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89

They do. The thing is, you probably don't realise, because upper case numbers have been all you've been using or seeing. There is a distinction between 'default' numbers and 'oldstyle' numbers. The default numbers we all know are the actual capitals, with the 'oldstyle' numbers (sometimes incorrectly called 'proportional numbers') are lowercase. Fonts tend ...


54

It Started Curved The apostrophe first appeared in the printed universe in Italy, 16th century, as a curved shape to signify elision copied from handwritten classical Italian poetry. The apostrophe was equivalent to our "Gotchas" or "Wannas" in the sense that it was a way to take the stiffness of the text away by making it sound more human-like. Here is an ...


36

Yup, these are legitimate things and they have names. "Visual alignment", or, "Optical alignment" This is the general principle - you're aligning by eye by what visually looks right, rather than by rule. It's used not just in typography but anywhere visual consistency is important, for example in designing icon sets - making icons with curves look neat ...


31

If you look at many fonts you'll notice that the curvature of the letter 's' pierces the perfect alignment of the baseline and of many other small letters. And as a general rule round shapes tend to do this - pierce the baseline of straight edges. I had an article about this phenomenon, and why it happens, somewhere in my bookmarks but the link evades me at ...


29

While upper case numbers do exist, as is shown in vincents answer. They did not originally exist at all. Remember our numbers are copied from the Muslim scientists, who wrote in Arabic.* Arabic is unicase, that is all letters are same case. So the notion of big and small numbers is a later development. Since the original system had no case so did the ...


23

Very rarely. Any time you claim to be a professional X, you're staking your reputation on a claim to have specific, comprehensive expertise in that profession. With typography, some graphic designers can justify such a claim, but most can't stretch that far. "Typographer" implies professional expert. Most good designers are adept at typography, and many ...


20

This is called ligature. There is some useful background knowledge on Wikipedia In writing and typography, a ligature occurs where two or more graphemes or letters are joined as a single glyph. Many ligatures combine f with an adjacent letter. The most prominent example is fi (or f‌i, rendered with two normal letters). The tittle of the i in ...


19

Did a bit of research to make sure, but in general "proper" typography doesn't use straight quotes, single or double. Here's a handy guide for the commands and HTML entities for single/double curly quotes. Typewriters are also responsible for the introduction of ‘straight quotes’, non-specific quote marks designed as a space-saving measure for the ...


18

Capital letters exist as our written and printed language has decided they should. The rules for usage of capital letters typically is for starting sentences and proper nouns. The rules simply don't apply to numerals. Hence, no need for there to be 'upper case' numbers. Your example of using ALL CAPS TO SHOW EMPHASIS is actually not an ideal way to show ...


17

Most politicians on camera are probably using teleprompters. Teleprompters don't use the more impressive typography. They are almost always white on black, with a big sans-serif font. Sometimes they are all caps-sometimes not. If the speech is printed, it was probably done by a speech writer or assistant, with little consideration given to typography at all ...


13

This is a technique called overshooting (or overhanging). The reason why we use overshooting is because the way we perceive things as humans (at least in terms of pure mathematics) is inaccurate. Don't believe me? Let me explain: Consider this image: Does the circle and triangle feel like they have the same weight to you? The truth is that they have ...


11

What is case? The discussion both in this question and in the one it inspired on ELU seems to conflate two distinct meanings of ‘uppercase’ and ‘lowercase’: Based purely on shape and size, originating in whether a glyph was originally usually stored in the typographer’s upper or lower case (= drawer). Based on functionality, describing what upper- and ...


11

The Unicode Standard comments on U+2019 (’): this is the preferred character to use for apostrophe As far as what is right encoding-wise, I cannot think of a higher authority. Also, the typographical conventions of most languages do not use U+2019 for other purposes or only as secondary quotation marks. In fact, British English is the only major ...


10

"Hairline" generally refers to a stroke or line smaller then 0.25pt in width. Sometimes it may mean smaller than 0.5pt in width. "Hairline" is not directly associated with any type glyph and is not a term used exclusively for typography. A Hairline can be any line, any where.


8

No, the spaces should not be bold because that would be bad semantics. A word or run of words can be bolded, but spaces around a word cannot. This is separate from any thoughts of visual design, and independent of any implementation. The semantics come from the writer. They are not up to the designer. The designer has visual design tools to do their visual ...


