The Ogoneks of Palatino

Christopher Adams's picture

The Good, the Bad, the... Malformed.

Which cut of Palatino has the best ogoneks?

Christopher Adams's picture

The topic has the right image now that uploading is restored.

J Weltin's picture

If you have a close look to this article by Adam Twardoch you should be able to judge by yourself.

Christopher Adams's picture

Thank you for your comment. Indeed I have read Adam Twardoch's how-to, and I admire his efforts to educate the type community on this issue.

Perhaps I have to point out that I have already formed my own judgment, but I hoped that these examples could serve as an object lesson for this board. That is why I posted this in »Critique«.

I might begin with the observation that at least one of these series of ogoneks was not drawn by Hermann Zapf.

J Weltin's picture

I see. I didn’t notice the critique section. The Palatino Nova ogoneks to me seem poorely designed, much too fragile, and the position on A and I is not good.

The ogonek’s serifs from the TeX Pagella version try to reflect the overall design of Palatino and its serifs, yet i don’t know if i would design an ogonek with a serif. After all, none of these ogoneks truely reflect Palatino’s (Zapf’s) design, not knowing if any of these here were drawn by Zapf himself.

Christopher Adams's picture

J Weltin wrote: The ogonek’s serifs from the TeX Pagella version try to reflect the overall design of Palatino and its serifs, yet i don’t know if i would design an ogonek with a serif.

This is a question I am very interested in. It is also the answer to my first observation. The ogoneks of Pagella were not drawn by Zapf.

aric's picture

The serifs on the Pagella ogoneks also struck me as odd. However, they were designed by native speakers of Polish (GUST e-foundry); maybe they know something I don't...

It would be nice to hear the opinions of some Polish or Lithuanian designers.

hrant's picture

I like seeing the ogonek affecting the base letter more.
It bugs me when the serifs just sit there ignoring it.

hhp

Christopher Adams's picture

Aric is correct about the Polish roots of the Pagella glyphs. Of the samples I posted, URW Palladio L is the most egregious, since the ogoneks extend past the edge of the glyph (and as the direct ancestor of TeX Gyre Pagella, I understand why GUST redrew them).

Christopher Adams's picture

hrant wrote: I like seeing the ogonek affecting the base letter more.

TeX Pagella

It's clear which terminal the ogonek was made to resemble. Given the concept is acceptable, could the execution be even better?

hrant's picture

I think for Palatino that's nearly ideal. The only thing I'd tweak is the inside (bottom-right) of the join: I might make it completely smooth instead of suggesting that the ogonek was added later; on the other hand Palatino is full of strong shifts so maybe such smoothness would be undesirable.

A good illustration of what I meant in terms of serif action can be seen in an upcoming typeface I'm [heavily] advising on:

hhp

riccard0's picture

an upcoming typeface I'm [heavily] advising on

So we can blame you for the delay? ;-)

hrant's picture

Sure, I'm sort of a poster-boy for that. :-/

hhp

Christopher Adams's picture

Hrant, I agree that the join on the aogonek is the most problematic, and your solution would be worth trying. The samples you posted strike me as well done.

Personally I think the serif on the ogonek à la Pagella works: my only reservation is that the narrow part of the "hook" needs a better transition between the serif and the thick of the ogonek.

I wonder who dropped the ball on Palatino Nova.

quadibloc's picture

I notice that only Linotype Palatino has what I thought was the conventional placement of the ogonek - joined at the middle of the stem rather than on the edge of the serif.

Christopher Adams's picture

Linotype Palatino also has the merit that its ogoneks make an effort to reach the descent line.

Ideally, each letter should be drawn individually with the ogonek flowing gracefully from the base character. The right effect can rarely be achieved with a composite glyph.

