Alexis: A Mid-Century Modern, Reverse Contrast Slab Serif

taylorbgoad's picture

I'm a graphic designer by trade and working on my first typeface. I've been working on it for a little over a week now, so this is still very much a work in progress. I feel like I've gotten as far as I can go on my own, and I'm looking for critical feedback for things that don't look right or are not correct.

Thanks in advance.

Alexis.pdf86.34 KB
eliason's picture

I wonder if you could do something more interesting with the serifs on the diagonal strokes (/A/K/M/N/V/W/X/Y/).

taylorbgoad's picture

Craig, do you have an example of what you're talking about? Thanks for the feedback!

Frode Bo Helland's picture

What happened with naming sources?

riccard0's picture

Not sure about S. Maybe it should be rounder?

eliason's picture

No, I don't have a particular solution in mind. I just think on those letters the thick serifs look less organic, more like tacked-on rectangles.

taylorbgoad's picture

@Craig: Oh, okay. Well thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it.

tmac's picture

I did something a little like this for a friend's album art. I'll come back with a link to it later.

My starting point was the five-line pica Italian in the white Taschen book -- A Visual History of Typefaces etc. As I was working on it, Chester Jenkins released Arbor. So I emailed him and asked about why he had dropped the triangular serifs which is the part that attracted me most to the idea. He had come to the shapes of Arbor without reference to Italian specimens, but he pointed me to Paul Barnes' Calson Italian which is really spectacular.

IMO the reverse stress tends toward a 1970's feel if you draw glyphs like the R with a blobby leg. Alternatively you can bring in the triangle serifs which can give the shapes energy, I think because the diagonals counterpose the railway track feel of the big top and bottom slabs.

It's hard to get the right colour, especially when you compare the lightness of your M to the other glyphs. Also, I think your oval counters have an optical problem in that they swell at the edges -- more like a dog bone than a lozenge.

When I did this I wound up with a squalid collection of black lumps, but at least it was fun.

taylorbgoad's picture


Thanks for all the feedback. I'm extremely new at type design (I've only been at this 2 weeks), so could you elaborate or show examples of what you are talking about? Specifically with the oval counters having optical problems?

I haven't seen Arbor before or the Caslon Italian style, but really similar idea to what I was trying to pull off. The font started just as an experiment to see if this style was possible. I did some searches on MyFont and didn't see anything similar, so I decided to go for it.

Do you think there's enough differences between this and Arbor to continue? Or would it be possible to add differences, so that there is more of a distinction? I also plan on releasing an extended version, as well as different weights.

Again, thanks for the great feedback. That's exactly what I was looking for.

AlexanderKatt's picture

I agree with eliason - letters that consist only of squares and lines look too much like a compromise.

Also, have you tried rounded base of U and Y (like your O)?

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