by aaronbell

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Syzygy was an attempt to create a typeface of old style characters with a high contrast between thicks & thins and attractive curves, despite the inherent limitations of fonstruct’s available blocks. The end result is a highly readable typeface — even at smaller sizes — comprised entirely of straight lines. While the astronomical definition talks about alignment, the word “syzygy” more broadly means “the union of disparate or opposing object, ideas or concepts”. Thus, the name “syzygy” is meant to reference the merger between old-style letters and a modern, computer-driven design tool — truly a meeting of opposites.


Congratulations! FontStruct Staff have deemed your FontStruction worthy of special mention. “Syzygy” is now a Top Pick.
Comment by Stephen Coles (Stewf) 17th november 2009
Excellent work...Hope we see an uppercase.
Comment by aphoria 17th november 2009
Thanks Stewf for the Top Pick!

aphoria—I started working on a capitals set, but found I couldn't create the lines I wanted with the limits on the grid and available blocks, but I should give it another shot. It would be nice to have a full alphabet.
Comment by aaronbell 17th november 2009
Wow, what you have there looks amazing. You have done the round bits really well.
Also, is there meant to be a chunk out of the r on the end?
Comment by mad 17th november 2009
Nice work - gets a 9 for now ... 10 when the Upper case is done :)
Comment by p2pnut 17th november 2009
Indeed there is not supposed to be a chunk there, I've cleaned that up. Time to give the capitals a go!
Comment by aaronbell 17th november 2009
Beautiful classic letters (made of bricks). It is the most demanding task to replicate those fine curves and proportions without having bezier tools. Syzygy: a name having many facets and intellectual debth. 10/10
Comment by Frodo7 17th november 2009
correction: depth
Comment by Frodo7 17th november 2009
I think you already know well the valiant struggle of attempting such an uppercase. Your choices: glyphs of disparate proportions (unsatisfyingly apparent with many of the capitals sporting straight diagonals), or some such four-angle grid-breaking anti-aliasing technique. You more or less have the resolution to attempt the latter, but this is rather tedious work and would void the “comprised entirely of straight lines” aspect of Syzygy. Making an extended font (for which the current diagonals are better suited) is the only other way around this.

Of course, you may happily find another solution, in which case I will more than happily eat my words. : )

Great work on the lc. The loop of your g could use a little smoothing, and the s...well s is just hard but you may find an improvement – though still a compromise – if you aim for a glyph one brick narrower. Best of luck to you!
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 17th november 2009
Thanks for the feedback. I have indeed come up against the issue of the diagonals—they were the reason I aborted my earlier attempts. That whole anti-aliasing dealio is pretty crazy and as you correctly figure, I'd rather not do something like that. I experimented with a couple different A styles, and I might try some more, but found that this slightly aliased feel to be not too bad. At smaller sizes, it isn't that noticeable... But we'll see if I can't come up with something better.

The 's' definitely needs something. I'll take a look at the 'g' too. :)

Such fun!
Comment by aaronbell 17th november 2009
Hmm, you’re right. Narrowing the s to finesse the spine comes at too great a cost if it doesn’t jibe well with the other letters. Another thought illustrated below involves an additional half-brick overshoot below the baseline. An imperfect compromise, but it looks nice and kinda sorta works out in context.

I also agree that the minimal zigzag anti-aliasing, as I would call it, works out pretty well for your A! It’s got its own pleasing ink-spread quality separate from the craziness that I depict above (if only these gridded effects could be consistently applied they would be quite stunning at all sizes). You’re totally allowed modern proportions for the capitals and they’re looking good so far!

If I may suggest: increase the size of the P’s bowl a fair amount, as well as the R’s to a slightly lesser degree. They both usually equal or exceed the larger of the B’s bowls. One more teensy suggestion: increase the stroke thickness for the 3’s lower half by one brick horizontally.

I’m excited and optimistic to see where this goes!
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 18th november 2009
SERIFS!!!!!!!!!!!1111 OMGLOLBBQ!!!!!!!!!!!!11111one!
Comment by Noah F. Ross (winty5) 8th november 2012
Nice font, way better than any of mine.
Comment by Noah F. Ross (winty5) 8th november 2012

i know no one has commented on this for about a decade but this is very cool

that w seems a *tiny* bit too wide but other than that this is 100% awesome

Comment by merrybot_v2 22nd november 2021

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