Uogonek

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jeremy tribby
jeremy tribby Posts: 233
edited January 7 in Technique and Theory
hi folks, I have a question about the uppercase /Uogonek. more often than not I see the ogonek roughly centered under the /U. the general guidance I have seen for ogoneks is to make them look continuous rather than an attachment to the base letter (making it difficult to construct them with components). still, I see ~three varieties of /Uogonek in the wild, and am hoping to understand which (if any) is preferable to polish readers, or if it is primarily a stylistic choice. here are three typefaces with the different approaches I have seen:

Lato: centered, non continuous stroke (attached)


ABC Diatype: centered, continuous stroke

IBM Plex Sans: continuous stroke from the right, not centered

any guidance greatly appreciated!


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  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,034
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    I allow the ogonek position on the uppercase U to be defined by the shape of the ogonek itself. There will be a point on the inner curvature of the ogonek, near the baseline, where it naturally makes contact with the bowl of the U, typically such that the ogonek ends up slightly right of centre.
  • jeremy tribby
    jeremy tribby Posts: 233
    edited January 7
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    I take the same approach - I suppose what I meant by "roughly centered" is that it ends up feeling optically centered even though the attachment likely ends up to the right. but Lato and Plex Sans both threw me off for different reasons: Lato because I understand it to be a Polish design, and it seems to treat the ogonek as more of an attachment rather than looking like the stroke extends from the U, perhaps in service of being more optically centered (is that what should be prioritized over the smooth connection?); and Plex Sans because the swell on the bottom right of the U made me wonder how high up the ogonek stroke might begin on the U. which in turn made me wonder about this in terms of handwriting.. forgive my very rough trackpad drawing, but there are some letters like eogonek that seem to lend themselves to being written in a single stroke (but are they?) whereas the Uogonek maybe wouldnt, but Plex almost suggests it, like in the middle below? or is the idea more that you might start the second stroke from higher up like the last in the row?




  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,034
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    From a handwriting perspective, only the first, left, ductus you’ve drawn makes any sense to me: the other two can’t be written quickly without compromising the shape because they involve tracing over an existing line, which is really difficult to do at speed.
  • Vasil Stanev
    Vasil Stanev Posts: 763
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    These are different letters. The centered ogonek is used in some Native American languages, while the right-hand version in other languages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ogonek
    Writers of the listed languages use whatever was included in the fonts they can use, so I imagine there must be much uncertainty which version of the Uogonek is the "right" one for the particular language.
  • Yves Michel
    Yves Michel Posts: 162
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    Personnaly, I always refer to Adam Twardoch's explanations on
    Polish Diacritics: how to? (twardoch.com) 
    when creating the ogoneks.
  • John Hudson
    John Hudson Posts: 3,034
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    Adam’s very helpful explanations only cover the Polish diacritics, which do not include the U/u+ogonek combination.
  • jeremy tribby
    jeremy tribby Posts: 233
    edited January 8
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    oh, I conflated lithuanian (?) with the polish letters as well, whoops.
    adam twardoch's page may be where I first learned about ogoneks, it's a great resource
    From a handwriting perspective, only the first, left, ductus you’ve drawn makes any sense to me
    I feel like this actually answers all my questions — it seems akin to uppercase Eogonek where it's dependent on the design whether or not the ogonek appears as a continuous stroke that flows out of the bottom of the parent letter (unlike say the lowercase eogonek where it would be strange not to)
  • Yves Michel
    Yves Michel Posts: 162
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    Adam’s very helpful explanations only cover the Polish diacritics, which do not include the U/u+ogonek combination.
    Quite right! But I'm more concerned with the spirit of the ogonek drawing : "smoothly connected", "part of the glyph" as Adam explains.