Slightly smaller caps

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Henry 'Pi' James's picture
Joined: 11 May 2007 - 9:47pm
Slightly smaller caps
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From the new Sherlock Holmes movie:

My first question is, is there a typographic term for this kind of slightly smaller caps (or larger small caps, if you will)?

I've seen it in some books before, mostly for proper names. Presumably it's used because the font doesn't have a set of small caps, and scaling regular caps down 5% or 10% obviously doesn't look so bad as scaling them down to x-height.

So my second questions is, are there fonts with a set of those slightly smaller caps -- maybe in addition to a set of regular small caps?

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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You might find something by looking for "mid caps" or "medium caps".
FF Atma is a typeface that comes to mind – it has 3 sizes of smaller caps, including mid caps.

Henry 'Pi' James's picture
Joined: 11 May 2007 - 9:47pm
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Thanks! Apparently, those caps in the Baker Street sign above is called three-quarter caps -- or quarter caps (QC) in short. Between them and small caps (SC), there is mid caps (MC). Also, there is petite caps (PC) which are even smaller than SC. I assume these are all the commonly known sizes of small caps?

Atma has SC, MC and QC, but does any font have all four?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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"Quarter caps" is totally misleading.
I would call those Almost Caps.

hhp

Florian Hardwig's picture
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Joined: 18 Feb 2007 - 6:41am
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Atma has SC, MC and QC, but does any font have all four?

I doubt it. When would one need five sets of caps (incl. the regular full-size caps)?
More typefaces with petite caps in this older thread.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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What would -have been- nice is Multiple-Master smallcaps fonts with a height axis. Sigh.

hhp

Nina Stössinger's picture
Joined: 19 Jun 2006 - 3:01pm
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Wow, sorry, I thought the "Quarter Caps" were the smaller ones. Misleading indeed.

I personally think 2 sets of smallcaps is very nice to have, 3 gets harder to manage, and 4 is really overkill for all but the most exotic applications. BTW it's also worth considering that small caps and petite caps have their own OT features, while more additional cap sizes need to be put into stylistic sets.

Henry 'Pi' James's picture
Joined: 11 May 2007 - 9:47pm
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"Quarter caps" is obviously misleading. Instead of the somewhat comical "almost caps", I'd call them "lesser caps".

Christian R Szabo's picture
Joined: 3 Oct 2008 - 7:28pm
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Micro caps?

Gerald M. Kowarsky's picture
Joined: 27 Mar 2006 - 11:06am
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What would -have been- nice is Multiple-Master smallcaps fonts with a height axis.

How true!