PlainAndSimple

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by Elementalist
Cloned from Nano OK by Elementalist. See also PlainAndSimpleSlab by Elementalist.

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Derived from Nano OK, an earlier font of mine, but with more height and less weight on the capital letters. Having more height makes some of the punctuation less cramped as well. Extends 8 pixels above the baseline and 2 pixels below it. Variable width, with most capital letters 5 blocks wide, plus 1 more for spacing, and lower-case letters varying somewhat, though they are usually slightly narrower. Numbers are unusually narrow to help tell them apart from letters, and are between the lower-case and upper-case letters in height.

Info: Created on 29th April 2017 . Last edited on 10th May 2017.
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3 Comments

• Smart design (plans for text figures?).
• Simpler uppercase than in your Nano OK.
• Sugg. clones: more serifed, bigger num.
• Incoherent .: even % (compared to ;!?).
• Legible and clean; plain and simple :-)

Comment by dpla 5th May 2017

Thanks for the feedback, dpla! I updated ':' so it matches the weight of '.', and also changed part of ';' to match the new ':'. '%' is trickier because I do want to keep this rather narrow, and I think the way I just changed it is a bit more legible (albeit heavier-weight). I'm keeping '!' and '?' with larger, below-baseline dots to distinguish them from ':' and ';', and broken-bar if I ever get around to it.

I really like your suggestions of clones. I've been using Iosevka a lot and I appreciate its two modes of sans-serif and slab-serif, so adding serifs seems natural for this. Larger numbers would be good too, as an option.

Comment by Elementalist 10th May 2017

I am (was) looking for the most efficient glyphs in Ascii too (but at a smaller scale).

• Iosevka: a quite readable typeface, indeed. I could not get the resemblance in "Nano OK", because of too much aliasing in the latter font. Now, may I unveil you drew your inspiration from Iosevka in many characters? If you need, provided the size is not too small for a clean outcome, I see you can add/clone more obvious similarities (e.g. the "@" as 5x10: "01110, 10001, 00001, 01101, 10101, 10101, 10101, 01101, 00010, 00000", before further editions).

• Punctuations: the pertience of your latest changes depend on the context, as a general rule. Without having tried myself, I think a faithful low-res version of Iosevka would either introduce too awkward ambiguities (with a preserved style), or too many noisy details (with/and a modified style). So, repeating a fine-tuning (updates to fit the model) and easy tricks (proper decay logics) should help raise the consistency. This concern is known in related pixel art, while it might be absent in vector art (non-bitmapped). Your "%" can have at least three kinds of alternates (even this limited in width), based on: dot, slash, ligature (see my simple examples). You resorted to almost the maximum size in most of your 'symbols', which makes them more legible but also less lined up (or less common, i.e. more prominent than in literature, for instance).

• I suggested the old style digits to you; instead today, I kept an experimental semi-lowercase variant… This might alleviate the final variety of heights (since your priorities were pronounced in this order: 1. UC&symb., 2. LC, 3. num.). Aware that you need smaller numerics to look seperate, I tried wider ones all the same (and non-lining), with two or three additional weights. Of course, here and again, the more variation, the less simple (a/your plain style includes many inherent and faint ambiguities that we all got used to, e.g. "CGQOD SBPRK HFE cuaqgy nhbpo rhftb 038 49 !l|I ,;:. ()O |<K ,'").

• Misc.(*):
· Was the longer crossbar in your "F" intentional? (I moved one block if yes)
· B.t.w. my longer "f" breaks the height/baseling rule too, to form a pair
· More fixed pairs (real/assimil.): "Ww" (bottom), "ij" (serif), "?!" (spacing)
· Disambiguations: ""'" (known historical catch as proportional), "-_", "`^"
· Corrected: "[]" (to match "(){}/\" height)
· Ditto: "<>" (to match "{}" vs "^"/chevrons)
· Ditto: "489" (to match the numerics weight)
· Ditto? vertical alignment (cf. blue lines)
· Etc. - quite debatable.

* Because I have to stop…
An attempt of conclusion:
• IMO, you put the clean style first, next the slower legibility. (Else you wouldn't have used e.g. i. a monospace slash/backslash in an affirmed proportional layout; ii. fancifully clashing braces; iii. a darker percent sign; iv. tall "@&#").
• If the context of your monospace alike font were mainly about programming, I'd enlarge (more) the numerics to begin with. If it were about literature, I'd enlarge the x-height at first.
• I still don't get why you need to “distinguish (more) '!' and '?' from ':' and ';'”. But I can anticipate the following ambiguities: ",! ,?" horizontally (“below-baseline dots” look a tad like commas); "'! '?" vertically (interfering pseudo-colons); "!¦" (“if you ever get around to it”). An imperfect solution if you need larger dots: doubling all their width (".:;, !? ij"), where: "." = "00 00 00 00 00 00 00 11 00 00" and "," = "00 00 00 00 00 00 00 11 01 10"; and more fancifully: "!" = "01 01 01 01 01 10 00 11 00 00" and "?" = "01110 10001 00001 00110 01000 01000 00000 01100 00000 00000".
• Sticking with at most 5 pixels wide was a big part of your difficult, yet aesthetic job. A (max) 4-px wide uppercase would cast even more effect, i.e. 'plain and simple' similarities… and ambiguities. The balance is fair as it is now. (A narrow uppercase along with pretty circles could call forth another cloning.)
• Serifs (see "iI"), spurs ("al"), tails/terminals/ears/ligatures… any ornamentation actually (if enough populated) would make your (cloned) font less simple, albeit still plain. People/users/creators can choose/download/clone your nice 5x10, so it's cool.

Comment by dpla 11th May 2017

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