ExtraLard (my first face, work-in-progress)

Yet another 'my first face' thread... I've been reading about type design here for a while now and wanted to try making my own simple face.

I started out with a doodle of the A and really liked that shape, so I started making other letters based on that.

I've only got uppercase done right now, but I wanted to get some feedback before I spend more time on this.

The result is pretty okay in my own humble opinion, but of course it's no quality face. I haven't done any kerning pairs so the spacing is a bit off, and it still suffers from the 'circles appear smaller than rectangles' illusion. The letter I'm the least happy with is the 'G', which is just a mirrored 'E': I haven't found a good substitute though.

All comments welcome...


29 Dec 2003 — 6:21am

open up the counters a bit for legibility

It's been a while, but I've worked on it some more (stupid exams taking up all my time :P):


As suggested, I opened up the counters. The font is still quite fat, but now it's much more readable.

I originally started out with simple geometric shapes and fixed proportions for the letter designs, but after putting it together I started changing the shapes here and there. I've got a couple of nice lowercase letters sketched, but I don't think I could do a good full lowercase set to match this, so I'm going to keep it uppercase only (I set up proper multiple mappings so that you can type lowercase, even for accented letters).

I added the thorn and eth and various simple symbols and replaced that crappy g by a better one. It doesn't fit the rest of the letters strictly, but I think it adds some flavor, like the lowercase 'g' often does in Latin typefaces.

I decided to include the thorny sort-of-serifs on more letters to make it more consistent at the top. I got rid of the lowercase-ish 'i' because it looked really weird for accented i's.

And finally, I came up with a proper name for this font: Dacoden.

Again, any comments are much appreciated!

Frankly, this isn't my cup of tea. But I'm not here to gripe - I actually see promise in the fact that some glyph combinations are wonderful, the way they fit together. So I'd propose that you take this up a notch and create an OpenType font where alternative glyph shapes are selected depending on what they're next to - to me that's the only way to make such a design worthwhile (except as a learning exercise, perhaps). BTW, with the new FontLab adding OT wizardry isn't nearly as daunting as it sounds.


The way the glyphs fit together reminds me a bit of Wes Wilson's groovy Peace family from Font Bureau. Although your characters are much less uniform in shape. And I agree with Hrant's suggestion regarding harnessing the power of OpenType's contextual glyph substitution to make the face intelligently flexible. This type of face could really take advantage of that technology.

This was indeed mostly intended as an exercise: the only way to learn is to start doing. In fact I still have no idea if type design is my cup of tea, but so far I've had lots of fun working on Dacoden. Type is strangely addictive ;).

Anyway, to make the glyphs fit together, I don't think in fact that many alternates would be required. I don't have any idea how to do OpenType glyph substitution yet though, but it would be interesting if I could make it all work without looking awkward.

The Peace font is indeed very nice. However unlike in Peace, I wanted to stick to simple glyphs, so fitting every letter in the same enclosure like Wes Wilson has managed would be difficult (and I don't think I'm up to that sort of challenging design yet anyway).

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