William Addison Dwiggins

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John Savard's picture
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009 - 8:42pm
William Addison Dwiggins
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The name sounded familiar.

He is the designer of the famous typefaces Caledonia and Metro.

But today I encountered his name in quite another connection.

In junior high school, in the textbooks we used reflecting the "New Math", there was a reference to symbols for "dek" and "el", representing the duodecimal digits having the values of ten and eleven.

As it turned out, it was W. A. Dwiggins, who was also an advocate for the use of base-12 instead of decimal, who invented those symbols. Dek, the symbol for ten, is like a capital X, but with the upper left to lower right bar curling over outwards at the ends. El, the symbol for eleven, is an upside-down 3 (the style with a top like that of the 7).

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Didn't know that - interesting! WAD was indeed a special person.

hhp

Victor Curran's picture
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Joined: 31 Dec 2008 - 3:34pm
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Now best remembered as a type designer, WAD was highly regarded in his day (1880-1956) as a designer and illustrator of books and book jackets, too. He wrote [[http://www.amazon.com/Layout-advertising-W-A-Dwiggins/dp/B0007DLEIM|serious prose]] and [[http://imprint.printmag.com/daily-heller/digital-publishing-worrying-you...|satire]], and in his spare time, he wrote plays which he staged in his garage, with all the parts played by [[http://arrowstreetlive.com/2011/11/dwiggins-marionettes-at-the-bpl/|marionettes]] that he designed and carved himself.

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
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cite>El, the symbol for eleven, is an upside-down 3 (the style with a top like that of the 7).

upside down - Rotated 180° or flipped?

John Savard's picture
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009 - 8:42pm
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Rotated 180 degrees.

Here is a link.

[[http://www.dozenal.org/images/dozenal_logo.jpg]]

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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Has anyone designed a symbol for the entertainingly named 'doh', a.k.a. 12?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Of course. It's an emoji of Homer Simpson.

hhp

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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@russellm – I think that style of '3' is called 'French'.

John Savard's picture
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Joined: 23 Nov 2009 - 8:42pm
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Here is an image. As for doh, that is, of course, 10.

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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Doh!