Revisiting Crimson Text

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Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 6, 2018, 5:41:09 AM3/6/18
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This week I started working on Crimson Text, a Garamond inspired text typeface.
Crimson Text (CT) is a project from Sebastian Kosch. 

The last few days the Google team, Kosch and I have spoken on what could be done on CT. 
Here you can see a discussion on GitHub on CT. https://github.com/skosch/Crimson/issues/58#issuecomment-367182295

Since the last release, Kosch has been working on another version of Crimson, Crimson Prime (CP). (The outlines of the new CP are being used in Amiri on GF.)
CP is more sharp and somewhat smoother and it is according to Kosch developed as a more contemporary version of CT. 

We have discussed how the two versions relate to each other and where they differ. Would it be an option to develop CP as a standalone project or not ? Crucial is that they should differ enough in design and purpose.

On GitHub I made a list of issues I think are needed to take CT to the next level. We also agreed on making a much wider range of weights to enable CT to become a versatile and very usable typographic tool. With this amount of intended work in the back of our head, we discussed if it might also be an idea to take the best from both designs,  CT and CP, and merge them it into one strong authoritative family.

This is the first step I will undertake this week. I will work on the letters of the word Adhesion of Hamburgerfonts and make a deck where everything is compared and explained. This will give a good insight on the initial part of the development.


Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 6, 2018, 6:20:38 AM3/6/18
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Crimson Text

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 6, 2018, 6:21:21 AM3/6/18
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Crimson Prime


Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 14, 2018, 6:55:07 PM3/14/18
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This week I have been working on the draft for the new version of Crimson. In the link below you will find my deck (presentation) with a description of my draft.

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 14, 2018, 7:11:46 PM3/14/18
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Crimson Text is a font family for book production in the tradition of beautiful oldstyle Garamond-inspired typefaces. Crimson Text has been designed by Sebastian Kosch and released on Google Fonts more than six years ago. Since then, Sebastian Kosch has been working on a new version with the work name Crimson Prime. The two type families have a lot of similarities, and differences. Both type families have some technical issues. During the assessment and the discussion that followed, the question emerged whether the type families are diverse enough to be treated as two different ones.


We decided to make a Crimson Text update that synthesises both families and merges them into a final authoritative family. Contemporary, clear, classic and rounded/open. Something a good college textbook or conservative mainstream news paper would use.


In the sample of the draft I showed, the Italic was made like the original.

If we want to stay more true to the original Garamond, I would like to suggest some other solutions.




Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 15, 2018, 11:32:58 AM3/15/18
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Somehow Sebastian tried to post a reaction, but it is still under review.
Here is a copy he send me.

======

Ah, I've been waiting for this like a kid for Christmas! Thank you Jacques, for the extensive drafts and for the thoughtful slides you put together for this mailing list.


I'll try to articulate my first impressions. Take them with a grain of salt as I obviously have some preconceptions.


*Regular:*


* I like the sturdier serifs (much needed for text sizes) and the opened-up counters. Overall I feel this is going in the right direction of more usability, especially on screen. The new balance in the glyph widths is quite satisfying.


* I'm not sure what to make of the more concave outside of the terminal serifs (e.g. top and bottom of /d). Intuitively I would have tried the opposite: straighter lines, sharper corners (more like Stempel Garamond, less like Hoefler Text). No right or wrong, just a matter of preference. Can you share your thoughts on this?


* After staring at it for a minute, I really like the new look of /a. I would consider adjusting it slightly in the direction of Prime's /a, by opening up and right-rotating the bowl a little.


* The opened counters are great, but I notice you rounded off the shoulders of /n and /h at the same time, compared to both CT and CP. To me, that's trading authority and stateliness for warmth – not a bad thing per se, but a noticeable departure from Crimson's current character, and one I'm skeptical about given the "newspapers and textbooks" audience. Was this choice inspired by anything specific?


* On the topic of open counters, do you think it might be a good idea at all to actually increase the x-height by just a smidgen, for legibility?


* The new /s makes me happy, and so does the grown-up comma! :)



*Bold:*


* Love it. Some of the same thoughts apply as for the Regular, but a huge step in the right direction as is.


* The punctuation deserves to be bigger, I agree ... maybe not quite as large though.



*Italic:*


* This is shaping up to be the italic I've always wanted. For a draft this is super promising.


