Font feedback

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

Post by Knut » 03 Jun 2016, 12:25

As most on this forum know by now, I'm in the process of designing a few different fonts for use in scoring applications. The work is progressing, albeit not very fast, but hopefully I'll be able to release something by the time Dorico comes along, or shortly thereafter.

I'd like to use this thread to post some samples and collect feedback up until the time of release.

I'm currently putting the finishing touches on my italic text font, Libretto. Some of you may have seen some of the initial tests posted in another thread, but here's a more comprehensive contextual sample:
Libretto test.jpg
Libretto test.jpg (641.53 KiB) Viewed 3700 times
I'll post a screenshot of the entire character set once I'm done tweaking. Any comments until then are greatly appreciated.

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odod
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Re: Font feedback

Post by odod » 03 Jun 2016, 13:28

Wooww ... it is really BEAUTIFUL !!!
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Fluffeh
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Fluffeh » 03 Jun 2016, 14:15

Amazing work, Knut!

Perhaps I am not so qualified to comment as I am still very new to to the forums but I do have some suggestions to make.

I think that the quaver flag should be wider, just a little under the width of a crotchet notehead — this is a issue I have with most common fonts. The flag should support the notehead; as a counterweight when the note is up-stemmed, and as a base when the note is down-stemmed. Currently it appears as if the note will fall over because there isn't enough width on the flag for the notehead to rest on.

I also think that the size of the accent should be reduced. The width of an accent should be a little bit wider than a crotchet notehead — perhaps around the width of a ledger line. Currently the accent is as wide as a semibreve, which I think also presents a problem when it comes to combination accents. For example, the tenuto line should be the width of a notehead. The accent in a tenuto-accent would dwarf the tenuto line at this size.

Lastly, I think there should be more space between the inner and outer spiral of the treble clef, though I believe that this topic amongst others have been discussed in a previous thread.

The next part may or may not be relevant, but there are also some engraving decisions that I would do differently.

For the commentary at the top, I think I am not qualified in the slightest to talk about the actual design of the glyphs, but I would either decrease the size or the weight of the text. The commentary pops out more than the music, but I think it should pop out equally with the actual music, if not less.

In m.1, I can't see a reason for the cautionary natural on the right-hand C on beat 5. Also, Gould implies that cautionary accidents should be full size, though I am undecided on that one.

In m.3, I would increase the horizontal width of the cross-staff slur so as to not intersect the crescendo hairpin.

In m.5–8, I would increase the vertical distance between the treble and bass staves so that the crescendo and diminuendo hairpins are at a horizontal angle.

In m.7, I would increase the gradient of the slur so as to not intersect the small bass clef.

In m.9, I would position the ties after the augmentation dots rather than in-between, as there isn't enough space between the dots to do such as like in the left-hand octaves.

In m.11, the ledger line increases the distance between the double-stemmed notes, making it inconsistent with the previous double-stemming in m.9 I would equalise it. I also don't see a reason for the cautionary sharp on the right-hand F on beat 2.

I'm looking very forward to see the rest of your font! ;)

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OCTO
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Re: Font feedback

Post by OCTO » 03 Jun 2016, 14:42

Very very nice, Knut!
Some qs:
1. will you make a roman alternative? It is highly needed. For that purpose are needed tempo and technique roman styles.
2. how did you make the font, by tweaking, scanning from manuscript or..?
3. when will you release it and what will be the price?
4. will you be able to post some musical texts (within dynamics or alone)?

p.s. Your text-example is a kind of lorum ipsem for music.

Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 03 Jun 2016, 18:06

odod wrote:Wooww ... it is really BEAUTIFUL !!!
Thank you, odod! I really appreciate that.

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John Ruggero
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Re: Font feedback

Post by John Ruggero » 03 Jun 2016, 19:14

Fluffeh, regarding several of your comments concerning the musical text, the precautionary accidentals etc., Knut is simply duplicating what may be found in the original vocal score available at:

http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnk ... spVSfr.pdf

But I do agree with you about the distance between the staves on line two and the slanting hairpins, one of which is also needlessly slanted in the original.

I agree with you about the size of the flags, as well. But this may simply be a matter of taste.

I also agree with you about the size of the accent.

But above all, I agree with you about the beauty of Knut's work and his fonts. It is stunning, and I wish the greatest success for Knut and his work.
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tisimst
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Re: Font feedback

Post by tisimst » 03 Jun 2016, 19:27

As others have mentioned, you are definitely to be congratulated, Knut! The italic font design looks very nice, but I'm inclined to agree with Fluffeh's assessment about its weight. If possible, I would recommend thinning it down. It just seems unnecessarily too black, like if I had used a "caption" optical font in place of the "display" variant, if you get what I mean.

