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Nick Shinn

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Nick Shinn
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  • Re: When did the "Serif vs. Sans" derby started?

    Working as an art director in the early 1990s, I would try out different typefaces for new projects, and was struck by how old-fashioned serifed styles made things look—and retro was not in fashion except for scripts.

    This was particularly notable for body text, where the mantra had always been that serifs were de rigueur for legibility. So that idea was abandoned (or mothballed, at least).

    There were exceptions, Scala, for instance.
    And slightly earlier, before digital really took over the media, Licko’s Matrix was ubiquitous.



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

    I continue to be impressed with the title of this thread, so important sounding!—authoritative, erudite, technical and obscure. And with an f_f_i ligature to boot. One more time:
    Council for German Orthography officially allows use of u+1E9E
  • Re: Specific diacritic designs depending on language

    I don’t think one should follow national “models” slavishly.
    It’s more important to consider difficult situations in the particular typeface one is working on.

    For instance, the sequence í_l in Fernando’s typeface.

    With the variables of angle of diacritic and ascender height, certain combinations work better than others.

    Presently, the steep diacritic works best (top left), because it doesn’t run into the following serif. However, were the ascender taller, then the flatter accent would work better (bottom right).


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


    Having designed the character in a variety of genres, I’ve come to the conclusion that what works best in most is the Flat-top Dresden (e.g. in Sense, bottom right), with the Leipzig (e.g. in Goodchild, top right) for oldstyle. I could change the Round-top Dresdens—which were my first inclination—to Flat-top, but, on the other hand, they are creatures of their time, so I will let them stand.
  • Re: Council for German Orthography officially allows use of u+1E9E

    True, but isn’t the very idea of oldstyle German type an anachronism? Weren’t all historic German types of the XVI–XVIII centuries in the Fraktur style?

    So now, they might be compared with a similar fake history in Cyrillic typefaces.

    What I like about the Leipzig Eszett for the antiqua is its sinuous, calligraphically-informed flow, and above all its quaintness—“quaint” being the noun used to describe the historic c_t &c. ligatures. So if one’s design is an obvious pastiche, why not use this olde pseudo-ligature?