lightboxer

Icon

Just another WordPress.com weblog

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

Filed under: Typography, , ,

More “Words in Their Hands”

Some more scans from “Words in their hands”.

Warehouseman

Warehouseman

WAREHOUSEMAN
not one of all the uncanny controlling-devices has even a flicker of the expressiveness of the human hand

Caster operator

Caster operator

CASTER OPERATOR
lifting that one particular ‘matrix’ (intaglio master-letter)
out of that row in the loosened matrix row

Filed under: Typography, , , , ,

Words in their hands

I just have to post some scans from a wonderful book I picked up a little while ago in a second hand bookshop. It’s called “Words in their hands” and is a limited edition book produced for “friends” of the Cambridge University Press at Christmas.

It combines beautiful photographs (and my scans really don’t do them justice) by Walter Nurnberg with quirky little descriptions by Beatrice Warde. This is the photo facing the title page:

Facing page

Facing page

And here is the illustration for the Compositor, with the epigram by Warde reading

COMPOSITOR
literally ‘touching type’ and unconsciously revealing the preciousness of what the type hands forward

Compositor

Compositor

The whole book is just wonderful. Over time I may scan some more of the pictures, which really give a sense of the artisanship that went into producing books the old-fashioned way.

Filed under: Typography, , , , ,

Project 1: Lux

One thing I’ve decided to use this blog for is to document the creation of my first typeface. Bit by bit, letter by letter, I’ll be posting updates as the font—which I’m calling “Lux”—comes along.

I’ll post everything I can, as long as it seems interesting. My aim is to document the entire process from initial sketches through to setting up kerning pairs, including all the redesigning along the way. Hopefully it’ll serve to show the evolution of an idea—for me if no one else.

As soon as Lux is getting towards usable I’ll be posting it here as a free download.

Filed under: Typography, , ,