Terminology question: glyph that is a full word

nemy's picture

What is the name for a glyph which contains a full word?
I am looking for typefaces which contain glyphs that are complete words - like "THE" or "AND".
It's hard to search for these because I don't know the term. And searching for "and glyph" really ain't working.

Nick Shinn's picture

Word logos/word logotypes.

“Word” is somewhat redundant, as λογος means word. However, Linotype manufactured what it termed “logotypes” for its system in the early 20th century, and these were “pre-kerned” two-letter glyph combinations of Ta, Wo, etc. Therefore, to distinguish from these, it is probably best to add the word “word”, as John Downer does in describing the logotypes he made for Brothers.

Whether this terminology is widespread, or reflected in keywords, is another matter.

hrant's picture

The way somebody like Downer would use it, it would be "catchword"* (from signpainting). But in terms of typography "logotype" is indeed the common term (and as Nick says it could be as short as two letters).

* Related: http://fontsinuse.com/the-chop-shop/

There was even once a patent involving an expanded typecase (I mean for hand-setting) where in addition to individual letters there were a large number of frequently-occurring letter sequences. The point was to save not only time but money, since typesetters would charge by the sort. :-) But then the typesetters switched to charging by the letter...

I featured much of this in one of my Thessaloniki talks - I'll try to dig up some visuals.

hhp

charles ellertson's picture

Hrant,

The point was to save not only time but money, since typesetters would charge by the sort. :-) But then the typesetters switched to charging by the letter...

And now, most of us charge by the page (again). Different reasons, & I doubt it will lead to the dreaded wide word spacing.

* * *

A lot of people don't seem to know the uses of the word "logotype." I used that word to refer to the two-character pairs available in some Linotype fonts (Va, Ve, Vo, Vu, Ta, Te, To, Tu, Fa, etc.) & got a ??? from an "expert reader."

oldnick's picture

A second vote for catchword, although in a general sense “ideogram” could also be appropriate…

riccard0's picture

An older thread on the same subject with links to other even older interesting threads.
For what is worth, Wikipedia calls them catchwords too.

eliason's picture

I've seen "catchword" for this too, but the problem with using "catchword " is that it is also (probably more prominently) used to describe when the first word of the following page is also placed at the bottom of the current one.

Of course, "logotype" also has the meaning of "wordmark," so it's not "clean" either...

riccard0's picture

Ok, so it seems I was dreaming when referring to Wikipedia…

hrant's picture

Here's one of the visuals from that talk of mine:


So the French called it "poly[ma]typie". And I remember now that "logography" was another term for the method of using multi-letter sorts. No matter what you call it it's pretty impressive (if actually to me not surprising) that a typesetter could handle this many types of sorts, at speed.

BTW, to add to the confusion: logograph/logogram and ideograph/ideograph are often used to speak about Chinese...

> I doubt it will lead to the dreaded wide word spacing.

But what about a sneaky font choice, like Mrs Eaves? :-)

hhp

Si_Daniels's picture

In a recent project we've been calling these single word glyphs "lockups" which seemed like a less loaded term than logotype, but "catchword" would probably work.

oldnick's picture

BTW, to add to the confusion: logograph/logogram and ideograph/ideograph are often used to speak about Chinese...

Often, but not exclusively; hence, exceptions are possible…

Andreas Stötzner's picture

In German: Logotype

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