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I dislike dots above i and j, so I consider typesetting texts without the dots. Probably, it would be done with a glyph substitution described here. What impression would that make on people reading it?

Example:
example of text with dottless i and j

My experience is that I can get used to reading text like this quickly, but I am not others. I see that font choice matters here because most sans-serif fonts have ı as just a rectangle, which looks very bland. Serif fonts have serifs at the top of ı and ȷ, so they are alright. Old-style serif fonts have points there, which is even better. So assume that I use a typeface with good-looking ı and ȷ.

I consider texts in several European languages including English, Czech but not Turkish. The texts could be used in various ways, for example in an informal leaflet, something used in university education and a contract to be signed. Of course, I could use it in some texts and not others.

How would people perceive such text? I imagine something like this: Would it repel people from reading the text or dealing with its author (me)? Would people get used to it as they would read? Would it decrease the readers' ability to understand the text?

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  • I'd answer poorly, yes, no, yes to the final questions.... but I have no studies to back that up.
    – Scott
    Sep 12, 2023 at 19:45
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    This may become a problem for turkish readers as they have an i with a dot and a i without one. see: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_alphabet. but yes i wouldnt read that if i had a choice.
    – joojaa
    Sep 12, 2023 at 19:59
  • I'm voting to close this question because to answer "what impression would that make on people" would really require some research to be undertaken. Sorry about that. Perhaps some study has been conducted already? I'm also not sure what this has to do with graphic design per se.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 12, 2023 at 21:03
  • Also it might be pertinent to point out the reason the letters i and j have dots anyway. It's because in cursive/joined handwriting, on which most Latin fonts are ultimately based, it would be very difficult to differentiate some letters when they are all joined together. And some fonts or writing styles like black letter/fraktur would be virtually unreadable.
    – Billy Kerr
    Sep 12, 2023 at 21:31

5 Answers 5

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This may get closed as 'opinion-based' but until, or if, it does…

Subtle, subconscious cues are missing. It makes it really awkward to read. I keep having to go back & look again at many of the words because it feels like I mis-read them the first time. I didn't, but it really slows me down, badly.

I'd stop reading something written like this in a very short time. It's irritating.

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    I expect that this question passes because of the rule “Subjective questions are okay if answerable with facts and reason.”.
    – matj1
    Sep 12, 2023 at 19:09
  • I too think it's rather opinion based... but there may be studies out there regarding this. So.. we'll see. I'm reserving any votes. For the record.. I'd stop reading as well and find it far more disconcerting than anything.
    – Scott
    Sep 12, 2023 at 19:44
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You can hide a lot of a font and it is still readable well.
But it defenetly does not help readability.

enter image description here

But it depends on the situation and context. To remove a dot on the "i" on a logo for stylistic purpose may make sense. Writing hard-to-read smallprint without dots would make less sense. enter image description here Changing the shape of the dot for the most part only affects the readability minimal.

These dots are officially called Tittle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tittle

History of the i dots:
Our modern fonts originated based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules (see below) developed in the Holy Roman Empire. So up till this there were uppercase fonts and lowercase fonts but no paired up fonts like we have them now. Carolingian minuscules did not have the i dots yet. They were later added as many letters started to resemble each other. enter image description here

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  • THis would be way better if you removed the dot with the middle removed, then it would be hard to read especially next to a u or n
    – joojaa
    Sep 13, 2023 at 4:50
  • Yes. My idea is that contemporary typefaces usually have glyphs with distinct shapes, so the dots above i and j are no longer needed. If I understand it correctly, the dots are needed in blackletter or continuous scripts and not much elsewhere.
    – matj1
    Sep 14, 2023 at 13:33
  • Not quite. Or depends on your definition of 'needed'. You can cut off half of your lungs, as you don't 'need' the whole one. But breathing will be more difficult after... Sep 15, 2023 at 6:19
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So originnally the dot above i was added to the lowercase letter i to distinguish it from the strokes of u, n and m. So it did not actually exist originally, it was added in middle ages to increase readability.

So yes deleting them is weird and does impact readability in most fonts. but there may be langue area specific issues aswell.

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I can read the text without any problem, but something feels really strange about it. Almost as if there was a printing problem or if my screen was defective. I don’t like it at all. Sorry!

Also, you might run into problems if you ever do that for some other languages than English. For example, Turkish and a few Turkic languages have both dotted and dotless i.

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In most european countries and probably everything on the american continent, using the dots is the "normal" I guess. As in, people learn these letters in school with the dots, and only a few people will realize later in life that a few countries don't always use the dots for some local reason.

If I saw typesetting like that, I would immediately think it was made for some specific country, like maybe in Turkey I know they use this. Yes, I can read that piece of text, but I know it was not made for me and it does not feel "natural".

Some people confrunted with that will literally have no idea whats going on: will they sign a contract in this format ? I think maybe good luck with that.

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