Council for German Orthography officially allows use of u+1E9E

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  • Ben BlomBen Blom Posts: 235
    edited July 2017

    Example of the kind of relationship between lowercase and uppercase I was thinking about in my first question above (Helvetica, Century Gothic, Candara):

    Compared to other lowercase-uppercase pairs of the same letter—a lowercase “ß” which is taller than the corresponding uppercase “ẞ”, is rather unusual.

  • Ben BlomBen Blom Posts: 235
    edited July 2017
    So I’d expect ß to be taller than ẞ in every typeface whose h is taller than its H.

    Of course. Rephrased version:

    Compared to other lowercase-uppercase pairs of the same letter with similar shapes—a lowercase “ß” which is taller than the corresponding uppercase “ẞ”, is rather unusual.


  • Ben, 

    cosuvxzv are short characters, so the difference in uppercase and lowercase is clearly defined by the size. Therefore, I think the difference is sufficient. 

    I think it's more sensible to be looking at tall letters, in Latin (Bb Dd Ff Hh Kk Ll Tt) or in related scripts that use case (Бб Фф Θθ Δδ Φφ Ξξ Ζζ Ψψ Ββ). 

    To me, the relationships in Ff Hh Бб Ββ Δδ Ζζ are most telling. When you go from lowercase to uppercase, many all round elements are replaced by corners. 
  • k has a similar shape to K but is taller. ф has a similar shape to Ф but is taller. θ has a similar shape to Θ but is taller. This is common in alphabets that use case. 
  • And f has a similar shape to F and is, will, surely taller! 


  • There is never a need to differentiate between lc and uc ß, they occur in complementary contexts. They just have to look good among other lc and uc, and to be fair, ẞ does a much better job at this than ß. A loop in ascender space? Preposterous! ;)

    I also don't understand that argument whereby lc letters "evolve" from lc and "gain" corners. Almost all letters went exactly the opposite way. Only Uu Jj went from lc to caps, and u actually *loses* a corner in the process in most typefaces. All non-Latin IPA characters, including Əə, also evolved like that. Like it or not for abstract reasons, but in practice, making caps from lc works that way in Latin in practice. ẞ is analogous. 
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 925
    I wonder if the ß will evolve to match the requirements of the ẞ. Even though the ß doesn't need to be differentiated from the B the way ẞ does, type designers might nudge the ß to make it visually relate more...to keep everything on brand by letting the Dresden style creep in. I haven't done it but it's crossed my mind.
  • Adam, Hrant: I can't get myself to read an ẞ with a hard corner in the top left as an ẞ. That corner is alien to the design of ß and works against intuitively identifying the ẞ as its capital form. As I keep mentioning, it rings the TZ ligature bell in my mind:

    (Typeface: Camphor)

    I'm sure I'm not the only one.  :grimace:
    I agree entirely. Glimpsing that hard top left corner just doesn't evoke the S sound in my mind. I start reading STRATZE and FUTZBALLPLATZ, and that makes my head hurt. In my view the B-like double bowl design for for the lowercase is out of place to begin with. I am very glad to see that does not seem to get carried over to the capital.
  • Very good designs, Mr. Shinn. And Thank You for having been one of the first pioneers who made this character a credible member of the alphabet family.
    However, I disselect the Leipzig form in most cases, definitely in all those which are not Italic.
    The Leipzig form is based on the bias that the right part of the letter has to resemble an s. Which is clearly untrue for the historic emergence of the letter ß in medieval manuscripts and early prints. Only from the 19th century onwards, when composing German texts in Roman typefaces instead of blackletter evolved, it proved to be handy to just utilize the cursive Italian ſ-s-ligature for the German ‘eszett’. Since then, the character had (at least) two different origins.
    The ſ-s theory is but a legacy of the 20th century, of a man named Tschichold in particular. But we know for quite some years today, that he was wrong.
    To cut a long story short (see also this recent article): the sharp s is not – or not neccessarily – an ſ-z or an ſ-s, it is rather a long s with something.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,449
    True, but isn’t the very idea of oldstyle German type an anachronism? Weren’t all historic German types of the XVI–XVIII centuries in the Fraktur style?

    So now, they might be compared with a similar fake history in Cyrillic typefaces.

    What I like about the Leipzig Eszett for the antiqua is its sinuous, calligraphically-informed flow, and above all its quaintness—“quaint” being the noun used to describe the historic c_t &c. ligatures. So if one’s design is an obvious pastiche, why not use this olde pseudo-ligature?
  • I don't see a reason to make an oldstyle typeface look more anachronistic than necessary just because it is used to typeset German. It's not like the readers of any of your German-speaking customers still expect Fraktur, or c_t ligatures. First and foremost, your ẞ must integrate seamlessly in its typeface and look native in present-day typography.
  • … So if one’s design is an obvious pastiche, why not use this olde pseudo-ligature?
    OK, if you want it to go down that particular path, that may be a way to do it. But are you sure, if that typeface gets used somewhere remote, by someone, for something, the recipient will detect your sense of quaint humorism?

