Shape Of Cedilla

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Comments

  • Wei Huang said:
    Could anyone shed some light on how the bottom one was more convenient? Unless I've misunderstood this:

    From Adrian Frutiger - Typefaces


    To me, ‘convenience’ is just a polite way of saying that what marketing and production at Mergenthaler Linotype did to Frutiger designs was bullshit.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,014
    edited September 26
    That convenient cedilla is a stinker. I remember, years ago hearing that Portuguese readers prefer connected cedillas and I thought that sounded like Grade A bullshit to me.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,954
    Convenience may also mean that the shape is generic and copied across any number of font families. At both Linotype and Monotype, one finds evidence of diacritics being produced in-house by drawing staff, rather than by the designer, and these are often of a generic nature. It doesn't surprise me that during the kind of division of labour involved in font manufacture original diacritic designs by the designer might be ignored or, indeed, never make it as far as the staff responsible for technical drawings.
  • Igor FreibergerIgor Freiberger Posts: 168
    edited September 26
    Cedilla has a well stablished form with several centuries of history. There is a cultural background to pay attention here. Since the consolidation of the western romance languages from 1300s and 1400s, its form was never changed. So I do not understand why so much frenesi to 'stylise' it.

    Origin of cedilla:

    The second form was dismissed and it is only found in Medieval manuscripts.

    These changes in cedilla are even worse considering they almost always make it a comma accent. This is, to turn cedilla into another diacritic, which makes no sense in times of fonts supporting hundreds of languages. Maybe we should start designing ogoneks like snakes and rings as squares.

    Readers of French, Portuguese, and Occitan will understand that a c with a comma or even a tack bellow is a c with cedilla because there are no other letters with diacritics bellow in these languages. But this is not the point. We can change many things in written text and it can still be understood. My point is why do arbitrary changes, especially when we walk towards more respect to cultural differences? 
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,014
    edited September 27
    How is using a generic diacritic shape that doesn't serve the design of the typeface more respectful to cultural differences?

    Maybe we should start designing ogoneks like snakes and rings as squares.

    I don't know about the snakes but a square ring is a good idea; I'm going to use that. Making arbitrary changes to the alphabet is in my job description. Diacritics should be appropriate for their typeface. Using a traditional, wavy tilde on a stark, square ultramodern typeface looks out-of-place. Making a flat tilde (macron) would probably serve the design better*. In that same techno typeface, a traditional cedilla might look ludicrous. If the typeface itself avoids certain traditional elements, doesn't it make sense that the diacritical marks follow suit? Respecting cultural difference doesn't mean you have to treat everything like a museum artifact. Portugal 2020 should be able to experience new, cooler cedilla designs. I think it's more disrespectful to cultural differences to make a progressive alphabet with regressive diacritics. And that's very common. The example above with Frutiger Serif is shockingly bad. The original cedilla was perfect...obviously Frutiger wasn't someone who would thoughtlessly slap on a generic diacritic mark.

    A well-known example of a comma-style cedilla is Alternate Gothic (1903) and I think it slaps. It's a tough, pared-down slug, appropriate for a tough, pared down typeface. Naturally, the Bitstream version has a generic cedilla that clashes with the design.

    I realize that it's more complicated when dealing with different scripts. Is my Greek alphabet progressive or Latinized? It's a tricky balance. But Latin diacritics are already Latinized so why should I have to walk on eggshells around them? And then you see international signage and hand lettering where they're having a grand old time experimenting with diacritical marks.

    Cedilla has a well stablished form with several centuries of history.

    All writing systems have well established forms with several centuries of history. And yet it's we're allowed to push the boundaries. We have monocular g's, hookless t's and all kind of wild Q tails. Why is the cedilla's shape more worthy of being placed is a permanent state of historical stasis?

    * there are no languages where a macron and tilde would need to be differentiated so a flat tilde would cause no confusion in a display typeface. Same deal with comma accents and cedillas. I'm aware that some situations require differentiation of all diacritics such as dictionaries or encyclopedias. I'm referring to more of a display type scenario.
  • Igor FreibergerIgor Freiberger Posts: 168
    edited September 27
    Ray, we have some misunderstanding here.

    You are talking more about display and non-traditional designs and I am talking mainly about text fonts.

    Of course you will not use a traditional shape for cedilla in a font with no traditional shapes. It's also obvious the cedilla should follow the general design. It would be insane to do the contrary and I never defended that.

    But to disconnect the cedilla in a more traditional design is not correct. This is my opinion based on the rationale above. The first cedilla in Frutiger's sample is nicer —but it is not a cedilla, it is a comma accent. I am sure it can have a link to the C and still be nicer than the second one.

