pilfering doesnt pay
Old favourites dont mix
Making a new typeface by blending two existing designs is simple enough. But it isnt worth the trouble. I will now show you why it isnt.
The typeface Frutiger is, in my opinion, the most beautiful sans-serif ever made. The light version seems a promising start to a new design.
A bold Franklin Gothic is quite different. To my mind, Morris Fuller Benton gave it roughness that borders on the brutal. By blending the two, we can make a new font with a look of its own. But its not a good idea. (Cross a dachshund with a St Bernard, and you get a mongrel that chases into holes in the ground to rescue mountaineers.)
Preparing the base fonts will take a while. Each design must match the other, character by character, Bézier point for Bézier point. Making sure they do calls for careful work.
The letters g in Frutiger and Franklin Gothic have different structure. Blending them wont do.
We can make a new letter g in Franklin Gothic from the letter d and the letter f, upside-down. It will blend with the letter g in Frutiger. We can now proceed.
The result: bland and flawed
At first glance, the blend doesnt look bad. But a closer look will reveal disappointing details. Here are three.
At the stem, the white countershape in the letter b looks lumpy. This is hardly surprising. One of the base fonts has a curve where the other has corners.
The inside and outside curves of the letter c have different shapes. It tapers awkwardly from thick to thin.
The letter s is too light, especially in the middle, and looks ready to fall over backwards. The shape will need more work.
Blending Frutiger and Franklin Gothic is not a quick shortcut. Preparing them takes time. And the new typeface would need a lot of work before it could be used. It doesnt have much character. After our toil, what have we got to show for it? A faceless average. Thats one drawback.
The other is this. Rendering other peoples work doesnt get you far. A blend of two existing typefaces doesnt express your ideas about your ideal sans-serif. If the new type doesnt show your own convictions, what is the point of doing all that work?
pilfering doesnt pay