What signs are theese?

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Fernando Díaz's picture
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What signs are theese?
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Hello everybody,
I'm back with some questions (and soon 2 new fonts at critiq forum!)

This new thread is for me (and for you) to post unknown signs.

I have 2 that I want to know were are they from:
I know that they are from Latin, but are they still used? where they modified? etc...

Thanks a lot!

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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The second one is probably a "que" ligature, assuming the words they end are atque (and), eamque (same) and utrumque (either)...

Fernando Díaz's picture
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Joined: 6 Jul 2007 - 2:30pm
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Very intresting!

But in this book there is a word with "qu", the word is: "extorqueda"
(meanwhile im uploading the hole page while listening to the jazz music on your page, you shure have a lot of fonts at myfonts!)

Fernando Díaz's picture
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Joined: 6 Jul 2007 - 2:30pm
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Here is the full page!

Will this sign have something to do?: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yogh

hope it helps...

Victor Curran's picture
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Joined: 31 Dec 2008 - 3:34pm
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The first one appears to be a double i ligature (Herbariis), with a j used for the second i, similar to the fs combination sometimes used in early printing to represent the double-s ligature.

Fernando Díaz's picture
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Makes sense!
Thank you.

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
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Oldnick is right, the sign similar to a qz contraction is a que ligature used at the end of the words in late Latin (mostly Medieval). You may find que and qua in the middle of words, where the ligature is not used.

You may do a Google search about any of these words using [ue] at the end –like atq[ue]. The [ue] is a graphical standard to this ligature.

The other is a ij ligature. Accord to the age of document or inscription, you may find it as ii or ij. This is because J does not exist in early Latin, it was added much later. So there are IUS and JUS in different Latin inscriptions.

Fernando Díaz's picture
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Joined: 6 Jul 2007 - 2:30pm
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Thanks :)

Jan Żurawski's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2005 - 12:21pm
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Now then the next enigma: http://typophile.com/files/elzevier_5773.png
Rotated "x:"
Book: Codicis Justiniani Imp., printed 1661 by Elzeviers, Amsterdam
( http://typophile.com/node/70100 )

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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"Rotated "x:"

Most likely an improvised Section Mark...

Jan Żurawski's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2005 - 12:21pm
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Nick, I don't think Elzeviers used any improvised sign, they printed the whole Roman law (some thousand pages...) in 1661-63.

Fernando Díaz's picture
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They sure where creative at that times...

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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Nick, I don't think Elzeviers used any improvised sign, they printed the whole Roman law (some thousand pages...) in 1661-63.

Perhaps not, but if their fount inventory lacked a scilicet character, a rotated x plus colon is a rather clever visual improvisation.

Charles Ellertson's picture
Joined: 3 Nov 2004 - 11:00am
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Another generality -- if a line was going too loose or to tight with handset type, the compositor might use an abbreviation to get things to fit.

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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A related question: Are there any abbrevations and/or contractions you would consider usable in contemporary typesetting? We have & of course.

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
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This is a Law text –actually, the Code of Laws from Justinianus Age, which regulated Roman law for a long time and produced decisive inffluence over European Law until Modern Age. It's a very formal text and surely this x is not an invention or improvisation. Even the abbreviations, largely used in the text, follow the classic Roman standard.

I'm trying to discover what is this x. JanekZ, do it appears in other places? If yes, can you give fragments of the text before and after it?

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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surely this is not an invention or improvisation.

And you can assert this because...? Thus far, I have found information on the historical development of the Section Mark to be sadly lacking, so I don't think anyone can claim to know whether or not it would appear in the Elzeviers job case...

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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Here is a copy of the same passage from the book, printed in Venice in 1773, with the character in question enlarged and boxed...

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
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And you can assert this because...

...in a code of Laws wrote in Latin they simply did not use procedures like improvised marks. This kind of book was intended as a reference for elite readers. Its nature was outside the range of publication were typographers from 17th Century use to adapt another type to a new function.

Do not understand me wrongly. I'm not saying that section mark –or ANY mark– was not subject to improvisation or experiments. But for this kind of text, this was not usual.

