Published: 3rd September, 2011
Last edited: 14th September, 2011
Created: 10th February, 2010
This fontstruction was started a long time ago. Yesterday, being bored (or something), I randomly clicked on page 7 of My FontStructions and found this. Being bored (or something), I clicked Edit.
Back in February 2010, I was able to take this fs only so far and came to a halt owing to geometry and FontStructor limitations. Those limitations, for the most part, seemed to have disappeared in the intervening time. I must've felt encouraged as I've been working on this fs all day today. As it turns out, when you work on something long enough, something will emerge. Et voilà. (I jest. ;)
Oh the soap box syndrome!
Visual aesthetics require two elements, namely, art and design. Let's examine each, shall we, the better to understand whence this came from and to what purpose.
Art has as many meanings as there are people giving them. For me, art is that visual that appeals to one, the stress being on 'one', and serves no practical purpose. Design, on the other hand, by definition*, must serve some purpose, must be reasonably attractive to those for who it is intended, and must stay within the limitation (whether explicit or implicit) of all that is (or will be) involved.
This and every other fontstruction, being visual in nature, has an element of art in it. Keeping the above art definition in mind, and as far as this fs is concerned, the art was my personal aspiration to try to do a diagonal stem of the A and the M and have the rest of the letters in such formation so that they fit like a glove with the A and M (without any effort on the user's part — but that jumps ahead to design). The February 2010 version of the FontStructor allowed me to achieve that very well. The art part was a start (yes, sorry, I couldn't resist the rhyme).
In my experience, any visual thing, no matter how simple or complex; no matter how involved or not; how unique or generic; how &c. and &c. may be termed art as if any one person appreciates it, it is art, albeit to that person only. So, I am satisfied how this fs looks, so the art is done. Also as per my personal experience, design is a much harder, difficult, involved element of getting something done right that also requires appropriate technical know-how to see it to fruition. The February 2010 version of the FontStructor did not allow the 'fit like a glove without user intervention' part. This morning when I started working on this fs, the September 2011 version of the FontStructor allowed me to do almost all that I wanted it to. (I say 'almost' because there were one or two custom bricks I required that I was unable to achieve, quite possibly due to my own inability).
The design confine [—if art gets a rhyme, so shall design—], with every letter overlapping just so, required quite a lot of geometric manipulation (not particularly apparent) to make sure any two letters fitted in properly. It got tedious quick fast in-a-hurry typing out manual kerning pairs (AM, ST, &c.). I had to type out all kerning pairs (AB, AC…RI, RJ, RK…SM, SN, SO…VS, VT, VY…ZZ…&c.) in Word (utilizing handy Replace functionality to speed kerning pair creation) and test every possible pair (even ones that are likely never to be used in reality—QK, for instance).
This being a design exercise, there had to be a purpose. My thinking was, staying within the limitations created by the art part, the font should work as an instant logo delivery system. Type a word in fs Instant—and, hey presto!, Logo (a gogo). It’s up to you to decide if I succeeded.