Astrok Outline FS

by SymbioticDesign
See also Astrok FS by SymbioticDesign.

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Astrok Outline font Copyright 2020 Doug Peters of Symbiotic Design, all rights reserved worldwide, including artistic & creative rights. Version 1.0


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This font is an attempt at creating a font that differentiates between similar characters while using the obvious restrictions of the outline connect bricks.  

As I am getting older, my extremely mild dyslexia seems to be surfacing more.  It really isn't a problem, I like to read as opposed to scanning in paragraphs of type and letting my brain sort it out.  

That is, when I read, there is a voice in my head that narrates everything, including inflections for emotions. If I am reading a novel with dialogue, every voice will be different and unique (i.e.: a female voice for women characters, that actually takes on the personality of that character). It's how I fight off the letter confusion. Unfortunately, I'm not so hot at speed reading at all. When titles, credits, and news tickers scroll along or fade out too fast to read, I get pretty dang frustrated.

Obviously, television rips off all the actors, writers, anyone who has anything to do with a film/movie or even rerun TV shows by scrolling the credits in an icon sized picture-in-picture that no one is able to read. Yeah, I'm one of those, I like to read that crap, but it is increasingly hard to do so.  I like to see who did the effects, how many companies were involved, if my family name appears anywhere, or if there are others with my first name listed. But that is yet another peeve.

Anyway, when people with dyslexia read, the letters (and numbers) sort of flip around.  A p can look like a q or a b, even a d. This is the very reason that Comic Sans has a place in society. Yes, it looks like crap on anything but cartoon balloons (and even then...), but the characters have a certain lift that gives a guy struggling with letter recognition more visual clues that individualize the strokes of each letter, assisting in understanding and reading speed.

The connect blocks are extremely limited. There are no diagonal lines and even though I have had my hand at trying to create them for the outline blocks, I have given up on the endeavor. I only have so much time to waste, after all.

Another extremely limiting factor is that I only have one set of curves. So the resulting fonts I have attempted to create using the double line (outline) blocks & theme wind-up looking boring (as this one does and will).

But the forms of the letters are there. So the challenge then, is how do I make these extremely similar forms differentiate from each other without being able to use a slightly uplifted stroke, varied curves or variable line widths?

Some of my personal experience is that the d should be harder than the b (because it has a harder sound).  So, I add hard 90 degree corners on it in spots, as opposed to the curves I use on the b.

In the long term, even though all these characters should relate to each other (as I hope they inevitably will), d, p, b & q should never look like they are flipped around mirror images of each other. No letter should be.  

Because of the lack of a second set of curves, as well as no diagonal bricks (I cannot figure out that one no matter what I try), It's hard to make the M & W. They are really very easy to make forms, but I want the em size to be held to normal font sizing rules.  I had to work to get the ex size right, because when capping off the ends of the letter x I couldn't disturb the curves of the letter blocks by cramming in straight lines, so I had to make every lowercase letter slightly taller.  That worked out, but I just think that was an unusual problem.

Anyways, I don't want any letter to match another one.  Tell me if you see anything that needs a better eye on it.

There are some characters with a trailing tail terminal, others that do not, to help differentiate letters.  Most extraneous terminals, ears, spurs, and descenders have a curved cap, while most any actual letter form end is an abrupt square cut.

I made the q with a harder right top corner than the left top corner of the p. That is a bit unusual for me, because I usually take the cues of the lowercase letter form from the capital of the same letter (and a Q is very round), but in this font I am using the hard corners on the letters which generate the harder sounds.

Comment by SymbioticDesign 30th march 2020
Comment by SymbioticDesign 31st march 2020

Crap. Struck by the evil block replacement monster, yet again.  Just when I thought I was making progress.  I'll figure it out later.  The other two fonts in this family are at the end of the stage that I am trying to finish here.

Comment by SymbioticDesign 8th april 2020

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