    To simply dislike a given shape is not an enough reason to amputate it. I think the boundaries need to be pushed under coherent criteria and multicultural knowledge.

    Even if a language does not offer dubious diacritic usage, this is an issue to be considered beyond encyclopaedias. We refer to stranger names all the time nowadays —from sports to politics, from academic studies to toponyms.

    By the way, I am Brazilian. ;-)
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,014
    @Igor Freiberger I see what you mean. Yeah, a traditional cedilla makes sense for traditional typefaces. I just never thought of Frutiger Serif as traditional. I'm getting old so it still looks contemporary to me.  :)  I think he implied the cedilla stroke by the shape...the commas in that typeface look more like traditional primes.

  • Albert_Jan_Pool Albert_Jan_Pool Posts: 78
    edited September 27
    I do not see why a cedilla cannot be detached from the c. Visually, it still belongs to the c as long as the gap between them is small enough (as in Méridien). Given that most readers don’t even notice serifs on text faces in reading text sizes, I bet that they don’t notice the disconnected cedilla in Méridien either. 

    Furthermore, the simplified cedilla may be more legible in signage using sans serif typefaces. The traditional form will visually clutter when viewed at a large distance, especially under bad reading conditions. Note that Parisienne, the typeface for the Metro signage in Paris, designed by Jean-Francois Porchez has a simplified cedilla. Also, the typeface used for signage for motorways in Spain has a tilde which looks like a macron. The simplified cedilla is not only a gag in display signage, it may also be a solution for signage.
  • Albert_Jan_Pool Albert_Jan_Pool Posts: 78
    edited September 27
    A few years ago, I found these two examples of detached and simplified cedilla in São Paulo, Brazil:
    Thesis TheSans on the airport
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-13_0YBScH/?igshid=1of4550l2b5jc
    and Helvetica on the metro:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-140rdBlCV/?igshid=g71x8gpudxj5
  • Igor FreibergerIgor Freiberger Posts: 168
    edited September 27
    I fully understand your point of views. To you, my approach appears to be against creativity and chained to the past. But when you start doing fonts that support a large number of languages, you learn to reduce a bit the margin of freedom because there are several possible confusions.

    Many fonts have A designed as single-storey uppercase a. But this letter exists per si, as Latin Alpha. So if you decide to support languages which use the Latin Alpha, you have a problem. A stylised F with a tail may seem nice, but it can conflict with Ƒ. Etc. etc. etc.

    The examples from signage does not help because each one is specific to one language. As I said before, in French, Portuguese, and Occitan you can use a comma accent since no other letter uses anything bellow. The same about macrons and tildes in Spanish. But when you escape from single-language scenarios, this kind of freedom vanishes.

  • But how many type designers (now, or in history) disambiguate Latin O from Cyrillic O from Greek Omicron? or Latin X from Cyrillic Kha from Greek Chi? 
  • Albert_Jan_Pool Albert_Jan_Pool Posts: 78
    edited September 27
    I never did! And especially in case of capitals, I think it is a crazy idea. If one feels a need for distinguishing between these forms within one typeface, I think it is worth considering to have separate typeface families for these languages rather than ‘forcing’ them into one family.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,954
    there are no languages where a macron and tilde would need to be differentiated so a flat tilde would cause no confusion in a display typeface.
    Really? None?

    Not only might the macron and tilde need to be differentiated across diacritic letters, they may also occur together on the same letter. e.g. U+022D ȭ

  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,954
    But how many type designers (now, or in history) disambiguate Latin O from Cyrillic O from Greek Omicron? or Latin X from Cyrillic Kha from Greek Chi? 

    There are Latin designs with very narrow lowercase for which I would disunify the Serbian ѕ /ʂ/ if developing a companion Cyrillic design. In Cyrillic, the ѕ has to fit into a proportional rhythm and balance with the width of а.
  • Igor FreibergerIgor Freiberger Posts: 168
    edited September 27
    But how many type designers (now, or in history) disambiguate Latin O from Cyrillic O from Greek Omicron? or Latin X from Cyrillic Kha from Greek Chi? 
    I do not see any need to disambiguate O/O/O and X/X/X.
    But please note I was talking about these letters, all from Latin script:

  • But how many type designers (now, or in history) disambiguate Latin O from Cyrillic O from Greek Omicron? or Latin X from Cyrillic Kha from Greek Chi? 
    I do not see any need to disambiguate O/O/O and X/X/X.
    But please note I was talking about these letters, all from Latin script:

    Ah sorry, I skipped over the "Latin" modifier for "alpha".
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,014
    edited September 28
    @John Hudson

    The Livonian alphabet...you got me.
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