TyPress

fonthausen's picture

Hi, I am new here. This is the first font I am showing here. At the moment I am working on a, which I call TyPress at the moment. It is a Sturdy serifed Typed, with subtle details.
To Introduce myself. My name is Jacques Le BaiIly, I studied in The Hague, in the Netherlands. Now I work and live in Berlin, Germany.

I need feedback on my Type. What do you think of it? Beware: the font has lining mediæval numerals!
If you'd like it, I could show the Italic, although I only have the undercase at the moment.

application/x-shockwave-flashTypress_alpha.swf
typress_alpha.swf (5 k)

Stephen Coles's picture

Oh my word! It's Scala with a soul!

Stephen

fonthausen's picture

Hi. I think the connectors look too thin in the flash image I sent. Here I have sent one, where some characters were made bigger.

Jacques

application/x-shockwave-flashTypress_Alpha2.swf
typress_alpha2.swf (8 k)

fonthausen's picture

Oops, something went wrong with the picture... Already sending a new one.

Jacques

application/x-shockwave-flashTypress_Details2.swf
typress_details2.swf (<1 k)

hrant's picture

This is serious. Maybe the best thing on this forum yet.

Wonderful integration of curves and cuts. It's clear you're not afraid to see through the superficial rules of type design - instead getting and giving a taste the real juices inside.

It's very nice to see straightness where we usually see mushy curves, like in the lc "a", "g" and "s". In the "g", though, maybe the straightness should "end" sooner - I think it's pushing the lower counter a bit out of shape. Do you know what I mean? Also in the "g": you might want to make the head have vertical stress - like your "o".

The lc "a"'s tail should maybe be more like the finials of the lc "c" and "e". The lefthand "stubs" of the lc "f" and "t" are a wonderful shape, but they seem to be making a dark spot, especially in the "f" (which btw has a great righthand foot serif, as does the "r"). The lc "k" is killer! For the lc "q", maybe consider making the serif on the descender righthand only. I would give the lc "r" a stronger beak. The "seats" of the "v" and "w" are amazing. And the lc "y" is the real thing. The comma should maybe be more of a comma - less of a period with an appendix.

UC: Maybe lower the bar of the "F". I'd make the "G"'s beard sharp (like the lc "b"'s seat). The top-left of the "M" and "N" is just too good. But I think the "M" needs to be wider - maybe open up the middle "V". I'd make the "P"'s head bigger. As for the "Q", it's a "Q" alright! I really like the structure and form. But the tail seems to be pulling it leftward/clockwise a bit. The "R"'s leg seems a bit too strong - but maybe I'm being to "rationalist". I think the "Y" definitely needs a bigger torso. As for the "Z", it looks a bit too sharp - maybe treat the corners like you did in the numeral "4" (same for the lc "z").

Numerals: The "3" is just wow. The zero is great, but maybe a little light (on purpose?). BTW, all the numerals seem to have a little too much stroke contrast. I think your BP is cool, but maybe too big with OS nums.

And in terms of proportions: I think your ascenders are not long enough in relation to the descenders.

Please don't take this critique harshly - you have something amazing here, make no mistake. Go all the way with it.

hhp

fonthausen's picture

Thanks guys,
for all of your remarks. I was at a point where one is afraid of changing too much, or not enough. You probably know that stage.

Jacques

ricardo's picture

All I want to said is that you have a great type face. I don't have more to sayd after what Hrant advice you, so congratilations for the work.
Regards / Ricardo

Miss Tiffany's picture

Jacques,

Before I 'Hrant' and rave, I'd love to see, as others probably would, this put to the test with some words. The hours you've spent are apparent, very nice.

Hrant's comment (hard v. soft) reminded me of Dwiggins' 'Marionette Formula'. Have you read this? If you are interested I happen to have it transcribed and saved into a PDF. Not so much to teach/educate but to demonstrate how other type designers have rationalized their designs.

Tiffany

hrant's picture

Ah, Tiffany's marionettes again! :-)
You're right, of course, and it's astounding how the relevance of
Dwiggins's work has been ballooning lately (at least on my island).

BTW, do you mean Unger's article in Quaerendo?
I for one would love to have it as a PDF. Please?

