Just trying to grow my collection of (in my opinion) the best figures. This subject is subjective because one could argue that a typeface is also representational of it's figures, but I'm looking for everyone's option on what they think are the most beautiful set of figures (it doesn't have to be a complete typeface) here is my list so far!
I love a nice scotch set of figures! What does everyone else fancy‽
— Rational contrast distribution sans wonky thin verticals and thick horizontals.*
— OS numerals where the "3" and "5" (and even the "2") ascend.
— In contrasted fonts I like OS zeros that are thick only on the left.
— Minor: for a slashed zero I like the slash to be a backslash.
BTW, the "5" always comes out the sexiest. Examples upon request.
* Look at the work of Catich, Harvey, Gürtler, Bouwsma, Jelesijevic... and yours truly.
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I’ve no idea why the italic 4 has a descender, and I did briefly consider removing it as an “upgrade for contemporary usage”, but a better hand than mine designed it that way, so that’s the way it stays!
Well, one theory about the 4: along with the 2 and 3, it represents a quite different look to the roman, which is what occurs between roman and italic lower case letters anyway.
I wonder if there are many other typefaces that have a significant roman/italic structural difference?
I think @Nick Shinn Scotch Modern a little more cheerful, what was the restoration based on? I wish I had more knowledge of historical restorations—but can I assume they were similar specimens?—Or am I way off? I guess that begs to ask, was Benguiat's based on a historical rational serif or his own iteration...?
Sorry, John, but it appears to me that these figures are struggling to find their balance. The generous lower stories of the 3 and especially the 5 seem out of balance with the 6 and the 9. Yet, in the example 1297, the 9 seems quite wide, indeed. The foot joint of the 2 is too acute, perhaps because the upper part isn’t wide enough (it duplicates the upper story of the 3, which is unusual and, I think, undesirable—note the differentiations in the Modern faces, above, and in most other types). The open-top 4 is suggestive of italic figures in the Fournier style, though in that era it was often the custom to make the italic 5 an ascending figure, which provided better balance for it.
... and generally any oldstyle 5 with its flag tilted up.