What is with this "J"?

evanmacdonald's picture

I found this in a PDF. I am confused.

This J looks quite strange. Any ideas? It this fine?


jselig's picture

The 2 looks pretty off as well.

Don McCahill's picture

Off, or awful?

The whole font is questionable. The s is atrocious too. But you get what you pay for, and hey, it was free!

dtw's picture

Blech. Note how the URL reverted to a (better) default font though!

Theunis de Jong's picture

"Italics? Who needs an Italic font if you have Word?" (The italics are obviously a slanted roman)

... "Letterspacing? What's that?" (It appears a tracking of about +20 is applied to all)

.... "Kerning? Not necessary on a well-defined font!" ("W.", "Ac", "Au", "T/Jo")

So, humour us. Where did you find this gem?

Jongseong's picture

It appears a tracking of about +20 is applied to all

My guess is that's how the font is actually spaced.

BeauW's picture

OK, the J is bizarre (and the 2, and the 'e' is too small), but I don't mind the rest. It has a nice hand-carved look to it.
I've just finished reading "Goudy's Type Designs, His Story And Specimens" and plenty of his work seems as rough.

At least this seems clean and has a nice weight- from what I can see. Plenty of room for improvement, but I would use it on a yardsale poster, or for a lost cat, without reservations.

Bendy's picture

The lc g is funny ;)

dtw's picture

@Beau: Yeah, but you wouldn't use it in an academic article, which is what this looks like (since the extract is a reference citing a Springer journal article)...

eliason's picture

It's not an article, but rather the cover page to an article added by J-STOR, a prominent scholarly archive.
I recognized it immediately (I use J-STOR all the time), so I looked an article up to see what it was supposed to look like, assuming that the original poster's computer was doing some funky font substitution. Lo and behold, I zoomed in and realized it looks the same on my computer too. Weird, and weird that I had never noticed that before.

Michel Boyer's picture

The font is Code 2000 (James Kass' site) which contains a huge quantity of characters. Here is its Cherokee letter gu:

John Hudson's picture

Academics have often had to fall back on amateur fonts in order to find support for the rare and unusual characters that they require. Often, such fonts are made by their colleagues, and are seldom of high aesthetic or technical quality.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I'll note that if a font is embedded in a PDF, one can simply use Reader or Acrobat to tell you what the embedded fonts are: File > Document Properties, then select the "Fonts" tab.



quadibloc's picture

The design of the Roman letters reminds me of drawings in the traditional Chinese almanac that show the appearance of its characters.

dberlow's picture

Here's an answer from a completely alien thread, I hope it is helpful:

>In our street, there is a donut baker, who embeds his finger into his behind and then into his donuts, and when he sees people vomiting on the sidewa[lk], he can tell where the donuts came from.


Michel Boyer's picture

The font is used only in the bibiogrphical reference on the front page. The rest of the article is a copy of the original. Here is an example of front page:

Reed Reibstein's picture

I've been whining about the JSTOR type for a while; it's just incredible how bad the Latin is. But I looked up Code 2000 not too long ago, and now I feel a bit bad about maligning it given that it has such an enormous language range. Are there any better drawn faces that JSTOR could substitute that would still allow them to set just about any language?

thetophus's picture

I don't see anything wrong with the typeface itself, the problem I see is the application. I would consider it a display face, although it seems like it was designed to be a multi-purpose font. So maybe it's the right application after all...

tina_h's picture

"Are there any better drawn faces that JSTOR could substitute that would still allow them to set just about any language?"

Has anyone taken a close look at Gentium? I saw it for the first time today at the TOC Conference in New York. It was mentioned as an open source typeface with a huge range of unicode characters. It sets Russian, Chinese and math equations. Looked very nice on the big screen, with nice italics. Would love to hear what you guys think:


DrDoc's picture

I looked at that J and instantly thought, "JSTOR." We humanities and social science students encounter that J all too often.

Jongseong's picture

Gentium covers a huge range of Latin-based alphabets and also covers basic Cyrillic and Greek. But it doesn't include Chinese characters. You must have seen it used in combination with another font that supports Chinese.

Code2000, on the other hand, covers just about every writing system you can think of; take a look at the list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Code2000. There are not many other fonts with even comparable coverage of the world's writing systems.

A quick search reveals Code2000 includes 53,068 characters (63,546 glyphs) in version 1.171. TITUS Cyberbit Unicode by comparison has 36,161 characters in version 4.0, and Gentium has around 1,500 glyphs.

sandrosandro's picture

what about that N? This looks like someone tried to draw serif with a ruler.

Theunis de Jong's picture

So this font usage *is* justified after all? One Font To Rule Them All?

Perhaps it is -- no time slash money to check per case what font combos best suit plain text plus a smattering of other scripts. I always take my time to scan my library for the best font that also covers all characters I need -- it can take some time, finding, say, a Chinese font, with that particular requirement.

Given the sheer number of characters, I suspect class kerning is out of the picture :-) And the odd "J" must have been to save one single position in the glyph list, dubbing for the Cherokee eclectic "TJ".

Does Code2000 come with a real beta, or is that fused with the German double es?

Michel Boyer's picture

Here are the Cherokee letters (from 13A0 to 13F4)

Here are beta and eszett (U+00DF).

Note also that the combining diacritics are defined and functional.


dtw's picture

Sounds like a job for that Typophile Font people keep trying to get off the ground ;-)

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