Font feedback

Music notation symbols, fonts, font sources and font creation, SmuFL.
Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 16 Nov 2016, 06:06

OCTO wrote:Lovely!
One thing you might consider: in your music example the Roman and Italic style don't appear to have same weight.
I would compensate the Italic style by being taller, also, in music as it is with your "f molto espressivo" - I tend to have larger texting, if your is 12 pt, than try 13 pt - OR, make 12 pt to look like 13 pt.
I would definitely like to try the text in my scores when it is completed. Great job and really beautiful!
Thank you so much for your praise, OCTO!
You'll get the chance to try them, no doubt.

Your comment about the comparative italic and roman weights is interesting. I've really struggled to make the weight of those exactly the same. This is, however, contrary to common practice, as the italic style almost always is slightly thinner than the roman in conventional text fonts. With that in mind, if anything, I would expect you to perceive the roman style too be too thin compared to the italic, not the other way around. Do you still feel the italic style is too thin in the screenshot of the basic characters above?

With regard to point sizes: both 'sul tasto' and 'molto espressivo' are 13 pt. already. The fonts are a little bit higher than Times New Roman, so this should be pretty standard. If you prefer the italic to be a point or two larger than the roman, that's of course possible, but the weights then won't be even (according to my estimation) anymore. But perhaps you'd prefer the roman to be a little bit taller as well, in which case, I can try both at 14 pt. for example?

Here's a close up of all styles, with both roman and italic text increased to 14 pt:
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 07.10.43.png
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 07.10.43.png (132.23 KiB) Viewed 3634 times

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OCTO
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Re: Font feedback

Post by OCTO » 16 Nov 2016, 18:27

Can you make a test, by looking at this picture from 2m distance?
I feel that the italic is smaller than roman. Look here:
Untitled.png
Untitled.png (20.62 KiB) Viewed 3605 times
Sul tasto is very large in comparing with molto espressivo.
MAYBE: to add more space between the letters in the italic version. I feel they are a bit cramped.
Also, add some kind of power to the italic to match the roman, maybe just to enlarge the symbols?
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Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 16 Nov 2016, 19:59

OCTO wrote:Can you make a test, by looking at this picture from 2m distance?
I feel that the italic is smaller than roman. Look here:
Untitled.png
Sul tasto is very large in comparing with molto espressivo.
MAYBE: to add more space between the letters in the italic version. I feel they are a bit cramped.
Also, add some kind of power to the italic to match the roman, maybe just to enlarge the symbols?

This is really very interesting.
How about this:
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 19.45.57.png
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 19.45.57.png (18.22 KiB) Viewed 3599 times
or this:
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 19.58.39.png
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 19.58.39.png (119.08 KiB) Viewed 3599 times
or even this:
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 21.48.00.png
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 21.48.00.png (344.38 KiB) Viewed 3591 times
The italic is indeed more condensed than the roman, as is very often the case with text fonts, not least the ones used in classical plate engraving (although in these cases, the italic is often both larger and bolder than the roman, which has the opposite effect on the width, of course).

Both styles are the same hight (cross my heart), however, so I think the perception depends on which order the characters you are comparing are placed in (a line which slants to the right will seem shorter when placed to the left of a vertical line of the same hight).

I do not see the difference in weight that you do, unfortunately. In context, both styles look more or less exactly even, both on screen and in print. In reality, however, it is indeed true that the italic is thinner than the roman, which is a natural consequence of the slanting, unless you compensate for it, but doing so would result in the same uneven weight as with an earlier version of the italic showcased on this forum. This version had exactly the same line width as New Century Schoolbook Roman, but was perceived as much thicker in context by most of those who commented.

I'll consider adjusting the spacing, but I think the main reason it looks a bit cramped is that none of the characters have been kerned yet (I'll rather not do that more than once). What worries me about this is that a looser spacing will inevitably make the font seem less black, and will undoubtedly increase your perception of the italic as too light compared to the roman.

