I recently discovered this type technique in the July/August edition of Little White Lies Magazine.

Here's an example of the typography:
Sample Text

I wish to know, is there a term for the technique of stacking two characters? This can be seen in the above image in "TRACK" and "RELEASES" with the R/A and E/A respectively?


4 Answers 4


I am not sure if there is a term of art for the second one (there might be). I would refer to it as "nesting." It is a style that was quite common around 1890-1920, especially Art Nouveau

  • The term nesting would make sense. I'm struggling to find references to the technique as I'm quite interested in replicating it with some css. Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 16:47

To @Horatio's answer, there is nesting in there, but there is also some kerning as well. That being said, I'm not sure you will be able to duplicate what you see in that image via CSS. If that graphic isn't handmade, then it is a typeface that was heavily modified to stylize it the way you see there. It certainly goes above and beyond the typical modifications seen in working with type, even for a headline or banner. Sometimes you just have to go with a graphic to achieve a desired effect.


I couldn't immediately find it, but there was an OpenType font release about a year ago by FF or one of the other not-Adobe-not-Linotype-not-ITC foundries that did exactly this kind of thing using a huge number of really quirky ligatures. There isn't really a standard term for this because it's so rare. Horatio suggests "nested", which is as good a term as any. I'd say "stacked" for no special reason other than they are stacked. :-)

(See the other question for more...)


Some potential terms:

  • ligatures
  • special characters
  • catchwords

Though I don't think any of those are specific to that particular style.

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