* The new /s is particularly lovely.


* I like the simplicity of your first draft. The very explicit upstroke loop in your alternate version is a bit too much for my taste, although I do see that it helps balance the counterspace. What do others think?


* Again, I'm curious about the rounded-off shoulders of /h and /n.


* Perhaps another thing to try to add some calligraphic feel is to literally take the edge off the counterspace by slightly angling the feet of vertical stems, as in e.g. Lyon Text's italic.


Thanks again. Really excited to see where you'll take this!


Sebastian

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 15, 2018, 11:47:04 AM3/15/18
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This afternoon (CET) I had a chat with Sebastian. Here is a copy.

Jacques Le Bailly: Hi Sebastian. Were you in a big shock ? :)
Sebastian Kosch: Hey Jacques, I wouldn't say a big shock
Overall I think this is absolutely going in the right direction
I replied to the google groups thread yesterday with detailed comments, but I just checked and it's still "under review"
I've sent you a copy
Jacques Le Bailly: I will look into it ! I am glad I did go in the right direction and you think it is ok.
Sebastian Kosch: Well at this stage the main thing is the balanced glyph widths and opened up counters
and those are great
:)
Jacques Le Bailly: I rounded up the shoulders of the /n etc, because I wanted to emphasize the horizontal direction and introduce a more explicit stroke
Somehow trying to give it a little angular feel, as if it was cut in metal
Sebastian Kosch: You mean the transition from curve to stem is more angular now?
Jacques Le Bailly: And, like you noticed quite well, I think warmth is definitely something I was looking for.
Yes
Sebastian Kosch: You know, looking at it now, having slept over it, I already like it a bit better
Jacques Le Bailly: I send you a screenshot. Background is original CT
Sebastian Kosch: ok
Jacques Le Bailly: I could soften it a little. I f you want
Sebastian Kosch: yeah maybe try pulling out the outside of the shoulder just a tiny bit, to thicken it?
Jacques Le Bailly: For all characters I was looking for a kind of repetition.
Or lowering the tangents (straight->curve) a little. This would make the stroke diving more into the stem, like in the original;
If more weight, a really tiny mini small bit :)
Sebastian Kosch: I think it may not be the straight->curve transition that's bothering me, but rather that the shoulder seems a bit thin and slouching now
but then again I may just be imagining things
a really tiny mini small bit may already be enough
Jacques Le Bailly: Let me make a quick try.
send you a mail


Don't know. Be the judge, but somehow more weight distracts me
Sebastian Kosch: can you do me a favour? send it to my gmail.
I think you're being graylisted for a few minutes by my mailserver and I don't want to wait
Jacques Le Bailly: sure
my email sometimes gets dumped in the trash :)
Sebastian Kosch: ahh got it
ok I see what you mean
hm. give me a minute
Jacques Le Bailly: Also look at the rhythm in upper half of the x height
Sebastian Kosch: hmm so I agree that your n looks better than the "corrected" one
and yet I can't shake the feeling that it looks a little weak next to the 'esio'
as in: compare the thickness of the /s spine or the bottom left of /e
with the shoulder of /n
Jacques Le Bailly: True. But that is something I will finetune in printing proofs. At the moment I did every thing on screen.
Sebastian Kosch: Okay. Then I won't bug you about it anymore :)
Jacques Le Bailly: And there another thing you should take in account. For example, you have a lot more white space around that part in the /e. This is kinda overruling the black. Therefore it needs to be a little heavier
Sebastian Kosch: Got it
Okay, a few other questions
Jacques Le Bailly: Sure
Sebastian Kosch: I like the wider /a a lot
but I'm surprised you shrunk the bowl
Jacques Le Bailly: It is larger than in CT
Sebastian Kosch: true.
what would it be like if it were as large as in CT? Is that too big?
Jacques Le Bailly: If Garalde typefaces are the inspiration, yes
We would have to enlarge the bwol of the /e as well
Sebastian Kosch: yeah I was going to say, it looks a bit older this way. Not a bad thing
I see
Jacques Le Bailly: I send you a quick sketch with the bowl of the /a more vertical like CP


Sebastian Kosch: thank you!
Maybe it's not the rotation of the bowl but the angle of the top of it?
Jacques Le Bailly: You mean it should be more steep ?
Sebastian Kosch: a little
?
Jacques Le Bailly: I could try that
Mail


