Re: The glyph of the CAPITAL SHARP S

From: John Hudson (
Date: Thu May 17 2007 - 23:05:04 CDT

  • Next message: Andreas Stötzner: "Re: The glyph of the CAPITAL SHARP S"

    Asmus wrote:

    > I don't know that I'd buy that as bluntly as you stated that. There are
    > some significant differences in the basic design of some letters between
    > serif and sans-serif, not to mention script or decorative styles.

    Generally, the variation between different type styles is much less pronounced in the
    uppercase than it may be in the lowercase, and the relationship of typical Latin serif
    uppercase letters to their sans serif counterparts tends to be very regular indeed. Where
    there is variation, in either case, between the form of letters in different type styles
    it generally reflects a variation in written forms, influenced by particular tools, slant,
    speed, etc., which is why the variation is so much greater in script and decorative fonts.

    Simply put, I would not expect an uppercase serif and sans serif eszett to vary any more
    in their basic form than any other letter, and I think the shapes proposed in Andreas'
    magazine demonstrate an attractive adaptability to a range of type styles and, importantly
    I think, a parallel to existing variation: the forms in the script style faces are quite
    different from the basic structure found in both serif and sans serif types.

    > Also, what do you mean by "model form"? If you allude to the
    > representative glyph in the Unicode charts, the only requirement that
    > such a glyph _must_ satisfy is that it be the most plain vanilla design
    > possible for a Times-like font.

    I meant model form in a more general sense, but obviously it would be good if the glyph
    chart example reflected the basic shape that is most likely to become the model for most
    German type design. I believe this will almost certainly be something very much like the
    models shown here


    and in other PDFs linked from here

    And if you are looking for 'the most plain vanilla design possible for a Times-like font',
    it is provided:

    I think the questions of whether the right side should or should not resemble more the
    uppercase S, and whether the left side should be rounded or squared, are within the range
    of reasonable typographic variation of this basic form: to be decided by type designers on
    a typeface-by-typeface basis. Might an SS ligature also become a recognised and accepted
    variant form, maybe to become associated with certain styles of typeface? I don't know,
    but I don't think it is either likely or desirable as a basic model, because of the
    difficulties of application to a sufficiently wide range of styles.

    John Hudson

    PS. I thought we might get into trouble with Sarasvati for using the subject line of the
    formally closed thread, so have changed it.

    Tiro Typeworks
    Gulf Islands, BC
    We say our understanding measures how things are,
    and likewise our perception, since that is how we
    find our way around, but in fact these do not measure.
    They are measured.   -- Aristotle, Metaphysics

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