Oedipus

LexLuengas's picture

On sunday I felt I needed to create a typeface to be able to live with myself. From scratch and in absence of any direct influence. Here's what it has become so far.

What my purpose for this typeface is:
-Relatively big x-height (attenuation of hierarchy)
-Some caps with similitude to the lowercase (e.g B, C, D, P, R) (attenuation of hierarchy)
-Semi Serif with more contrast (without resembling Rotis)
-Combine modulation of stroke with a geometric feel
-Character set will contain old-style figures, ligatures, alternates
-Modest language coverage
-Experiment with interpolation: extra light version will be more geometric, fat version will have a much more modulated stroke.
-Italics with a moderate 5° slope
-Redemption

(Sorry for the text sample, it's InDesign's optical kerning, which is too tight.)

AttachmentSize
Sample 09.02.2012 (1).pdf35.73 KB
Sample 09.02.2012 (2).pdf38.97 KB
Sample 29.04.2012 (3).pdf52.08 KB
Orthodox g (3).png54.68 KB
Sample 1.08.2012 (4) 1.pdf66.09 KB
Sample 1.08.2012 (4) 2.pdf51.58 KB
Orthodox g (4).png51.7 KB
LexLuengas's picture

I've also drawn more orthodox versions of my "lowercased" caps for all caps setting (don't look at the kerning):

hrant's picture

So this is made from scratch?
Looks interesting actually.

hhp

LexLuengas's picture

Some indecisions I have:

How does /u/ look best: with or without serif?

Which?

@'s

This alternate ampersand goes too far. Perhaps it doesn't even read as an ampersand.

LexLuengas's picture

So this is made from scratch?
I can imagine everyone will want from the beginning to overlap this font with all kind of others to see "if it's really authentic". Yes, it's from scratch. Or was that you being ironic?

hrant's picture

Just double-checking. I'm no inquisitionist.

And I'm glad to see you're not giving up on making fonts.

hhp

Bendy's picture

I'm impressed how you've reacted to this whole situation.

I don't generally prefer semi serif designs (what's the point?) but I did say I'd give some critique so here goes ;)

The overall colour of the face is quite dark, making me think it's intended for small sizes; however the spacing is rather tight, so I'd want to change one of those variables and have a particular target size in mind. Wordspace is also rather narrow.

You have a good grasp of the stroke modulation, but there are a couple of weird spots (the bowl of the /a/ has a thinning unrepeated in other letters, and the pointed crossbars of /f/ and /t/ are problematic).

I think a smaller x-height would suit this classical style of letterform better.

There's some peculiarity with your bowl curves on /BDPRbmnp/. In a face like this (classical proportions, geometric forms) I'd expect the curves to be completely smooth, not cuspy. The /q/ and /b/ don't necessarily have to relate, but I think the /q/ is out of character with the geometric feel.

Thin strokes are a bit inconsistent. Take the /M/ and /N/ where you flare the thins, but the /KVWXY/ don't have comparable styling.

/mnpru/ have curved instrokes at the spurs, which doesn't fit the expectation created by /BDPRbd/.

I'd make the vertical serifs on /cfsz/ more prominent or you might end up with uneven colour in paragraphs.

The /g/, I'd keep as an alternate but it's going to be a deal-breaker for text settings. There's enough personality in the rest of the face to attract people, without a fetishist /g/.

Outstroke of /s/ should be clipped perpendicular to the ductus like the /cert/.

Those diagonal serifs on /GVWvwy/ aren't working yet.

Martin Silvertant's picture

I'm not really feeling the lowercase yet though I like /k/ and /g/. The capitals are quite delicious though. However, there's a tension in there which annoys me a bit. Oedipus seems to be wanting to be classical and modern at the same time and doesn't quite know how to pull it off. It seems it's several typefaces in one. There's definitely potential though.

hrant's picture

> semi serif designs (what's the point?)