Oh, and ditto on the request for text settings.

hhp

fonthausen's picture

Hi,
I put a SWF-File with text samples. Beware that the spacing is just basic. It would not make any sence making the spacing and kerning perfect, before the forms are final. Of course forms will be changed, if they are giving major spacing problems!

Some asked how many hours I spent on the font. Well, on the regular wheight, which is the first wheight I made, I worked appr. 3 months (±5 days a week).

BTW, thanks again for all the reactions,

Jacques

application/x-shockwave-flashTyPress_Text2.swf
typres_text2.swf (6 k)

hrant's picture

The text setting is wonderful.
This font is really promising.

It's funny that the "g"'s bottom seems less of a problem than I tought. But now I see that the caps are *slightty* too dark with respect to the lc. And the UC "Q" is definitely turning clockwise.

I won't make any too-specific spacing comments, but I would say this:
1. Overall it's a bit loose for a "real" text face.
2. You might want to make the "round-round"s tighter - it helps in the overall.

hhp

fonthausen's picture

You are right about the 2nd point. Spacing of text faces should become a discussion point. How lose, or how tight should be a text face?

When I am through with all the glyphs

hrant's picture

> How lose, or how tight should be a text face?

Quantitatively, I have no idea.

But I would say that it has to be as tight as possible without making the counters overpower the interletter spacing. The reasons for this are:
1. We generally read words, so letters should blend together.
2. Upto a point (which is essentially determined by the forms, not the spacing), the narrower a word the better, in two ways: more words fit in the field of vision during reading; more words fit in the line/page/etc.

Also, I can offer examples. I can't think of a text face that has too-tight spacing (Helvetica's too tight, but it's not really a text), but I can mention two fonts that I admire except their spacing is too loose: Rotis and FF Eureka.

hhp

hrant's picture

BTW, I keep forgetting to ask:
> on the regular wheight, which is the first wheight I made, I worked appr. 3 months (±5 days a week)

Full-time?

hhp

fonthausen's picture

Although we are reading words, the role of the white inner/contra forms should not be forgotten either. When the spacing is too tight, they sometimes become a problem.
When you make your font tight, what about the Uc? I always have a dilemma there. More Kerning pairs or not?

Hrant, you should live in Germany. Here your eyes would be hit a 1,000,000 times a day by Rotis. I can stand the face. The philosophy behind it is very interesting, but it just doesn't work as a text face, even if you change the spacing....

Jacques

hrant's picture

> When you make your font tight, what about the Uc?

Good question...
I think that except for fonts which are abnormally loose, *all* UC-UC pairs should be positively kerned (I mean with respect to their "traditional" kerning, so "AV" might still have a slight negative kern, for example).

Note that OpenType has a feature that lets you automatically open up the spacing of all caps setting, which would work 90% as well as doing it manually, I think.

> Here your eyes would be hit a 1,000,000 times a day by Rotis.

:-)
Yes, I'd heard that, about Europe in general, and have seen it firsthand on trips. But even if I ended up hating Rotis, I'd *love* to live in Berlin!

> it just doesn't work as a text face, even if you change the spacing....

I actually don't consider it a "real" text face myself! The reason I admire it is its spirit. You might enjoy reading something I once wrote about Rotis. It's in one of the PDFs here:
http://www.atypi.org/visitors/tour/pubs.html

hhp

fonthausen's picture

I once tried out if some Uc problems were being solved, when you make the leftsidebearing big. Which is theoreticly less of a problem, because there not a lot of cases where there is a Lc standing before a Uc. The only problem is the vertical allignment, the left side of a column. If the sidebearings are too big, you'll have some dents....

Jacques

fonthausen's picture

Hi boys and girls,
I have not looged in for a while, although I did follow most discussions. I did not have much spare time the last few months. My son was born 4 months ago, I had to work and I worked on my type: TyPress.

Here you will see new wheights. Bold Italic was not finished yet. Do not look to much on the spacing, I will get that right, when all the wheights will be finished (Reg, Bold, Ita, Bold Ita, Caps, Caps Ita, Caps Bold, Caps Bold Ita + Experts for all)

What do you think of it?

application/x-shockwave-flashTyPress_Next
typress_next.swf (25 k)

sevenfingers's picture

I liked it, but the green on the side was so distracting I was having real troubles looking at the type... change it to a muted grey or something.

fonthausen's picture

Grey or gray?

application/x-shockwave-flashTyPress_nextgrey
typress_nextgrey.swf (25 k)
^

sevenfingers's picture

Exactly. A beautiful typeface. It's quite hard to judge a typeface like this onscreen though, but I love it.

gulliver's picture

I really like this font family.

