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Design: A closer look at Geode

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Design: A closer look at Geode

Liam Spradlin

A few days ago, when I opened Dadapixel, I also finally discussed my typeface - Geode - which I've been working on for some time now.

In the post, I gave a brief sample and a short description, but I thought it may be worth while to take a closer look, for anyone interested in the details. First, a gallery.

In my previous post, I explained that Geode - a slab serif - is made to be approachable and comfortable. It was wide open apertures and broad curves, and angles in the right places. I wanted a font that provided a smooth experience, particularly at larger sizes, and in thinner weights.

But what I'm really proud of with Geode is the details. Besides the endless revisions to each letter, there are certain rules to how Geode's letter forms are designed. 

For lowercase letters, right angles have a complementary curve on the outside. For uppercase letters, the curve is formed in the negative space, with the arc positioned in the upper left corner. I did this because I didn't want any bracketing on the serifs but I did want some kind of curved element to make things looks a little smoother and - perhaps ironically - less blocky.

Overall, Geode is inspired by Neo-grotesque slab serifs like Rockwell, but I wanted to create something that looked a little more fresh, while still retaining wide utility, because to me the important part in designing my first (complete) typeface was to make something people would be able to use. I had already designed an unreleased display face (Amonyte), but it just wasn't that satisfying, because its application was so limited.

The process of designing a complete, cohesive typeface was so much different from what I had expected. Having only observed other typefaces, and having never made my own, there were a lot of things to learn.

Geode probably went through three major revisions before I felt good about most of the designs, and after that there were endless hours of tweaking, testing, redesigning, and fundamental questions about the project and my sanity.

But I'm happy with the results so far. The next step is further refinement and getting my font distributed so others can use and (hopefully) enjoy it.

Will I make another? Almost certainly.