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Lux – a

So I’m finally making some progress on my typeface project. I’ve decided, wisely or not, to start with the lowercase a—a tricky letter if my sources are to be believed. Why? Because it seems to me to be one of the letters that is crucial to setting the tone and character of a typeface.

I knew that I wanted a typeface with an old style feel, so I started by playing around with a calligraphy pen to get a feel for the shapes and angles.

IMG_0002

I liked the thick-thin contrast, but clearly that would have to be toned down a bit for a usable text face. I also liked the spiky tail and the sharp angle at the top. Time to start doodling in the Moleskine:
IMG_0003
Hmm. Not great, but I think I know where I’m trying to go—just my drawing skills letting me down.

Next I took the last sketch, scanned it in and starting smoothing it out in the Gimp. When I was reasonable happy I autotraced it in Illustrator, then imported it into Typetool for some tinkering.

Having spent the next week moving editing points backwards and forwards I fear this is going to take the rest of my life to get right. Oh well. Here is my latest effort, still very very rough:
Luxa08March097

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Filed under: Typography, , ,

2 Responses

  1. Geoff says:

    Stephen,
    This ‘a’ looks great. I hope you’ll make the finished product available. (And are you going a-z or vowels, then consenants? And all lower, then upper, or upper case ‘A’ next?)

    Time for an update here?

    …Geoff

  2. lightboxer says:

    Thanks Geoff. Guess what – still fiddling things backwards and forwards. Got some more of the lower case kinda done (o,n,h,l) and then decided the weight and shape was all wrong.

    I’ll try to post some progress reports soon!

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