The Rise and Fall of Fancy Eff (Which Apparently Does Not Render in the Typeface Chosen for Forum Titles)

heinous's picture

Hello old ƒriends.

A casual conversation in which I made a couple of claims has resulted in a search for evidence to back those claims, and, though I have seen this with my own eyes, I cannot find what I am thinking of. Or rather, what I am thinking oƒ.

My query is threeƒold:

1. What is the proper name of ƒ? Windows Character Map calls it "Latin Small Letter F With Hook." That sounds donkey, but I can't come up with a better name. All I can think of is, "You know, the eff you use when you're writing a function in math."

2. When (90s?) and why (ease of typing? sorting?) did the practice of prefacing or appending folder names with ƒ on Mac OS come into practice, and how widespread was this practice? The latter question leads me to 3.

3. This is where my conversation got interesting. I feel like the use of this "Fancy F" in wordmarks, particularly those set in Didone, was very trendy somewhere in the early nineties (perhaps coincidental with the nascence of desktop publishing?) But since I don't know how to search for this ƒ, I don't know how to do any research on this topic.

So, wtƒ is it called?

eliason's picture

In some contexts it's called the florin sign.

riccard0's picture

Keep also in mind that in some italic styles, ƒ is how a simple f would appear.
And I think it was Apple itself which started the usage of ƒ (alt-f) for folder.
More technicalities than you ever wanted to know:
http://typophile.com/node/35138

About the florin:
http://typophile.com/node/13226

heinous's picture

Thanks guys!

Re: Riccard0:
In most of the instances I've seen it used in a wordmark, it wasn't set in italic. It's usually just a florin (thanks!) used instead of an f for flourish.

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