I will share a bit of the frustration and the fussiness included in the process of designing a specific letter or glyph. The process involves a lot of observing: looking at other typefaces, checking what was done. Expanding also to typefaces that are not in the same category as the one we’re designing, perhaps some interesting feature will be relevant. The observation part does not end while moving to the actual design, it is a back and forth process. But while starting to design, we are experimenting. How far can we go? How interesting can we make this glyph without making it a joke? Can our typeface’s style carry bravely the new feature? And after being so brave (and for some people before) we start relaxing, refining and finding a proper balance.
Some glyphs are coming more naturally. They may fit easily to the typeface’s style or they are just simple enough (although those so-called simple ones are causing the most challenges). But others, are just a nerve wracking.
But let’s discuss the letter we gathered here for: the letter g!
Some tryouts to make the ‘g’ more harmonised with my typeface. I have short ascenders and descenders and large counters — I needed something more open, so the letter wouldn’t look cramped.
|This is how the ‘g’ looked after the changes. Not too amazing, but okay. Then, I got a feedback from Gerry Leonidas that the 'g' looks too generic and could fit any typeface. I cannot talk enough about the importance of feedback. When you are so into what you are doing, it is essential to ask other people for their opinion.
|More finer adjustments: first change is adding more weight, so it would work with the other characters of the type.
|I was quite happy with it, but after Gerard Unger’s feedback, I made some more changes. I already mentioned how changing the g’s ‘ear’ can create a whole different feeling, here are other attempts for it — sometimes it looks happy, and sometimes more serious.
|So for now, and it might still change — this is my g!