I can't upload to Typophile, I've uploaded my newest PDF as a Google Document.
available here

I've included, in the sample text, a few lines of bold and italics.

1996type's picture

Link doesn't work.

JamesT's picture

Hmm...

Maybe this

JamesT's picture

Another week, another update. I've really been working on spacing and consistency within the contrast of the forms. At the moment, I'm considering whether or not the thicker horizontal curves on the /bdpqhnm/ characters are a bit too thick in the regular weight or, if the face as a whole is slightly too dark for text.

I have a new PDF available HERE

As always, all comments are appreciated.

1996type's picture

Wow! Making progress here! Beautiful!

On the regular:

The node at the very bottom in /e/ and /c/ needs to be moved to the left (moving the control points with it), to make the curves fuller.

Try making the bottom bowl (tail) of g a little more narrow.

Somethings wrong with the curves in /e/. Compare them with the c.

The top curve in /a/ needs more strength. Move the horizontal control points to the left and allign them with each other.

The sharp style of the curves in /m n h u, etc/ is different from the softer, more round style in /d p q b, etc/

The thin strokes in /k v w x y/ should have the same thickness as the thinnest part in /o/.

/b/ and /q/ are begging you to add some sort of continuation of the stem towards the baseline/x-height. Most likely a triangular shap. Have a look at Garamond.

width of /j/ might cause trouble in some lettercombinations.

/k/ and /r/ are too wide

s needs reworking from scratch. It looks weak.

Make the bar in t a little shorter (and possibly also the tail)

Caps:

Thickness of thin strokes is inconsistent.

Bar in F should be lower.

C more like G. Wider and more open.

Let the tail of J descend a little further

Leg of R needs some curves.

S, same as s.

Keep going!

JamesT's picture

Jasper,

I'm really glad you like where its going!

I've taken a lot of your advice here and cleaned up the /b/d/p/q/h/n/m/u/ situation. Along with fixing some other things I think I may have made the bold a bit too light.

A new pdf is available Here

1996type's picture

Good :-)

/b q s/ still need some work IMO. Put /q/ next to /u/ and you will find that /u/ suddenly looks too tall. This is because the q, for some vague and illusive reason, needs to align to the x-height stronger. Either you make the curve very flat at the top, or you add a little triangle, like Lexicon.

You might want to try increasing the contrast in the bold, as to make the thins the same thickness as the thins in the regular. The bold probably looks too light to you, because you put the semi-bold in between the regular and the bold. Bold has the same problems as the regular (b, q, and s), along with one extra: The whitespace in /m/ is not equally devided.

I get a very cosy Ms. Eaves feeling from this, which is good! Keep going!

JamesT's picture

I've done a lot more work on little issues here and there and I've been working more on spacing.

Jasper,
I'm really trying to stay away from adding a triangle to the /b q/, for some reason, I just don't really like it — I may come around, however. I have been playing with it a bit more and have straightened out the top of the q and the bottom of the b. The /S s/ still eludes me but I feel I'm getting closer.

I've posted a new update HERE

I also, for fun, tried manual truetype hinting for the first time.

The results aren't exactly astonishing but I was pretty pleased with my trial.

JamesT's picture

I've also been working on the contextual alternates. I'm trying to make sure I get all the possible combinations.

1996type's picture

Nice alternates! I quite like your new b and q :-) This is starting to look really promising!

JamesT's picture

Jasper,

Thank you! I've also been running tests on various printers with various stocks – it's been a very enlightening (and occasionally disappointing) process but I've learned a lot more about ink traps than I was using the same paper and printer every time.

I have a new update Here

JamesT's picture

So now that I have my own domain, I figured it would be easier to upload updates there. I've included a section for the PDF and a separate glyph map.

Let me know what you think (and if the page displays correctly for you)

http://jtodddesign.com/type_design.php

JamesT's picture

I've been trying something different lately and I'm attempting to create a type testing tool that is reliant only on HTML & CSS (no javascript) to showcase my typeface in progress.

It's nothing too fancy (yet), but the tracking and the fonts can be adjusted and all of the text sizes are editable so you can type in your own content.

http://jtodddesign.com/tester.php

LexLuengas's picture

A few quick remarks: Oldstyle zero is too thick. The thicks in /&/ need to be consistent. Also, fix /eogonek/, /gcommaaccent/, /Uogonek/, etc. The circumflex collides in your esperanto /hcircumflex/; use the capital circumflex instead. Equalize your scissors' stroke weight with that of the lowercase. Your /¿/ doesn't look as good as /?/.

Good improvements c:

JamesT's picture

LexLuengas,

Thank you for the comments! The oldstyle zero is still a remnant from the sans-serif face – I've yet to decide if I want to keep the stress the same or not. The ogoneks have yet to be completely finished, thanks for reminding me. Also, I completely forgot about the /hcircumflex/.

I'll look into the question mark issue some more (and the scissors weight).

1996type's picture

Your type testing tool doesn't work on Firefox, on Mac OSX.

JamesT's picture

How so — What is it not doing?

It's still in a very, very early state.

riccard0's picture

RE: typetester
I noticed that if you double-click the first word to select it, it selects the "pt" part of the size definition too, thus making the selected text ignore keyboard inputs. Other than that, for me it works like a charm, even in Camino (not the most up-to date out there, but still my browser of choice).

JamesT's picture

riccard0. Thanks for pointing that out. I've taken care of it.

It should work in most browsers as it's a very simple operation. I just think it would be nice to have a tester that doesn't need javascript to be active and can be run on mobile devices without requiring a prolonged loading time.

