Quikscript Sans, a sans-serif font for the Quikscript alphabet

Just over a year ago from today, I discovered Quikscript, a minimalist phonetic alphabet for English that was designed by the British designer Kingsley Read. (Quikscript was a revised edition of an earlier and more famous script also by Read, called Shavian.) Quikscript’s most notable feature is that each letter can be written with a single stroke, and some letters can be written together without lifting the pen up, reducing writing effort. If you want to know more about how Quikscript works, including the associated complex ligature system, click here for the original Quikscript manual by Read. Here’s a chart showing the letters of Quikscript and their phonetic values.

The problem with existing Quikscript fonts

As I delved further into typing Quikscript on my computer, however, I found that the very few Quikscript fonts out there were just plain terrible. For example, here’s the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Quikscript, using a Quikscript font called ‘Kingsley’:
Note that most of the glyphs have slightly uneven stroke width, squashed-up kerning (glyph spacing) and inconsistent glyph shapes – put together, the whole thing just looks messy and ugly. Damn, even Comic Sans looks way better in comparison!

Quikscript Sans

With all this in mind, I decided that I could have a go at making a better font for Quikscript, using Inkscape to draw the glyphs with a consistent stroke width and Fontforge to put it all together. And in late 2017, I came up with the 1st version of this:
My font, Quikscript Sans, is designed with a consistent appearance and aims to blend in easily with other sans-serif fonts, particularly the Google Noto Sans fonts. It also implements some very common Quikscript ligatures, such as the ‘er’ sound in ‘were’, the ‘ear’ sound in ‘here’ and the ‘you’ sound in ‘huge’. Here’s the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Quikscript Sans:
It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly easier on the eyes to look at, especially compared to the ‘Kingsley’ example I mentioned above.

New changes

Quikscript Sans is an improved version of an earlier font called ‘Quikscript Geometric’ that I first released just over a year ago. (I renamed the font as Quikscript Sans, as the previous name was quite verbose and ‘Quikscript Sans’ is both simpler to say and better reflects its simple sans-serif aesthetic.) Besides the name change, I also implemented:
  • A better looking glyph for /g/ (it looked deformed and weird previously)
  • Kerning between glyphs for a more balanced appearance

Encoding of letters

Quikscript Sans uses Frog Orbits’ encoding, which is located in the Unicode Private Use Area (PUA), and fully implements all characters. This is the same encoding that the aforementioned ‘Kingsley’ font uses.

Sample text: Excerpt from a short story I wrote a while ago

For comparison, you can view the original one here.

QuikEBEO keyboard layout

While learning Quikscript, I also worked on a QWERTY-based keyboard layout to allow me to type Quikscript efficiently, as I couldn’t find any QWERTY-based Quikscript layouts that I liked at the time. QuikEBEO is based on a pre-existing layout I had designed for a Latin-based phonetic orthography I had called EBEO, hence the name. The main advantage of using QuikEBEO is that you most likely already know how to type quickly in QWERTY, reducing the time needed to learn QuikEBEO.

Download links

You can find more information on how to install keyboard layouts here.  

2 thoughts on “Quikscript Sans, a sans-serif font for the Quikscript alphabet

  1. It actually looks closer to Roboto Condensed (fairly uniform stroke, and the Quickscript ‘o’ looks narrow). But compared to Roboto Condensed, the ‘o’ is different, and the x-height is different. I probably would want to take your existing work and re-adapt it to complement Roboto Condensed.

    Actually my goal is to adapt Quickscript for Vietnamese, which also uses a Latin-based alphabet, although one major difference is that Vietnamese uses diacritics to indicate vowel tones. Since Quickscript wasn’t initially designed to handle vowel tones, I wanted to experiment with different ideas using an existing font, so I’m glad to have found Quickscript Sans. Some of those ideas include:

    1. Using existing diacritics in the Vietnamese language, which could use existing combining diacritical marks
    2. Use diacritics according to the International Phonetic Alphabet, which could use existing combining diacritical marks
    3. Create new diacritics (although I’d rather not go down this route unless I can’t help it)

    Since combining diacritical marks is a path worth pursuing, I was thinking of taking a font that has combining diacritics (e.g. Roboto Condensed) and migrate it over to a Quickscript font. Unfortunately, and you already saw yourself, there aren’t a lot of options out there.

    Like

    1. Glad you appreciate my work! Firstly, apologies for the late response. Second, I think your project to adapt Quickscript to Vietnamese is really interesting and look forward to hearing more about this.

      Now that you mention it, Quikscript Sans looks slightly more narrow compared to normal Latin typefaces.

      Like

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