OH no Type Company.

Ohno Type School: N

N1

Even the most basic N has some interesting subtleties.

N2

To answer that question, we have to go back in time! Taking a look at Jenson*, we see some interesting details.

N3

Also, check out how the construction makes a discrepancy in the size of the negative spaces.

N4

The same inconsistencies between the top and bottom joints occur in sans land, and again, it results in a slightly larger bottom negative space. This always make a shape feel balanced.

N5

In really heavy designs, I love making the serifs huge, so negative space is minimized. Unfortunately, exterior-facing serifs don’t have room to grow, because bold designs require tight spacing.

N6

Now, we are on to the bedrock of type design: the lowercase n.

N7

n determines the spacing for the lowercase. In italics, the n is useful for even more letters than in romans.

N8

Just look at the ridiculous number of letters that share some anatomy with n. For this reason, some folks find italics easier for their first design.

N9

But counterspace = letterspace fails often. When type is really light, without serifs, intended for huge sizes, or all of the above, we have to space tighter. That’s when we use the three-at-a-time rule, which we’ll talk about more later. ✌

Review

  • The diagonal in N is heaviest, and the bottom space is bigger.
  • n determines spacing, and much of the alphabet.
  • Counterspace=letterspace fails on occasion.
  • French cleats are a fantastic storage system for garages and workshops. Flexible, adaptable, modular, and diy.

Next up → O.