NOW--The Sans of Time (Taken Lightly for Now)

dezcom's picture

"Now" is the "other" face I have been working on since Typecon (I alluded to it in my posting of "Align")
I started it with the capitals, trying to achieve classical Roman proportions in a light monoline sans serif. I then did the small caps since I like to use caps and small caps together in heads and subheads. The caps, with or without small caps, might be usable as inscriptions when used alone but my intention from the start was for the lower case to be a text face. The proportions of the lowercase follow Roman as well.
For Now, I have only done the Light weight. The other weights will follow.
Below is a quicky GIF and I have also attached a PDF showing text sizes down to 6 point in several languages (English, German, French, Italian, Czech, and Polish.)
OTF features include ligs, small caps, oldstyle figures, and fractions built from the nom/denom.
The Now name and Time concept come out of the use of classical proportions in the context of present-day sans serif.

Please let me know what you think.

ChrisL

I have posted version Latvian text . See bottom PDF:

AttachmentSize
Now_postTpfle.pdf139.15 KB
Now_postTpfle2.pdf140.78 KB
Now_postTpfle3.pdf89.44 KB
Now_postTpfle4.pdf70.04 KB
Now_postTpfle5.pdf142.46 KB
Now_postTpfle6.pdf91.15 KB
latvian_un_text.pdf34.3 KB
dezcom's picture

"A general tip: Don’t rush to fill your character set.... I am always tempted to jump ahead to see how things are going to pan out,"
Patience is a virtue--too bad I don't have any :-)

Thanks Mark!

ChrisL

Hildebrant's picture

Chris, this is really great. Good work -- and I think it fills a nice little void in the crowed sans spectrum.

Cheers!

dezcom's picture

Thanks Kyle!

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

I've printed your PDF on our 600dpi printer. Why do the letters all have dots around them? Almost as if the type isn't pure black.

r -- looks too sharp. the end on the curve.
ti -- the joining cross-stroke needs to be one width. I think the narrowing is wrong. it also seems to have a little bump on it at the point where it joins the i
fi ff ffl ffi -- still flat. the f on its own has a nice curve.
i j -- still not convinced that the little curve adds to them
f - the main stroke seems a hair heavier
umlaut -- dots are too heavy (same could be said for i and j)
g -- (two story) the joining stroke seems too thin
0 -- seems a little too heavy

dezcom's picture

But Tiff, what about the THREES? :-)

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

:^D Three(s) are good. :^D Sorry about the left and right confusion. :^/

dezcom's picture

"Sorry about the left and right confusion"

That's OK Tiff, it isn't like you were giving me directions on how to get through a mine field alive :-)

ChrisL

Mark Simonson's picture

I’ve printed your PDF on our 600dpi printer. Why do the letters all have dots around them? Almost as if the type isn’t pure black.

I have this problem, too. I prints a 90% or 95% gray instead of black. Some PDFs do this when I print, not just Chris's. It's a mystery to me. I have a PostScript clone printer--I suspect it has something to do with it, but it's only a guess.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Our printer isn't a clone. Hmm. I wonder if preview sees it differently Acrobat. I'll have to try that tomorrow. Thanks for letting me know I'm not crazy, Mark.

sim's picture

Same result to me. It's effectively look like a 90 % black giving a dark gray. May be this coming from how the pdf was prepared but I'm not sure.

sim's picture

I got it!

The problem came from the Preview software it's already installed on our operating system. For me it's Preview on Mac OSX.

The downloaded file from Internet, Typophile or other website is switch in a pixel file to be easy to open or to print with anykind of picture software.

The solution : launch Acrobat and print the file, you will get a 100 % black.

dezcom's picture

I was wondering when Mark told me he was having trouble. Thanks for the detective work André!
I had not been using Preview so all my prints came out fine.

ChrisL

crossgrove's picture

Chris,

This looks very nice, very nice. I wouldn't mind a repetitive address like 333 if it looked that good.

I would not make a big issue of 90-degree stroke endings. Ask yourself if that is an appropriate thing for this design. Right now, I think it's more appropriate for the caps than for the lowercase. There's no reason the endings have to be exactly perpendicuar to the stroke, either. Cheating them slightly may help you down the road (like when you're drawing the bold). Mark has a good point; whatever way you treat them, make it consistent throughout the font (caps as well). See Kabel, Stone Sans, Syntax, Myriad, and Stellar. IMO, the terminal angle works for some of those and not for others. Also note how Syntax terminals change with added weight.

