Drawing treble clefs

Music notation symbols, fonts, font sources and font creation, SmuFL.
Dan Kreider
Posts: 31
Joined: 24 Feb 2020, 19:59

Drawing treble clefs

Post by Dan Kreider »

Whatever I previously said was the hardest thing in the world, I take it back.

The hardest thing in the world is drawing a treble clef using bezier curves.

Ugh. Any tips? Suggestions?
dankreider.com

User avatar
tisimst
Posts: 367
Joined: 08 Oct 2015, 17:57
Location: UT, USA
Contact:

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by tisimst »

Not only is the Treble clef hard to draw with Bezier curves, it's the hardest, period. Keep practicing. You'll get better.

I've developed a few strategies over the years, which remain pretty consistent across styles. The one thing my "strategies" can't do for you, though, is give you a better "eye" for smooth curves. Here are a few general tips when doing font design:
  • Make all curve handles horizontal or vertical, wherever possible. There will be places where it doesn't make sense to do this.
  • Use as few on-curve points as makes sense. This will make curve-matching easier since you'll have fewer places to do it.
  • If you are struggling getting smooth transitions, try removing the troublesome on-curve point (by combining the two curves together) and then add the split the longer curve back into two. This will make for really excellent transitions, but isn't always possible.
  • Balance the handle lengths of each curve. This gives both a similar amount of control with neither dominating the curve.
  • After you like the general shape, flip the glyph upside down. This will give your eyes a chance to stop seeing the treble clef as a whole and you'll notice smaller inconsistencies that should be fixed to give it that last golden touch.
That should do for now. Good luck!

P.S. If you're willing, it might be helpful to get some feedback by posting some screenshots of the work in progress so others here can give feedback. You're always welcome to PM me as well.
Music Typeface Designer & Engraver - LilyPond | Sibelius | Finale | MuseScore | Dorico | SMuFL | Inkscape | FontForge
http://www.musictypefoundry.com

benwiggy
Posts: 486
Joined: 11 Apr 2016, 19:42

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by benwiggy »

Making a font, Dan...?

Not only is it one of the hardest, it's also one of the first things you're likely to try. Tracing the outline of a scanned image will help, though it's hard to get hi-res enough scans, given the spongey nature of ink-engraving.

teacue
Posts: 26
Joined: 19 Dec 2017, 21:23

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by teacue »

Great tips from Abraham as always ;-)

Though a beginner with designing treble clef here my tip:
study the available Fonts
Load several G-Clefs in layers of your Font program in order to compare what the font designer did.

I posted a svg (which can be loaded in a font program) of my take on Saties handwritten key in this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=339&p=8439#top

I tried there to follow Abrahams tips.
teacuemusic (Musicals)
youtube

User avatar
John Ruggero
Posts: 1761
Joined: 05 Oct 2015, 14:25
Location: Raleigh, NC USA

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by John Ruggero »

Mac mini (OS 10.8.5) with dual monitors, Kurzweil Mark 5 with M-Audio Midisport 2 x 2,
Finale 2014d with GPO 4, JW Plug-ins, SmartScore X Pro, Adobe InDesign CS4,
Inkscape .48.5 and .91, FontForge 20150526
http://www.cantilenapress.com

NorFonts
Posts: 47
Joined: 08 Jan 2021, 18:55

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by NorFonts »

Before you play it, you must sing it!
Screen Shot 2021-04-13 at 21.29.11.png
Screen Shot 2021-04-13 at 21.29.11.png (496.06 KiB) Viewed 429 times
©2021 by NorFonts.ma

Made from scratch.
Last edited by NorFonts on 14 Apr 2021, 12:49, edited 1 time in total.
Nor Eddine Bahha
https://norfonts.ma
Jazz pianist and Type Designer

"Many will call me an adventurer – and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his font design talent to prove his platitudes."

NorFonts
Posts: 47
Joined: 08 Jan 2021, 18:55

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by NorFonts »

After 10 minutes of tweaks it becomes this:
G tweacked.png
G tweacked.png (512.84 KiB) Viewed 391 times
©2021 by NorFonts.ma

I'm using FL7, maybe the process of making/tweaking it would be so quick using Glyphs application. You will need only to play with few nodes, and then balance and harmonize them to match the engraving G treble clef. The straight descending stroke could be curved anyway.
Nor Eddine Bahha
https://norfonts.ma
Jazz pianist and Type Designer

"Many will call me an adventurer – and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his font design talent to prove his platitudes."

NorFonts
Posts: 47
Joined: 08 Jan 2021, 18:55

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by NorFonts »

Adjusted inside the staff:
Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 12.11.48.png
Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 12.11.48.png (425.22 KiB) Viewed 389 times
©2021 by NorFonts.ma


Adding little weight to it:
Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 12.16.16.png
Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 12.16.16.png (435.42 KiB) Viewed 389 times
©2021 by NorFonts.ma


I don't believe that there is any fix rules for making an engraver treble clef, eyes are your judge, but Bézier is a tool that helps a lot. Maybe we could try the Golden ratio?! ;-)
Last edited by NorFonts on 14 Apr 2021, 12:22, edited 1 time in total.
Nor Eddine Bahha
https://norfonts.ma
Jazz pianist and Type Designer

"Many will call me an adventurer – and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his font design talent to prove his platitudes."

NorFonts
Posts: 47
Joined: 08 Jan 2021, 18:55

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by NorFonts »

I forgot to mention that I followed/used the same approach to design Soli and Tutti fonts. Starting from scratch is the solution, there is no need to pick another font and start tracing it, because when you cook it yourself, it gets better flavor and taste, it become orignal.
Nor Eddine Bahha
https://norfonts.ma
Jazz pianist and Type Designer

"Many will call me an adventurer – and that I am, only one of a different sort: one of those who risks his font design talent to prove his platitudes."

Dan Kreider
Posts: 31
Joined: 24 Feb 2020, 19:59

Re: Drawing treble clefs

Post by Dan Kreider »

That’s a nice treble clef...
dankreider.com

Post Reply