Refining Abolition

When Abolition was created, I’d just jumped off the diving board of graphic design and into the waters of type design. I was like a little kid learning to swim and as I look back on the original design, it shows. Nowadays, the water is slowly getting more comfortable as I’m finding my way around. With what I've learned, I wanted to spend some time refining that release. What follows are the more significant changes made to Abolition. I hope they serve you well as I’m much more satisfied with where it’s at now. If you’re not interested in these little intricate details, you can scroll to the bottom of the post to find out how to get the updated version.

1. Thinner horizontal strokes

As a graphic designer creating a typeface, I focused on making sure everything lined up and was mathematically correct. What I didn't realize is type design is more about look and feel. One of these look-and-feel things is the necessity of horizontal strokes being thinner than vertical strokes (unless you’re doing reversed contrast). These thinner horizontals actually make the letters look optically correct. The new version has much better overall feel and flow because of this simple correction.

2. Correction to overall color

As you can see in the above example, the overall color and feel of the bottom type is much more uniform. The top string has dark or heavy spots of color in the A, M, N, and V. Blur your eyes, they tend to become more noticeable that way. These have all been addressed so that words and headlines can flow more seamlessly. This hits that same note of look-and-feel that I'm learning.

3. Larger side angles

Both the outside and inside angles of glyphs have been increased to improve recognition of letterforms... or maybe it’s just because I like the look better. At medium sizes, those old inside angles seemed like they just didn't want to commit to the curve enough.

4. Tuning letters, numbers, punctuation, symbols, and accents

Every single glyph in this typeface was updated in some way. Some needed minor fixes like a slightly shorter width; whereas, others needed a complete overhaul. I wanted to make sure everything fit together well. I’m slowly learning type design is more about comprehensively creating a vast system that works well no matter what glyph combinations are thrown at it. It's gotta be bullet proof.

5. Improved side-bearings and kerning

The left and right side bearings of characters were all revisited to increase legibility. This basically means the negative space between different glyphs ands words was reworked for better sentence flow. Kerning updates and additions were also made as some areas were too tight while others were lacking in the original.

6. Additional styles

To continue the theme going on with Bourbon, Gin, and Prohibition, new styles like the Rough and Lines were added in. I also adapted the old "Round" style into more of the Soft style with softer edges on the outside while keeping the insides of glyphs clean and simple to retain legibility. I also added in a brand new Round style that fully rounds the corners of glyphs and kills the inner chamfering to clean it up. All these styles were included to suit different design needs. Each one has a corresponding 10° oblique version with minor visual corrections here and there.

Alright already, now where can I get this update?

If you’ve already purchased Abolition, you can get the updated version for free by logging in and re-downloading it through the site where you purchased it:

It’s probably a good idea to uninstall the old files before installing the new ones. There you have it, a little inside look at a typeface I hope can be extremely useful to you now and later on. If you, haven't picked Abolition up yet, you can check it out over here.

abolition, design, type

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