In the process of designing my Snellen Eye Chart typographical posters, I came across the Snellen font by Andrew Howlett. I wasn't happy with all the letters, so I made attempts at giving the font an update.
Not being a font designer, I will likely get myself into trouble.
While making my Snellen chart series, I entered the rabbit hole of optotype fonts ... and I can't get out!
The charts don't necessarily use the latest version of my Snellen font design, which fluctuates as my mood about some of the letters changes.
The optotype requirement is that letters be designed on a 5 × 5 grid, and have constant stroke width. This means that both lower and upper case letters need to share the grid and stroke. To stay compatible with the eyechart paradigm, letters should be as obvious as possible.
Lorrie Frear's article What are Optotypes? Eye Charts in Focus is a great read about optotypes and eye charts.
The uppercase letter design uses Herman Snellen's original chart as inspiration.
I have modified the design by Andrew Howlett (see below) for some letters. All the changes are relatively minor: more serifs and consistent stroke width for bars on R and K.
The lowercase characters should be considered experimental.
The progress of my redesign is shown below. I would greatly appreciate feedback and suggestions!
The distribution contains both Andrew's version and my redesign.
v7.1 4-jun-2018 — Download Snellen optotype font
Tidied all letter forms with Fontlab 6.
Fixed g and e. Thanks to Makeesha Fisher for suggestions.
Adjusted serifs on f, j, l, o, t to extend the full width of the grid. Added a lot more symbols.
Added lowercase, digits and symbols.
I'm exploring the lowercase characters. I don't know what I want to do with them. Make this into a more standard font in which lowercase letters are smaller, so that letters can fit their roles clearly when text is set in sentence case, or fill out the full optotype grid.
Flushed out some inconsistencies in the uppercase characters. Added serifs to more letters.
Now all the letters occuppy the full 5 × 5 grid, including the I, whose serifs were widened to allow this. While this new uppercase I isn't as pretty as the old one, it makes the entire typeface more consistent to its optotype roots.
Still struggling with the G. In the original version, the descending stroke was cut off in the middle of a grid, which I didn't like.
The S has been fixed—thanks to Elanor Lutz for feedback.
I've color coded the characters slightly differently, drawing attention to ones that I feel need more thought.
The lowercase characters aren't color coded (yet) because ... most of them need help. Primarily, I'm vacillating between making them fill the full size of the 5 × 5 square, just like the uppercase characters, and keeping them confined to a 4 × 4 square, which incurs loss of legibility. If I make the letters the same size, it will be impossible to distinguish lowercase and uppercase characters some cases (e.g. c, i). Perhaps this is desired?
First attempt at lowercase characters.
I've previously taken a more fine-art approach to cover design, such for those of Nature, Genome Research and Trends in Genetics. I've used microscopy images to create a cover for PNAS—the one that made biology look like astrophysics—and thought that this is kind of material I'd start with for the MCS cover.
A map of the nearby superclusters and voids in the Unvierse.
By "nearby" I mean within 6,000 million light-years.
It was now time to design my first ... pair of socks.
In collaboration with Flux Socks, the design features the colors and relative thicknesses of Rogue olympic weightlifting plates. The first four plates in the stack are the 55, 45, 35, and 25 competition plates. The top 4 plates are the 10, 5, 2.5 and 1.25 lb change plates.
The perceived weight of each sock is 178.75 lb and 357.5 lb for the pair.
The actual weight is much less.
Find patterns behind gene expression and disease.
Expression, correlation and network module membership of 11,000+ genes and 5 psychiatric disorders in about 6" x 7" on a single page.
Design tip: Stay calm.
Gandal M.J. et al. Shared Molecular Neuropathology Across Major Psychiatric Disorders Parallels Polygenic Overlap Science 359 693–697 (2018)