Sebastian Kosch: thanks!
I do think that works a little better with the rest of the letters
of course maybe it's just what I'm used to
Jacques Le Bailly: I will keep it in. I will make my version a temporary alternate
Sebastian Kosch: okay
for the top of the /a
is it duplicated from /n?
Jacques Le Bailly: Inspired on
Sebastian Kosch: I like it
I'm not sure if it may be too big of a change
Jacques Le Bailly: CP is as big of a change IMHO
mail


Sebastian Kosch: thanks that's interesting to see!
yeah CP is a big change too
I don't know if this is about exploring different terminal shapes, or about the fact that the top has shifted left
Jacques Le Bailly: I will make a sketch



Sebastian Kosch: of all three /a's, yours looks the best
I'm not sure about how it works well with its neighbours
In CP, the contrast and angles and ball terminal all matched those of the other letters, so it was a pretty inconspicuous letter. Now suddenly /a has more character of its own, which I guess I'm not used to :)
Jacques Le Bailly: mail
I like putting character into characters :)
Sebastian Kosch: oh god no that looks weird. Keep yours. Haha
Jacques Le Bailly: It is not bad. But different
Have a fresh look in the afternoon
Sebastian Kosch: Maybe just like 10% in that direction
Sebastian Kosch: Did you have particular inspiration for the terminal?
Jacques Le Bailly: Euh
Tried to fit in yours :)
Sebastian Kosch: Hm maybe a somewhat more conservative terminal would help
as in, a bit more circular on the outside
Jacques Le Bailly: I don't agree, but I will make a sketch
Sebastian Kosch: please do, if only to convince me I'm wrong!
Jacques Le Bailly: Mail


Sebastian Kosch: You're right, that's not it either
Jacques Le Bailly: Maybe it is fine in the new context :)
We can always change if you still think it needs to be. I just started the project :)
Sebastian Kosch: Yeah maybe I should just let you do your thing for a few weeks
until everything plays well together
Jacques Le Bailly: By then you will used to it or not at all :)
Sebastian Kosch: yes :)
the other thing is that I'm only looking at a massively blown up screenshot. I'm sure it all looks different at text sizes
Jacques Le Bailly: true
I will reduce the punctuation in the Bold a little. I think you are right there
Sebastian Kosch: ok
the italics are nice
looking at it now I think they are perhaps friendlier than they need to be
Jacques Le Bailly: I need to find a way how to bring back weight into the left lower stroke of the /n, now you don't think the calligraphic solution is less fitting.
Sebastian Kosch: what if you started the upstroke at a lower point?
Jacques Le Bailly: And I would like to have a stroke on the right upper corner of the /a. Like in my alternate, but less like a knot
I think it would make it optically even thinner
Sebastian Kosch: make what thinner?
Jacques Le Bailly: left lower stroke of the /n
Sebastian Kosch: the diagonal or the vertical?
Jacques Le Bailly: Vertical. Because now you have a small straight stroke. If you would shorten this, the inktrap would also be lower. The triangular shape would be like an optical wedge
Sebastian Kosch: I think you're going to have to show me what you mean
Jacques Le Bailly: OK
Sebastian Kosch: is slightly angling the bottom of the vertical stem an option?
Jacques Le Bailly: mail


Sebastian Kosch: I like that
the /n is great
I have no strong opinion on the vertical of /a
the second and third are both fine
Jacques Le Bailly: I am not sure about the /n yet. I would have make it wider. The counter is now a lot smaller
Sebastian Kosch: Again, what happens if you angle the bottom of the vertical stem a little?
to open up the counter
Jacques Le Bailly: Bottom corner more to the right ?
Sebastian Kosch: uhm
email!


