Elemaints - A Serif Family with Optical Sizes

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  • Florian PircherFlorian Pircher Posts: 18
    edited December 2020
    Minion Math does something interesting in this case: the Latin /v and /w get substituted by rounded versions while the Greek /nu is kept pointy. That gives the reader a chance to distinguish /v and /nu. See the presentation at 19:19:



    Your design, while it uses different paths for the two letters, is still too similar to be useful in formulas where both symbols appear. Maybe exaggerating the change you just made would suffice?

    Or maybe, authors just should not use /v and /nu in the same formula, similarly to how /upsilon and /omicron are rarely used in mathematics.
  • edited December 2020
    Minion Math does something interesting in this case: the Latin /v and /w get substituted by rounded versions while the Greek /nu is kept pointy. That gives the reader a chance to distinguish /v and /nu. See the presentation at 19:19:



    Your design, while it uses different paths for the two letters, is still too similar to be useful in formulas where both symbols appear. Maybe exaggerating the change you just made would suffice?

    Or maybe, authors just should not use /v and /nu in the same formula, similarly to how /upsilon and /omicron are rarely used in mathematics.
    Indeed, and you will find this done for other fonts as well, for math (e.g., STIX). For text, meanwhile, there is no need to distinguish v and ν that much, because I'll be able to tell a running Greek passage from a Latin-alphabet one. I personally have no problem with the rounded v and w for math.

    I'll also note that TeX, if memory serves, does not have a separate omicron for the math font. Lower-case upsilon is there, though, if I recall…
  • Linus RomerLinus Romer Posts: 109
    edited December 2020
    I am already aware of the practice of rounded math italic /v for maths (e.g. Barbara Beeton confirms this practice in this stackexchange thread) and personally I do not like this convention too much. But the comment of @Florian Pircher probably points in the right direction. I should really consider a rounded math italic /v (and /w as well) and still use the pointy /v for text...
    By the way: STIX2 has two variants vor math italic /v,/w and even /u (probably to distinguish from /upsilon). But I design Elemaints mainly for LaTeX, so I will choose only one version per math italic glyph.

    @Daniel Benjamin Miller Yes, you are right about standard TeX not having a separate omicron. The OML-encoding does not include it whereas it includes almost every other lowercase Greek glyph.

    Anyway, I want to keep the new /nu (please excuse this bad phonetic joke) for text. In the following you will see the combination "/nu /v" for different faces.

  • The text /nu looks good to me. As @Daniel Benjamin Miller pointed out: “there is no need to distinguish v and ν that much”. For mathematical typesetting you could also consider using vertical stress for /nu to further differentiate it from /v. Minion 3 conveniently offers both forms of stress, which makes for an easy comparison (Latin-style stress on top, vertical stress on bottom):


  • @Florian Pircher Interesting idea but I doubt whether this makes /nu and /v easier distinguishable. For now I have concentrated on your first suggestion because there seem to be many people that expect to have rounded math italic /v and /w. The following picture shows /v, /w, /v.var and /w.var:
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