Jason (jcreed) wrote,

Doing some preliminary sketches for a moderately ambitious long-term project. Looks like crap right now, but that's why I use words like "sketch". The idea is to reflect some of the constraints of writing with a ball-point pen (since historically, of course, writing materials, be they a broad-nibbed pen or the stone into which letters are carved, have had such interesting consequences on how typefaces look) without being just "a handwriting font".

I'm really just laying out the more preliminary architecture of the letters. The brokenly small counters of the m and n and the gimpiness of the curves on the p and especially the q aren't going to remain. I'm not committed to monolinearity of it, and I might even change my mind and try serifs. I just want to establish for my own note-taking that the m doesn't descend all the way to the baseline in the second downstroke, that the k is open, that the right-halves of h, m, n, and r diverge from the stem early and low, that the q (because of stroke direction) has a smaller and more lachrymally-shaped bowl than the p, that the crossbar on the t is not level, etc.

I'm really excited about the ligature possibilities for this, though. ff, fi, ffl, ffi are so boring, and forget about the stodgy old st and ct ornaments. The former are just hacks around the fact that those letter groups look awful by default, and look, you know, merely good enough if ligated specially. The latter, I have no idea why people liked that ostentatious little hemicircle there. I guess it's fine for evoking 18th-century old-skoolery, but whatever.

I have in mind ligatures along the lines of one what sees in (although it's total heresy for me to pretend to compare my work to) Zapfino, where it's an art of displaying groups of characters in a positively pleasing way if you have the benefit of knowing they occur in context, one naturally flowing into the other. I have in mind letter combinations that are actually fairly common, and flow nicely. a "th" where the diagonal crossbar leaps up to the top of the h's stem, a "ti" that works the same but with a more modest slope. An "er" that elides the r's stem, a similar elision for "em" and "en".

It all looks really nice in my head anyway.
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