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John Savard


John Savard
Last Active
  • Re: Monospaced ligatures

    I have seen ligatures in monospaced typestyles used with the older Hammond typewriters that preceded the Vari-Typer. Some of the catalogs in which the styles are illustrated are online. So I know it's been done, strange though it may seem.

    Here is an image of where this is proclaimed as a feature:

  • Re: Council for German Orthography officially allows use of u+1E9E

    What about W?
    After I posted that, I thought of Æ and Œ. Of course, they, like W, if considered as a ligature for V V, or the Dutch IJ, all do retain the full capital form of the joined letters.

    A ligature for SS can't follow Æ and Œ exactly, as joining the two letters by having them in contact would look messy. So a bar joining them would be a reasonable way to link them.

    Approaches involving opening up the letter S so that the open space of one letter could overlap with the line of the other could have unfortunate associations, so I would not suggest anything in that area.

    I disagree with your design proposals, though. Since ß is a monolithic glyph rather than a ligature in German, the same must go for its capital. Barred S or trainwreck-SS sound alien and ungainly.

    This, of course, was a suggestion that is relentlessly within the Roman character tradition, and so it's appropriate for conventional serif typefaces. Sans-serif ones, on the other hand, have a better opportunity to show respect for the Fraktur heritage of German script, and so something like the existing versions of capital eszet is appropriate for them.

    But I do think it's difficult to find an appropriate capital form for the eszet qua single glyph, and all the existing forms shown in this thread seem flawed to me.

    This link,
    illustrates some of the historical versions of the capital eszet noted as existing earlier in this thread. It also explains why a capital eszet is very much needed in German, which is interesting.

    The Schelter & Giesecke 1912 design could be used for a Roman version of the capital eszet instead of my suggestion, I'm happy to accept that it is better.

    is a 1912 version from the Bauer typefoundry.

    Then there's
    illustrating that again along with others.
  • Re: Specific diacritic designs depending on language

    Thanks everyone for their interesting insights!

    · @John Savard That's so interesting!
    Is there any way to see the different Times New Romans?
    I do remember seeing them illustrated in the document from which I learned of their existence. It was a book or paper on typography, and it may be available online. I will see if I can find it again.

    Of course, when one gets to the point of changing the design of the typeface as a whole for a particular language, then, unlike the case of diacritics, where it seems like one is simply showing respect for a culture, the question comes up of whether one is isolating each language in a ghetto, where speakers of that language are expected to use only typefaces similar to what had previously been used with that language.
  • Re: Is the term ‘foundry’ a proper name for digital companies?

    This discussion has reminded me of an important difference between the kind of font one would order from ATF or Kelsey and a TrueType font file. If one wanted to typeset an entire book, a single 20-a font wouldn't have enough letters in it to do the job, one would have to buy a bigger one.

    So a .TTF file isn't a finite collection of letters that can be re-used after one finishes with a given document, it's an endless supply of as many letters as you want.

    So maybe we should be calling them TrueType matrix-case files?

    Of course, the precedent was already set in the phototypesetting era; the negatives with letter shapes on them were called fonts... I think, but I could be wrong.

    And, of course, type designers can certainly call their businesses type design studios instead of typefoundries; that term existed in the metal era.
  • Re: "W. A. Dwiggins: A Life in Design"

    Caledonia is a very popular typeface; one very tiny footnote to the career of W. A. Dwiggins that few people know is this: the symbols "dek" and "el", used for a while by the Duodecimal Society of America (now the Dozenal Society of America), and which received sufficient public notice that they appeared in a "new math" textbook I used in junior high, were designed by W. A. Dwiggins.