IIIlllIIIll The i’s and L’s of typography.

You know what I really strongly dislike with the fiery burning passion of ten thousand exploding super nova suns? The fact that some people who develop type face think it’s funny to make the i’s and l’s look exactly the same.

The whole point of type face is to be creative and show design in a way that most people don’t look at unless it’s REALLY bad. Yes, I am looking at you comic sans, bravo. Back on topic even comic sans can look good. HOWEVER people have no idea how to use it. So what makes a type face good? Well for starters all your letters both capital and lower-case must look different. Otherwise that makes you look lazy and unoriginal. How original is it to make your capital i’s and lower-case l’s a straight line? Were is the pizazz! The spark! The wonder! It’s GONE! That’s where. What good does a line do? Even I can make a line, and that’s saying something. Β What are these typographers trying to prove or say by making this. Are they disturbed? Where they abandoned as a child and have some issue with letters? I can only imagine a situation like that going something like this.

Mother: “Johnny! Put those magnetic letters back on the fridge or I will take the letters off that typewriter and spank you with them!”

I assume she favoured the i’s and l’s. Get a nice straight angle to drive the most pain per square millimetre.

When you walk into a restaurant as a designer, or more specifically as a typographer, the first thing you notice is how bad the menu looks. So it’s and Italian restaurant and they are using Arial. Why on earth would an ITALIAN restaurant use Arial? They need to use something like Mostra Nuova or maybe a more classic look like Bembo. Not saying that there is anything particularly troubling or not ascetically pleasing with Arial, just that it doesn’t fit with the ascetic of the place and style of the menu.

So the reason I am making this is because I wanted to talk about the illumination proclamation. A title that I gave to a study I am doing about light illumination versus visibility. So I WAS going to write about illumination on light, emphasis on WAS, when I realized that this theme has straight lines as their capital i’s and lower-case l’s during editing. Which put me in a bad mood and now I want to go and code in a proper type face.


AAAAAND end scene.



2 thoughts on “IIIlllIIIll The i’s and L’s of typography.

  1. Don’t forget about the o and O and 0… πŸ™‚

    I don’t think the designers of the English alphabet said, “Let’s put in two characters that look almost the same!” The letters just happened to evolve the way that they did from earlier alphabets. (I = iota/yodh, L = lambda/lamedh)

    Early typewriters sometimes took advantage of these similarities. Many early typewriters didn’t even have a 1 key; the numerals started at “2”, and typists used a lower-case l to type a numerical “1”.

    Such similarities may have helped keep the manufacturing costs of a typewriter down low, but look-alike symbols became more problematic in the programming age, so many font designers today take care to keep each character looking distinct.

    Since capital letters only appear at the beginning of proper nouns in upper/lower text and since el is a consonant and eye is a vowel, in fact there isn’t much confusion.

    In some sans-serif fonts the serifs are kept on the upper-case β€œI” and the serif to the top left of the lower-case β€œl” is retained to avoid possibility of confusion.

    For fonts used in programming, it is important that β€œI’ (eye), β€œl” (el), β€œ1” (one), and β€œ|” (β€œor” symbol) be easily distinguished. For that reason, programmers tend to use Courier, or Courier New or Consolas.

    Overall, good article. I like that you’re thinking about these things.

    Now go and buy http://inthemindofi.com and put this up there. πŸ™‚

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