Christopher Adams's picture

Hrant, one remark I might make with regard to the sample you posted of the wedge serif, is that the foot of the serif should maintain a right angle before it veers off to form the ogonek.

hrant's picture

> the foot of the serif should maintain a right angle

You mean tilt that vertical slightly counter-clockwise? A valid suggestion.

hhp

jcrippen's picture

The Palatino Linotype one looks like it is an afterthought, like a diacritic pasted on top of the letterforms, although it’s not too bad on the lowercase e. I can understand why it sticks out to the left of the lowercase a, but it would have been better to properly incorporate it with the inside of the serif. On the uppercase i it’s oddly off center, but seems okay on the lowercase i.

The URW Palladio ogonek looks like it was taken from Verdana or some other sans serif font. It’s totally out of place. It looks especially weird on both upper and lowercase i, it should have been visually centered instead.

The ogonek of URW Palladio L is particularly vile with its foreign shape and poking out to the left. It’s also far too small, and far too spindly. Easily missed in reading.

Has anyone else noticed that the ogonek in TeX Pagella seems to be a tweaked chunk of the terminal of the lowercase a? It’s nicely long and dark, easily seen. It needs a little bit more work, but I like it.

The Palatino Nova ogonek looks spindly and weak, out of proportion with the heaviness of the stems. It also looks pasted on, or rather tacked on the edge. The juncture between it and the letterforms is too thin, which is what seems to be causing this. Also, the angle of departure is very narrow, and doesn’t harmonize with the pen angle elsewhere.

Although I don’t read Polish, I do work with Tlingit and the Athabaskan languages where the ogonek (U+0328) is frequently used in various orthographies to represent nasalized vowels. Unlike in Polish, in the Athabaskan languages it can occur on all five orthographic vowels: ą (U+0105), į (U+012F), ų (U+0173), ę (U+0119), ǫ (U+01EB). Also unlike Polish, it often occurs with acute and grave accents, for example ę́ (U+0119 U+0301). Since long vowels are usually represented with pairs of letters, it’s common to see sequences like ę́ę́ and ǫ́ǫ́. A particularly nasty problem is with į́ (U+012F U+0301) or į̀ (U+012F U+0300), where the tittle is never properly removed. To get this to work one usually must abuse the dotless ı (U+0131) like so: ı̨́ (U+0131 U+0328 U+0301). Of course none of this will display correctly here given the typically lousy state of support for such characters.

quadibloc's picture

Not being very familiar with the form of the ogonek, I did some Google searching. I found that it is used for A and E in Polish, but for A, E, I and U in Lithuanian. Somewhere I found a mention that Lithuanian used a slightly different standard for its appearance, but I couldn't find out what it was.

Also, when this is used with American Indian languages, then the usual approach is to center it below the letter, so for those languages it might be considered a separate accent (although, at least in Polish, the ogonek is not treated as an accent; instead, the letter with the ogonek is a new member of the alphabet).

I wanted to see what the ogonek looked like in older typefaces, so I tried searching for a Polish-language dictionary on Google Books. At first, I had no success, so I changed my search terms. I ended up finding a book for learning the Polish language written in Hebrew (or, perhaps more likely, Yiddish) which had title pages in Russian and Polish in addition to the language in which the book was written. ("Grammatyka polska, w języku żydowsko-niemieckiem", my first result when I searched on public-domain only on the word Polska... as different books are available with such a search in the U.S., U.S. searchers may have different results.)

A book from 1883, for Jews in Russia, on how to learn Polish - presumably so they could move to Poland to escape the risk of pogroms in Tsarist Russia. I had not expected to encounter a reminder of the Holocaust as a result of a search on so apparently innocuous a topic.

Christopher Adams's picture

> the foot of the serif should maintain a right angle

You mean tilt that vertical slightly counter-clockwise? A valid suggestion.

To clarify, I did not mean to suggest that the shape of the serif should be changed in any way. On the lowercase aogonek you posted, the ogonek has cannabalized the entire bottom of the serif, so that there is no horizontal left. (As an aside, it also appears that the serif on the aogonek is shorter than the regular a?)

