Outsider Font Designing

Please try to keep all the discussions in the main forums on topic! If you have anything else, related to fonts, you want to share, please post it here!
Post Reply
William
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Worcestershire, England
Contact:

Outsider Font Designing

Post by William » Fri Mar 31, 2006 12:58 pm

In a discussion in this forum I was expressing the view that the capital I in a sans serif face can sometimes have two horizontals, though when I tried to support that view with some examples, I found that there are not as many such fonts as I had thought.

http://www.eff.co.uk/M/Ss.htm

http://www.eff.co.uk/M/P/OcaRR.htm

http://www.eff.co.uk/M/P/OcbRR.htm

http://www.eff.co.uk/M/P/SwmRR.htm

I remembered that my own Quest text, a sans serif face, has horizontals top and bottom in a capital I.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/QUESTTXT.TTF

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/quest.PDF

I had not realized until investigating the matter how different from most other sans serif designs that feature makes it! That somewhat surprised me, because that is how one writes a capital I when filing out a form with a pen, well, I have always done so, maybe it is just me and that fed through to Quest text. I then thought that maybe this is "Outsider font designing" in the same way that there is "Outsider Art".

http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibiti ... fault.shtm

Here is a link to a famous sans face where the capital I does not have horizontals.

http://www.p22.com/products/london.html

Upon later having a look at various of my fonts, most of which happen to be sans serif, I found that I have used the horizontal lines on a capital I in many fonts!

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/fonts.htm

I find this interesting, as, not having studied typographic design formally, I had ended up with a design style quite different from many famous sans serif fonts.

I am now wondering whether my fonts have any other such "outsider font designing" features which leap out when the fonts are viewed by a formally-trained typographer.

This raises an interesting line of thought. How do people who produce fonts using Font Creator decide on the letter designs?

William Overington

Dick Pape
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 1:19 pm
Location: North Dallas, Texas

Oh well. Maybe.

Post by Dick Pape » Sat Apr 01, 2006 2:57 am

Hi William -- I'm going to suggest your fonts reflect your creative genes! Forget how I might do it or how many others have done it in the past.

I believe an I with feet, arm and serif appendages feels fuller, stronger, and more substantial than a single vertical line... It is proportionally in keeping with all the other letters. I'd never do it any other way for a sans font! This may be interesting but should not guide your pencil.

What looks right to you is how it should be drawn -- not whether others would draw it the same way; otherwise you'd build another Arial or Comic Sans...

The I is only one letter. How do you draw your O? Oval, rounded, narrow, squared? Or your W? Meet at the center, crossed, stepped, or trident like? Q tails are a lot of fun: vertical, horizontal, cross the circle, sigmoid shaped, tangent, Q like a 2? G bars have choices of no bar, left bar, right bar, bar both ways. What's the shape of the dot on the lc i? Circle, square, line, diamond, triangle, no dot?

And on it goes: 52 letters, 10 numbers, 13 usual specials -- 75 characters, each with 3-4 choices. There are a great number of "standard" ways to express yourself.

Too much introspection makes you lose sight of the creative process. If it looks right for the design of your font, use it! If it's not quite right, try something else.

Keep the purpose of the font right in front of your drawing pad at all times. Inconsistent design is the bugaboo of incompetent artists!

William
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Worcestershire, England
Contact:

Post by William » Sat Apr 01, 2006 7:28 pm

Thank you for your response.

I hope that you have some of my published fonts, even all of them, in your collection.

Have you noticed the reason for the name of the 10000 font in the Format | Naming... | Advanced... | Description section?

Hopefully readers who find that information will choose to search on the web and will find information of interest to them.

A feature of many of my fonts is the ct ligature glyph, which I always map to U+E707 in the Private Use Area. That is not a standard, yet is part of my golden ligatures collection, which I started before I learned how to make fonts.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/golden.htm

The golden ligatures collection has been extended since that time in that Quest text and Chronicle Text have some other code points in use for ligatures.

The first font which I made was produced using the Alphabet Synthesis Machine and having read there of Bézier curves I wanted to be a fontmaker.

Yet this is a curious result, for it was many years ago that I first became aware of the fact that fonts (or indeed founts as they were then in England) had designers when I received a Monotype Corporation publicity item about Adrian Frutiger and his then new typeface Univers, this font being in metal type. The item also had photographs of a sculpture made of panels, shown in a garden. In those days, typefaces only came about when made in metal. However, a few years later, when using a computer graph plotter which had a lettering capability, for labelling axes and so on, I thought that the lettering seemed rather plain and tried drawing part of an alphabet directly using graph plotter commands, rather than call the lettering procedure which produced lettering in its own font from a string of capital letters. My lettering was still to be drawn with lines from the drawing pen yet was to have the look of being solid. This was no lasting project, just some fun on a few occasions and then it was gone. Since I have been making fonts I decided to try to produce that design, as best I remember it, as a TrueType font, in the hope that it would thereby be preserved and hopefully be used, perhaps in print outs from computer aided design packages where the design of the font would hopefully fit in well with an engineering or architectural drawing.

Readers might like to try to decide which of my fonts is the one about which I am writing in the above paragraph.

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~ngo/fonts.htm

William

William
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Worcestershire, England
Contact:

Post by William » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:38 am

|
Protection post
|
|
The answer to the above puzzle will hopefully be added in the next post in this thread. This post is as a protection so that if anyone is trying to fnd the answer then the answer is not displayed immediately next to the puzzle.
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|
|

William
Top Typographer
Top Typographer
Posts: 1998
Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 6:41 pm
Location: Worcestershire, England
Contact:

Post by William » Thu Aug 07, 2008 7:48 am

The font is Galileo Lettering.

The font has its own thread in the Gallery forum.

viewtopic.php?t=859

William Overington

7 August 2008

Post Reply