Dropping the extender in a paragraph of small caps

WilliamK's picture

Hi All,

I'm battling to find out how to drop the descender of one letter in a paragraph of small caps. E.g. in a paragraph:
"THE SMALL DESCENDER ADJUSTED.." - I want to extend the bottom of the "J" to about 20% below the baseline.

Any ideas how? Or what this type of lettering would be called?

Thanks in advance!

fontfanone's picture

Check out Fontin font.
This font has "J" about 20% below baseline

Frode Bo Helland's picture

You will need a font that has this kind of small cap j and select that glyph, either manually in the glyph palette or via some OT feature. If the font doesn’t have a descending small cap j, you can always ask the type designer/foundry to modify the font.

Joshua Langman's picture

The best idea, of course, is to get a font that has the character you want. But in a pinch you can always convert the type to outlines and manually pull down the bottom of the character. You will probably have to modify the terminal to get it to look right.

JamesM's picture

If you're using a page layout program like InDesign, you could also select the J and modify the vertical scale of the character to make it taller, then adjust the baseline shift to move it down. But you end up with a distorted letter, so it's not the best solution.

Nick Shinn's picture

Three Shinntype faces have this design:
Bodoni Egyptian Pro, Beaufort Pro and Pratt Pro.

quadibloc's picture

Caslon - and Imprint, derived from Caslon - have this characteristic, and no doubt many other oldstyle typefaces do as well. Ah, yes: Garamond, Bembo, and even Baskerville do this.

Speaking of Bembo, in my search, I came across this article which turned out not to be a criticism of Bembo itself per se, but about the fact that the digital versions of Bembo and many other typefaces don't come in modified versions for different point sizes.

charles ellertson's picture

My personal belief is you can't be a typesetter without owning, and being able to use, just a bit, a font editing program. That solves your problem.

It also solves your problem when you need an accented character the font publisher ignored (fairly common), because they almost universally forget to include the combining diacriticals, which is the way Unicode wants you to make up such characters.


You do need to pick typefaces where the EULA allows modification. But you should anyway. Any font purchased under the Adobe license before 2011. Probably any Adobe Original, of any year. A number of fonts from some of the smaller foundries.

A number of letterform-modifying tools are now incorporated in layout programs, but not ones to add characters in Unicode, and no real good ones to modify character shape as you want in this example. You could do as James suggests, and paste a bit of white over the now-too-thick top serif, but the bottom terminal of the J will still be distorted, with no fix in sight.

I guess if I had to set one using only InDesign, and if the *file* were not important, I might set two J's & fuss things into shape. There is usually a way to get something to work, as long as you don't care about the eventual file. And I'm cheap, only $60/hour, but there is a minimum. This is not the way to go. It is literally less than 10 minutes work with a font editing program.

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