Re: Unicode 6.2 to Support the Turkish Lira Sign

From: Andreas Stötzner <>
Date: Wed, 23 May 2012 12:39:34 +0200

Am 23.05.2012 um 10:24 schrieb Asmus Freytag:

> …
> I do expect a similar development for the Turkish Lira, with the pressure to differentiate the shape from all other known currency symbols, foremost the British Pound £.

I do expect that this could be a pitfall when it comes to on-screen-recognition in 9p size or in other poor-rendition scenarios.
> The Lira sign at 20A4 is glyphically an alternate (double stroke) of the pound sign.

> Visually it is based on the script form of the letter L, emphasizing the curved top of the letter shape.As for the pound, you'd expect existing font renditions for 20A4 to emphasize the same style elements.

> The new logo for the Turkish Lira …

There you go: it’s a *logo*. That’s what it is so far. (I remember a principle: we don’t encode logos ;-)

> … may also, ultimately, be based on the letter L, but it emphasizes a vertical stroke and a curved lower leg.

It “may be”… ! And what, if not? Is it meant to represent a kind of L-shape or something else?
As long as this is not cleared the typographer has no reliable clue for the glyph rendition on the sophisticated level of type (Roman style etcª). The lack of the clue is, however, not the craftsman’s fault. He can only guess.

> As before with the Euro, the nature of that curve will not be based on the construction diagram, but the fact that the logo will exist on bank notes is what will provide the push for people to reject a £ based shape.

Let’s assume that the constructivist Turkish Lira symbol will appear on banknotes and coins. Then the market people in Turkey will get used to it and write it on their labels and blackboards. Then – THEN – we may start to see what the sign’s nature is. The new “design” is actually no real design. It is a frankensteiniade. The issue of mixing it with the £ in use is still there.

> Where precisely this will settle will depend on the work of typographes over the next few weeks, but I'm confident it will result in a shape that is visually distinct from that for U+20A4, entirely independent of what Unicode does or doesn't do.
> The handwritten samples look more like a letter t, and perhaps that's how the type evolution will go as well.

– it is a kind of L ?
– it is a kind of t ?
– it is a piece of an anchor ?
– or perhaps a sickle… ?

Are you aware of what this briefing means?!

"Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the anchor shape means that currency is a "safe harbor" while the upward facing lines represent its rising prestige." [a]

Here you have it. All propaganda.

> Remember, none of the shapes for € are based on the letter E or e,

The new Euro sign happened to be so incredibly lucky that it was subconciously based on the uncial shape of the letter E/Epsilon. That whas the point which serious renditions could get based on.
As for the Turkish Lira, that point of conciousness is not yet reached.

> so I'm not betting that basing the glyph for this symbol on L will be the foregone conclusion.

I can’t help hearing you saying “What the heck” on the evolving nature of the symbol. I don’t think this approach will work.
This raises the question about the understanding and the role of *design* in general.
Design is not a nicety which you may put on or put off like a scarf.
It is about the nature of a thing. Therefore we have to take it serious.

> What you and Andreas are advocating, that is not to add a code point, would require a wholesale glyph change for U+20A4.

We are not advocating that.

You’re implying that the new Turkish symbol *has to* become an encoded character by all means and on all costs. But I challenge this pretended urgency.

> All existing fonts would have to be tweaked to suddenly have shapes based on a L in a Turkish slipper (that's what the "times-like" example in the proposal document reminds me of) instead of a script-like shape (based on £).
> Such a change would retroactively affect all online documents and would represent a massive violation of the character code stability policy.

This is totally out of the question.

> Documents using U+20A4 and written before 2012 need to render the same, using the same fonts. They should not have to willy-nilly be forced to "update" the glyph to a shape unrelated to what that character looked like than and utterly unknown (and you might say, inconceivable) at that time.

Who actually forwarded the Turkish Lira symbol for that panic encoding? Was it the Turkish government?
Do they actually know what a character is??

Andreas Stötzner.



Andreas Stötzner
Gestaltung Signographie Fontentwicklung

Wilhelm-Plesse-Straße 32, 04157 Leipzig
Received on Wed May 23 2012 - 05:43:13 CDT

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