FF Meta y

Typogruffer's picture

Hey guys,
I was just looking at FF Meta and I have to say that the 'y' character is driving me crazy. Was it intended to be like that or just an oversight( which i don't think it is). Don't get me wrong, it is an amazing font but...

FF meta hebrew y problem.JPG14.18 KB
Ryan Maelhorn's picture

a lot of Meta's appeal is it's uniqueness. Have you seen the g?

Typogruffer's picture

Yes. A very innovative and a unique g and I love it. But still why y?

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

umm, same reason.

Consider some of the definitions of the word "Meta."

Change in position or form, alteration, transposition: metathesis, metasomatism.

going beyond or higher, transcending: used to form terms designating an area of study whose purpose is to examine the nature, assumptions, structure, etc. of a (specified) field.

Typography.Guru's picture

the 'y' character is driving me crazy.

Why? It's a valid design principle to draw it this way — especially for typefaces intended for smaller sizes. If the strokes would meet exactly at the baseline, then it would look optically incorrect. The way it is drawn in Meta (and some other typefaces) it stresses the character's anchoring on the baseline.

Typogruffer's picture

If the strokes would meet exactly at the baseline, then it would look optically incorrect.

Thanks a lot. Gives me more food for thinking about typefaces at small pt. sizes

Jens Kutilek's picture

Ryan, LOL. Meta was intended to be a workhorse typeface for the German Post Office. It’s safe to assume there was no philiosophical thinking involved. (And it was called PT55 originally.)

Instead, consider what would be the alternative for the y?

(Top is the original in Normal, Bold, Black)

The cut in the falling diagonal prevents a black spot and accentuates the baseline. At least that’s what I think.

Jens Kutilek's picture

Oops, I didn’t see Ralf’s post before sending mine ;)

Nick Shinn's picture

Two Zapf faces from the 1950s with this feature:

William Berkson's picture

It's also in Spiekermann's Officina Sans, which came before Meta.

hrant's picture

I'm not a fan of the tail, but the notch is grand. Here's Patria's "y":


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