The only thing that struck me immediately is that the loop of the italic lc "k" seems a bit small and closes up a bit.

Are there any plans to market this family any time soon?

David

plainclothes's picture

fantastic work! as Richard mentioned, this is the sort of type that needs a printed specimen to be judged fairly, but it looks quite enticing here. the earlier comment about *Scala with a soul* holds quite true, but this has a character very much its own. if I could get my hands on a printed specimen, I would consider purchasing this one. when and where will it be available, any prospects yet?

btw, the grey makes things much more pleasant.

Stephen Coles's picture

Jacques,

We may seem like lightweights, but this much
consistant praise for a single design at
Typophile is rare. Take it to the bank!

TyPress is crisp and alert. It stands at attention,
ready to communicate with class.

I admire the lc 'k's descension below the baseline.

You've fixed the 8 nicely since the first showing.

One question: why does the lc 'y' get a fatter
serif than any other glyph? Consider shaving
it down a bit.

Stephen

Stephen Coles's picture

Oh, and three cheers for aligning the '@' on the
baseline. Your solution is graceful.

Stephen

fonthausen's picture

I am planning to have the font finished by the end of July, and produced in August.
From then on you will be able to purchase it. By whoom? thats a surprise (which will stay a surprise untill the end of this year).

Thank for the comments. Indeed there is a difference between Flash and print. For example the Lc 'y' doesn't look to fat in print...


Greetings to you all, boys and girls!

Jacques

hrant's picture

Dear Papa,
At first I used to like TyPress very much, but now... I *love* it! :-)

I still owe you feedback on Ballpoint, so for now let me just say: what Stephen said.

hhp

kentlew's picture

Jacques --

It seems I've arrived a little late to the party. But let me echo all the praise that's come before. I really like what you've created here. In some ways TyPress reminds me of some of the things I was exploring in my Whitman typeface, but built on more of an oldstyle model (in contrast to Whitman's Transitional and Scotch forebears).

This is a handsome face, and it sounds like you're well on your way to completing the design. If you're open to a few more comments, however, here are a couple of observations I had.

This may be the fault of the flash specimen, but it looks to me like your lc 'v' is floating a bit on the line -- in words like 'advertisement' and 'approved'. Check the original to see if maybe you shouldn't extend the overshoot down a bit. If you've trimmed the vertex to the baseline, then I would try dropping to half the overshoot. If it's already below the baseline, I'd try going to the full value of the round overshoots.

Again perhaps an artifact of the flash file, but the counter in your lc 'd' seems a little large to me. Although I see what you're after with the horizontality of the top join, you might want to let that inside curve drop a little more as it joins the stem.

Finally, this may simply be a matter of taste, but I don't care for the chamfer at the top of lc 't'. I think the effect is perfect in places like the beak of the 'a' or the terminal of the 'y'. But here it serves to round out the top in a way that seems at odds with the crisp character of other, similar details. I would go for a compromise between your original, sharp version and this. Instead of an angled chamfer at the tip, I would try clipping the tip with a horizontal.

These are just picky little things. Overall a handsome design.

-- Kent.

fonthausen's picture

Hi b's and grrls,
thanks for all the comments.

hrant's picture

I think the italics are regressive.

hhp

fonthausen's picture

Hhp: as you might have noticed, I am neither english, scottish, nor am I american or canadian, therefore I have to ask you to tell me what you exactly ment by 'regressiv'. If I have to go on the discriptions out of lexica, I might misinterpret. And I do not know if the meaning of the word is exactly the same in dutch or german...


Jacques

hrant's picture

Well, to me it means something that goes backwards, towards things that have been done before. At least in the context of your very "progressive" roman, the italic is not "brave" enough, especially when you consider that italics can/should generally be more free-spirited.

