Last week I finished the characters with strong verticals and horizontals, “I, T, E, F” and “L”. This week I moved on to the characters with diagonals: “N, M, A, V” and “W”.

These five characters have a number of similarities tying them together, aside from their diagonal strokes.

Uppercase N

The “N” is similar in structure to the “H” with its two vertical stems. The big difference, of course, is in the diagonal instead of a horizontal stroke connecting the two.

The “N” normally has an inverse thickness to the “H”. The diagonal is the downstroke (thick) and the verticals are upstrokes (thin) on an “N”. “H” is the opposite, vertical downstrokes and a thinner crossbar. With this marker font, because of the tool and the way it’s drawn this is not the case. The verticals for “N” and “H” are the same.

In order to get counters in the “N” to be open enough to match the visual rhythm of the “H”, the “N” has to be a little wider.

Uppercase M

This one was hard for me to draw. Trying to make sure the M was somewhat condensed while at the same time getting some white space into a glyph chock full of strokes and joints with a (virually) monoline tool was difficult. Not sure I succeeded. I may have to come back to it after a while. (I feel the same about the lowercase “e”.)

In my research on protest posters, the “M” almost always had vertical stems and a vertex that did not go down to the baseline. I was happy to follow this example, as it also helped get some more negative space in there. I did not, however, point the vertex, as this wasn’t a natural outcome of writing with this tool (Sharpie® Magnum®).

Uppercase A and V

I did the uppercase “A” next, followed by the “V” which had similar issues. They had the same challenge as the lowercase “v” getting the crotch closer to the vertex, or in the case of “A” the apex, so there’s enough white space in the counter. I kept the crossbar of the “A”low for this same reason, to give the joint some room.

My biggest challenge was just getting the width to look right in comparison with the “H” and other letters. The base of the “A” and top of the “V” should be just a tiny bit wider than the “H”.

Uppercase W

The “W” should be a bit wider than the “M” in the same way that the “V” is a bit wider than “H”. So once again it was a matter of practice and finagling to get it looking right.

The “W” is also similar to the “M” in that the apex in the middle joint of the “W” should not go all the way to the cap height, just like the vertex of the diagonal strokes of the “M” don’t go down to the baseline. The counter spaces and considerations at the joints are similar.

The “W” is also similar to “V” but the strokes have to be a bit steeper than the “V” so it can be adequately condensed.

Up Next

Next week I’ll get to “K, X, Y, Z” to do the rest of the characters with diagonals. After that I’ll be making the rounds.