Jacques Le Bailly: mail
That would have a lot of effect on many other characters
Sebastian Kosch: I see
Jacques Le Bailly: And make it less sturdy
Sebastian Kosch: less sturdy, but a bit more elegant
Jacques Le Bailly: I will have to think about that. Because you will loose a lot of weight
Jacques Le Bailly: And make it a lot more calligraphic
Sebastian Kosch: Personally I tend towards sharp angled corners at the expense of friendliness. That's just a personal preference though
I see what you mean
Jacques Le Bailly: I could take make the top serifs d/h a little straighter
Sebastian Kosch: I think that might be a good idea
Jacques Le Bailly: I will do that in the next round
Actually, the corners/strokes in the alternate Italics are angled ! If you want to see how it works
Sebastian Kosch: but angled the other way
more like a felt pen, less like a broad-nib. Or do you mean something else
Jacques Le Bailly: True... :)
mail


not sure...
Maybe...
Sebastian Kosch: I like that a lot. Again, personally I would go easier on the rounded corners
for a more authoritative look (newspapers and textbooks, remember)
but that's just me
do you think the counter of /n is still too small?
Jacques Le Bailly: No, because I already opened it up :)
I will also have a look at the roundness/sharpness in the next round
Sebastian Kosch: perfect
Jacques Le Bailly: How the Bold Italic will behave is important as well. I didn't get that yet. I just wanted to show you and Dave what direction I was aiming at
Sebastian Kosch: True, makes sense

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 15, 2018, 5:05:23 PM3/15/18
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I had a chat with Sebastian Kosch. He suggested we should investigate if it would be possible to make my draft less rounded.
This might enhance the authoritative look and feel of the typeface. 

I made a “experiment” of the Roman weight. Notice that the serif now have sharp corners and flat ends.


Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 16, 2018, 11:06:09 AM3/16/18
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I continued the experiment I started yesterday and implemented it on the Bold and Italic. I made some small changes to the Roman. Some round strokes were a little angular, so I now made slightly rounder and steeper.

This has been added to the presentation:
https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1owMuJz3xwXSvB_3cevZcjniWFaS-iL4qgvqlYxiI7Pk/edit?usp=sharing

I added several slides where I am comparing the new Crimson to fonts from the Google Fonts Library with similar influences and inspirations.


Sebastian Kosch

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Mar 16, 2018, 12:52:26 PM3/16/18
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Ah, I've been waiting for this like a kid for Christmas! Thank you Jacques, for the extensive drafts and for the thoughtful slides you put together for this mailing list.

I'll try to articulate my first impressions. Take them with a grain of salt as I obviously have some preconceptions.

Regular:


* I like the sturdier serifs (much needed for text sizes) and the opened-up counters. Overall I feel this is going in the right direction of more usability, especially on screen. The new balance in the glyph widths is quite satisfying.

* I'm not sure what to make of the more concave outside of the terminal serifs (e.g. top and bottom of /d). Intuitively I would have tried the opposite: straighter lines, sharper corners (more like Stempel Garamond, less like Hoefler Text). No right or wrong, just a matter of preference. Can you share your thoughts on this?

* After staring at it for a minute, I really like the new look of /a. I would consider adjusting it slightly in the direction of Prime's /a, by opening up and right-rotating the bowl a little.

* The opened counters are great, but I notice you rounded off the shoulders of /n and /h at the same time, compared to both CT and CP. To me, that's trading authority and stateliness for warmth – not a bad thing per se, but a noticeable departure from Crimson's current character, and one I'm skeptical about given the "newspapers and textbooks" audience. Was this choice inspired by anything specific?

* On the topic of open counters, do you think it might be a good idea at all to actually increase the x-height by just a smidgen, for legibility?

* The new /s makes me happy, and so does the grown-up comma!


Bold:


* Love it. Some of the same thoughts apply as for the Regular, but a huge step in the right direction as is.

* The punctuation deserves to be bigger, I agree ... maybe not quite as large though.


Italic:

* This is shaping up to be the italic I've always wanted. For a draft this is super promising.

* The new /s is particularly lovely.

* I like the simplicity of your first draft. The very explicit upstroke loop in your alternate version is a bit too much for my taste, although I do see that it helps balance the counterspace. What do others think?

* Again, I'm curious about the rounded-off shoulders of /h and /n.

* Perhaps another thing to try to add some calligraphic feel is to literally take the edge off the counterspace by slightly angling the feet of vertical stems, as in e.g. Lyon Text's italic.


Thanks again. Really excited to see where you'll take this!

Sebastian

Thomas Linard

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Mar 21, 2018, 6:22:57 AM3/21/18
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Thanks for the presentation, Jacques, very useful!

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 5:13:52 AM3/23/18
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You are welcome, Thomas !

