Long S

benkiel's picture

A grad student friend of mine is looking for faces with a long s as part of the character set. i'm at a loss, other then Lucida Grande. Any suggestions?

antiuser's picture

Broadsheet has it, if I recall correctly.

gerald_giampa's picture

Ben,

http://www.lanstontype.com/CaslonFountEight.html
http://www.lanstontype.com/CaslonGiampa.html
http://www.lanstontype.com/CaslonNo337.html
http://www.lanstontype.com/CaslonATF.html

This font is complete with long S and Swash Italic. There are 17 fonts in total.


Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company

jfp's picture

Le Monde Livre Classic, Sabon Next LT

gerald_giampa's picture

Jean,

Sabon? Somehow I can't imagine. For some reason it does not sound suitable!


Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company

Nick Shinn's picture

Adobe Caflon Pro.

On a related note, Thomas Phinney previewed new OpenType fupport features in Illuftrator Next at the recent ATypI conference, but there is ftill no "hiftorical" mode.

hrant's picture

Nick, sunny.

hhp

kakaze's picture

The Microſoft core fonts have the long s in them too.

Words like Caſlon and Illuſtrator and hiſtorical can be spelled without uſing an f.

heh

kakaze's picture

Aww crap, the board didn't parse the characters!

benkiel's picture

Thanks all, especially Nick for the humor, I've passed on your suggestions to my friend.

gerald_giampa's picture

Tiffany,

It was a question I have since answered. It would be suitable for Sabon to have a long s.


Gerald Giamp
Lanston Type Company

jfp's picture

Well, long s seems to work in Sabon Next:
longs

gerald_giampa's picture

Jean,

I must say I am glad I asked the question. Very nice.

Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company

andreas's picture

Jean,

how Sabon Next activates the long s and its ligatures? hist & hlig feature?

How does the application / feature code "knows" on which situation the long s should be set or not?

Example: the German words "besser" & "Lesbarkeit"
with long s: "b e long_ss_ligature e r" but Lesbarkeit with normal s

jfp's picture

well, if the family was OpenType, yes, there is some way to active long s depending of the language restrictions. Le Monde Livre Classic OT (OT done by John Hudson to demonstrate some OT features back in 2001) use this fonction.

Sabon Next LT to date still only PostScript and TrueType. But all glyphs have been designed to built a future OT version. Its up to Linotype to do it I think.

John Hudson's picture

The use of the long s in German, like several other aspects of German typography, is pretty much impossible to automate without a dictionary. It is possible with OpenType to provide basic contextual handling of the long s, and to use Language System tags to vary the handling for different typographic traditions, but German has too many lexically-determined exceptions to a general rule.

andreas's picture

John,

do you suggest to use hlig and hist feature for long_s but to make an exception for German? How about Dutch?

Any other exception?

John Hudson's picture

I think the <hlig> feature may be redundant. If a user wants the long s, he probably wants the ligatures associated with it that are appropriate for his language, so I would use the <hist> feature to substitute the long s, using contextual lookups for those languages that have rules about where the substitution may occur, and then the <liga> feature for any ligatures. The only reason I can think of for the <hlig> feature is if you wanted users to be able to turn the long s ligatures off without affecting other ligatures. Frankly, though, I don't expect to see the <hlig> feature supported any time soon, at least not with its own UI function, which is what it would need to make it at all useful.

I don't know what all the rules are for the long s in German, so I can't say what would be the best way to approach this.

hrant's picture

If an app has a German spell-checker, couldn't it figure out where to use a "long s" correctly?

hhp

John Hudson's picture

Spell-checkers are character-based and don't know anything about glyph-level processing. Theoretically, a dictionary-driven German typesetting system could be developed -- John Butler and I have mused about this in the past --, but nothing even close exists, to my knowledge.

Thomas Phinney's picture

I have to agree with John that the long-s ligatures belong in either 'liga' or 'dlig' and there's no need for a separate 'hlig' feature.

