In the third round we went more into detail. Let’s check what these results mean for the final font.
First, the majority voted for a left slanted font. As backslanted fonts are extremely rare, it’s a surprise that so many people liked it. I would rather have said it’s going to be right slanted than left slanted, as most Italic fonts are leaned to the right so people would be used to it. But obviously the exotic look of a backslanted font stroke a chord. It’s going to be especially interesting to implement that angle though I’m not sure yet if in the end there might be two fonts – one without a slant and one left slanted. Just imagine setting (and reading) a longer text. Nevertheless I fully agree that the typeface could get an outstanding character. I think it’s going to be a decision I will make during the process figuring out how well a slant works out with the rest of the decisions made by you.
Regarding the overshoot you preferred a little version. In fact there’s only a small difference between little and large as the overshoot is a parameter, that has to be optically adjusted to the rest of the typeface. Surely the extent of overshoot varies depending on the design and the designer, but 1% to 3% of the cap or c-height is typical for the capital O. Peter Karow’s Digital Formats for Typefaces recommends 3% for O and 5% for A. The goal is to achieve an optical effect of all characters being the same size.
There’s an interesting quote by Jonathan Hoefler & Tobias Frere-Jones referring to optical illusions in type design:
Typefaces are born from the struggle between rules and results. Squeezing a square about 1% helps it look more like a square; to appear the same height as a sqare, a circle must be measurably taller. The two strokes in an X aren’t the same thickness, nor are their parallel edges actually parallel; the vertical stems of a lowercase alphabet are thinner than those of its capitals; the ascender on a d isn’t the same length as the descender on a p, and so on. For the rational mind, type design can be a maddening game of drawing things differently in order to make them appear the same.
An apex is the point at the top of a character, for example the uppercase A, where the left and right strokes meet. You voted for a flat apex like most sans-serif typefaces or neo-grotesques have – think of Helvetica or Arial. It’s the most neutral choice as the sharp one gives a typeface an edgy look whereas a round apex leads to a rather playful outcome.
As in various decisions before you voted again for golden mean – in this case a medium-set crossbar. This doesn’t mean it will be set exactly half of the cap-height, but at least optically centered.
This parameter derives from computer-generated type design and the principles of a superellipse. Your choice is a normal superness though the other two possibilities could have caused a much more interesting font. Donald Knuth created the first parametrized typeface in 1977 for the typesetting of his life-work The Art of Computer Programming, which is definitely worth a read.
We closed the voting process with the last decision about the dots of the typeface. It will be especially interesting to see how square dots will work together with ball terminals (see second round).
Last but not least: Thank you for more than 40,000 single votes and your decisions – no matter if they were made from an aesthetical or more technical point of view.