What I might suggest is to make two italics: one that's very close to the roman, and another that's highly independent and unorthodox (but maintaining harmony of color and proportions with the roman).

hhp

Miss Tiffany's picture

I like the idea of two italics. But, one of the things that make this font attractive ane interesting to me, as a designer, is the fact that the italic isn't just a slanted version of the roman. I'm borderline bored with italics that look so similar to their roman counterparts. Harsh, I know. I found myself salivating over the "Typophile" collection at the Storm Foundry yesterday, in particular their Jannon. But then again, I'm guilty of coveting Tyfa as well. So maybe I should just say that I like the italic the way it is.

hrant's picture

> I'm borderline bored with italics that look so similar to their roman counterparts

How can you be bored of something that doesn't exist?

Except for mechanical obliques (which are plainly a result of laziness), to me designers put way too much emphasis on superficial differentiations in italics. Why should an italic "f" descend, *exactly*? I think you have a point concerning display fonts, but not text fonts.

I also happen to think that the sloped-roman idea was Morison's one good original contribution to type design - it was just executed badly: they applied it way too literally, instead of looking at what makes a roman a roman: rigidity.

It's been 500 years, but a real italic has yet to emerge, as far as I'm concerned. And I think part of the problem is that italics are dual-natured.

hhp

fonthausen's picture

Thanks.
I already thought you ment that, but I was not sure.
Indeed the Italic is more regressive than the roman. I did try different solutions. What bugged me, is that most of them made the Italic too important. Which

fonthausen's picture

Sorry about the E.

Jacques

hrant's picture

Jacques, let me give an example of a highly individual italic which still harmonizes: Psy/Ops's Eidetic Neo.

http://www.psyops.com/html/specimens.html

hhp

Miss Tiffany's picture

hmmm. Okay Hrant , you and I have talked about this before. I wasn't disagreeing with you. I did say that I was speaking "as a designer", and I should have also said that I was not speaking as a "typographer". You know that I like the idea of two italics, both speaking as a designer and typographer. So maybe I should've just been more articulate from brain to fingers on keyboard. Giving typographers and designers variety and also the opportunity to make the text readable (and legible) is very important. But, I can see where an uninformed designer (like myself) might use the face incorrectly. Maybe I was thinking of display purposes and not text. Guilty as charged. ;-p

And yes. Morison did give us that.

Miss Tiffany's picture

BY the way. What did you mean by "a real italic has yet to emerge"?

Miss Tiffany's picture

umm. :-) eidetic neo has a descending italic 'f'. so i guess you weren't say that it was a bad quality? (playing devil's advocate.)

hrant's picture

I think this other italics is better.

> most of them made the Italic too important.

Exactly. Which is why a sloped-roman (but not like Dwiggins and JvK did it) is best for a text face. And as a result of this fact, it's also nice to have a truly cursive italics as a second choice, which it seems you were already on track to creating.

hhp

Miss Tiffany's picture

The chiselled qualities of this one are v. nice as well. But I only notice a few drastic differences between the too, aside from corners where there were curves. I guess I will have to leave it open and study it ...

hrant's picture

> What did you mean by "a real italic has yet to emerge"?

I dunno, it feels like italics haven't "arrived" yet; nobody can really justify their overall design direction with them (at least not to my own "functionalist" satisfaction). The balance between individuality and congruence has not really been grasped yet; people just make them because they have to, or because they enjoy it, and then they just sell them off. Italics is like a temporary girlfriend, as opposed to a wife.

Practially speaking, there's no problem, the user's happy (but only in the same way that almost no user takes advantage of the smallcaps right under his nose). My concern is more with the "mysteries" of reading, and what italics are supposed to actually do in text.

Eidetic Neo: I do like it, particularly the italics, but as a cursive, secondary form. It would be great if it had a rigid (hence more textual) italics as well.

hhp

fonthausen's picture

O-o-oh.
You are quick tonight. (Berlin it is 21:00)

HHP: I am still a disputal of the theories about type I learned. Those are the ones of Gerrit Noordzij. (According to his theory, my Italic is a bastard, having its way of building somewhere between roman and 'real' italic) Noordzij has tried to differ between roman and Italic by analysing the way one would write them. So one can say there is immence difference between Roman and Italic.

I think we have here a discussion about theory, not about my typeface.

I decided to make my italic a 'bastard' Italic, not only because I like it, but also because i was inspired by 16th and 17th century type. Then they designed Italic to be used with roman faces, but still they were seperate designs. Combined with theory of type of G. Noordzij.