That's the one downside of having spec'd a whole ton of features before building fonts and apps to support them. We made a couple of mistakes. That was one of them. (Also, anybody remember the 'crcy' currency feature? Ewww.)

Regards,

T

andreas's picture

Thomas,

do you thing long_s is not an historic thing? Or should we use the dlig instead of hlig?

hlig is not supported by InDesign2. In one of my last procejts I have used both hlig & dlig with the same code.

gerald_giampa's picture

I don't know if Sabon has the f_j ligature. I am wondering if Open Type has included it.

Just a question. I have seen many fonts without.

f_j ligature illustration

Gerald Giampa
Lanston Type Company

Thomas Phinney's picture

Gerald:

These are two separate questions. OpenType is capable of any arbitrary ligature a type designer cares to create. However, I don't know if Sabon has the f_j ligature. Some Adobe fonts have it, but far from all.

Andreas:

Sure, the long_s is a historic thing. So use the 'hist' feature if you like to get the glyph in there. But once you've got it in text, there's no need for a *special* ligature feature with it. Any long_s ligatures you either want on by default (liga), or off by default (dlig).

Put another way, if every substitution feature were to need a separate corresponding ligature feature, we'd need an amazingly large number of ligature features.

But luckily for us, features are cumulative. Whether it's swashes or small caps or historical forms, they can interact with the main ligature features (liga, dlig, clig) to create just about any combination effect needed.

T

gerald_giampa's picture

Thomas,


Your words,
.>>>>>
These are two separate questions. OpenType is capable of any arbitrary ligature a type designer cares to create. However, I don't know if Sabon has the f_j ligature. Some Adobe fonts have it, but far from all.
>>>>>

I am not that easy to brush off.

Sabon, having an historical base "may" predate the development of j and was still just a consonant value for the i. But I am merely guessing. Also one must consider the "mother tongue" issue of the type face and I do not believe that combination would ever get inked. There will be some in this forum familiar with the language to explain that. I am all for

John Hudson's picture

Will they still be using the old method for ligatures where the spell checkers give gobbly gook? That the "disadvantages" are still the "same as ever".

No. Ligatures in OT fonts are automatically substituted at the glyph processing level: spell-checking is performed at the character processing level. This article might answer more of your questions about OpenType.

gerald_giampa's picture

John,

Thank you. This is helpful.


Gerald Giampa

gerald_giampa's picture

I have been poking around the Open Type features, also I got a mysterious letter. Maybe there is something to it.


Gerald Giampa

laurie's picture

I am new to this list and have only one specific interest which concerns the 'long s'. I hope someone can help.

"1791: John Bell, U.K. printer, abandons the "long s" (the "s" that looks like an "f")"
>
> I was interested in the spelling rules that existed at the time writers used the 'long s'.
> I have been reading old documents from various archives and I have seen many examples of the 'long s'.

> Example: ". . . and to ship myfelf upon the firft Veffel or Ship . . ."
>
> Can anyone refer me to any spelling rules that would explain when the 'f' was substituted for 's'.
>
> Lawrence C. Erwin,
> Toronto

John Hudson's picture

The orthographic rules for long s vary from language to language. In English, the typical rule is as follows:

long s : beginning of a word; mid-word; first s in a double

short s : end of a word, second s in a double

fo fend mifsals to fifters in fouth-eaft Afia

laurie's picture

Thank you John Hudson. That was the information I needed.

Nick Shinn's picture

>1791: John Bell, U.K. printer, abandons the "long s"

But why? From a practical point of view, according to the orthography of the day, there would have been many more long s's in a tray, so economically, it would have made more sense to rationalize by abandoning the short s.

And from the reader's point of view, it would have been less of shock.

But perhaps they wanted drastic change.

Did a standards committee of the era recommend a compromise, medium-length s, to replace both?

Figures changed from old-style to lining, but were there other proposed orthographic changes during that revolutionary era, that didn't catch on? (I'm thinking of glyph shapes, including punctuation, rather than phonetic systems such as Pitman's, which was 1830s, I think).

Miss Tiffany's picture

Gerald -- Why doesn't it sound suitable?

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