Thursday, 28 March 2013

Progress on Font & Considerations Along The Way

Here is where I'm at so far, by simply importing EPS files in the way demonstrated before. It is now a fairly effective, functioning font, but there are certainly tweaks that need to be done to make it final:

Most of the glyphs are there, but there are some that need adding, such as the greater and less than, the @ glyph, as well as some others. Here are the problems that I have encountered up to this point whilst making Nutharc, and what I have done to resolve them:

It is clear here that the 'O' sits ever so slightly above the cap height, and under the baseline. This is to make it look visually correct, by allowing the curves to sit slightly over the defined edges that gives it an illusion of identical height. This is accomplished by simply upping the scale to 102% of normal.

This was also the case for letterforms such as Q, G and S. Basically, any characters that have rounded features.


This is a problem I rarely came across, but now and then some elements would overlap, which caused complications when exporting the font file. In some tests, the square overlap would come out white, as if the two colliding shapes were cancelling each other out. To combat this, I simply highlighted the whole character and followed Element > Remove Overlap. Simple, but solved the minor bug.



This one was a little bit tricky to work out. The Auto Kern and Auto Space feature is a little bit, well, naff to be honest - the characters came out very inconsistent (see directly below) and I didn't like the kerning values being altered when the priority should have been on the values of the side bearings.

So, I decided to 'cheat' a little bit. Just a little. I reset the kerning and spacing values I based my kerning values on Univers - the typeface I have probably used the most in the past two-and-a-half years I have been on the course. I simply copied the values over to see how they would look on my typeface, using random words to demonstrate this.

It looks okay to be honest.

I have altered some parts which I don't agree on, for example I have halved the kerning value between T and A, but if I posted all the tiny details here it would take me absolutely ages. The spacing values are based on Univers 57 Condensed, but with a few minor tweaks here and there to suit my typeface.

A quick test to demonstrate my working font so far. As far as the actual letterforms are concerned, I think the font is pretty much finished. May need some spacing alterations, but then again there are no fonts that I believe are perfectly kerned in every way.

A few more glyphs to be tweaked, a few more to be added, and I think I will wrap it up. I am quite pleased with the results. I have put the time and effort into making this font accessible, and I think it will pay off later when I apply the typeface to a range of items, and I also have a product that has the potential to be sold - so that's a huge bonus.

Nutharc - Before and After

After a couple of consistency checks, and tweaks to the letterforms, here is a comparison between the old typeface and the new, altered version:

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Alternate Characters - An Update

I noticed that some of my alternate characters look a bit, well, dull compared to the rest of my alphabet. Most notably, on this line:

I just think some of them could do with a little bit of spicing up, while I am changing the form of the regular alphabet. Here are some examples of how I think I can do this. Note that any alterations will be in red and the words are chosen at random. It could be a word I'm thinking of, part of a conversation I recently had or simply the song I was listening to at the time:

Using these changes, here are some examples of how it would work with certain words, as well as experiments with the N:

Other slight changes:

Noticing Inconsistencies Within Typeface

My typeface is based on a uniform, simple outlook of typographic design. When looking further into some of the letterforms, particularly the ones with a slanted line quality such as the Z or the N, I started to see some slight line consistencies:

The A and V look thinner than the Z and the I

Same letterform demonstrates slight line weight increase on the diagonal aspects

As a perfectionist, this annoyed me. I remembered that when producing these characters, I didn't have a set method of gaining consistency, I just did what looked consistent. I wanted to adjust this now.

Through trial and error, I found that the current grid I was working to had a 9pt width per square. Because I was working to a 2-square width, this meant that the current characters should have an 18pt line width:

Here, I tried to replicate the Z that I have now, but this time using 18pt stroke:

Before - black, left compared to after - red, right

In my opinion, it looks better now. A slight change, but one that makes the whole letterform flow better, look more consistent, and a method that can be applied to all inconsistent characters.

Fontographer 5 - Testing Out The Program

All the 'horror stories' that I have heard stems from a direct copy from illustrator vectors. Therefore, I will take a different approach. I will export every letterform in EPS form, then import it directly into the Fontographer program:

Once imported as an EPS, this is the screen that I got to. It has the outline and the anchor points clearly marked, and the sidebearings, cap height and baseline are shown clearly through guides around the letterform. The font table below is clear in which letterforms go where, and the importing process is surprisingly simple. So far so good.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Nutharc Update - Developing Numerals

Because I already had rules in place in terms of curves and weighting, it was relatively easy to develop a set of numerals. Using a grid, as usual, here are various developments I went through to reach the final numerals:

An experiment with the size of the bowls on the 8. I think the right-hand example is the happy medium between the other examples and looks closer to a stereotypical 8.

6s and 9s are a two-in-one as a 6 is a 9 rotated and vice versa. Pretty obvious really, but this demonstrates how the two numerals interact with each other.


Here are the final numerals, that I think look consistent with each other and the existing typeface.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Nutharc - Font Considerations

My typeface, Nutharc, will be used in the brief exploring the Nordic music scene. After much thought, I think it would be beneficial to make my typeface into a functioning font. It will make it much easier in the long run, along the range of work that I aim to produce. Rather than setting and individually kerning each and every letterform every single time, the font will let me simply type it out, and will let me kern it accordingly where fit.

I have a few concerns though. I have heard Fontographer 5 is a very difficult program to learn, and is complicated when transferring vectors from illustrator. Also, I only have the 26 letterforms and a few glyphs so far, so more work will have to be put into the typeface before I can make it into a functioning font.

However, I won't let this deter me, and the first point of action will be in the numerals.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

D&AD: Confirmation of Submission

An image to confirm my submission of the D&AD student awards 2013.

D&AD: Final Images & Boards

Here are my final images and boards ready to be submitted to D&AD. I have mocked up all the aspects that tell the full story, and have added short, but clear, labels to what it is I am communicating in the app.

Here are the words that I will be submitting that will accompany my images and tell the story of my project (400 Words):

Activ is a smartphone app that embraces simplicity and functionality. Circles signify interaction - attached are examples of how two of the main features work. Users will set up simple goals, and will be encouraged to engage with the app daily through features such as the pedometer. It will effectively count calories burned through day-to-day activity, such as the daily commute to work/school.

Visual Mock Ups

Towards the end of the project, I decided to try visual mock ups of other aspects of ACTIV that could act as a range. Although the actions from look very convincing, it really is a brilliant resource, I think on this occasion it doesn't add anything to the project, and the items could be perceived as an afterthought.