I have personaly my difficulties with obliqued type.

Jacques

PS: question: hhp, do you really think obliqued type is more readeable than Italics?

hrant's picture

> Gerrit Noordzij

I admire Noordzij in many ways, both inside and outside of type design. His "Letterletter" I enjoyed very much, even though I disagree with its basic premise: when it comes to Noordzij's blind love of the hand, I think he's completely wrong - and I'm not the only one. As Paul Stiff writes in Typography Papers #4: "Gerrit is confident that once we understand writing, we will understand typography. Here he is quite wrong: we will not understand typography until we understand reading." We no longer read handwriting. Let the doddering old man rest in peace, instead of trying to teach it the lambada.

----

Functionally, in a text face, italics is about slant, and *not* "ductus". The simple reason is that immersive reading cannot always pick up too-subtle variations - it needs a discernible contrast in structure (or alternatively color, which is actually my personal preference), and this is provided by the slant. You need the slant*, the rest is a matter of two things: the designer's personal taste (which is often given way too much importance**), and functionalism (see below).

* A good example of this is the italic of Seria: Majoor has made a font which is very beautiful, but because it has almost no slant it doesn't really work 100%. Small example: the UC "I" (common in English) is nearly impossible to decipher as italics. Note that he has a second -more slanted- italics for Seria, but I'm not sure when/where it's coming out.

** Deep down this is a dispute between Art and Craft, and I'm personally tired of the huge exageration of the former in contemporary design.

> do you really think obliqued type is more readeable than Italics?

It's mostly a question of familiarity, specifically with boumas (word shapes): the closer an italic is to the roman, the more readable it is - that should be beyond dispute. Not just in making the structures the same, but also in making the slant small. But of course you *still* need a discernible slant, and the smaller you make it the more you have to use color, width and apparent size to compensate.

So, for example, the descending "f" is bad for reading: it creates confusion in our bouma decipherment. However, pure readability doesn't exist - it has to be balanced against aesthetics. To see what kind of balance I personally consider ideal (at least at this point in time), look at Patria, where in places I've sacrificed boumas for aesthetic effect - but also differentiation, like the lc "a", which is a common single-letter word in English ("I said I wanted *a* dog."), and being short it's very likely to be deciphered through the blurry parafovea, so it needs extra help.

hhp

fonthausen's picture

HHP:
I just opened a bottle of bear. And I read your essay.
Of course Noordzijs' theory is limited. It is good to start to comprehend the type is constructed. If you looked right to my face, you have noticed I left N. theories. But for me it is still a very important starting point!

I have been reading your remarks on typophile for a while now and noticed you probably have an immence knowhow. I never have been able to remind me texts and articles without rereading them. I did always remember the message. Compliments to you here. At the moment I am more busy forming my own point of view. Which is shown by my type. In short: I prefer to work out of the stomac (that is how a german would discribe it)

Now to TyPress:
I decided not to take the Italic I just shown you, because I found it going too much into the textura/fraktur corner. You might argument now, the origine of Italic type is out of that corner, but the original idea of the type was to make a modern variation of a 17th century typeface.


Jacques

Jacques

hrant's picture

> I am more busy forming my own point of view.

I'll drink to that! (As soon as it gets a little darker outside... :-)

hhp

fonthausen's picture

But I'll consider your comments. Thanks for the discussion. Drink one on me.

Jacques

mart's picture

chiming in way too late... surely a descending italic "f" differentiates itself from an italic "t" - more clearly than it would if it didn't descend - justifying the descender? (The descension??)

hrant's picture

> surely a descending italic "f" differentiates itself from an italic "t"

Sure. But since we rely on boumas (word shapes) more than individual letters (I mean during immersive reading), the end result is that it throws us off, in terms of requiring the decipherment of a new shape for a word we already know a shape for, like "effort".

hhp

fonthausen's picture

> But since we rely on boumas (word shapes) more than individual letters (I mean during immersive reading), the end result is that it throws us off.

< Even if our reading relies on Boumas, a little tickling or irritation is still needed.

What I like about the sabon Italic is for example its short ending 'f' (even if this might from the limittaions of lead typesetting). A plaisible solution to the problem.

Jacques


Jacques

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