Let's chat about Trademark, Registered & Copyright Symbols



  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 1,471
    One more thing to add about usage of ®: In the pre-desktop publishing days of the seventies and early eighties, it was used much less frequently in text as far as I can recall with getting type set and preparing mechanicals. It was more common to use it on logos or in headlines. For this you could get Letraset sheets, for example, and add them yourself. Usually, you would make them as small as legally possible. So it wasn't really related to type size at all. I seem to recall seeing sheets of logos where the logos were different sizes, but the ® was the same size on all of them.

    The other thing to remember, fonts didn't include any of these symbols as part of the character set. You usually got them from a separate font of miscellaneous characters that you could use with any font. They didn't become part of standard character sets until personal computers and PostScript fonts, and even then they had generic designs (not matching the font style).
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,210
    Letraset sheets came with a tiny, free copyright symbol at the bottom before LETRASET INTERNATIONAL LTD.
  • Two weights, even!
  • My preferred alignment, achieved manually with baseline shift:

  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,867
    edited April 2021

    Here is why I make © cap height.
    With regards to the page as a whole, it’s a category of glyph that aligns with capitals, not as you theorize a category of its own, aligning with the centre of the x-height and with extremities that correspond to little else.
    With regards to acuity, the critical “counter” distance between the C and the circle is very tight, so requiring the eye to disambiguate the two (because your C presents as an x-height letter + circle), rather than just see one big symbol, is unnecessarily demanding, semantically excessive and redundant.
    In the layout above (yes, it’s been a while since I designed a book!) I like the way the © works as part of the capital set; it would have been demeaning for it to be smaller.
    If one is going to equate the C of © with a small cap C, then I would explore the idea of making a much larger circle, perhaps even out to extender distance, rather than just shrinking the whole thing. But perhaps there is already a typeface that does that?

    As the © generally accompanies figures, Craig’s idea (elsewhere) of different ©s to go with different figure styles, automatically activated in OpenType, might be the only way to keep everybody happy!
  • Yeah, I think in the end it has to look good (and in this case, clear), and with text figures it’s probably going to be better (to me) if © is shifted down a bit (and maybe scaled or otherwise adjusted).

    One factor is I’ve always thought the word “Copyright” is superfluous here; one can simply write “© 2021 Christopher Slye”. (The symbol has the legal meaning and does the heavy lifting.) I doubt including “Copyright” does any damage though, and maybe it helps a little.

    In any case, the appearance and alignment of © changes a bit if it’s not preceded by lowercase letters.
  • Nick, I kind of like your idea. This is Dante, with the normal small cap C, and a circle added around it.

  • Claudio PiccininiClaudio Piccinini Posts: 617
    edited April 2021
    Nick, I kind of like your idea. This is Dante, with the normal small cap C, and a circle added around it.

    I think both you and Nick have good points.
    The page typeset by Nick has the oldstyle numerals for the date, so they look quite bad to me with the uppercase-height ©. Clearly the ideal solution would be to have two: one when you have lining numerals and one with lowercase/small caps height for the inner /c. I will implement that!
  • Here’s how I implemented them now:

  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,867
    Well played, Claudio!
  • Well played, Claudio!
    Thank you! :-)
    I spent way too much reasoning on this. I implemented ® as well, so it takes back its full cap-height form when the feature 'case' is applied, but I am not sure whether I should include it or not. Of course, when I will go ahead with De Vinne Text (soon) I will make the base ® (superscript) larger, as my De Vinne for now is designed to be used at display sizes 60-70pt, while the Text version is 6-12pt.
  • @Claudio Piccinini  How about trademark? Does it have the same size with superscript ®?
  • Claudio PiccininiClaudio Piccinini Posts: 617
    edited May 2021
    @Claudio Piccinini  How about trademark? Does it have the same size with superscript ®?
    I am still thinking about how to finalize it. Initially I made it at the same height of ordinals ª and º (my ordinals have an underscore, being “old fashioned” in line with period use of De Vinne). But now that I have made the smaller, superior form of ® the default I think I will either keep the ® baseline (letter form, within the circle) or the full ® circle height as the ™. I wish to systematize so I’ll try to have a look at various common digital fonts: everyone seems to interpret the dimensions of these (® and ™) quite freely.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 678
    My approach is to keep them clear and simple, but harmonious to the style of the font. 
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