All in all, it's a great looking set!
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Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 03 Jun 2016, 19:29

Thank you very much for your thoughts and praise, Fluffeh. Let me address each point separately.
Fluffeh wrote:I think that the quaver flag should be wider, just a little under the width of a crotchet notehead — this is a issue I have with most common fonts. The flag should support the notehead; as a counterweight when the note is up-stemmed, and as a base when the note is down-stemmed. Currently it appears as if the note will fall over because there isn't enough width on the flag for the notehead to rest on.
The flags (and the font in general) are inspired by Durand's classic house style, and their flags have a similar issue. While a recognize, after many discussions on this subject, that you are not alone in having this opinion, I personally look at it as a stylistic choice. They are particularly space efficient, which is a basic concept of my design, and I'm therefore not likely to change them at this point.
I also think that the size of the accent should be reduced. The width of an accent should be a little bit wider than a crotchet notehead — perhaps around the width of a ledger line. Currently the accent is as wide as a semibreve, which I think also presents a problem when it comes to combination accents. For example, the tenuto line should be the width of a notehead. The accent in a tenuto-accent would dwarf the tenuto line at this size.
This has been discussed at length in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=29&p=404&hilit=accent#p378, and the accents displayed here are only one of three possible stylistic choices included in the font. I've chosen them here to comply with Durand's 1st edition of the piece.
Lastly, I think there should be more space between the inner and outer spiral of the treble clef, though I believe that this topic amongst others have been discussed in a previous thread.
I think this impression may be an unfortunate result of the flattening of the JPEG image. For a pdf example of the same clef see here: download/file.php?id=750
For the commentary at the top, I think I am not qualified in the slightest to talk about the actual design of the glyphs, but I would either decrease the size or the weight of the text. The commentary pops out more than the music, but I think it should pop out equally with the actual music, if not less.
Again, I think the JPEG flattening makes it worse than it really is, but I agree with you that, ideally, the weight should be perfectly balanced between the text and the score. The problem, however, is that this particular style is designed to chiefly work for text expressions within a score, which requires a slightly bolder face than what is common for more elaborate page text. A common problem with modern musical editions, also discussed previously on this board, is the frequent choice of light and high contrasting typefaces for musical text. Unfortunately, there aren't currently a whole lot of text fonts available which are especially designed with music in mind, and this is the main reason why I've ventured into creating my own.

In time, I do hope to supply this font with a weight that is more suitable for page text, but for the time being, musical expressions is my main concern.
Gould implies that cautionary accidents should be full size, though I am undecided on that one.
Regarding all your comments on the engraving, I'll refer you to the 1st edition of this piece here:http://imslp.org/wiki/Special:ImagefromIndex/34320

As this is a font showcase, not an engraving excersise, I haven't taken it upon myself to (consciously) do anything besides copying the original engraving as closely as possible (in the short time I had this afternoon). For this reason I'd like to keep discussions on the engraving aspect of the examples to a minimum.

I will, however, break this principle for a comment on the size of the cautionary accidentals, and say that I strongly disagree with Gould on this point. Reducing the size of parenthesized accidentals has a long standing tradition in manual engraving. Such accidentals are not to influence the spacing in any way (if possible), and are therefore reduced by approximately one staff size, according to Ted Ross.

Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 03 Jun 2016, 19:48

OCTO wrote:Very very nice, Knut!
Some qs:
1. will you make a roman alternative? It is highly needed. For that purpose are needed tempo and technique roman styles.
2. how did you make the font, by tweaking, scanning from manuscript or..?
3. when will you release it and what will be the price?
4. will you be able to post some musical texts (within dynamics or alone)?

p.s. Your text-example is a kind of lorum ipsem for music.
Thanks, OCTO!

1. Yes, that is indeed the plan in the long run. If the font is well received, I imagine it will grow to contain both roman and italics of different withs, and even optical sizes. I doubt that I'll have time to create a roman style for the initial release though.

2. This has been quite an involved process with a lot of tracing and studying. Most of the current outlines have been drawn by hand within FontLab, though.

3. As implied earlier, hopefully before the end of the year. But I have no definite release date.
I haven't yet decided on the price. For the italic, I imagine it will be priced a little bit lower than the average commercially available text font style. As for the music font, I think the price will be comparable to November 2.0.

4. Sure! Given many of the comments above, that seems like a good idea. I'm having a bit of trouble finding a piece with an abundance of dynamics and expressive text, though. Any help would be appreciated.

Knut
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Re: Font feedback

Post by Knut » 03 Jun 2016, 19:51

John Ruggero wrote:Fluffeh, regarding several of your comments concerning the musical text, the precautionary accidentals etc., Knut is simply duplicating what may be found in the original vocal score available at:

http://conquest.imslp.info/files/imglnk ... spVSfr.pdf

But I do agree with you about the distance between the staves on line two and the slanting hairpins, one of which is also needlessly slanted in the original.

I agree with you about the size of the flags, as well. But this may simply be a matter of taste.

I also agree with you about the size of the accent.

But above all, I agree with you about the beauty of Knut's work and his fonts. It is stunning, and I wish the greatest success for Knut and his work.

Our posts crossed, John, so thank you for providing the link to the original.
But above all, thank you for your kind words and praise. It really means a lot to me!

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