Detached ogonek and co.

Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 688
edited February 2020 in History of Typography
At @Paul Hanslow’s request:
I don't think the detached ogonek scheme is all that common in Polish signage. The majority just uses ordinary common fonts:

Some of which are not well-crafted:

Here’s an example of that flat-bottomed ogonek I was talking about:
Note the minute size that is common in display contexts.
Sometimes however it is overdone:

Some choices are debatable and result in odd accidents:
Sometimes (especially in older signage) ogoneks are replaced with what was available:
(The above looks like a rotated acute; the terrible spacing gives some insight as for whether this was intentional).
To this I’m ambivalent. It has a sort of a retro vibe, but otherwise hard to judge if it was intentional:
I’m much more partial to this solution, which evokes the first ogoneks in print, how they were used in the Polish Constitution:

Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do:

Moving on to the substance, I was able to find just a few more or less purposefully detached ogoneks.

This one looks like a lazy man’s solution but turned out kind of charming:
This one is a bit eroded, but I'm guessing the ogoneks look like yet another tier of the 3D effect. A bit weird.

Detached ogonek is an obvious choice in stencil type... however I would find it much more interesting to retain the attachment and still make it work!

Most of these were logos rather than signage, and there might be more successful examples of the latter in the wild. Looking forward to seeing those below!


  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 688
    edited February 2020
    As for that, if the design really calls for a simplistic solution, I'd recommend a straight slash-like line, leaning to the left / rather than to the right \, connected to the base rather than disconnected. Sometimes the disconnected form can work but it is always a risk.
    For extremal situations, an upright horizontal or vertical rectangle, or a simple dot might even work.
  • Thanks for sharing! Very insightful for non ogonek user
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,723
    Saw this form in Vancouver yesterday (Polonia sausage shop on Fraser Street), and wondered how this seems to native Polish readers.

  • That's weird that the acute is so light, compared to the dot and ogonek
  • Saw this form in Vancouver yesterday (Polonia sausage shop on Fraser Street), and wondered how this seems to native Polish readers.
    I'll ask my 'polish associate' and get her thoughts on it. ;)

    A bit off-topic but there is considerably worse examples of Vietnamese (and accents) just a few streets from the Polski sklep you photographed.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 688
    edited February 2020
    I asked my 12-y.o. brother what he thought was off in this picture, and these are the things he mentioned, in order:
    • delicatesy instead of delikatesy
    • wrong kerning between C and A (well, he's a bit typographically aware, my fault — though maybe a window frame interfered there? both letters look cut off)
    • no dot between świeże and mięso (makes no sense, as there's no reason to separate fresh from meat in this context, but he was desperate in trying to find what I was asking him to)
    • dot above z too dark? (I corrected him that it was kreska that was too light.)
    When I finally asked him directly what he thought of the Ę, he didn't budge. It didn't strike him that there was anything wrong with it. He reluctantly admitted that it was maybe "a bit odd".
    To my personal liking, this minimalist ogonek could be a bit less slanted, though.
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