Geodoni Extra Black Condensed

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by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ)

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filters: 2x2
x-height: 3 bricks (x2) = 6 grid spaces
cap, ascender height: 4 bricks, 8 grid spaces

Narrow and heavy, ultra bold Piano key designs once required fractional brick scaling to generate their distinctive slit-like counter forms while working with maximum curves. Composite stacks provide a more elegant and versatile solution to this old problem. In this way, they can be seen as an important milestone on the road toward individually scalable bricks...

Letterspacing is kept tight in this fontstruction, but still needs a great deal of manual kerning especially around all the character lacking serifs on one or both sides.

72+ initial downloads done during testing and troubleshooting. More characters to come. Enjoy, and please vote kindly. : )

Info: Created on 13th February 2011 . Last edited on 27th June 2011.
License Creative Commons
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37 Comments

Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 16th February 2011
YES!!!
Comment by Logan Thomason (xenophilius) 16th February 2011
@Xeno: :^)

The extended character set is always easier to achieve when advanced scaling uses integer values than when fractional values are used. Fractional scaling schemes also populate fontstructions with tiny flaws in the form of gaps and notches, even where they are cleverly hidden in the best case.

So thank you, Mr. Meek, for the holiday gift. Even small doors can open to big worlds of new possibility!
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 16th February 2011
Congratulations! FontStruct Staff have deemed your FontStruction worthy of special mention. “Geodoni Extra Black Condensed” is now a Top Pick.
Comment by Rob Meek (meek) 16th February 2011
That x is to die for! In fact all of it. It all hangs together with such economy and style, well deserving of a top pick.

There is still life left in the "vanilla" Fontstruct method.
Comment by intaglio 16th February 2011
Fantastic! Another great work from a great fontstructor.
10/10 for this one.;)
Comment by naveenchandru 16th February 2011
@intaglio: what is "vanilla" fontstruct method?
Comment by naveenchandru 16th February 2011
Well, for me, it's not being seduced by the thrills of the scaling method, in which there's the crushing absence of the make composite function. Not to mention spacing issues being twice as tricky.

Vanilla is also not making use of a super-huge grid to achieve mock-bezier effects. (Pause while own trumpet is blown.) I believe I was one of the first 'Structors to fake curves in this way. And what a nightmare it was; the software wasn't really up to it at the time. So that's a somewhat dubious claim to fame.

So for better or worse, I've joined the tortured holy order of the unadorned brickspace: using only real curves or a modified octagonal approach as a shorthand for curves. Vanilla.

By hook or by by crook I'm going to get a believable s out of five bricks x-height if it kills me. It probably will.
Comment by intaglio 16th February 2011
Actually, will.i.ૐ has achieved that fabled creature. I haven't downloaded the file to have a looksee but it seems to me that his lower-case s is a marvel of economy and elegance. Now that's fontstructing.
Comment by intaglio 16th February 2011
@intaglio:Yes. I got it. I can see that your recent works are of Vanilla fontstruct method.
Comment by naveenchandru 16th February 2011
A work of genius, and love, with a truly deep understanding of the medium!

Just one small note: I had to clone it because I was puzzled about the main gliph-struct, and i noticed that in some letters (e.g. A and H) the right serif at the bottom of the left stem has a small bracket made with a macaroni brick (very nice detail indeed) but the serif is not straight along the baseline, as if an half- or quarter-brick is missing: was that intended?

For sure the image below is clearer than my clumsy description.
Comment by Em42 16th February 2011
If there was such a notification as, 'User X cloned this fontstruction on Date, Time', User will.i.om would certainly be the one receiving the most of such notifications. For a reason, of course.
Comment by thalamic 16th February 2011
That's the way... I like it, aaaaha!
Superb font, master!
Comment by elmoyenique 16th February 2011
Love this...some very creative and clever fontstructing going on here that most are never going to notice.
Comment by aphoria 16th February 2011
Lots of smiles to share. Thanks guys!

@Em42: Nice catch! Really, i needed to go back and review all the instances of bracketing because my initial publishing had a rather scattershot execution of that beloved but bungled detail!

A very large part of the huge download count came from troubleshooting some software glitches at the very end of my fontstructing process. I was tracking down these invisible bricks that caused unpredictable output from the fontmortar, but could rarely be viewed or otherwise accessed in the fontstructor. I tried all kinds of reconstruction techniques, and once that was all sorted out I failed to regain my focus on several of these minuscule but very important details of the serif design as well as a couple other bricks that straight up vanished or were otherwise omitted.

