‹y› with a clear baseline

When the rightward stroke of the ‹y› visibly lands on the baseline it can create the appearance of a notch. This is often present in Erik Spiekermann’s typefaces and in some of Nebiolo’s typefaces, like Ritmo (1955. The capital Y has the same structure), Recta and Eurostile. I’m curious if anyone knows of any earlier appearances of this feature, especially in text faces?



  • Maxim ZhukovMaxim Zhukov Posts: 74
    edited June 2017


  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,485
    In Old Church Slavonic, this construction also nicely relates the design of the у and the ѱ (Cyrillic form of the Greek psi).
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,299
    Interesting question. Zapf's Aldus (text version of Palatino) and Melior have it (both from early 50s). 
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,237
    I think Schadow was the first one (1931) but I've noticed it in early 20th Century fat Bodonis like Normandia (Novarese) and Falstaff.
  • It makes sense for a high contrast fat face and something like Eurostile, which has deep crotches in several letters, but it’s interesting to see it in text faces, too.
  • I noticed that in Aldus’ italic, compared to something like Janson Text (or quite exaggerated; DTL Fleischmann), the calligraphic construction of the ‹y› is almost opposite in terms of left/right stress. If I were to think of a rationale besides reducing the blackness in the crotch with the flat vertex, the shape does seem to harmonize between the roman and italic.

  • I prefer this structure* and would also be curious to know its origins. BTW, J. M. Fleischmann's characteristic "y" is completely different, and to me highly effective.

    * From Patria:

  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,926
    On the other hand…

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