From: Michael Everson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue May 08 2007 - 04:42:46 CDT
At 21:27 -0700 2007-05-07, John Hudson wrote:
>Michael Everson wrote:
>>where I have given an F, J, U, ß, long-s, and
>>two capital sharp esses. The second of these is
>>the one under ballot, made in discussion with
>>Andreas Stötzner, who suggested taking the
>>stroke and curve of the U and the finial of a
>>J. I don't find it unpleasant or inappropriate.
>>I tried hacking one based on an F but I like
>>the U-based one better.
>You've taken a romantic type with a strong
>vertical axis and an expansion based stroke
>pattern and introduced a letter with a very
>dominant translation based stroke.
>Although these are nominally upercase eszetts,
>the vertical proportions employed in the
>treatment of their right side is clearly based
>on the proportions of the lowercase letter. Why
>is the waist of the uppercase eszett at the same
>height as the lowercase?
It's just below x-height as is the ß's, but I
don't know if this was intentional. Actually of
the two the nicer one was flung together in the
midst of the WG2 meeting.
OK, see a new image at
The first of the capitals here is the
flung-together one. The second and third follow
your Trajan example, and are made of capital U
and S, the first of which with a J-finial. The
fourth is the same as the same as the third
except that the distance between the vertical and
the S is the same as in the sequence IS. The last
derives from F and S.
>And while it might be possible, with some
>further work, to make a convincing uppercase
>eszett in a typeface with a romantic vertical
>axis and expansion based stroke contrast, this
>is very different from being able to make
>convincing and harmonious letters in several
>thousand different typefaces across a very wide
>range of styles.
My goal is to make something "vanilla" in Times
which will guide less erudite font designers than
you to make something that doesn't suck. That is
something that the code charts do.
>The best success I had in my experiments was to
>base the right side of the uppercase eszett on
>the uppercase S, and to make the reversal of
>direction where the top arch meets the S part
>very high and abrupt;
The 15th edition of the Duden seems to use a
slightly smaller capital S. See page 14 of the
proposal. (Note to self: acquire one of these for
>And if a typeface lacks any kind of ball or
>lachrymal terminal in the uppercase, as is often
>so, then one can't introduce it for this letter
>and must allow a vertical serif for consistency.
Sure. I think in Times the ball terminal is right
though. Compare Ss with [ß]ß. I ought to have
tried it with the FS one, perhaps.
>Of course, none of this serves as or is intended
>as an argument against encoding this particular
>character. It is a general grump about encoding
>as parts of writing systems characters that have
>not followed the evolutionary path of actual
That started to happen as soon as typecutters started working. ;-)
-- Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com
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