Around Christmas last year, after a visit to Playtype in Copenhagen, I decided to start learning about typography design. Having read a couple of books and blogs, I decided to kick things off with a serif face. From what I read, it seemed like a good starting point, with enough scope to add some creative flair, and seeing as I was treating this as a learning exercise with no real client, it was a good chance to do anything I wanted.
As part of some of the material I read, there was a pretty much universal opinion on certain groups of letters to kick off with. Lowercase ‘n’ and ‘o’ were recommended to me, followed by ‘e’ ‘H’ and ‘O’ and the letters like ‘v’ and ‘p’. These letterforms start to create a basis for various others and you start to nail down some basic rules.
To start with, I designed a very high contrast face (see above) with really heavy serifs. After sharing this with various experienced type designers, I found that a serif of that weight would be too heavy, and that the thinest part of my type should form the basis of my serif weight, something I wouldn’t of known if I hadn’t shared my early sketches with the likes of Bruno Maag (http://www.daltonmaag.com/) and Jamie Clarke (http://blog.8faces.com/).
As a result, I began to narrow my serif, and design some of the key forms. I also learnt that it wasn’t as simple as making each letter the same width. Each one must have a slightly different approach to ensure legibility. Once I’d done that, other letters began to flow from the rules I set. The face has become quite a blocky, almost a square serif, but I feel like it has a really smart quality to it. Whilst I still have loads more work to do, I’ve started to refine the design, and its starting to inform other letters.
As suggested in feedback, ‘adhesion’ is a good word to work on refinements as it covers most bases for the various different letterforms and styles. So far, I’ve found the lowercase ‘s’ and ‘k’ pretty challenging, and really enjoyed adding flair to the ‘g’.
Its been great to work with fellow ustwobie Ben Marsh (http://www.ilikedoodles.com/) who’s been working on an ace monospace type at the same time. We’ve been using different programs and bouncing ideas off each other, its been really productive:
And thats where I am at the moment! Super exciting and a real patience game (something I really struggle with). Would love to hear your feedback so far.
Massive thanks to those I’ve contacted and took the time out to help, appreciate it!