Dude.

hhp

Martin Silvertant's picture

It seems a really absurd statement, but there is some truth in it I suppose. We're just not using semi serifs often at all. Having said that, I initially did have the same reaction as Hrant.

hrant's picture

Just to be clear how my "Dude" was... inflected:
I think semi-serifs are an untapped goldmine.

hhp

Martin Silvertant's picture

I think so as well, but at the same time I wonder if there really is a market for it.

hrant's picture

Worried about the market? Make some script fonts. :-/

hhp

Martin Silvertant's picture

I wouldn't dare.

JamesT's picture

If we have learned anything from fonts like Museo, it's that semi serifs (and good marketing) can be useful.

That said, I do like the alternate /g/. The alternate ampersand does go too far, in my opinion. I also expect to see a few more serif traits in the /A/. The spacing does seem tight. From my own experiences working on a semi-serif, I found spacing it to be quite the challenge and looser spacing helped even everything out in the long run.

Bendy's picture

>I think semi-serifs are an untapped goldmine.

Just to be devil's advocate: there may be water on the moon...

LexLuengas's picture

I've attached new PDF with the updated font(s). Added serifs at the lower right, drew the Light and Bold weights (Book and Semibold were interpolated), and revised all curves.

Please critique!

sim's picture

I will work on the terminal serif. Take a look at your/u,n,m,v/b,l,r). You have at least 2 to 3 kinds of serif. You should find one style and applied every where. Other thing, while the light one is close to sans serif typeface (monoline) the heaviest font looks more as a serif one. Keep going.

LexLuengas's picture

You are right about the serifs, André. I'll try to reduce it to two different kinds.

About, the change of stroke modulation from the light to the bold, it's something I'm trying out on this typeface. I'm keeping the metamorphosis. If I'm going to name it Oetypus, i'll make sure it is fitting enough ;-)

hrant's picture

On the other hand, H&FJ's Mercury has like four kinds of terminals!

hhp

LexLuengas's picture

Time to resurface. I've attached PDF's with the freshly drawn italics. I got my hands dirty this time, so you should be feeling free to give me ALL kinds of feedback. Kerning is still somewhat poor, though. Shoot :-)

hrant's picture

The Italic is wonderful! Emphasis is about stress, after all.

hhp

Godless's picture

I'm not a big fan of semi-serifs, but I have to admit - this one works.
Reminds me of Infrared font considering semi-serifs.
I love the /g/ and /&/, I prefer the standard one story /a/ in /@/ though. Italics seem slightly too thin compared to normal in my opinion - the contrast in a block of text is distracting. If you want weight differentation for emphasis then sure but I guess when they're both (roman & italic) meant as one weight, they should be more consistent.
As for the /u/ I prefer the full-serifed one, but as i mentioned - I don't usually "dig" semi-serifs so I might be biased.
Great job overall! Looking forward to seeing it finished.

LexLuengas's picture

Reminds me of Infrared font considering semi-serifs.

Ugh, I can't figure out how such thing could happen... That faux bold...

Italics seem slightly too thin compared to normal in my opinion

You're right, thanks! And on the other hand, you made me notice the light italics are a bit to thick.

From the time I started thinking about the italics I was sure I wanted them to be very divergent from the roman (lowercase)*. They stand out, more than ordinary italics do, but I don't see this as a con. As long as the weights/kerning of the italic and roman harmonize well with each other, I'm pleased. I feel that if I additionally drew normal italics, as a second (first) choice, I'd be over-seasoning my meal.

The regular italic uppercase has different shaped serifs (just that weight, because I'm testing), but I guess will smoothen them out again. I'm not sure about that.

Thanks for your nice comments!

* This choice may be influenced by my recent tendency to draw textura in the last few months, although you can't really say there is much structural affinity.

WhiteRoses's picture

This is what you did with a Sunday? Impressive!

LexLuengas's picture

It took four days, and I'm only talking about the first two PDF's. Anyway, thank's.

LexLuengas's picture

Sorry for my absence, here is the current status. Please tell me what you think.