Op woensdag 21 maart 2018 11:22:57 UTC+1 schreef Thomas Linard:

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 5:32:53 AM3/23/18
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The past few days we have discussed my draft and compared it to the original Crimson Text, Crimson Prime and several existing Google Fonts. 

My draft was well received and we decided to continue with it as a project. Like a family member of Crimson Text. 
Afterwards we will take the original Crimson Text and revise it much more subtle. Like re-spacing, kerning and small touch ups to glaring errors.

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 6:05:01 AM3/23/18
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Dave posted a remark in my presentation deck on the weight of the tail of the lowercase /a. It looks close to Spectral, when compared. 
I made some corrections on the tail of the /a. Notice I have made the lowercase /e a tick wider (not sure yet). These are small steps to see what works best.

The corrected version compared to the last draft.





The corrected version compared to Spectral.



Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 6:29:38 AM3/23/18
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Here is a screenshot of more glyphs I have been working on.


Dave Crossland

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Mar 23, 2018, 7:57:17 AM3/23/18
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Hi

Nice

The extra verve in the a tail seems like l kind of transitional almost, and like the curve in the spine of the comma could also now be more round... 

Maybe the a teardrop in regular weight could the rounder still, it's quite nice to have the high contrast form in the ExtraBold, a nonlinear interpolation with a brace/bracket glyphsapp layer?

On Fri, Mar 23, 2018, 6:29 AM Jacques Le Bailly <fonth...@gmail.com> wrote:
Here is a screenshot of more glyphs I have been working on.


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Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 8:07:50 AM3/23/18
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The extra verve in the a tail seems like l kind of transitional almost, and like the curve in the spine of the comma could also now be more round... 

You would prefer to have the tail more flat ? The problem I encountered is when taking weight away the glyph looks out of balance. I will have a second look and think about. I also tried a flat serif like in the /d, but that didn't look good.

The comma hasn't been corrected indeed. 

 
Maybe the a teardrop in regular weight could the rounder still, it's quite nice to have the high contrast form in the ExtraBold, a nonlinear interpolation with a brace/bracket glyphsapp layer?

You mean making the drop rounder ? Or the transition on the inside (left) from drop to stroke a little heavier ?

a nonlinear interpolation with a brace/bracket glyphsapp layer?
 Probably yes. But that is something I wanted to tackle further up the process.
 

Dave Crossland

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Mar 23, 2018, 8:18:19 AM3/23/18
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Hi


On Fri, Mar 23, 2018, 8:07 AM Jacques Le Bailly <fonth...@gmail.com> wrote:

The extra verve in the a tail seems like l kind of transitional almost, and like the curve in the spine of the comma could also now be more round... 

You would prefer to have the tail more flat ? The problem I encountered is when taking weight away the glyph looks out of balance. I will have a second look and think about. I also tried a flat serif like in the /d, but that didn't look good.

No I think it's good :)

The comma hasn't been corrected indeed. 

:D



 
Maybe the a teardrop in regular weight could the rounder still, it's quite nice to have the high contrast form in the ExtraBold, a nonlinear interpolation with a brace/bracket glyphsapp layer?

You mean making the drop rounder ? Or the transition on the inside (left) from drop to stroke a little heavier ?

Both, but it's surely a balance and subtle. It's just feeling a little bit crunchy right now... And I think part of what makes the rest of the design more traditional and warm (like old slippers as Gerard Unger would say ;) is the roundness. Eg eb garamond has almost no corner points, it's so extreme. 


a nonlinear interpolation with a brace/bracket glyphsapp layer?
 Probably yes. But that is something I wanted to tackle further up the process.

Sure, but for now of the regular is more round in the teardrop than the extra bold, it's ok for me :)

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 8:31:03 AM3/23/18
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No I think it's good :)

:)



Maybe the a teardrop in regular weight could the rounder still, it's quite nice to have the high contrast form in the ExtraBold, a nonlinear interpolation with a brace/bracket glyphsapp layer?

You mean making the drop rounder ? Or the transition on the inside (left) from drop to stroke a little heavier ?

Both, but it's surely a balance and subtle. It's just feeling a little bit crunchy right now... And I think part of what makes the rest of the design more traditional and warm (like old slippers as Gerard Unger would say ;) is the roundness. Eg eb garamond has almost no corner points, it's so extreme. 