Jan Zurawski's picture

Hi everyone,
It is the joy and the honour for me to write here some my opinion.
P. Linotype: not bad, needs some adjustment, the ogonek is definitely too small, rating 3/5
URW Palladio: it is not an ogonek, rating 0/5
URW Palladio L.: it is an ogonek, but in wrong place, way too small, rating 1/5
TeX Pagella: almost perfect, could be a bit smaller and a bit thinner near the end (I am not sure), rating 5/5
P. Nova: this idea ogonek+serif is very strange, good for nothing, one must shift the ogonek to the left, rating 2/5

The winner is TeX Palladio, the second place P. Linotype.

hrant - I like your design here very much! Try to shift your ogoneks a bit to the left. Where are yours Eogonek and eogonek?
"I might make it completely smooth" I do not like that idea with letter a, with letter e necessarily!
jcrippen - agree
Christopher Adams - "it also appears that the serif on the aogonek is shorter than the regular a?" It also appears that the ogonek is thicker on aogonek than on Aogonek (truly they are the same). So it nedds to be a bit thinner.

Regards from Poland
Jan Żurawski

hrant's picture

Jan, thanks for the feedback. That isn't actually my design.
I did however suggest lifting up the rightmost serif, making
it flat (thus improving the appearance of merging).

hhp

nina's picture

Jan, I made the ogoneks that Hrant posted. Thank you for the feedback!
Since you asked, here is the Eogonek & eogonek:

hrant's picture

FWIW, I didn't have to suggest anything for the E/e-ogoneks; maybe
you agree, they're already very good! However the raise-and-flatten
approach was applied to a number of other glyphs.

hhp

Jan Zurawski's picture

altaira - your Eogonek seems strange to me. My suggestion:)


More rounded and a bit longer...
Adam Twardoch said: The ogonek should never exceed the right boundary of the basic glyph.

You can trust Adam.

Jan Żurawski

nina's picture

If people think we should continue this someplace else: Please shout out.

Jan, I'm curious, did you change the way the ogonek connects to the "E" just because it allows you to make the ogonek itself more rounded - or does it actually seem like a good idea, in principle, to have that hard corner between the edge of the base "E" and the ogonek? I'm asking because that directly contradicts what I've been trying to do: letting the ogonek «grow» organically out of the base glyph (instead of making it look like an external addition that's been tacked on to an already «finished» letter). It would seem that smooth connections help achieve that.

Christopher Adams's picture

For the sake of thoroughness, here are two more samples of Palatino ogoneks.

Sample 1:

The above is from Adam Twardoch's tutorial. One would assume he drew it.

Sample 2:

FPL Neu (based off URW Palladio L)

Jan Zurawski's picture

No opposition, thus:
altaira - thank you for engagement in making good ogoneks!
hrant - "maybe you agree, they're already very good!" yes; this is talk about polishing/perfecting the font. (polishing = making the font appropriate to use in Polish language;)

- "make the ogonek itself more rounded" yes, to be in a mood with the design of letter e.
I want to start with designing the ogonek matching the principles of the letter e and "letting the ogonek «grow» organically out of the base glyph" (small e). Next step is conecting the ogonek to the remaining letters. Again Adam Twardoch's words: "As ogonek is a glyph modifier and it should be integrated smoothly, you will be usually forced to separately design the area where ogonek merges with all base letters."
- "does it actually seem like a good idea, in principle, to have that hard corner between the edge of the base "E" and the ogonek?" Yes, in my opinion.
- "letting the ogonek «grow» organically out of the base glyph" Not out of the right-bottom corner of the base glyph (A, E, I...). Such design, in my own opinion, disqualify the delicate serif font (look at Palatino Nova above, IMHO disastrous). This is, on the other hand, good idea with fat sans-serifs.
Very likely the picture helps more (not being familiar with English...)


left-top altaira's sample
Georgia - sample taken from Adam Twardoch's page, cited above

Christopher Adams - these samples are perfect! Nice to see them here.

Jan Żurawski

Christopher Adams's picture

altaira: The uppercase E has the same feature (or fault) that I pointed out in the uppercase A.