I don't really see the need for the bent tops of i and j either. Since the caps (what I think of as the template) have an uncluttered, authoritative feel, I see this kind of detail as inappropriate and extraneous. How much extra stuff can you remove? Even the r can be more simple. Let go of feeling like it must have a lot of curve. I think the bent ear it has now detracts from its potential simplicity. Also consider losing the curve at the bottom of q and on the tail of y. are those features structural, or just noise? Alternatively, consider giving y a straighter, more subtly curved tail.

Re: the feel of the caps: I finally realized what I think is not jelling between caps and lc: The caps seem majestic and timeless, the lc feels informal and friendly. Both are pleasing, but I think their styles are so different it makes for a confused stylistic voice. I really do enjoy the caps a lot, and would not mind a cap/small cap font, but if you are going to add a lowercase, I would hope it would have the same expansive, authoritative feel. The informal shape and narrowness of bowls (bdpqg) and the large x-height may be factors in this cuddly feel. I think the caps are the rarer, more intriguing thread to follow here, and you can always make a copy of your current working file to test out some different lc shapes (abeghnostu).

To reiterate another of Mark's fine points: do not expand this out until all the basic design issues are resolved: Proportions, x-height, spacing, shapes of alphabetics, and the like. Do not get attached to single letters (g, r, i, f); they will hold the entire design back from developing. Some letters do give you more trouble, subtler problems. Sometimes you will wrestle with one single letter for months while all the others wait patiently. In the end, when you see the face in 18-inch alminum letters on the side of a building in London, it will all be worth the fuss. Keep up the good work!

dezcom's picture

Carl,
Thanks for your many helpful comments and kind words of encouragement!
I'll keep plugging away. I don't know about a building in London. Right now I would settle for a sign on a parking lot in Cleveland :-)

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Hi Chris, just back and late to the party. This is your best so far, I think--but I have traditional tastes in type. The critiques you've gotten in this thread are really great also.

I would only add to Carl's interesting observation about the lower case this: Lucas de Groot I think on his web site somewhere compares his Thesis, The Sans, to Frutiger, and comments how Frutiger looks old-fashioned compared to his. Well old fashioned but also more classic. The biggest difference I see is that the bowls of the pdpq are more circular in Frutiger and more modelled in The Sans.

The element of informality in the lower case might be reduced, and the whole have a more classic feel if you did more round stems--closer to the o--on the bdpq. Also eliminating the bent stems would take you back in a more formal direction, but you might not want to go that far. At any rate, I think Carl is right that this direction is worth pursuing. Good luck. Killer Caps!

dezcom's picture

William,
Thanks for taking the time and for overcoming your jet-lag to give me a crit.
I expected you to have comments along the lines of classical Chinese calligraphy :-)

I will inhale and absorb your comments :-) I am not sure what you mean by round stems though?

Welcome back to our own resident classicist--killer caps coming from you is a real compliment.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Ah jet lag. That should have been 'round bowls'.

rs_donsata's picture

Chris, I don't know how I lost this topic but this typeface is wonderful as well. Where are you planning to sell this?

Héctor

William Berkson's picture

Chris, actually more accurate would be 'more circular bowls' on the lower case, which is what I was trying to say in my jet lagged fog. Or maybe at least more oval, and less assymetrical.

Oh, I also see now rereading this thread that Nick Shinn already pointed out how Renner had unified his upper and lower case by keeping the curves of similar character. That is basically the same point I was trying to make.

Also looking again at your alternates, to my eyes the combination of your two story a and one story g somehow work best in this face.

thierry blancpain's picture

i cant really help you much, but i just wanted to say that i really like how this typeface looks (and evolved), im eager to see it advance more and more.

dezcom's picture

"I don’t know how I lost this topic but this typeface is wonderful as well. Where are you planning to sell this?"