I made some small changes. Maybe it is more in your direction. In the screenshot you can see different instances. Second and fifth are the masters, first and last extrapolated (300 and 800).




Sebastian Kosch

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Mar 23, 2018, 9:37:43 AM3/23/18
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Nice! I do like the thin-ness of the /a tail – not sure about the raised-pinky way it curves up though. Dave is right, it makes it look more transitional and especially with the crunchy terminal it doesn't feel like old slippers anymore. (On its own it's gorgeous, as part of Crimson I'm skeptical.)

The wider /e is probably a good idea, though I would find it easier to judge if it didn't cosy up against the /s in your sample; could you play with the sidebearings to move it a bit closer to /h for now? Maybe this is an opportunity to re-think the other round counters as well: /p looks quite wide compared to /c, for instance.

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 9:49:23 AM3/23/18
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Op 23 mrt. 2018, om 14:37 heeft 'Sebastian Kosch' via Google Fonts Discussions <googlefon...@googlegroups.com> het volgende geschreven:

Nice! I do like the thin-ness of the /a tail – not sure about the raised-pinky way it curves up though. Dave is right, it makes it look more transitional and especially with the crunchy terminal it doesn't feel like old slippers anymore. (On its own it's gorgeous, as part of Crimson I'm skeptical.)

The wider /e is probably a good idea, though I would find it easier to judge if it didn't cosy up against the /s in your sample; could you play with the sidebearings to move it a bit closer to /h for now? Maybe this is an opportunity to re-think the other round counters as well: /p looks quite wide compared to /c, for instance.

On Friday, March 23, 2018 at 8:31:03 AM UTC-4, Jacques Le Bailly wrote:

No I think it's good :)

:)



I will leave the tail of the /a as it is at the moment. We can into details, but I would prefer to concentrate on the bigger picture at the moment. Widths and spacing will probably change. No I think that spacing is globally too narrow. I first want to have enough glyphs to set some text and test it. And print it. Until now everything is being done on screen. 

/s looks look too narrow. 
Counter /p could be a few units more narrow. Now it is ≈ counter /d.
/e could be a few units more narrow.
/c a few units wider.
Etc.


Sebastian Kosch

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Mar 23, 2018, 10:03:00 AM3/23/18
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On 2018-03-23 09:49 AM, Jacques Le Bailly wrote:
>
>
>> Op 23 mrt. 2018, om 14:37 heeft 'Sebastian Kosch' via Google Fonts
>> Discussions <googlefon...@googlegroups.com
>> <mailto:googlefon...@googlegroups.com>> het volgende geschreven:
>>
>> Nice! I do like the thin-ness of the /a tail – not sure about the
>> raised-pinky way it curves up though. Dave is right, it makes it look
>> more transitional and especially with the crunchy terminal it doesn't
>> feel like old slippers anymore. (On its own it's gorgeous, as part of
>> Crimson I'm skeptical.)
>>
>> The wider /e is probably a good idea, though I would find it easier to
>> judge if it didn't cosy up against the /s in your sample; could you
>> play with the sidebearings to move it a bit closer to /h for now?
>> Maybe this is an opportunity to re-think the other round counters as
>> well: /p looks quite wide compared to /c, for instance.
>>
>> On Friday, March 23, 2018 at 8:31:03 AM UTC-4, Jacques Le Bailly wrote:
>>
>>> No I think it's good :)
>>
>> :)
>>
>>
>
> I will leave the tail of the /a as it is at the moment. We can into
> details, but I would prefer to concentrate on the bigger picture at the
> moment. Widths and spacing will probably change. No I think that spacing
> is globally too narrow. I first want to have enough glyphs to set some
> text and test it. And print it. Until now everything is being done on
> screen.

Makes sense. No rush.

> /s looks look too narrow.
> Counter /p could be a few units more narrow. Now it is ≈ counter /d.
> /e could be a few units more narrow.
> /c a few units wider.
> Etc.

Agree with all of the above :)

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Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 6:09:47 PM3/23/18
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I have been fine tuning some of the glyphs. I couldn’t let go the quest :) for a good tail for the /a.
In the screenshots you will find an alternate form (bottom) for the tail. To be honest, I think it could be a serious solution.

