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In the design of the (Latin) UC there are two general schemes: the "classical" (old-style) one where the widths diverge a lot (like "B" is narrow while "C" is wide); and the "modern" style where the widths converge a lot. When it comes to numerals, it just hit me that even in the old-style scheme there's a lot of convergence in width (except for the one). Now, it can be said that numbers are inherently "rationalist" so they should converge. But there's always the option of making monowidth numerals, and when it comes the old-style (AKA "text") numerals it seems to makes sense that their geometric divergence shouldn't be confined to the vertical.
This idea came to me upon returning to admire Perrin's Augustaux:
(See this old thread: http://typophile.com/node/7596)
The main question -assuming you agree that width divergence has a place- I think is this: what might be a good scheme here? I mean, which numerals should be towards the narrow end and which the wide? And does this relate to the given numeral being x-height, ascending or descending? Also, can we greatly diverge the widths even in the design of lining numerals?
It's not impossible that we might end up with a new numeral scheme that works better in running text... at which point we might start calling what we currently call "old-style"... "transitional"? :-)