7

You can separate paragraphs a number of ways. Indents Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur in orci pellentesque, volutpat metus eget, interdum mauris. Nunc faucibus lectus id libero blandit, et varius augue vehicula. Cras eu dictum libero, a elementum velit. Fusce ultrices malesuada elit, et convallis massa tristique ...


7

You can do this with clipping masks. Pathfinder would also do this, as would compound paths. But presumably you want the text to stay editable. Do this make the clipping mask out of a square that has a circle on top of it and choose Object → Compound Mask → Make. you can then use this as a clipping mask. Thisway you get a inverse clipping mask. ...


7

I would suggest looking at the relation between the space below and to the right of the drop cap - whether the drop cap is a word in itself or not.


7

It's called a Ligature and is designed to aid in reading. You can customarily turn off ligatures via the OpenType Panel in Illustrator: You can also select the ligature and use the Glyph Panel to choose a different glyph if you'd like.


7

The design of italics is that they will stand out inside a regular font face, this means that they catch our eye more that the regular text. So a word with italic styli in a regular text will pop out and stand out. But when a large paragraph of the text is italic and only one word is with a regular font, the "noise" from the italic text is so hard that the ...


7

While this may not directly answer your titular question, I hope that it somewhat solves your problem: The following techniques helped me reducing the work on manually kerning a font (which was blackletter; so standard kerning pairs did not apply): By far the most important one: Use kerning classes. While your font may have a lot of glyphs, many of them ...


7

Imitation of an older convention It's clear that the designers of more recent currency symbols have their own rational for including the slahses or 'strikouts' in the symbol. It's also clear that these elements naturally evolved in older currency symbols through the use of abbreviation and shorthand. It's more than likely that modern currency symbols are ...


7

If you want a minus sign, use a minus sign. That's what it's for, after all. That being said—unless you are writing for a mathematical publication or in a similar context it probably won't go noticed if you do use a hyphen or dash. I know I have used a hyphen-minus or en-dash countless times in the past. As you mentioned in your question, there is no key ...


7

Well, the thing is, you don't need 300 fonts to do something nice. And the issue you mention, all designers face it! The reason is: when you have 3 paid quality fonts, you wish you had 30. And when you have 50, you wish you have those 10 new ones that look so amazing... ;) There is indeed a big part of investment in graphic design and that goes for stock ...


7

Why is the text set in italic? If the text is being set in italic to show that the text is being quoted, I would argue that the quotation marks are a part of the quote—so they should be set in italic too (Some may argue the opposite, but my last argument trumps this anyway). If you are setting the text in italic to add emphasis then it depends on... What ...


6

Your first line "Since graphic/web designers focus on typography" is by in itself not accurate. Graphic and web designers do a lot more than focus on typography. They are also responsible for layout design, they also plan and design interaction(web designers), they also plan and develop color themes. So in a nutshell, even if you spend a lot of time with ...


6

These kinds of ornaments can also sometimes be called fleurons. A set of them is included in the Wingdings typeface with different transformations to allow for easy symmetrical decorations. ☙ ❧ There are some fleurons available in the Unicode specification under the Dingbats block (PDF). Fleurons 273E ✾ SIX PETALLED BLACK AND WHITE FLORETTE ...


6

As mentioned, this is a ligature, and is one of many similar ligatures such as ffi, fl, ffl, Th, oe and ae. If you're interested in this sort of detail within fonts (and within design, as a larger topic), I'd highly recommend the book Type Matters, by Jim Williams. It's an excellent reference manual for anyone interested in typography, and, if applied in ...


6

Note that most of the following is nothing but an educated guess. I do not know what actually motivated the Typeplate scale If you mulitply 18 repeatedly with ∛2 ≈ 1.26 you get the following sequence which, when rounded to “standard” font sizes yields the Typeplate scale with some exceptions: 18.0 → 18 22.7 → 21 28.6 → 24 – This is out of place, 28 would ...


6

The closest formal term I know to something like this is a calligram which is A word or piece of text in which the design and layout of the letters creates a visual image related to the meaning of the words themselves. -- Oxford definition But most of the time calligrams use the text itself to create the shape of the larger word or image, not just ...



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