Héctor,
I am in the process of preparing files for all 3 of my types (Leporello, Align, and Now) to send to some foundries to see if they have interest in selling them. If I do not get a positive response from anyone, I will sell them myself through MyFonts. Since no-one has heard of me, I assume my work will have a better distribution through an established foundry.

ChrisL

sim's picture

Chris, where did you get the Héctor feed back?

dezcom's picture

"where did you get the Héctor feed back?"

5 posts above yours.

ChrisL

Nick Shinn's picture

>Since no-one has heard of me, I assume my work will have a better distribution through an established foundry.

You mean there isn't a Dezcom foundry already?
Seriously, you would be better to publish the fonts yourself, and cut your own deal with distributors.

dezcom's picture

"You mean there isn’t a Dezcom foundry already?
Seriously, you would be better to publish the fonts yourself, and cut your own deal with distributors"

Nick,
Would it be alright if I called you and we talked about this?

ChrisL

Nick Job's picture

Chris, For some reason I can only open one of the five pdfs (No 3).
I only have Acrobat 5. Is that my problem?

I like it a lot.

dezcom's picture

"I only have Acrobat 5. Is that my problem?"

Yes. Itis in version 6, sorry.

ChrisL

Miss Tiffany's picture

Pff. Acrobat snob.

sim's picture

Am I more snob than you because I have the version 7?

; ^)

dezcom's picture

I'm sorry about my last post Nick. I was multitasking so I guess I must have sounded too kurt. When I get home, I ll see if I can save it down a level. Version 6 compresses better than 5 and I thought everyone had upgraded by now.

ChrisL

Nick Job's picture

Acrobat 7 is high up there on my list, believe me. However, doesn't everyone 'save down'? I dont think this affects compression either.

speter's picture

Chris, sorry I've not commented until now. The typeface is beautiful, and others have had very good critiques. Here's my 3 cents worth :-)

The f-ligatures don't look quite right to me. They seem somehow unbalanced. I think the f comes over a bit too far for fi, and the l seems to be leaning away from the f in fl. For the ff's, perhaps lengthen the arms?

I hate to come back to the 3, but did you carry over the corrections you made to the main 3 to the superior and inferior 3? They still look somewhat skewed to me.

dezcom's picture

Hmmmm, Let me check the sup & inf 3's. Those 3'swill bethe death ofme yet :-)

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

I have posted a new PDF at the top post with attention to Steve's comments and to others I have received offline. I also added tabular figures and the OTF feature for them now works.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Chris, as I said I thought that Nick Shinn and Carl had a valid point about the upper and lower case being different. But your latest version has really won me over. I find the more modelled bpdq with the more round o and c is charming and very readable. Good work! Looking forward to the other weights.

sim's picture

Really nice retouch you've done with the terminal of the c and the e.

dave bailey's picture

This looks beautiful, Chris. I have waited to comment on it...you've obviously been working hard on this! I see you decided to keep the little crook in the stem of the i and j...still kind of seem funky to me, but then again where would we be if all faces were the same?! I look forward to the final production of this so maybe I can get my eager hands on it!

William Berkson's picture

>nice retouch you’ve done with the terminal of the c and the e

Ah ha! so you did round the c and e, more like the o, but kept the pb with their flatter joins. Works very well.

adnix's picture

Apologies for coming to the show so late, but what's the status on this? It's lovely BTW.

dezcom's picture

David,

Thanks for asking! You may or may not have seen the threads on the bold, italic, and hairline that I posted. I have to do the italics for regular and bold before releasing. Trouble is, I keep getting ideas for other typefaces and have a bunch going at once. I am retiring from my day job in a month and should be able to devote some real time then.

http://typophile.com/nowsans

http://typophile.com/nowbold

ChrisL

adnix's picture

Yeah, I saw the Bold and Italic posts. Missed the Hairline one (sorry, that's not a bald joke). For some reason, when I type "now" in the search box, it returns 0 results. I had to search "NOW" to get anything. Weird.

Been looking for an attractive sans that has numerator figures to replace the one I have to use now at work. This looks like a contendah.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Hey Dez, 4 months until TypeCon. When is the release party? ;^)

dezcom's picture

Thanks David! I will let you know a soon as it is released.

Tiff,
I had better get it out by then or Rockstar will scold me!

ChrisL

Syndicate content Syndicate content