So thanks for offering your careful attention and encouraging me to revisit them. My mistake shows me the importance of a more thorough review of each glyph before publishing (with and without outlines turned on).

Continuing with intaglio’s culinary allusion, it pleases me to no end that a true iron chef such as yourself of this “vanilla” school of fontstructing takes such interest and appreciates the beauty of my achievement in these design schemata. I think cloning at this time will reveal a more consistent execution throughout the fontstruction, thanks in large part to you. : )

@intaglio: Thanks, my friend! I wouldn’t exactly call my fontstructing endeavors “vanilla”, but I like the nomenclature and analysis you offer! It was for the possibilities opened up for all the different approaches you name (and the blurred line between them) that i diligently kept pursuing the once only dreamed boolean AND feature to the radical if impatient eventual solution of isolating the brickstacking glitch, and I think this salad-day memory most fittingly captures what I have intended in my work here.

So much of your recent works from zingaling on are also favorites of mine. You keep on whipping up these tasty tiny grid treats! I respect your tireless pursuit of a unique and charming interpretation of brush- and pen-like ductus using grids of all sizes. You’ve taken this further than anyone here!

Fs Kronos has an s five grid spaces tall and achieves that with 2:2 filtering (so is 2.5 bricks tall). Geodoni Extra Black Condensed also uses 2:2 filtering and has an x-height of six grid spaces (three bricks tall). Do you want to create an s that is 5 bricks tall in the sense that, with 2:2 filters turned on, it would occupy 10 vertical grid spaces?

@naveenchandru: Thanks for inspiring a lively dialog and enjoying all my work! ;)

@thalamic: Haha, I like how you write my name. So much better than the will.i.30s going around ; ) Thanks for understanding and appreciating why I make my fontstructions cloneable. It is not so much for inspiring derivative works, though they can be awesome too, but for empowering other fontstructors with my unknown techniques. I don’t do a good job of documenting and translating, so I guess speaking fluent fs-ese is the price of admission.

@elmoyenique: :D you make me want to get up and dance!

@aphoria: Hmm, I do have a habit of hiding my most radical ideas in plain sight. But I am not sure I totally follow you. What exactly do you mean, if you don’t mind me asking? Thanks for the love! <3 ( :
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 17th February 2011
Hmm... was the Bold tag left open on purpose? Here, I've closed it:
If you want it back, all you have to do is add another open bold tag... I thought it might have been an analogy for the boldness of the font.
Comment by Logan Thomason (xenophilius) 17th February 2011
I edited the comment live to fix the formatting errors soon after publishing my comment, but you must have loaded it somehow before I did that! Thanks for helping me out again in this way!

P.S. OMG, I just realized you meant the unclosed bold tag in the DESCRIPTION. When I am logged in, the html doesn’t actually load in the description, so I never noticed my mistake. ¡<.<
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 17th February 2011
Awesome!
I was wondering: What is the big word in the sample? The hidden one in the background.
…ndglo…
Handglove?!
Comment by Tylo 17th February 2011
sweet sweet.
i got nothing to say,that hasn't already been said. wonderful
Comment by kix 17th February 2011
I've been studying your techniques as close as I can, but I still can't figure out how you've made some of those insane composites! lol they are just amazing. How do you do them? Is it just trial and error to make them? Or through your many works do you just know how each composite will turn out?
Comment by Ken Bruce (crispycraker) 17th February 2011
@will.i.ૐ I meant that as the highest compliment...the subtle use of composites and stacking that many fly-by users will never appreciate.
Comment by aphoria 17th February 2011
This is so wonderfull
Bravo I love this font
Comment by Michel Troy ~UrbanPixel~ (Upixel) 21st February 2011
Fantabulous. 10/10.
But I have to suggest to change the N back to the original form. the current slant is way too thin.
Comment by BanjoZebra 13th June 2011
I'm with BZ. But i think this is not only a question of thinness of the slant. The precedent sort of high lowercase fitted better with the M and the overall sensation. It seemed you personally challenged this incredible diagonal, and you succeeded for sure, but the new glyph is completely out of the set, in my humble opinion. Unless it is just for now a transitional state to some new option you prepare...
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 13th June 2011
Wow, good eagle eyes, guys! I doubted anyone would notice before I could nail things down, so I left my modifications in a transitional state, such as neurone suggests. The motivating factor was beginning to add some Cyrillic capitals – I can’t fudge И like I can N.

Still, I largely agree. That capital form of N (from И) failed to mesh well, especially with the legacy lowercasey M. I tried a few capital forms of N and M upon first building the font, and, if I remember correctly, the lack of stackable composites at the time ensured it to be a fools errand.

