First Typeface - Geometric All Caps

FinelySliced's picture

After developing an interest in typography over the last few years (I'm a web designer by trade), and plenty of sketching and practice with software, I've actually pulled together an almost complete set of alpha numeric glyphs.

It really is a simple beginning. A geometric condensed uppercase sans-serif, with no changes in stroke width, except perhaps for the 'X'. If anything it's been a great introduction to using typetool.

I struggled somewhat with the 'M' and 'N', however feel that these ended up on the right track. The 'V' is a bit of a concern, possibly too close to the 'U'. Also I find the 'B' lacking.

I'd love to get some expert criticism. Your thoughts, comments and brutal honesty are welcome, and most appreciated. Is there anything I'm really missing the mark on?

Thanks!

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.Linus's picture

Quite good for a simple beginning!

I think you should decide if you want diagonals in your font or not.
X and Y look like they are from different fonts.

My opinion is you should get rid of the diagonals.
Try to build the X with the upper part of the Y. The Z could look similar to the 2.
The (vertical) leg of the R could have a similar joining like in M.

And maybe E, F and 3 could do with slightly longer crossbars.

eliason's picture

Set your letters in words and phrases. That will help you decide if, for example, the spaces that open up with /C/J/L/T/7/ are okay, or need adjustments to fill in the blank spots (as I suspect).

I think if /B/D/N/ etc. have a hard upper left corner, I would expect the same from /P/ and /R/.

An asymmetrical /Y/ (with a bottom like that of /J/) could work here.

I wouldn't throw out diagonals just yet, but I agree that it may be the most pressing question you have to decide. It might help with the /V/ problem you identify, and help you develop a /K/ and a more convincing /2/.

hrant's picture

Just make sure it's different enough from the overly-famous Industria:
http://new.myfonts.com/fonts/linotype/industria/
(Which itself might be derived from an old German design).

hhp

.Linus's picture

I agree. Having no diagonals is just the easier, but maybe less interesting way ;-)

Have a look at Iwan Reschniev, it’s similar to your design, mixed with more diagonal forms.

cerulean's picture

I think the X is subtly brilliant. It's a departure from the construction grid, but somehow cleaves to the spirit of the face anyway, and I think you'll find that it works surprisingly well in the context of words. V is begging for a similar treatment. Z, however, hasn't captured that essence yet. Explorations I would suggest to achieve this include pointed corners or rounded ones.

FinelySliced's picture

Awesome feedback! Thanks everyone! Where do I start? :)

@cerulean - I agree the diagonal X, while a departure, still seems to work. I'm trying a diagonal V and X, however retained the original M and N (with some potential diagonal alternates up my sleeve). I've started the 'K' - but it's not quite there yet.

@hrant - I think it it's sufficiently different from Industria. What do you think?

Someone has since pointed me to another similar face, Mekanik, that has a diagonal V (but not X), together with vertical M, N- http://www.identifont.com/similar?31A - not sure I'm into the rounded 'X' like that.

@Linus - agreed the crossbars could be longer - I've already changed the '3' and will look at matching the 'F' with the 'E'

@eliason - I've been playing around with a lot of words and sentences. Pretty happy with the results. I had since made some changes (based on some offline feedback), dropping the crossbars a touch, lightening the horizontals, lengthening terminals, and a much improved '7'. I think the new terminals go some way to addressing the space issues. I think I may drop the vertical arm of the '4' a touch too. I'm pretty happy with the '2'.

Another thing I need to work on is compensating for the perceived smaller size of some glyphs - adjusting the baseline and heights of 'A', 'C', 'G' 'O' etc. I'm finding this quite difficult.

Thanks everyone - I really appreciate all your advice. I'm on a massive learning curve!

I've got a modified example here: http://finelysliced.com.au/progress/

FinelySliced's picture

A candidate for the 'Z':

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

Too much slant to the left.
And I would invert /B vertically. Yes, it's cute when bars align, but it's monotonic and hurts legibility.

FinelySliced's picture

Still working away on this. It doesn't seem to work so well at smaller sizes, but that's OK I think - it was always intended as a display face.

I have chosen a name for it: Hydraulic.

I feel like I've just started a new epic life journey - learning how to create type!

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Might be worth studying Paul Renner’s Steile Futura.

FinelySliced's picture

Thanks frode frank. I just found this lengthy post on Steile Futura - http://typophile.com/node/18227

I particularly like the Renner Grotesk specimen referenced.

Can see where I can perhaps narrow the /L and /J, and the /T.

FinelySliced's picture

Just wanted to say thanks again for all your feedback. I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in this process now :)

I have been working on the lowercase, and attached a couple of examples of the alphanumerics here.

Note the /k has evolved between the two shots :)

The descenders are pretty long! I think that they accentuate the overall feel, but perhaps could be reduced a smidgen.

Glyph sample:

In use (poster):

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