This may be a section mark, the context where it was applied suggest this. But it does not seem to be a rotated x with two dots. Instead, it seems to be a cut made for this purpose and thus would be found in other texts.

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
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Very interesting, Nick. This ff. is a Latin abbrevation to something like "in the next pages folows".

It makes sense with the text before, "in cap. 5." (or "in C. 5.", as in the JanekZ image). So the text is actually copying parts of old Justinianus Codex and point that in its capt. 5 follows the text "D: caus. poss. ..." (De causa possessione).

Jan Żurawski's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2005 - 12:21pm
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Thanks Igor for your interest. It was first thing I checked... yes, this sign does appear on other pages. I will do some scans, but you know, this book has 1400 pages and 350 years so scaning is not a quick and dirty job (and now is midnight;).

Fernando Díaz's picture
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Very intreresting!
Accesing some other old books i found a lot of "qu" ligatures that are very creative...

In spanish the "q" is allways followed by "u", so a ligature could be interesting...

@JanekZ, you can try takeing pictures with a camera tomorrow its better for the book.
Do we all typophile's collect books?

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
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JanekZ: a possible test to see if this is a sign to replace ff. is to verify if there are any "normal" ff. in the text. As there are many ss in Latin, printed with long s, the ff. sigla may cause confusion with ss. Thus it would originated this x.

Strass: Q is followed by u in all cases also in Portuguese. See you: I made a reference about Quiroga and its ligatures in the first version of this message... and then released you're the Quiroga designer!

This is a fascinating investigation. An useful article about Latin abbreviations is available in Wikipedia.

Fernando Díaz's picture
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Joined: 6 Jul 2007 - 2:30pm
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Freiberg! It is a fascinating investigation indeed,
I want to add a "qu" ligature to my typefaces,
this is why I'm investigating some old books.

This investigation is quite usefull!

I'm currently designing two new typefaces, see them here:

- http://typophile.com/node/72767
- http://typophile.com/node/72770

(Feedback is more than welcome)
Regards!

PS: I initialized a thred on old books images so I
can have more letter references: http://typophile.com/node/72768

Igor Freiberger's picture
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Joined: 20 Jun 2008 - 8:44pm
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Fernando, I sent you a private message.

Jan Żurawski's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2005 - 12:21pm
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First the another "x:" (IT IS "x", I checked it)

and ff ligature

Fernando: In the thread http://typophile.com/node/70292 is my sample of Arrighi's italic. You could see some sigla, exempli gratia "q;" (=que).

Andreas Stötzner's picture
Joined: 12 Mar 2007 - 10:21am
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I never came across the case of the rotated x (I’ve done *some little* work on these matters). I guess, one would need to physically look at the printed volume; most likely there’s a sigla explanation anywhere in it.

For those who want to go a bit deeper in the matter of Latin abbreviation characters in typography, I suggest checking the MUFI character recommendation for reference.

Nick Curtis's picture
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Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
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Another possibility for the rotated x: ※ or Reference Mark.

Worth looking at...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scribal_abbreviation

Igor Freiberger's picture
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As JanekZ images shows, it's not ff. The mistery follows.
Thanks a lot, Andreas. I was looking for this yesterday, but did not remember the MUFI accronym.

Jan Żurawski's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2005 - 12:21pm
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Page 90 for download: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=7XGKT350 (600 dpi)
(Fernando, please try again, sorry)

Fernando Díaz's picture
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Joined: 6 Jul 2007 - 2:30pm
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The file is temporary desactivated :I

Nick Curtis's picture
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Since Janek's other examples clearly show both the ff ligature and the section mark AND the Venice edition interprets the mark in question as ff, it is fair to assume that the typositor of the Elzeviers edition interpreted the mark as something else. Yet another possibility is that it is, indeed, a scilicet mark...

David Yoon's picture
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Joined: 17 Apr 2006 - 7:58pm
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Just guessing wildly from context here, but could it be an symbol for either tituli or tractatūs?

Jan Żurawski's picture
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Joined: 3 Sep 2005 - 12:21pm
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"※ or Reference Mark" - I wanna agree with Nick.
Two more pages, 600 dpi, ~15 MB each:
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=K6Y2BII3
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=H14L2TNT