IJ-ligature fonts

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Ties's picture
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IJ-ligature fonts
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Inspired by this tread, I was wondering if someone could point me out some nice typefaces with an IJ-ligature.

Thanks in advance!

T.

Ramiro Espinoza's picture
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Joined: 1 Aug 2002 - 9:32am
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Hi T,
I do not know if my Kurversbrug is 'nice' but at least it has the 'IJ' ligature.
http://www.re-type.com/fonts/kurversbrugreg.html

Ties's picture
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(This tread is just out of curiousity, not with the intention to buy the font)

Paul van der Laan's picture
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The Cleartype fonts from Luc(as) -- Consolas and Calibri -- contain them. I think most of his typefaces do.

I think this glyph is re-appreciated again among Dutch type designers now that they can be safely put into OpenType fonts.

Jelmar Geertsma's picture
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Well, it needs to be more then just 'ij' placed together in one glyph for me to find it useful. With that I mean it has to have something extra like 'st' and such ligs have.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Maybe turn the two tittles into a macron, or a tilde.

hhp

Andreas Stötzner's picture
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 - 10:21am
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Paul,
thanks a lot for your comments, giving some notable insight!
The capital versions you obviously can live with …

A typophile’s compendium of such knowlegde would be my desiderate ;-)

A.

Paul van der Laan's picture
Joined: 4 Mar 2007 - 8:56am
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You’re welcome, Andreas.

On second sight the cap version could do with a shorter I perhaps – this will seperate the I and J a bit more without making the glyph wider. Just to make sure that it won't be mistaken for a U when used in smaller sizes.

-Paul

Femke Engelse's picture
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As a Dutch reader, I have to agree about the dots. It looks like a y with an umlaut, and for a moment I thought it was a different language. The dots go directly above the stems.

I've grown very accustomed to the absence of a dotted ij ligature in the lowercase, there are very few fonts around that have them, and if they do, they're rarely used, certainly not in printed text like newspapers and magazines or anything anyone's made in a word processing program. As a result, when I do see it, I associate it with childrens' books, like the scans shown upthread. For that reason, for the lowercase, I personally prefer the descender that doesn't stretch to the left as far, it looks less like a childrens' book and is more reminiscent of the j descender that I've grown used to seeing. (Though it seems a tad short, maybe something in between the two.)

Edit: The cap is nice, I like it.

Thomas Milo's picture
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Hi Nick,

The Turkish fi ffi issue is a good analogy with the Dutch fij, ffij. It's another argument to start using the proper Unicode character for Double I.

BTW, as a Turkologist I alerted Johan van Wingen of possible fi and ffi collision in Turkish for the first time some time in the late 1980's, when we were both members of the Netherlands Normalisation Institute's Work Group ISO10646 (later merged with UNICODE). It never occurred to me that Dutch has a similar problem. Thanks :-)

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Brian: Yes, in many teaching methods, majuscules are introduced only after the minuscules have been mastered.

Here’s a (rather rare) example of a ligated majuscule IJ in a writing primer. Only here it becomes clear that ij/IJ is not just i+j/I+J, let alone ÿ/Y.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Funny, those green-yellow-red dots show where to start-change-stop
strokes, I guess. I myself would end up doing those just like I drive... :-)

hhp

Florian Hardwig's picture
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[Off-topic] Bonus information for you, Hrant, as I know you are a big fan: These letters were digitized by Evert Bloemsma. (For further information, you’d need to contact Albert-Jan Pool.)

Wouter Ramaker's picture
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vanblokland wrote:
When the kids learn to read, the popular vowel combinations ee aa uu oo oe ui ei ij are taught as single sounds which happen to be written with two letters.

But the difference between the 'ij' and other combinations, like the ones you mentioned is that they are not capitalized together (as T mentioned earlier in this thread). Wich to me suggest that we (the Dutch) 'can' see the 'ij' as a single (composit) letterform. I'm not aware of any other character combination, that gets capitalized together, even if they have the same sound as an 'ij' ('ei').

ie:
'ijs' becomes 'IJs' (translated: ice)
'eis' becomes 'Eis' (translated: demand)

Are there other languages where this is common practice? Or other character combinations wich get capitalized together?

edit:
I thought of the Spanish 'll' digraph, as I remember it being written capitalized together, but according to wikipedia, that was wrong.

