Alternate Letterforms

Hey guys,

there are two kinds of alternate letterforms:

(1) Those you can consider to use for text body and headlines.
(2) Those you can claim as experimental which are mainly used for logos and crazy posters.

Every letter of the alphabet contains a different number of acceptable (readability-wise) alternate letterforms.
I would like to know if there is any overview for typedesigners to see the range of possibilities in sans-serif typedesign?
I planned to design an overview about all kind of acceptable skeleton-shapes for body-text, but this collecting task
turned out to be not that easy.
 
Do you know any resources that could provide me help?

Thank you very much!









Comments

  • attarattar Posts: 209
    > I planned to design an overview about all kind of acceptable skeleton-shapes for body-text, but this collecting task turned out to be not that easy.

    It depends on the typeface. All the glyphs you show here look like they come from different typefaces (except those on the first column).
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,435
    Font-recognition software has perhaps addressed this issue.

    Other than that, a knowledgaeble and experienced type designer would be your best resource, but it would be a job of work.
  • You may find this project interesting:

    CIA Compendium by Jens Gehlhaar is an anthology of letterform skeletons found in sources “ranging from 15th century italics to geometric display faces, from Art Nouveau oddities to Apple system fonts”.

  • Nina StössingerNina Stössinger Posts: 150
    edited April 2016
    A bit tangential to this but fascinating in its own way, a curious look from outside the field proper: Douglas Hofstadter’s Letter Spirit project
    https://web.stanford.edu/group/SHR/4-2/text/hofstadter.html
    “I once even proposed that the toughest challenge facing AI workers is to answer the question: ‘What are the letters 'A' and 'I'?’”

  • I would like to know if there is any overview for typedesigners to see the range of possibilities in sans-serif typedesign?
    I planned to design an overview about all kind of acceptable skeleton-shapes for body-text, but this collecting task
    turned out to be not that easy.
     
    Do you know any resources that could provide me help?
     I believe those forms depend much on the designer themselves and there is no right or wrong alternative versions, especially in case of those 'experimental' ones. ( and the possibilities are unlimited I'd say)

    I personally sometimes draw a shape which fits to the type, but it is somehow far from the traditional letter and so it is better to implement it as a alternative.
  • Nina StössingerNina Stössinger Posts: 150
    edited April 2016
    Looking at the Minuscule photo Frode posted above, I might also add that if you look beyond simple skeleton or stroke-based ideas — switching from thinking of, say, an A as “two diagonals and a crossbar” to something more like “a black shape with two distinct “feet” and enclosing a white shape somewhere towards the top” — the possibilities become even more endless.

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