germandbls in Freight

hn2o's picture

Hello everybody,

has anybody out there used Joshua Darden's Freight for German language? I've considered it for several projects now, but I think because of the germandbls it's pretty much unusable. I understand the thought behind it (long s + normal s = double s) and also like it aesthetically, but no one I tested it on could actually read it. At least not without thinking about it for a while.
For anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about, I took a screenshot from Joshua Darden's homepage.

Is there an alternative??? I'm afraid this otherwise great font not is suitable for german language without one.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Hello Hanno,
Freight Sans has alternative glyphs for g and a, according to the PDF specimen. Maybe there’s an alternate ß for Freight Text, too, though it doesn’t appear in the character set. Then, the alternate Sans glyphs don’t appear there either. I suggest contacting the foundry directly.

I’m afraid this otherwise great font not is suitable for german language without one.
I agree. This form is only suitable in an historic context.
If a type designer wants to include ſs, then the best way to go would be to do it like in Meta Serif Pro: as linked alternates, with ß as default.


twardoch's picture

Well, ſs is not ß, just like ü is not an u with a superscripted e and ç is not a c with a subscripted Ʒ. Those letters have lost their original ligation contexts centuries ago. If Joshua designed ß like ſs, it is an obvious error -- I would contact the designer and complain.

I also don't see a huge practical point of putting ſs as an alternate of ß, let alone putting it in the font if there is no physical ligation. If anyone wants ſs, he will type in ſs. If one chooses to make a "longs_s" aka "uni017F0073" glyph after all, he might consider associating it with ß in the "hist" feature.


Florian Hardwig's picture

Hi Adam,

Well, ſs is not ß, […] Those letters have lost their original ligation contexts centuries ago

Well, I agree – partly. The ß – as a ‘real’, discrete letter, not just a ligature – in Latin script (i.e. ‘Antiqua’, not ‘Gebrochene Schrift’) is quite young. So, in this case, not centuries, but rather only one or one and a half … ;°)

Have a look at this book, picked from what Google has to offer from that period (of course, most of the German books then still were set in Fraktur):
Jacob Grimm: Deutsche Mythologie. Göttingen: Dieterichsche Buchhandlung, 1854. (p. VI)

  • einfluſs — present day spelling: Einfluss — before the 1996 reform: Einfluß
  • bloſser — present day spelling: bloßer
  • heiſse — present day spelling: heiße
  • daſs — present day spelling: dass — before the 1996 reform: daß

Given this situation, I consider putting ſs (and ss) as an alternate of ß very helpful.
Cheers, F

lettertiep's picture

Hi Florian,

I'm making a german folder with Freight Text and I encountered the same problem.
Did you solve it? Did you contacted Joshua?



Florian Hardwig's picture

Hi Benjamin,

it wasn’t exactly my problem/concern – but Hanno’s.
Thus: No, I didn’t take further action, sorry.

lettertiep's picture

thanx for the quick reply, I'm writing Mr Darden right now…


Florian Hardwig's picture

Cool. Keep us updated, please!

lettertiep's picture

I've received an e-mail from Robert Lovely, who assured me there's a version with ß and that he'll send it to me, but I didn't recieve it yet…

lettertiep's picture

Still didn’t receive the ß from Darden :(
Somebody knows an alternative? My folder must be at the printers this week


lettertiep's picture

Got it! Look s nice ;-)

twardoch's picture

Yeah, good work Josh!


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