This digraph is considered a single letter in Spanish orthography, called elle. From 1803 was collated after L as a separate entry, but this is no longer done: in April of 1994, a votation in the X Congress [1] of the Association of Spanish Language Academies ruled the adoption of the standard Latin alphabet collation rules, so that for purposes of collation the digraph ll is now considered a sequence of two characters. The same is now true of the Spanish-language digraph, ch. Hypercorrection leads some to wrongly capitalize it as a single letter ("LLosa" instead of the official "Llosa") as with the Dutch IJ.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ll

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Vincent Morley's picture
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Before the 'j' was a character, it was an alternative 'i'. A way to tell a 'ii' from a 'u', was to make the last 'i' longer ('ii' became 'ij'). I believe this was used in much the same way as a 'long s' was used, at the end of a syllable.

This custom was followed when setting or writing lower case Roman numerals in various European languages. For example:
8 = viij
12 = xij
and so on.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Great to know! Thanks.

hhp

Bert Vanderveen's picture
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W[h]ich to me suggest that we (the Dutch) ’can’ see the ’ij’ as a single (composit) letterform.

Very probable, considering the widespread usage of Y instead of IJ, especially in the 19th century.
And some dictionaries and encyclopediae used an extra chapter for IJ.
Also proof of this is that in some regions IJ is pronounced differently, eg ‘ie’ in the East.

(I am talking about the Lowlands, of course).

. . .
Bert Vanderveen BNO

Edgar Walhert's picture
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Just something came up by expanding TazIII at fontfabrik. By reading a dutch book I was surprised to read the word fijn over and over with a 'fi' ligature separating the 'j' form the 'i'. I would have posted it into this [[http://www.typophile.com/node/3807|treat]], but it seems to be closed.
My solution for this problem would be sub f j' j' by f ij; and sub f f ij.alt by f_f_ij.alt;. Sure including a language lookup so the Fijians still will have the f_i in front of the j.
The only page I found something about this subject so far was [[http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2006/08/14/698304.aspx|Sorting It All Out]].

Aseptically if the dot of the 'i' is swallowed by the 'f' the wrong letters are bundled together :

John Savard's picture
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In English, fi is a ligature to avoid kerns colliding. But even so, it is still an "f" followed by an "i". In Dutch, the native ij combination is viewed as the 25th letter of a 27-letter alphabet; X IJ Y Z.

Making ij into a ligature would be done for two reasons - to follow normal Dutch handwriting in cursive fonts, and to emphasize to foreigners that this is as much "one letter" as the Russian "yerry" - which is not a soft sign followed by a (Latin!) I.

In some schoolbook fonts, ij is made into a something which sort of looks like a y, but the top is more like u (think of a handprinted g) - with dots over the two upstrokes. A picture of that was shown in the other thread. Probably "infant" fonts and cursive fonts would be the main use for an ij ligature, because the Dutch already see it as one letter without such help.

Wouter Ramaker's picture
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Also proof of this is that in some regions IJ is pronounced differently, eg ‘ie’ in the East.
Actually, I think that is a remnant of the origin of the 'j' shape itself.
Before the 'j' was a character, it was an alternative 'i'. A way to tell a 'ii' from a 'u', was to make the last 'i' longer ('ii' became 'ij'). I believe this was used in much the same way as a 'long s' was used, at the end of a syllable. An example of a common Dutch word, still in use, which has the 'ii'-sound, but is written with 'ij' is bijzonder (translated: special).

Erik van Blokland's picture
Joined: 18 Dec 2002 - 9:53am
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Personally I don't think the fi j n looks good. The f i j noption is better, or the f ij n in which the f does not ligate with the ij. When the kids learn to read, the popular vowel combinations ee aa uu oo oe ui ei ij are taught as single sounds which happen to be written with two letters. The ij ligature would be better, a u with a long j tail and a dieresis.

Wouter Ramaker's picture
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Sorry for the bump, but I recently came across this abbreviation (initialism) for the first Dutch Railway company (HIJSM, 1839-1938) with the I_J put together, which made me remember this thread..

Edgar Walhert's picture
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Thank you all so far.
That ij is a separate glyph in dutch and needs special handling is out of question.
By discussing the case with Luc(as) we decided that Erik suggestion for using
f ij n rather than fij n makes totally sense.