I don't mean to be dismissive; I absolutely need to consider everything you've said and do further tests before continuing the design process. Thank you for taking the time to look closely at this and sharing your perceptions! Those are invaluable.

I would be very interested to hear what other forum members think of all the issues raised by OCTO above. There might be differences in perception and taste here that is well worth considering.

Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 16 Nov 2016, 21:32

In light of OCTO's comments above, here's a comparison between different serif fonts (including Libretto) and their respective italics, to see how they compare in size and weight:
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 22.27.32.png
Skjermbilde 2016-11-16 kl. 22.27.32.png (60.34 KiB) Viewed 3588 times

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OCTO
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Re: Font feedback

Post by OCTO » 17 Nov 2016, 11:37

I like the new version much more. I would add also some very slight boldness, but that is my taste.
From the picture above your is musically the most beautiful! Great, Knut!
BTW; what is the last font?
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Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 17 Nov 2016, 12:40

OCTO wrote:I like the new version much more.
Very glad to hear it, although it almost makes me afraid to say that it actually was the same version the whole time. The eyes are easily deceived! ;)
OCTO wrote:I would add also some very slight boldness, but that is my taste.
I'm guessing you'd prefer a slightly bolder version of both the regular and the italic style?
These weights are intended for lyrics and body text, as well as expressions for those who like lighter text in the score. It's therefore, I think, not appropriate to make them bolder. I will however supply both medium and semibold weights in the end, but these need to be generated by combining the regular and bold weights, and therefore need to be done after the primary weights are completed.
OCTO wrote:From the picture above your is musically the most beautiful! Great, Knut!
BTW; what is the last font?
Thank you so much! That makes me very happy. It's also the one of the simpler designs, which I think makes a lot of difference.

The fonts in the last screenshot above are from left to right:

Times New Roman
Baskerville
ITC Century
Minion
Libretto
Palatino
Plantin
Excelsior
New Century Schoolbook
Hoefler Text
Bodoni 72
Century Old Style
Last edited by Knut on 17 Nov 2016, 21:06, edited 1 time in total.

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OCTO
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Re: Font feedback

Post by OCTO » 17 Nov 2016, 18:42

Knut wrote: OCTO wrote:
I like the new version much more.


Very glad to hear it, although it almost makes me afraid to say that it actually was the same version the whole time. The eyes are easily deceived!
Ah, you deciever!!

Did I say I want more BOOOLD?
No, kidding. Just a bit bolder italic variant. Can you try?
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Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 17 Nov 2016, 20:37

OCTO wrote:
Knut wrote: OCTO wrote:
I like the new version much more.


Very glad to hear it, although it almost makes me afraid to say that it actually was the same version the whole time. The eyes are easily deceived!
Ah, you deciever!!

Did I say I want more BOOOLD?
No, kidding. Just a bit bolder italic variant. Can you try?
Yeah, sorry about that!

As I said above, the family will include both roman and italic in medium and semibold weights. The medium, which is just a little heavier than the regular, will look something like this:
Skjermbilde 2016-11-17 kl. 21.33.00.png
Skjermbilde 2016-11-17 kl. 21.33.00.png (129.51 KiB) Viewed 3535 times
Hopefully that will suit your needs even better.

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OCTO
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Re: Font feedback

Post by OCTO » 18 Nov 2016, 03:39

That is excellent!
However I would run italics one point larger than roman in your example.
Good job, and I am looking forward to see it in vivo.
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Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 18 Nov 2016, 14:27

OCTO wrote:That is excellent!
However I would run italics one point larger than roman in your example.
Good job, and I am looking forward to see it in vivo.
Thanks!

Of course, like with all fonts, you are free to choose whatever size combinations you want. However, since the height of the characters need to be equal across styles for them to seamlessly interact on the page, I'll leave this decision to the user.

Also, since I'm a strong proponent of uniform type weights in music, I much prefer matching sizes for roman and italic. Anything else will affect the uniformity in a negative way, if only slightly so.

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