Peculiar Letterforms - Advice Needed

euginb's picture

I'm currently trying to construct two very unusual glyphs to go with the Minion font family.

The first is the IPA character for the sound j as in "les jeux sont faits", sometimes called "ezh", Unicode 0292. Unfortunately, I haven't found a suitable example. The glyph looks like the top of the z glyph combined with the bottom of the numeral 3.

The second is the character "hv" used in Gothic transliteration. It looks like a combination of the h and u glyphs but without the lower right foot/serif of the u. Unicode scalar value is 0195, plus I've attached my first feeble attempt at creating one.

Unfortunately, I have no experience at all in designing type.
Are there any language/letterform aficionados who have dealt with these characters and who have two minutes to drop a comment?

Thank you!

AttachmentSize
hv.jpg15.11 KB
m_vs_hv.jpg27.87 KB
measure.jpg19.18 KB
pleasure.jpg18.71 KB
two_versions.jpg16.02 KB
oldnick's picture

best advice: attach the file.

Miss Tiffany's picture

oldnick, it is attached.

joffre's picture

david,
If you send me an E-mail to aboutype@comcast.net, I'll send you some samples of characters that I designed for dictionary publishers.

oldnick's picture

oldnick, it is attached.

I get a 404 message...lucky me.

hrant's picture

David, the first symbol does have a name: dram.
The second symbol, I can't picture.

Probably the best place to look is Gentium:
www.sil.org/~gaultney/gentium
And it's free!

Tiff, it looks like you're the only one seeing attachments,
in any thread... Another "feature"? ;-)

hhp

Miss Tiffany's picture

Oh, really? Yikes!

euginb's picture

Wow, the Gentium website looks promising, I didn't know about it, so thanks for that one.

Joffre, your offer is most welcome as well, so I'll send you a message as soon as possible.

As you may all have noticed already, I've put up an attachment that works (for me, at the very least). It's a quite funny character, indeed, so do check it out.

hrant's picture

Funny, that looks a lot like an Armenian "xeh" (kheh), with its descender stunted!

hhp

timd's picture

http://www.evertype.com/standards/wynnyogh/index.html

This is part of the website of a man who is an author and editor for Unicode Standard version 3.0. This shows a ezh and a hwair (also yogh and wynn)
Tim

euginb's picture

So, in conclusion one may assume that the forms of these two characters are very much in the hands of the designer -- I'm still quite unsure about the details of the glyphs, as there is little material to study and compare. They are just too rare.

(eg the right part of the "hv" -- a lowercase u? Something else? And the bottom of "ezh" or "dram" -- numeral 3? lc j? lc one-story g? Oh well.)

hrant's picture

Hey, be happy you have some freedom! :-) For most characters, you do something original, and certain people try to snarl and guffaw you into shame.

hhp

John Hudson's picture

David, your hwair is quite respectable looking. One thing to check: the two counters should be slightly narrower than those of the h and u, in the same way that the counters of the m are usually narrower than that of the n. This stops the letter from being too wide overall.

I recently had to design an ezh for my SBL BibLit typeface. Earlier, in the unreleased IPA portion of Sylfaen that I made for Microsoft in 1998, I reversed the contrast on the upper strokes, which seems quite common and follows a natural broadnib ductus. But for textual harmony I think it is better to match the stroke contrast of the z. I've put an image of the SBL Biblit ezh online at http://www.tiro.com/John/ezh.gif

euginb's picture

Well, John, that's exactly what I feared would be inevitable: Meddling with those tricky Bézier curves! (I was hoping I could somehow cobble the glyphs together with parts of other, existing glyphs ...)

Interestingly enough, the lc "m" in Minion consists of almost exactly two "n" glyphs together! The basic "n" form is consistent in other glyphs, as well -- an "m" in the mask layer of the "hv" glyph (which consists of "h" and "u") fits it exactly!

Still, as you will observe in the uploaded picture "m_vs_hv.jpg", the "hv" glyph appears to be somehow wider, even too wide, and less dark than the "m". Hrm.

euginb's picture

Oh, that's because the serifs close the "m" glyph, whereas the smooth curves and the absence of serifs open up the "hv" glyph. Clever.

--------

New and Improved! · See the attached file "measure.jpg" for a brand-new "ezh"/"dram" glyph!

Jack B. Nimblest Jr.'s picture

I can't see the new and improved but John's comment and " Oh, that’s because the serifs close the “m” glyph, is right on! Most fonts, the m and w are not simply two of something else, but I think a lot of Adobe fonts are effected by low expectations of the rasterizer...

euginb's picture

The ezh-dram looks better in this new version "pleasure.jpg" and "two_versions.jpg", I believe. Comments/critique appreciated.

timd's picture

David,
I prefer the terminal shape of the lefthand version (in “two versions”) but I think the width of the righthand one works better, though my preference is no guarantee of authenticity.
Tim

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