Hello, all! The tip this week is all about the B!
Read on for a quick, two-check process to make sure your capital B's are balanced just right.
Take a look at the image above. Do you notice the subtle differences between the two B's? Both are the same size and weight but there is a definite difference in the balance that each one offers. The point I want to make for this week is: symmetry is not the goal.
For some just starting out, you may make discoveries of repeating shapes in your letterforms. Though some may work well, some may not -- and the capital B is often one of those.
For the first B example I simply took the first curve (bowl) that I drew and mirrored it to create the other. This simplified my process, ensured symmetry, and created a simple B shape....
So why does it look like it is leaning awkwardly?
This is due to the optical illusions certain letters carry. In most cases, the capital B will look top heavy if the following two characteristics are not considered.
Characteristic #1: In the case of the first B, the middle connection of the two curves is at exactly 50% of the height. Although it is centered, optically, it can appear top heavy and unstable.
Compare to the second B. Raising the middle bar slightly above the actual center will stabilize the overall form. Keep this change very slight unless the characteristics are intended to be exaggerated.
Characteristic #2: Raising the middle bar slightly above the center will also allow the larger bottom bowl to protrude. As seen in the examples above, the first B is symmetrical with no difference from top to bottom. The second B is visually stable and appears more proportionate, due to the two subtle changes that work together.
Do note that typefaces carry unique qualities and some characteristics may differ from the suggestions seen here. My aim is simply to pinpoint two areas for you to assess if your hand lettered B's start giving you trouble!
And that's all, folks! I hope this helps you troubleshoot any future "B" problems. If this was helpful, be sure to share it with a friend!
Happy Tuesday, all!