Is capital alpha just /A?

Hello,

I am an amateur type design, and I am making a font with Greek support. I just started, and I was wondering if I could take the capital /A and put it in the capital alpha spot? Is this correct of does capital alpha have a (slightly) different design?

Comments

  • I forgot to mention, but if so (that capital alpha is just /A), does it also hold true with capital beta, epsilon, zeta, eta, iota, kappa, mu, nu, omicron, rho, tau, upsilon, and chi?
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,128
    Are there any typefaces in which Greek and Latin A are different?
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,940
    I can’t think of any.

    There are some historical styles of Greek capitals, derived from Byzantine icon lettering, that have no historical Latin equivalent. I can just about imagine a display typeface in which the Latin and Greek would diverge along those lines, with the Latin keeping to contemporaneous western models and the Greek to eastern, but with harmonised weights and proportions.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,396
    I find it fascinating that Latin and Greek had that developmental distinction, where both wind up with two cases combining older and more formal majuscules with later and more writing-inflected minuscules, but in Latin we see a conformist melding and in Greek we don't. 
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,128
    There is one language-specific form of A, it’s the German Ä with lowered diacritic.

    On a related note, there are typefaces in which K is different in Latin and Cyrillic.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,940
    edited August 2023
    On a related note, there are typefaces in which K is different in Latin and Cyrillic.
    Many. Historically, these letters evolved independently, with the Cyrillic К developing alongside related shapes in Ж and Я. It is only quite recently that younger Cyrillic designers have championed the idea that Cyrillic К may always—or even should—follow the design of Latin K. Personally, I think it is a matter of typographic idiom, not a fixed rule either way: there are styles in which it makes sense for the two letters to be the same, and styles in which it makes sense for them to be different, and always with a thought for how you intend to handle Ж and Я.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,374
    In typefaces with missing or unconventional crossbars, a different Alpha may be necessary. In Nasalization, which resembles the NASA worm logo, the Latin A looks like a Lambda so the Alpha has a crossbar. Gameness doesn't include Greek but if I were to add it, I'd likely make an Alpha with a conventional crossbar becuase the Latin A looks like a Delta.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,128
    edited August 2023
    I always read the previous KIA logo as “Kill”, not a very encouraging name for a car.
    I wonder if Greeks thought the same, or is this just a type designer thing?

  • André G. IsaakAndré G. Isaak Posts: 626
    edited August 2023
    From a movie poster:



    Ray already commented on this style of A, but I don't that E is going to fly as an Epsilon either.
  • Stefan PeevStefan Peev Posts: 92
    edited August 2023
    ...I was wondering if I could take the capital /A and put it in the capital alpha spot? Is this correct of does capital alpha have a (slightly) different design?

    This is not a matter of typography. This is a question from the field of cultural studies. And it reads like this: "Can a unique element of one type of cultural environment be transferred without transformations (retaining its original appearance and functionality) to another cultural environment." My answer is “No. This is not possible.'' Any transfer of cultural artifacts across a given cultural boundary between two cultures leads to their transformation (physical, functional, or both physical and functional transformations). And the most basic example is to imagine that you eat sushi in Japan, and then you sit somewhere in Europe and order sushi again. The feeling is not the same, is it? Now back to typography. In its historical development until the advent of the printing press - Latin, Greek and Cyrillic OCS /A are not identical. The advent of the printing press is one of the events that mark the gradual development of the process of globalization, and this process runs parallel to the copy-paste culture. Copy-paste culture constantly ignores cultural differences in the name of universality and unification of cultural values and cultural artifacts. Thus, today we can boldly allow ourselves to use the Latin /A in place of the Greek Alpha. The question is not what we gain from this - the answer to this question is too easy and obvious. The question is what do we lose and what does this loss lead us to?
    So we come to the next topic: Typography and Globalization. Capital A in the Age of Globalization.
    To avoid misunderstandings, I do not give the concept of globalization an entirely negative meaning. The subject is very complex and directly concerns typography.
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