Rob Mientjes

Weight of uppercase versus lowercase

Posted by Rob Mientjes on February 26th 2009 08:59 AM

So far, the uppercase set is of an entirely different weight than the lowercase set. I feel that the current uppercase seems like a good start for a bold weight, and that the lowercase is our focal point for the book weight (or regular or whatever). The work that is in it right now is fantastic, but inconsistent when set in small type. It feels off balance, which is a shame. Support my idea? Think I'm completely and horribly wrong? Let me know.


  • Simon Pascal Klein

    Simon Pascal Klein February 26th, 2009 @ 12:06 PM

    Nah, you noticed it too. The current design is optimised for display sizes.

  • Rob Mientjes

    Rob Mientjes February 28th, 2009 @ 01:09 PM

    All right, of course, that makes sense. I'm all for creating a display weight aside from a regular, bold and perhaps a light, and italics (which, I reckon, could do with a very new design, based on a transition letter logic – I feel I could make that work with my pointed pen). I see this font as something we shouldn't just keep open, but actively promote as a typeface for the web. I would use this with @font-face on any site, really. And that's the thing. I think it can be both a good project for open source in general and "for the internet".

  • James Puckett

    James Puckett March 1st, 2009 @ 05:42 PM

    The uppercase is supposed to be heavier than the lowercase; this is done to make the capital letters stand out against the lowercase. It’s a pretty common trait of serif faces. That’s why I drew them that way. I don’t think Simon noted it on the project home page, but this design was produced for use at very large sizes (48 points and up, although it really only starts looking good at 72!) so it’s just not going to read at smaller sizes.

    Doing a text version would be a very good idea; that’s why I provided scans of the text sizes of both the SB Fry’s and Benton’s Baskerville. Essentially someone would need to widen the lowercase slightly, bump up the x-height a little, and fill out the hairlines so that they don’t disappear. Using the existing specimens it shouldn’t be that hard to do. If Ignio is willing to donate kerning/spacing time it could probably be done quite quickly using the original spacing/kerning as a model. If someone wanted to make the a text version work at, say, six points I could then bring the two fonts into Superpolator and interpolate a series of optical weights for use at different sizes.

    And now I’m getting into stuff that would break into a new thread…

  • Simon Pascal Klein

    Simon Pascal Klein March 9th, 2009 @ 10:14 AM

    @Rob: I totally agree. I’d love to see this as a face we could promote for font linking on the web.

    @James: Sounds like a good idea. Ignio had already offered to provide his services to James Arboghast and his project though he was sharply turned down (I won’t go into it). I think when the time came Ignio would be quite approachable.

    So, do we want to keep the current version of the face optimised for display sizes and make a copy of it to edit and add to for text sizes?

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Open Baskerville is an open source project to create a digital revival of the famous ‘Baskerville’ typefaces. To be more exact, Open Baskerville is based upon Fry’s Baskerville, a Baskerville derivative created by Isaac Moore, a punchcutter who worked for John Baskerville. work. The font is to be licensed under either the SIL OFL or the GNU GPL v3.

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