    My advise (for those who care): 1. go for the Dresden form in the 1st place if you want to be on the safe side. 2. go for the Frankfurt form if you’re sure it suits the specific typographic environment. 3. Venture for the Leipzig or Zehlendorf form only after hard thinking and if you’re absolutely sure you know what you are doing.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,449
    In general, even if it may not be the best choice for the typographically astute, the Leipzig Eszett is clearly recognizable to the lay person as an emergent form derived from the lower case “ß”, which is what the capital Eszett is, grammatically and historically, in the here and now.

    This quality of emergence seems appropriate also for the pointedly oldstyle genre, in which W was two overlapped Vs, and details such as full serifs on top of M (Jenson) and above-cap-line serifs (Garamond T) had yet to be expunged.
  • Johannes Neumeier said:
    that hard top left corner just doesn't evoke the S sound in my mind.
    Aural associations are largely irrelevant.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,665
    Aural associations are largely irrelevant.

    Beyond decoding: phonological processing during silent reading in beginning readers.


    Since, when it comes to the uppercase eszett the almost all readers are beginning readers, phonological association may not be as irrelevant as you suppose.
  • Let's not cripple the future merely to have an easy start. Even easier than leveraging a phonological crutch is to not read.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,449
    This tangent would lead to: how those born deaf learn to read.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,665
    This tangent would lead to: how those born deaf learn to read.

    http://psych.nyu.edu/pelli/docs/azbel2004intel.pdf
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,449
    Thanks John, that’s brilliant.
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 190
    Special author request for this on a cover (which is more prominent).

    Would you adapt the form / is this an ok substitution? The base fonts for the cover are fixed, as this is a series design.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 894
    Katy — To my eye, it looks a little cramped internally, it appears shorter than the other caps, and the left sidebearing seems too wide.

    [You could also try reaching out to Carl Crossgrove (designer of Mundo Sans) to see if he has any opinions on that form in this context.]

  • Adam TwardochAdam Twardoch Posts: 409
    edited July 2017
    The notion of phonemic reading is supported by the fact that phonemes from the reader's native language that are associated with certain letters often creep into the pronounciation of later acquired languages.

    This is more often the case of the foreign languages's phonemes are absent in the native language. For example, there is no native "English W" sound in German, so Germans speaking English often substitute the sound with the "English V" sound, which in German is written with a W ("Hollyvood"). The Polish speaking English don't do this because the "English W" sound exists in Polish and is written with "Ł". In Swedish, the "English J" sound doesn't exist, so Swedes often pronounce "jump" as "yump", because the letter "J" in Swedish is used to write the "English Y" consonant like in the word "yeti".

    But this cross-pollination occurs (though less heavily) even if the corresponding sounds do exist in the speaker's native language. 

    This leads to an important conclusion: as long as the readers are aware that the linguistic context is German, and know how to pronounce a certain word, they will learn the shape of the new letter (ẞ) pretty much regardless of what the shape will look like in detail. But of course this will take same time. 

    People didn't go back to school and didn't do through a painful re-learning process to learn that the € sign stands for the euro currency. They learned it quite fast, even when the detailed shape in various fonts departed from the initial "logo" visible on the banknotes. And they would have learned the new symbol regardless of what it would look like. 

    The case of "HELMUT WEIẞ" on a cover that is set in English is a bit more interesting. Here, readers are exposed to the new shape without being otherwise certain that the context is German — though some help exists, i.e. the proximity of the German name "JÄGER" and the German-sounding first name "HELMUT". And of course the presence of "GERMAN" in the title. The fact that this is a journal for linguists also presupposes that the readers will be more accustomed to rare Latin letters. 

    But I wonder how easy it will be for international readers of everyday publications to understand and properly pronounce a name like "JAN BUẞ". Although maybe this isn't a problem, since hardly anyone outside of Poland can "properly" pronounce "LECH WAŁĘSA" or "JAKUB BŁASZCZYKOWSKI". :) 
  • Special author request for this on a cover (which is more prominent).

    Would you adapt the form / is this an ok substitution? The base fonts for the cover are fixed, as this is a series design.
    Katy,

    As you may know by now, I'm not overly fond of the ẞ form with a round top. In the example you've shown I think it's visually shorter than the rest of the uppercase. Is it really as tall as the "G" (the most similar letter structurally). But the form you've chosen is not bad — at least it's wide enough, given the proportions of the rest of the alphabet. 

    BTW, Jos Buivenga is currently exploring the "Berlin" skeleton for his upcoming Antona release, and I'm very happy to see it happen. I think it works very well: 


  • I wonder if the practice of offering alternate forms as Stylistic Alternates will emerge with any frequency. 
    If I were laying out that book cover and had options, the fact that WEI are composed of nothing but straight lines might push me towards the harder edged form of cap ß. 
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 190
    Thanks @Kent Lew and @Adam Twardoch – my main concern was the colour…although yes it is a little cramped for the face. I'll do a bit more hand-holding with the cover designer – for instance, I'd like a little tighter kerning as well + agree on the height.

    It's one of those "good enough" instances… unfortunately. Subjective details aren't well received in-house, I find. There's too many authors / in-house stakeholders with little idea of typographic detail. Type design skills are very underused, and so out-of-practice + we rarely have the mod rights anyway.

    Carl Crossgrove – yes in the ideal, if we had time / budget. Next time there is a high profile project, I might try to encourage this type of approach.
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 190
    @Andreas Stötzner Thanks, it's better for that. I just need to learn sans design.



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