Viz: By adding an ogonek of that shape in that location, you have occluded the right angle of the serif. One effect of Jan Żurawski's redrawing is that it restores the right angle.

Edit:

Jan Żurawski wrote: "does it actually seem like a good idea, in principle, to have that hard corner between the edge of the base "E" and the ogonek?" Yes, in my opinion.

Thanks, Jan. This is the exact point I was trying to make.

nina's picture

Thanks guys.
Jan, are you saying that because the "A" (or "E") is an angular glyph, the ogonek should also connect in a corner – as opposed to «curvy» glyphs like the "e", where it has to grow out of the curve?
To me the angular versions look more tacked on. But maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way.
I'm curious – what do you think of the Eogonek in Perpetua oder Bauer Bodoni as shown on Adam's site here?
http://www.twardoch.com/download/polishhowto/e1ogonek_overview.gif

Christopher, I see what you mean with the right-angle thing, but I'm not sure I agree. In the "A" and "a" the idea was to tilt/lift the serif, like a foot, off the baseline, which makes it flat on top and slanted on the bottom (and then let that slant extend into the ogonek); the serif isn't being distorted or enlarged, it's just flipped.
The situation in the "E" is different in that the structure of the base glyph is not changed with the addition of the ogonek (which does bother me a bit).

Jan Zurawski's picture

1. design of ogonek
2. resulting sketch


Adam Twardoch: "There are two correct ways of attaching ogonek to the base serif of capital A. The attaching point can be either placed in the centre of the stem or may be merged with the inner part of the base serif. Attaching ogonek to the outer part of the base serif = very incorrect!" (Adam's site, op. cit.)

Please remember: the ogonek does NOT alter the basic glyph (besides when someone is merging ogonek with inner serif of A, rare and sophisticated).

- "Eogonek in Perpetua oder Bauer Bodoni": Ogonek in Perpetua should be shifted a bit to the left, ogonek in Bodoni is not consistent with the glyphs' axis [vertical].

See also: http://www.alfabety.pl/portfolio/ for example fonts Helga and Sentex, by Łukasz Dziedzic.

Jan Żurawski

dziedzic's picture

My short theory about ogoneks: it's just a move. Similar move to „a” belly but shorter and faster. No details. Just fast move to next glyph. Enough.

twardoch's picture

A quick sketch that I have done just now:

to show how the stress and the proportions might be. There many ways to do it, the stress and the color is the key. Also the size — since Palatino has very long ascenders and descenders, the ogonek should certainly not be as huge as the descenders. But it shouldn't be very small either.

BTW, the images on my "Polish how-to" page are really quite old and I need to revise some. Indeed, the ogoneks in the Bauer Bodoni sample should have an upright axis. I hope I'll find the time to update the page.

twardoch's picture

BTW, the "original" glyph to which the ogonek attaches is the "e", because the letter "ę" is actually the Latin letter e caudata, which in the Middle Ages was an alternative way of writing æ. Later, when the Latin spelling standardized on using æ and later just ae, the e caudate letter was repurposed by the Polish to denote the nasalized e.

Claude Garamond's Gros Canon includes a really beautiful e caudata which works 100% as the Polish ę today: (my image on Flickr).

The cauda or ogonek (tail) was later added to the other letters in Polish, and later in Lithuanian. But I still find that the form that merges with e is the key, and for me always the origin. In handwriting, ę is written in one move, as a kind of "two semi-loops". This is why for calligraphic designs, I usually try to replicate the curvature and the endine of the bottom part of e in the ogonek. The top part of the ogonek is usually a somewhat flat curve. In Palatino, I tend to make it a bit flatter than in other typefaces, because you have lots of those "sudden flat curves" as in the bottom part of the Roman a bowl.