Notice, I have softened the drops on the /a and /c.



Sebastian Kosch

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Mar 23, 2018, 6:51:47 PM3/23/18
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If I had to chose I'd take the first. Is there are particular reason it can't just be a standard issue tail though? Curvaceous like the first, down-to-earth like the second? (Sorry for the terrible drawing, it's from an auto-trace off of your screenshot)

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Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 23, 2018, 7:00:08 PM3/23/18
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I do not oppose to a standard tail. But we wanted to loose weight or make it more distinguishable. Your solution is even more like Spectral as my original one. And it might clog in the heavy weights.

I will have a fresh look in the morning. What I like about my last proposal is that it uses a solution/serif that is already there. Kinda “simplifying" the whole. This less obstructive for the eyes while reading.

> Op 23 mrt. 2018, om 23:51 heeft 'Sebastian Kosch' via Google Fonts Discussions <googlefon...@googlegroups.com> het volgende geschreven:
>
> If I had to chose I'd take the first. Is there are particular reason it can't just be a standard issue tail though? Curvaceous like the first, down-to-earth like the second? (Sorry for the terrible drawing, it's from an auto-trace off of your screenshot)
> <agdipdgelgfjdfii.png>
>

Sebastian Kosch

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Mar 23, 2018, 9:03:21 PM3/23/18
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On 2018-03-23 07:00 PM, Jacques Le Bailly wrote:
> I do not oppose to a standard tail. But we wanted to loose weight or make it more distinguishable. Your solution is even more like Spectral as my original one. And it might clog in the heavy weights.

You're right, looking at my screen from three feet away, the second row
really is easier on the eyes. But are the sharp corner and the concavity
really necessary?

As for making it more distinguishable from Spectral:

Crimson's original raison d'être – and I should have explained this, mea
culpa! – was to fill a gap in the libre font universe: I needed an
understated serif with the straight-shooting confidence of Times and the
old-style authenticity of Garamond (and not a clone of either
obviously). A serif that, like Minion or Mercury or Tiempos or Lyon, had
an "upper class" skeleton but was very restrained on the surface. That's
why I instinctively tend to push back against new features that have too
much personality. Spectral on the other hand is very openly quirky and
frankly I really don't see much competition between the two.

Then again, often enough my intuition is wrong about what matters at
text sizes, so I don't mind getting overruled :)

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 25, 2018, 4:10:32 PM3/25/18
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Hi Sebastian,
Today I got the chance to work on a version of the tail like you suggested. I rounded the sharp edge at the bottom.

You're right, looking at my screen from three feet away, the second row really is easier on the eyes. But are the sharp corner and the concavity really necessary?

Personally I do not have a problem with the sharp edge. I also like the way it flows out of the stem.

Sebastian Kosch

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Mar 26, 2018, 8:22:35 AM3/26/18
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Thank you Jacques!

So I think it's clear we don't want #1, and I'm actually warming up to the look of #3 – it works well in the context of a whole line of text.

What I like about #2 is both that it doesn't call too much attention to itself and that it doesn't, like the sharp corner of #3, look like a heel that it's pushing off the ground with.

Do you think there's room for compromise between the two?

(Also, those other letters are really coming together. Exciting!)
Auto Generated Inline Image 1

Thomas Linard

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Mar 26, 2018, 10:13:13 AM3/26/18
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Hi,

In my opinion, this #2 is, so far, the less stranger to the shapes and angles of the other letters.

On Monday, March 26, 2018 at 2:22:35 PM UTC+2, Sebastian Kosch wrote:


Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 26, 2018, 11:06:36 AM3/26/18
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I will keep the sharp edge /a to work with. Let us make another assessment in a printing proof, so we can see how it behaves in smaller sizes (≥12 pt). #2 will be added as alternate in the proof.

Jacques Le Bailly

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Mar 27, 2018, 6:13:58 PM3/27/18
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I continued working on the lowercase. Here are some images.

Dave Crossland

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Mar 27, 2018, 6:32:50 PM3/27/18
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Looks great to me, I also preferred 'a' #2 but if that's kept as an alt for now then that's fine :)

On Tue, Mar 27, 2018, 6:13 PM Jacques Le Bailly <fonth...@baronvonfonthausen.com> wrote:
I continued working on the lowercase. Here are some images.

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