Re: Preconditions for changing a representative glyph?

From: Asmus Freytag <>
Date: Wed, 29 May 2013 09:35:17 -0700

On 5/29/2013 8:39 AM, Leo Broukhis wrote:
> I'd like to ask: what is supposed to be the trigger condition for the
> UTC to consider changing the representative glyph of
> <your favorate symbol here> to <a novel> design?

The answer: the purpose of the representative glyph is not to track
fashions in representation but to give an easily recognized "orthodox"

In the case of symbols, shape matters differently than for letters
(where you have a word context that allows even decorative font shapes
to be "readable").

For symbols, once you leave the canonical shape behind, there's always
the argument that what you have is in fact a new symbol.

There are some exceptions to this, where notational aspect of symbol use
is so strong that variations really function identically and can be
unified without issues. This might be the case in your example. However,
in general, I would dispute that this is true for non-notational symbols.

In the case you give, the "new" design is clearly not the canonical
shape, because it deliberately innovates. If it ever replaces the other
sign in a majority of uses (not just in NYC) then perhaps updating the
glyph might be appropriate.

At this time, we are far from that point.

Received on Wed May 29 2013 - 11:39:51 CDT

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