What's the deal with the lowercase y in Calibri?

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Christer M.L. Bendixen's picture
Joined: 20 Jan 2011 - 3:48am
What's the deal with the lowercase y in Calibri?
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Hello, I'm new :)

I'm making a logo, and Calibri turned out to be the best font available. I noticed the little characteristic of the lower case "y". I've decided to remove it, so the typo doesn't compete with the symbol I'm making.

It's always good to know the reasons for the rules you're breaking, though. So I'm wondering if there is anything I should know.

Ben Mitchell's picture
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Joined: 12 Aug 2007 - 4:05pm
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I suspect it's to avoid the junction looking too black where the strokes converge. It's drawn this way in a number of fonts. There's also a common difficulty that to make the inside counterspace large enough, the junction has to extend below the baseline — this solution avoids that.

Christer M.L. Bendixen's picture
Joined: 20 Jan 2011 - 3:48am
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Good answer! Thanks :)

So if I don't want that solution, I should have it descend lower than the baseline?

Just found your logo forum, I'll have to check if I can post my sketch there.

Adam Twardoch's picture
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Joined: 3 Dec 2002 - 7:36pm
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Christer,

also, in your variant, the lines don't optically align. The left edge of the aperture (top opening) and of the descending part don't align in your example -- the left edge of the descending part looks too much off to the left. If you look at other letters such as x, they are often drawn in a similar way (there is no geometric alignment but instead, an optical one). The problem of two intersecting diagonal bars is that, especially when the angle is minimal, the optical illusion makes them appear as if the edges wouldn't align.

Christer M.L. Bendixen's picture
Joined: 20 Jan 2011 - 3:48am
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You're talking about this line, right?

Doesn't seem to align at all :) Suppose I'll just align it geometrically and then fiddle and tweak until it looks right. Hope the descender doesn't end up so small it looks like a "v" with some horrible mutation

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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It's always good to know the reasons for the rules you're breaking

Ah, the traditional modernist/post-modernist dictum instilled in all NSCAD University students. Good times.

Christer M.L. Bendixen's picture
Joined: 20 Jan 2011 - 3:48am
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I've never even been to the same continent as NSCAD, but i guess they're intelligent people :)

Can't post the logo just yet, but I've made the changes to the y. The left edge of the descender still had to be a bit further to the left than it would be if it were geometrically aligned. I also made a small change to the left arm (if that's the correct term)

Looks to me like I'm done, but I'm no type designer.