As we are taking care of the glyph-order in the glyph-window in CS3 which is default set on 'sorted by Unicode' there is a new issue coming up.
If I use sub f i' j' by i_j (thanks Ms :) all the ligatures will not longer be placed behind the f. Just a detail but to avoid that i created a f_i_j and f_f_i_j ligature without connection to be used in Dutch, as long ij.alt is not applied.

I would be really interested if someone has a better approach for this problem or a suggestion how to handle it more elegant.

Florian Hardwig's picture
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@John (quadibloc):
Here’s such a ligated ij, in a metal Infant version of Gill Sans.

John said:
In Dutch, the native ij combination is viewed as the 25th letter of a 27-letter alphabet; X IJ Y Z.

However, Dutch children are taught that the ligated ij is the minuscule equivalent to Y:

There are exceptions to this tradition, where ij and y are presented as two different characters:

Andreas Stötzner's picture
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 - 10:21am
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How to …?
.

.
– should the descender of the lowercase ij strech to the far left or not?
(the j has the shorter version)

– shall the all-caps version get a descender?

– any more comments?

Paul van der Laan's picture
Joined: 4 Mar 2007 - 8:56am
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Andreas, in short a few remarks.

The lowercase version doesn’t look very readable to me:
– It seems too wide;
– And the dots don’t align with the stems which makes it look more like a ydieresis glyph.

From my own experience I discovered that a lowercase ij looks best when:
– It is slightly narrower than u;
– The dots properly align with the stems;
– The tail extends more to the left than the normal j, but less than a single story g.

But I am sure these rules will differ between the different styles of the typefaces again...

Hope this helps!

-Paul

[[http://www.boldmonday.com]]

Brian Jongseong Park's picture
Joined: 15 Mar 2006 - 12:53pm
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I can't help but notice that the infant Gill Sans sample is entirely in lowercase. Is this usual? Are children not expected to handle capital letters together with small letters yet?

John Savard's picture
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Old computer printers and teletypewriter terminals had the minimum character set required to convey useful information. And so they only printed upper-case letters, and not lower-case. Some people decried this, on the basis that since lower-case is more legible, with ascenders and descenders, monocase output devices should have printed in lower-case only.

Culturally, that idea would simply have been unthinkable in the English-speaking world, at least. On the other hand, I remember seeing a short film about computer music research in Eastern Europe in which I did see such a teleprinter, along with computer magnetic tape that had sprockets like movie film.

Miguel Sousa's picture
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> My solution for this problem would be sub f j' j' by f ij;

Did you mean to say sub f i’ j’ by ij; ?

Personally I'd prefer a similar solution used for Turkish, and leave the 'liga' feature alone. Something like:

languagesystem latn dflt;
   languagesystem latn NLD;

feature locl {
   script latn;
      language NLD exclude_dflt;
         sub f i' j by i.dot;
} locl;

feature liga {
   sub f f i by f_f_i;
   sub f i by f_i;
} liga;

(This, of course, would be unnecessary if people were typing the character ij instead of the characters i and j.)

[Edit: Made small correction to the code]

Nick Shinn's picture
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a suggestion how to handle it more elegant.

Seems to be similar to the Turkish f_i situation.
For that, a "locl" feature with the use of a special "Turkish i" -- identical to the normal dotted i--has been recommended.

So perhaps a "Dutch j" is needed, for use after the letters fi, to kill the ligature.

In the locl feature:

Language Dutch
sub f i j' by DUTCH_j;

And later, in the liga feature:

ignore sub f i DUTCH_j;

Sorry if that's not the final code, but just thought I'd mention the idea.

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@Florian: funny that I got on the subject by reading a book by Fiep Westendorp in which fijn is written always fi jn. This mad me think about the disadvantages of the nowadays easy and automatic accessed ligatures.
As you proof Miss Westendrop would have known better, but a Dutch book designer just did not think about this issue. Same case on the Dutch system of Mac OS X. A folder with nice pictures will be called fi jn beelden.