In more constructed typefaces, especially those with a small aperture (i.e. where the glyphs c or e are rather closed), the ogonek cannot be drawn in one stroke with the e (e.g. in Univers). Then, it is usually not so "closed" either, and can be placed more freely, e.g. a bit more towards the middle of the letter as in Łukasz Dziedzic's FF Good:

dezcom's picture

What about ogonek on extra bold sans with short decenders?Sometimes there just isn't room for the upward curve at the end. Is a flat bottom ogonek ever acceptable?

twardoch's picture

Chris,

the following shows the necessary steps of "degradation" (i.e. size reduction and shape complexity reduction) of an ogonek if the descenders were getting shorter and shorter:

(The one on the left is the original FF Good by Łukasz Dziedzic, the further examples are my take on that "degradation"). I hope this explains the idea.

The one furthest right probably makes no sense anymore in lowercase (since descenders are unlikely to be that short), but in an all-uppercase alphabet that is supposed to be "all of the same height", i.e. where all the Latin uppercase letters are supposed to fill out the vertical space, and the diacritic marks kind of "interfere", this is how you'd make it. Just a short, thick stroke, oblique to the right, that hints the beginning of an ogonek curve, is appropriate.

Please scroll to the right to see the entire image.

Adam

dezcom's picture

Adam,
Your example at least has curves on the bottom of the bowls so the upcurved ogonek seems at home. I was thinking of a flat bottomed sans. I do see your logic though! Thanks for the help!

twardoch's picture

Chris,

generally, if you take a very abstract view on the ogonek and imagine that it's a part of a circle (which of course it isn't, but just very broadly), then you have the liberty to take various "slices" of the circle: 2/3 of a circle would be the fullest, 1/2 of the circle is quite common, and 1/3 or even 1/4 of the circle are shorter. Here's this idea:

Of course in fact, it's not part of a circle but of a calligraphic, oblique ellipse:

The size of the ogonek on the left is exagerrated (for the sake of comparison), and it's very basic skeletons, but the principle stands.

twardoch's picture

Chris, in your examples, #1 and #2 work, but #3 and #4 I feel are too complex, The proportions are too exagerrated into the horizontal. I generally prefer ogoneks that are somewhat within the proportions (height-to-width aspect ratio) of the base letters, preferrably "neutral" lowercase (i.e. such as "a" or "n"). If you look at the image below:

I've marked with grey the area that the "a" glyph would take. The "e" is typically wider than the "a". So an ogonek that has the same aspect ratio as the "a" or as the "e" usually works well. If it's too narrow (like the red ones on the left) or too wide (like the red ones on the right), then it starts looking strange.

Of course, the actual "scaling factor" between the base lowercase body and the ogonek body depends very much on the descenders. If they're short, you need to compress more. In the example above, the condensed letters (in the top row) would in reality unlikely have so long descenders, so some downscaling compensation would apply, as described below.

Here's an image that shows the lowercase x-height body (darker gray), the ascenders and descenders zones (lighter gray) and the ogonek "zone":

Just like with optical sizing, if you scale down more, you have to widen a bit (that's the downscaling compensation I'm talking about). So if the descenders are quite long compared to the x-height, then the ogonek can be fairly long and then generally maintain the height-to-width ratio of the neutral lowercase letters. If the descenders are very short, so the ogonek needs to be scaled down a lot to fit into the descender zone, then it can be relatively a bit wider, but not too wide. If you make it too wide, the deviation of the aspect ratio between the main body of the letters and the ogoneks becomes too distracting. And that's what is happening in Chris's #2 and #3 examples, I think.

Hope this helps.

dezcom's picture

Thanks, Adam!

Tristan Bowersox's picture

After reading through this, I decided to try to add ogoneks to Albuquerque. I wonder if you might tell me how I've done. The aogonek comes in three levels of integration with the main form, the rightmost one being merely taken from the eogonek and laid on the a. For the Eogonek, I tried to somewhat hint at the line leading over to the serif, but because it is a slab, I can't lead off from the left side of it as in some of the examples posted...

The q is included to show you the descender line.

Igor Freiberger's picture

These are the ogoneks included in my project. Hope they are OK.

Igor Freiberger's picture

Another sample:

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