Pointing hand icon?

union's picture

Hi

I was wondering if anyone knows the name of the pointing hand icon which appears in some fonts. I visited a museum in Italy last week, and I was surprised to see these pointing icons used in a book from the 16th century.

Anyone know the history of this symbol?

Thanks

Jim

Grant Hutchinson's picture

Fists and/or hands, as far as I recall.

Additional background available here:

http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/4549.html

John Hudson's picture

The traditional English name is, as Grant notes, 'fist'. As an esoteric historical aside, Garamond's fists had six digits, here reproduced in our Garamond 1530:
Garamond fist

magnus_gaarde's picture

"Printer's fist, fist, fist indicator, hand, poiting hand, indicator, index, digit, you name it."

From the book:
'H

hrant's picture

John, I'm counting seven. Unless one of the fingers is missing, or conjoined, but then we'd have to define "finger"...

hhp

speter's picture

Ah, such pointed discussion. I have to hand it to you all!

Frank Jonen's picture

Here's my 2

dewitt's picture

Hey, can't you guys stop talking about fists and get back to talking about hands?




Sorry...I never could resist a pun, good or bad. By the way, does anyone know the history behind calling text hand? Is that where we get handwriting from? Come on, give me a hand. (Ok, I'll stop.)

as8's picture

got a mac icon.
AS


application/x-macbinary
mano (0.8 k)

dezcom's picture

After all, it is digital typography :-)

John Hudson's picture

Tiffany, that is splendid! Next time I design a fist for a typeface, I'm going to model it on the hand of Constantine.

grod's picture

In UTF-8 the following are the html character codes for various hands (note, this probably won't display in IE... Gecko based browsers won't have a problem)
☚ BLACK LEFT POINTING INDEX
☛ BLACK RIGHT POINTING INDEX
☜ WHITE LEFT POINTING INDEX
☝ WHITE UP POINTING INDEX
☞ WHITE RIGHT POINTING INDEX
☟ WHITE DOWN POINTING INDEX

ON PREVIEW: Turns out the forum software doesn't allow character codes. You'll have to test it for yourselves.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Not really on topic but I thought it fun to post it anyway.

thefinger

sunghee's picture

Hi all,

Can anyone recommend a good-looking fist? I was searching for the typeface that has fist and stumbled onto this discussion. I don't seem to have Garamond 1530 in my system. Thanks!

will powers's picture

Back in September James Craig asked this question on the ATypI list:

"Ever wonder about the origins of the pointing hand?"

And then, noting that "This article may tell you more than you wish to know about the subject," posted this link:

http://www.livesandletters.ac.uk/papers/FOR_2005_04_002.html

Check it out; fascinating.

powers

dezcom's picture

Will gets the "Fickle Finger of Fate" award :-)

ChrisL

Michael Hernan's picture

I am having a go at modern interpretations of fists...

The VR Glove already exists in 'ISOGLYPH' which is a rounded font but for what I am working on now: "Myopia', I am looking to develop something a little more pointy. I am not comfortable with seeing the fingers (it seems too polite) so I will try and put a glove on this one aswell...

_________________________________
Michael Hernan

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