Basic character set (I left out diacritics in the sample):
Roman
Italic

Some poetry in spanish:


And for the quick glancers


(pangrams are of course taken from Craig’s site, The Daily Pangram)

Hopefully I can get this released next month...

LexLuengas's picture

I boiled down my list with possible names to this:
a) Moldea
b) Culmina
c) Retrato
d) Phrase
e) Cambios
Which is the catchiest?

eliason's picture

Of those, I kinda like "Phrase" best.

Catharsis's picture

I like the fresh look of this. Only the |a| looks quaint to me. Maybe relax its uptight curves a bit?

Love the |g|. I also liked your original |&| much better than the new one.

Names: Moldea sounds moldy. Æsthetically, I like Culmina best. Phrase is nice and basic, but not the prettiest word. Have you checked what they look like in your font? What letters would you like to show off in the name tag?

LexLuengas's picture

I feel it should be a name that underlines the difference in structure between the italic and the roman, and the difference in contrast between the light and the bold faces of the font. A name like Dissonance, Cambios, Andera, etc. Oedipus is metaphorically good, but I think its connotation is too negative for a font. Hmm.

hrant's picture

Janus.

hhp

sim's picture

To me the |a| seems too condensed. Did you try to open the top? I love the italic.

LexLuengas's picture

Thanks André :-)

How does this one look? (New|Old)

sim's picture

Seems good, it will be better to compare with other letters. I forgot to mentioned that my comments was for the lightest weight. Keep going.

LexLuengas's picture

Top is new

sim's picture

I find this new one better. Why did you eliminate the slice or cut design at the top of the |a|? The one find in the heavier weight. To have a good comparison of an |a|, place it beside the |e| as the |æ|, you will see if both of them have the same width.

LexLuengas's picture

Thank you for the tip.

The typeface looses practically all cuts in the light weight. It becomes less chirographic and more geometric in the thinner weights. This is an intentional characteristic.

Catharsis's picture

The |a| still strikes me as the only "cringing" letter in an otherwise fresh and dynamic font. Have you tried opening the top, or adding an angle like on |c|? And maybe simplifying the top of the eye to remain upward-slanting all the way to the stem, rather than curling in on itself?

Here's just a very rough mock-up of a suggestion. I guess this glyph would profit from some more horizontal space.

sim's picture

Good suggestion to open the |a| as Catharsis did, however you would probably has to do the same with other opened letters |e, c, f, j | and review the shoulder of some others |h,n,m,b,d,p,q,u|. Let's see.

LexLuengas's picture

It will remain ‘closed’, but you’re right there is something to do about that top.

LexLuengas's picture

Is this an improvement? Click on image for a larger version. Top is new.

LexLuengas's picture

Is it just me or are the light weight tittles too high?

Catharsis's picture

I indeed like the new |a| better. :) I see that the open top would constitute a bit of a break with the theme of the font.

The triangular gap in the base of the |a| is a tad tiny, though, especially in the light weight. I wonder whether the connection to the bowl could be raised a bit (I suppose you can't shave off any more material from that part). Or — going a bit crazy here — even disconnect the lower part of the bowl from the stem, as you did in |g|...?

Catharsis's picture

Hey, you've published! Congratulations. :) The result looks very cool. I also like the name "Meleo".

I noticed your posters still use the older "a" architecture whereas the live font samples use the new one. Minor point though.

LexLuengas's picture

Yes, it’s out :^) You can find it in MyFonts under the following link:

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/alexis-luengas/meleo/

I’m very happy with the result, and it couldn’t have been that good without all of your critique! Most of all, thank you for encouraging me to move on and design something of this calibre after my fiasco. I almost quit type design and design at all. Thank you!

Christian, MyFonts forgot to update the artwork. This should be fixed soon. I wrote MyFonts an e-mail right away.

I like Meleo* too! It’s simple and short.
_____
* In french, mêler means “to mix”. In spanish, it is an oronym of “me leo”, which simply means I read.

riccard0's picture

Congrats on the release! :-)

LexLuengas's picture

Thank you Riccardo!

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