Ideal diacritics

k.l.'s picture

I appreciated reading the discussion about Accurate glyphs for Romanian diacritics. Especially the (so far) last post by Florin Florea, to me, raises a crucial issue: How helpful are samples that are contemporary and of typefaces that are not of, in this case, Romanian origin?

Couldn't typophiles whose languages use of diacritics or "special" character -- including non-Latin scripts like Cyrillic -- search local libraries for historical documents and show scans or photographs, together with bibliographical data?

Ideally, these documents would be pre-digital. Pre-Linotype/Monotype. Even better, manuscripts. Not only those that conform to what may be considered as good examples by current standards but also those that do not conform. Personally, I am particularly interested in the variety of possibilities.

Since many letters and diacritics are used in multiple languages, I think that there is no way around a certain amount of compromise. But with some background at hand one could at least make informed decisions.  ;-)

Comments and samples are most welcome!

filip blazek's picture

Hi Karsten, I plan to scan samples of pre-digital diacritics used in the Czech language. I have many books, specimens, magazines, but the overall quality of the accents is often very poor due to many limits of the technology, printer skills etc. Once I will finish the scanning, i will upload the images to the database of the Diacritics Project at http://diacritics.typo.cz.

guifa's picture

I'm working on it for the Spanish tilde with both old scans, pictures of monuments and inscriptions, and 20th century hand-painted signs, but I'm going to wait until I've polished off a massive update to my blog post on its design. Of course, the tilde isn't the diacritic most people are left wondering about but, meh.

k.l.'s picture

Brilliant! Thanks to both of you in advance.

but the overall quality of the accents is often very poor due to many limits of the technology, printer skills

This is indeed why I consider older documents as more important. And diacritics.typo.cz is a very good place for it.

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