What do you call an 'I' with bars?

aluminum's picture

Most sans serif typefaces have an uppercase I that is just a vertical bar. Most (all?) serif typefaces have horizontal bars/serifs on the top and bottom of the uppercase I.

Is there a term for the seemingly rarer case when a sans serif typeface has an uppercase I WITH bars such as in this example?

satya's picture

May be serifed I?
Many sans serif typefaces have these slabs even on the letters like i, j, l and 1 as well. There must be some terminology.

Stephen Coles's picture

They are serifs.

cerulean's picture

I don't think there is a term specifically for this, and perhaps there should be. Many all-caps comic fonts have both kinds, so that the serifed I can be used for the personal pronoun "I" while the plain I is used in other words; I believe Charles Schulz was the first to adhere to this practice consistently in his hand lettering.

innovati's picture

am I the only one that was half-expecting a typography-related joke when clicking on this thread?

come on, What do you call an 'I' with bars?

I don't know, what?

Theunis de Jong's picture

come on, What do you call an ’I’ with bars?

Perhaps an isobar.

Theunis de Jong's picture

"barbarism" sounds a bit too negative :-)

eliason's picture

iBar is already used.

aluminum's picture

"They are serifs."

Nah, that's too obvious. If there's no term, then we need to invent one. ;o)

innovati's picture

how about 'iddles' for the name of the serifs in 'I's

cerulean's picture

So, to be clear, I think what we're looking for is a word for "a serif that is thought of as a normal feature of a character even in an otherwise sans-serif context."

I suggest something like obserif, short for obdurate serif (or obstinate, or even obligatory).

Vladimir Tamari's picture

How about repossessing a term engineers took from typography - the I-Beam http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:I-Beam_002.JPG
The glyph might be called Beamed-I ?

Ehague's picture

I work with a lot of educational publishers (where this comes up often re: the whole 2nd-grade letterform split), and editors usually mark it up as a "serif I". Granted, editors might not be the best people for naming these things, but at least we understood them.

Pedro Leal's picture

I was also expecting some sort of type related joke! And yeah we should invent a name for this!

charles ellertson's picture

Drunk I's ? -- always what happened when I went to a bar & stayed a while.

David Rault's picture

What about "Sans serif I with bars at both ends"? not sexy enough? Too long?


dberlow's picture

"What do you call an 'I' with bars?"
A selfish person you can reach on a cell phone.

Rez Oo's picture



i cant delete my username's picture

What do you call an ’I’ with bars?


BeeBrains's picture

What do you call an ’I’ with bars?


Jonathan Clede's picture

So 'I' walk into a bar, and announce: "There's a new serif in town".

Vladimir Tamari's picture

good one!

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