1996type's picture

If I select the 'Type something here...' and try to delete it, it just doesn't work. I can only delete it by deleting letters one by one, putting the cursor at the end of it and then pressing backspace constantly. I can write my own text infront of it, though, without deleting. The plus and minus bottons simply don't do anything. All That happens is that the scrollbar start going up and down randomly. Down for the plus, and up for the minus. Hope this helps.

Type show (http://www.typeshow.net/) doesn't offer many functions but I like it's simplicity.

JamesT's picture

Jasper,

I like the Christmas-ness of your comment. I have typeshow as my default type tester. The other tester is only available through the link in this thread. I'm going to look at all of the issues this week and see what I can do.

Martin Silvertant's picture

Very nice design! It reminds me a bit of Geronimo by Mário Feliciano. I think the weight in the bowl of 'a' could be a bit more horizontal though. M/N/S are too heavy in the italic and the italic 'W' seems a bit too wide.

Why are the arrow symbols without contrast? The scissors look deformed as the grip seems to be too thin.

Right now, I'm leaning towards Bantam or Essex. Both appear not to be taken.
I don't like having 'sex' in the word. Actually it doesn't make me think of sex but of Sussex. Both are associations I would avoid though.

Garvis somehow makes me think of a web font, which makes it sound cheap. Really, this might be a very personal association and has nothing — necessarily, anyway — to do with the quality of web fonts, but I still think it should be avoided (if others make the same association that is).

Bantam is also not fitting. It's a good name I think but it fits a more horizontal serif better. It would also be better to take a name without double letters though I certainly don't always come up with names conform to this "rule".

A "few" names right off the bat (I haven't checked whether any of these exist already): Diluran, Atina, Nelan, Manora, Harmen, Werder, Coldre, Sermior, Beldor, Nuave, Myre, Verton, Ciller, Rezden, Pranu, Lisar, Solur, Betarn, Mastun, Abeling, Groze, Veltura, Denerim, Salmert, Perusal, Banewick, Greven, Jaborandi, Eupal, Unstemar, Mardine, Hamewick, Piasoli, Molgen, Trigon, Gritude, Cheloir, Ratite, Nelwing, Dorman, Revenam, Eggerbit, Mitser, Santil...
It's not too hard coming up with names which sound good I think (unless you insist on using existing words). Just look at your typeface and try to make sounds which fit the style and atmosphere. Another good method I think is think of keywords which fit your typeface and come up with words which loosely relate to that keyword in terms of sounds or use of letters. For example, I derived 'Eupal' from 'euphoria', 'Gritude' from 'gratitude' and 'Santil' from 'sand hill'. Not that these (key)words fit your typeface but the derived names just might. Some of the names I mentioned are just rather obscure words (at least to me as English is not my primary language).

JamesT's picture

Martin,

Thank you! The italic capitals are, at the moment, little more than slanted Romans. I've been meaning to work on them but keep getting sidetracked.

The arrows need some work (as do the scissors). I wanted the scissors to be based on tailoring shears as my background is originally in bespoke tailoring.

You tips about naming are exactly what I need, Garvis is still something of a placeholder. I will definitely spend some time trying to come up with something a little more fitting.

JamesT's picture

A brief update and something of a test but I've decided to use my typeface as the text typeface for my website (thanks to fontsquirrel). I'm actually fairly pleased with its rendering however, the spacing does seem a bit too tight onscreen.

The site is a little bit of a mess at the moment as it is constantly changing but the link is below:

http://jtodddesign.com

1996type's picture

On a mac it renders beauifully indeed!

nina's picture

Looks good on Mac indeed. The "g"s ear is perhaps clogging a bit.
Have you checked it on Windows? I'm not sure the body text size isn't perhaps a little on the small side.

JamesT's picture

Thank you both! I was shocked at how clearly it came out (without any manual hinting of any kind).

Nina,

I work from a Windows machine 90% of the time (the typeface is being designed on one) and the rendering seems fine; however, I've yet to test it with cleartype off.

the ear of the g is something I've been reconsidering for a while – it's on my list of items to re-investigate.

Martin Silvertant's picture

By the way, I didn't mention this before but I really like how much the ball terminals go inwards. I think that and the design of the serifs — which fits beautifully together — is the character of this typeface.

I'm on Windows 7 and your font looks beautiful on your website. I've only tested in Safari though. I did see an issue which I experienced myself recently. When I select text, the letters wiggle around. The same happened to me when I added a few codes to force cleartype rendering as my client reported the text looked horrendous in Internet Explorer. I thought the wiggling around of the letters was an absolutely undesired effect so in the end I removed the code and went with a typeface which seemed to be hinted better so it looked good in all browsers without the code. I recommend to optimize the font for web instead of relying on your code.

JamesT's picture

Martin,

That means a lot – thank you!

Regarding the web rendering issues, I didn't do any truetype hinting (I simply uploaded it to FontSquirrel). It was more of an experiment on my part to see how it looked and what hinting needed to be done.

I'm not quite sure what you mean by the text "wiggling around". I tried to replicate it but couldn't produce the results you described.

Martin Silvertant's picture

As you hold your mouse button and drag over text to select it, the letters move around horizontally until you stop dragging the cursor. I think it's only in Webkit browsers.

JamesT's picture

For a while now, I've been considering whether or not I should add Cyrillic and Greek to Garvis. It seems that if I'm adding so much Latin support, it would make sense. I'd be curious to hear what the members here think.

Martin Silvertant's picture

I personally don't think it's that relevant to add Greek. You will target more people with Cyrillic.

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