Ligature Accuracy

eyecantstop's picture

First, I'm not sure if this is the correct subcategory of the forums for my request, but here goes: I'm interested employing Avant Garde for a side project. Since this would only be a masthead, I'm drawing it vector, which is no problem. Although there are many out there who'll disagree with the decision to use this oft misused font, but, like I said, I'm concerned with accuracy, for accuracy's sake, in specific regard to the ligatures. Any help is greatly appreciated.

traction.jpg38.4 KB
pattyfab's picture

Not sure what your question is - and this probably belongs in the Design forum. Personal opinion: the TR ligature is fine, but the TI is problematic since Avant Garde doesn't have serifs - your serif in the "I" feels forced. I like the bottom one better, the C is more interesting.

It is readable and I like the use of ligatures for that name TRACTION.

eyecantstop's picture

Yes, I agree that the CT interaction is a bit more dynamic. My question is this? WWHLD? (What would Herb Lubalin do?)

Miss Tiffany's picture

I've moved this thread because I think it needs critiquing not ID'ing. This is fun to see someone creating their own ligatures. I personally love Avant Garde and the wacky alternates. Anyone that doesn't can jump in a lake.

Just like spice, a little goes a long way. I think the TR lig works, but I wonder if you could do a version only using the CT lig? The TI lig isn't working at all. I have a hunch you might be best off just using the TR lig.


Norbert Florendo's picture


what are you using for source? Avant Garde has a whole heck of a lot of ligatures for caps that have not been digitized.

eyecantstop's picture

A little online research led me to some established ligatures, but the CT is original, I believe. It seems to follow the aesthetic, so I think it's okay. What do you think?
You're right about the "i"

Norbert Florendo's picture

> What would Herb Lubalin do?

He wouldn't sweat it and start breaking the rules!
BTW, what's the audience for this... skateboarders? NASCAR fans? Tractor Pull competitors? It could help guide what the next revision should look like.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Norbert, are you holding out on us? Do you have links and images to share?

Norbert Florendo's picture

Links, no.
Images, si.

I have, and I think ChrisL does too, a 10 lb. coffee table sized book with the early ITC typeface specimens.

There are a whole slew of uppercase ligatures that were designed. When ITC released typefaces to licensed font manufacturers, each manufacturer developed fonts using their standard complement. Special characters, swash and alternate characters would be offered on another font... IF they were released at all.

eyecantstop's picture

I'd love to see some relevant ligatures from your resource! 'Traction' is the masthead for a progressive bicycling (tricks) magazine, the audience of which is an eclectic group. Generally young impressionalbe males, but I'm hoping to instill a higher sense of design awareness. Concentrating on style and unity and less on type of bike or difference. (BMX, Mountain Bike, Courier, Wheelie King, Whatever) Basically a reflection in print of what I (want to) see happening right now. But, selling ad space is another experiment that'll happen in October at the annual bike industry trade show...

dan_reynolds's picture

I have the big ITC book, too (The ITC Typeface Collection, 1980), but its ligature showing is pretty small, just AA, CA, CO, EA, FA, FR, GA, HT, KA, LL, LA twice, MM, NT, PR, RA, SS, ST twice, TH, UT, VV, and WW

Not even close to the new set that FontShop seems to be offering. Here's a link to an image I took at TypeCon in the Type Gallery:

Miss Tiffany's picture

I just remembered that Keith Tam has several pages of images with the Avant Garde liggies for our happy enjoyment.

Norbert Florendo's picture

Wow, that's a lot more Avant Garde ligatures that I've ever seen.
Looks like you have all the source inspiration you need, eyecantstop. (I promise not to make jokes about your forum name.)

Yes, I'm old, but I stopped before going blind!

eyecantstop's picture

Joking is fully welcomed! My real name is David Smith. Was I supposed to think people would believe that? Keith Tam – yeah, that's where I got a few relevant images.

ChuckGroth's picture

I love this place.

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