I'm early(ish) in the process of designing a font, and need some advice.

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All the vertical terminals (excluding top/bottom of stems) end with a cut at a specific angle. This is consistent throughout the font. The only place this doesn't seem to work is in the lower case 'a' and 'e':

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I'm not sure why but the 'a' and 'e' here just don't feel right. It feels a bit unnatural and awkward. If I flip the angle of the cut, it - in my opinion - looks a lot better. It looks more natural and flows easier:

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My only problem with this is my near OCD-like need for consistency. The angled terminals are now consistent across the entire font except for 2 lower case letters! So...

Am I missing something obvious with the lower case 'a' & 'e' that will make the angled terminals work the way i want?

Is my solution ok (and the problem is just that strangely over-rational corner of my brain), or is there a better solution?

  • It probably because theres so small gap if you try to make the loop smaller it might not bother you so much? But dunno... – joojaa Mar 1 '16 at 21:28
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    @ZachSaucier it's bugging me now you've pointed it out :/ – Cai Mar 1 '16 at 21:41
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    On the originals: Would the /e/ with the upslant be better if you make the curve above it a straight angle? And the left arm of the /a/ may look weird because it's so short. What if you make the upper half a bit taller and the body itself smaller? – usr2564301 Mar 1 '16 at 21:47
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    I think that perhaps the 'c' sets up a "tension" for a "opening/gap rule." The 'a' and 'e' have this gap, but don't follow the rule. So think air-gap, not end-cap. The all-caps example, the "G" doesn't seem to be consistent... – Yorik Mar 1 '16 at 22:19
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    @Yorik some very helpful points there, I'm sure you could turn that in to a decent answer :) – Cai Mar 2 '16 at 11:49

Am I missing something obvious with the lower case 'a' & 'e' that will make the angled terminals work the way i want?

If by "work the way I want" you consider them be consistent, fluent and overall make an impression then your second solution is the one to go for.


  1. First of all the first one doesn't exactly make a wow impression. As Milton Glaser once said, “There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”

  2. Secondly, I believe it's good to have some kind of a style break within one style. Think of it as disruptors in book design, flyer design, etc. In this case, it's the reversed angle on the cuts of your letters. These contribute the spirit of your typeface and brake the monotony.


As for the improvements, if you really dislike the fact that only 2 letters don't have a consistent style (though you really should not), then try implementing the reversed angle on the cuts on several more letters, maybe 2 or 3 more. Don't over-implement it. I think you should test the way the reversed angle would work on the bottom cut on the letter 'c' (maybe even on the capital 'C' as well).


Am I missing something obvious?

Yes, you are designing a typeface where the uppercase and lowercase letters belong to two different families. If you can reason and match both, the subject of the inclination will come out easily.

The uppercase is an Incise or Glyphic font family, also called the roman from the seventies, is a Sans Serif font with or without stroke modulation and a false triangular serif added at the ends, like Albertus

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It also has some Art Deco style remarkable details: condensed width and thick display strokes, contacting a virtual top and bottom lines as in the theater signs:

Kino Font

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While the lowercase letters are just a simple sans serif display family.

I think the problem is not in finding the same inclination in the terminals but making uppercase and lowercase belong to the same family.

As an example, in the capital letters there are incisions that disappear in lowercase letters, and it may be important to keep them in some way:

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But the most important thing is still knowing in depth what you are doing: an incise art deco style display font. Try to find information about them.


i think it adds rhythm to your font. i see that the hole in the "e" is not looking the same as the "a". you could do that. or you can try chopping the corner (where the letters end) and make a curve out of it. see if you like it. you can add the same inner space you have in your "d" and "b" and replacing with what you have already. im sorry if my description of the places of the letters seem a little vague but i dont remember their names :D

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