Stress in non-circular characters

gabrielhl's picture

This a very basic question and I'm almost embarassed to ask, but anyway...
It's easy to define the stress (angle) of round shapes such as o, p, b, etc, but how about in other shapes?
For example, in the sample below the only stress I can easily find are in the letters o, d, and the bowl of the P. Even for the n (which should be an easy one, shouldn't it?) I can't really figure it out. I feel I am still looking but not yet seeing. Heeelp!

eomine's picture

Stress angle is, IMHO, mostly a "theoretical construction" used to illustrate how letters in a typeface are related to each other.

Bodonis have vertical stress, and yet their "M"s have the same weight distribution of your sample.


crossgrove's picture

I also think that the stress angle of a face should be seen collectively, over the entire alphabets. In some faces the stress angle varies a lot, but the final effect is a collective one.

gabrielhl's picture

Thank for your answers. I agree with both of you. Maybe I'm "looking too hard"?
And by the way, if anyone cares, those characters are from a (reproduction of) Fournier page. My difficulty was that I wanted to indicate the stress angle over the characters to show it; but while Renaissance characters were no problem, I got kind of stuck here.

I suppose it's because since earlier typeforms are more calligraphic, the stress is more apparent and consistant trough various characters. As typeforms turn less "written" and more "sculpted" those rules don't apply as much.

istitch's picture

check this out. it has to do with the calligraphic origins of letterforms. you might find it interesting if you already haven't seen it...


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