Ties's picture
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Yes I agree Quincunx. What do you mean with tittles Hrant?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Tittle: dot on the "i"/"j".
Fancy-pants word, I know - sorry.

hhp

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Brian Jongseong Park's picture
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The usual handwritten/cursive form of 'ij' resembles a 'y' with dieresis, with the end stroke of the 'i' connecting to the 'j'. For the UC 'IJ', I'm not really sure, but I guess a similar approach would be possible.

I must say that for upright romans, I would consider true ligation for 'ij' or 'IJ' as distracting as that for something like 'st' for use in immersive reading.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Ties, is that something you just made or an existing logo?

Brian, I think that if it's done right it can be much better than something
like a frilly "st", not least because it helps properly encode actual language.

hhp

Brian Jongseong Park's picture
Joined: 15 Mar 2006 - 12:53pm
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Hrant: Well, I was a bit exaggerating, because I can already imagine the overdone 'ij' ligs drawing far too much attention to themselves. I think I can also picture it done well, though the way I'm imagining it, there need not be an actual connecting line between the ligated elements, and it would only work for certain designs--say, Fedra. Or it would be cool to have Martin Majoor design one for Scala.

I'll wait until I get on my home computer to illustrate what I'm on about...

Ties's picture
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Hrant: No, that is an existing logo of Heijmans, designed by TBWA/Designers Company

I know a pretty cool one down the street, I'll try to make a picture of it soon.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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I think that "h" is gimmicky, but the macron
seems to stand quite nicely for "foundation".

hhp

Ties's picture
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Your tilde-ligature made me think of this logo. I think it is quite nice, the "ij" reflecting in the "h".

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Hrant H Papazian's picture
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I guess "huisstijl" means something like visual/corporate identity?

I did notice the "h" being a flipped "ij", but what does that mean?
That the houses they build fall over easily? Or maybe it's to emphasize
the company's Dutch-ness, but isn't nationalism taboo in the Netherlands?

BTW, that Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen logo is amazing.

hhp

Ties's picture
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> I guess “huisstijl” means something like visual/corporate identity?

Yes, couldn't think if it in English.

> but what does it mean?

Does it have to mean anything? You interpret the macron as the foundation, I just see it as a line.

[edit]This is why I think the "h" is just as gimmickly as the "ij". But still quite a nice logo.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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OK, your edit helps.

> Does it have to mean anything?

Not necessarily - although it's a plus, no?
I guess it could just be pretty - but is it?

The macron being in red seems to have a "special" meaning, and
the "foundation" meaning is the one that came into my own mind.

hhp

Ties's picture
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> Not necessarily - although it’s a plus, no?

Depends I think. Depends on how litteral it becomes. So I guess it is a plus indeed when you can interpret it as a foundation.

> I guess it could just be pretty - but is it?

I think so too. I think it is pretty in a way.
This was their old logo. Since I study architecture, I happen to bump in the company's advertisements now and then. And I noticed the improvement. That is why it sticked in my thoughts. (One of the goals of logo's.)

Florian Hardwig's picture
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The UC IJ can look like an “interrupted U”—as this Belgian sign shows.

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In "standard" fonts, ideally I make ij's — pronounced ee-yay for you non-Dutch & Flemish speakers — so that the dots of the i and j components are a standard dieresis. The ij is the modern variant of the ÿ, and if you were to track a word with an ij in it, the ij would not become separated: B . A . K . K . E . R . IJ

Monospace fonts should have ij and IJ, as does OCR-B.

I always create ij's in my types. Sometimes some tweaking of the component forms is necessary, sometimes it's not.

Huisstijl means, quite literally, "house style", which is the Dutch analogue of corporate identity. Often, a huisstijl consists of a beeldmerk — picture mark = icon — and a woordmerk — word mark = logotype.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Cap:

hhp

Jason Pagura's picture
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Regarding the "heijmans" logo, I see it like this:

The "h" is interrupted in a stencil cut fashion. This is inconsistent witt the rest of the word, but since this form is reflcted in the "ij" with a hooked foot on the "i", I, as a non-Dutch reader, interpret it as a stencil cut "y" (since the "h"" prepared me for reading through more stencil cuts), and thereby wind up pronouncing the word more correctly (hey-mans) than I would if I had attempted to through ordinary English phonics (hëzh-mans) rather awkwardly making up sounds for letter combinations usually absent in my language. I don't know if this was intentional, enabling more correct pronunciation by foreigners, but that's how it works for me.