So I felt like I was taking the easy way out for M/N, no matter how well it fits the style. I still believe there are more polished solutions possible – likely they involve reversing, or at least balancing, the extreme stroke contrast that BZ points out.

Stay tuned, and keep those eyes peeled! 8 )
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 13th June 2011
I still don't love the N and M. I liked 'em in the lowercase form, I'd keep it like that.
Comment by BanjoZebra 17th June 2011
The M and N still absolutely do not fit with Geodoni. Why change the old ones anyway. BUT... I think these new ones could open the way for a more distorted, crazy new font, far from the "classical modern" style of Geodoni. A new style in which typefaces would be like if they had the nose ruined after severe boxing ( that's what their dysproportional drawing evokes to me, they're injured, when all the others are healthy)
Comment by Abneurone Fluid Types 17th June 2011
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 17th June 2011
It’s true that these angular forms with their rugged chopped vertices and dramatic ink traps do not fully jibe with the more rounded scheme established by the other latin capitals. But, as I explained above, I am working out Cyrillics and think I need the angular forms there. It is more convenient, if backward, for me to test out characters like “И” and “М” by testing out their latin relatives. I keep the originals as alternates until I am ready to swap them back in. So, under fontstruction... =)

I liked your boxing analogy enough to make the humorous sample to point out, yes indeed angular “M” is a scrappy contender. But what a contender! ;)
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 18th June 2011
i liked the first "M", it looks round and it looks the same with other letters. The block "M" was so angular i think
Comment by Adien Gunarta (Adien Gunarta) 18th June 2011
Here's a few more variations, that may help, but no doubt you have already thought of.
Comment by djnippa 18th June 2011
I think the only way to resolve this dilemma, would be to use FontLab Studio to iron out the creases. Here are the results using Fontlab. I also had to tweak the kerning, as it's all over the place. I still think I refer the capital 'Y' you developed as the Yen character.
Comment by djnippa 18th June 2011
A few more with slightly wider vertical stems on the M's to match the width of the vertical block.
Comment by djnippa 18th June 2011
Hey DJ Nippa!

Thanks for all the creative input, my friend. I have been away from my computer, celebrating my mom’s birthday, so it’s taken me a minute to see these images. They are awesome.

Especially, the last round (my favorite is the very last M), you show how a few subtle tweaks to the fontmortar’s output can make all the difference between a successful glyph, in the scheme of things, and a close-but-no-cigar failure. Your trapping refinements demonstrate the visual balance I wanted but could not attain; greater still is the harmony achieved by a slightly wider M. Hmm, maybe I can get pretty close to that character width with the composites on hand. I think I tried that approach and ruled it out for some reason or another. You show it is the correct approach.

I agree with you assessment of the Y. It was one of the revisions I imagined myself getting around to at some point.

Testing the limits of the strictly brick-based system is interesting enough. But you teach me again that the deal is taking these modular fontstructions and deriving real fonts by making necessary optical corrections (and adding vastly needed kerning pairs and letter-width adjustments). Thanks again for encouraging me.

Now I just need to fix the X11 install on my system and get FontLab up and running! :)
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 19th June 2011
Correction: I read that wrong. Yes, I should get FontLab Studio...I was talking about FontForge. Free and open source are nice (for a somewhat stingy, broke bloke like myself) but I guess my difficulties even getting the damn thing running show that I get what I pay for!
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 19th June 2011
I'm glad you approve.
I find I design in Fontstruct, then tweak the results in FontLab & Illustrator. It certainly stops all the headaches and frustrations. Ultimately is ensures a much more satisfying professional and usable end product.

It is possible to make the M wider on Fontstruct, as I tried it three days ago. However the kerning was off balance, and Fontlab came a calling.

I have designed several fonts this way, and am building quite a library. All ready to send to Font Houses in the hope of selling a few of them, the remainder will go on MyFonts.
You are very skilled and creative, but seem less financially driven than I am.
I hope my comments will change this, and lead you up the path of perfect font making, with a full family of weights, being used internationally, and with some financial reward to pay for your hobby....... and also a decent Font editing software program. :-)
Comment by djnippa 19th June 2011
>> ...with some financial reward to pay for your hobby...

You are not alone in offering me this advice. My girlfriend says the same thing. :-)

Though she uses the word “obsession” in place of “hobby.” ;-)

Seriously, thanks for recognizing my talents and encouraging me to properly realize them.
Comment by William Leverette (will.i.ૐ) 20th June 2011

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