Script eszett?

paul d hunt's picture

I can never spell it right, but how would you make a script eszett? would it just be a long s + a short s? any authorities on the subject, please post.
oh, and another, related question: is it kosher to make a beta-looking eszett? i mean, is it okay for there to be a kink in the middle? or should that all be smooth through there?

andreas's picture

For fine scripts like English scripts, zapfino & co please use longs + s. The round B forms are more suited for didone designs.

P22 Cezanne ß looks ok
P22 Da Vinci ß looks ugly

Traditional black letter designs use longs + z (round z)

Everyone who needs to design a proper ß schould studie type faces made by well crafted German type designers. Or more correct, naitive German speakers.

One very good article about the history of this letter is available by Herbert E. Brekle. But its German only. I think this article is worth to be translated into English.

http://www-nw.uni-regensburg.de/%7E.brh22505.indogerm.sprachlit.uni-rege...

The new ABC Schrift from Hans Eduard Meier is a type face series for writing beginners. Since its really contemporary, have a look to the ß, its nice.

--astype.de--

oldnick's picture

I keep swipe files of difficult characters (dagger/double dagger, section mark, pilcrow and German double-s, whatever you call it) and here's one of my favorites from a late nineteenth-century German handwriting textbook, definitely quite different from what you usually see...

paul d hunt's picture

thnx, nick. this is the kind of thing i'm looking for.

andreas's picture

As type designers, we have to made forms that can be recognized by the audience. This form will be read today as h or b or something undefined, but never as ß. If you want to serve German readers, this is not a way.

nick: Would you please so kind and post the other forms of this alphabet.

--astype.de--

oldnick's picture

Sorry, Andreas, I don't think I still have the book because I found it of limited value. The kind of cursive writing taught in Germany around the time that my mother's mother was a schoolgirl in Garmisch-Partenkirchen (just before the turn of the twentieth century) has several character shapes which are radically different (hence, pretty unreadable) from English or American takes on the same letters. This fact probably explains why, in the past, I have found a number of otherwise beautifully lettered old German posters almost impossible to read when the lettering was cursive or Italic. However, I did notice the rather unusual -- and, in terms of economy of design, rather clever -- double-s, and that's why it ended up in my swipe file.

andreas's picture

My first impression was is could be Süterlin, Offenbacher or German Kurrent Script, but on these German scripts, I cant find such an ß. It reminds me on a written thorn glyph in english scripts.

Sütterlin
http://www.peter-doerling.de/Lese/Sutterlin0.htm
http://www.kurrent.de/_html/uebungen.htm

German Kurrent
http://www.univie.ac.at/GeschichteOnline/M1-2/Flash/kurrent_intro.html
(its flash - look at page 05)
http://www.vergessene-portale.de/dks/schrift.php
http://www.kurrent.de/_html/uebungen.htm

The script Thorn glyph:
http://briem.ismennt.is/2/2.11/2.1.2.thorn.htm

--astype.de--

dezcom's picture

I know that this is not a script example but I wonder if someone cantell me if this style is still in popular use? Below is a section of the famous Henri Cartier Bresson Berlin Wall photo showing the street signs. I am curious aboutthe "fz" form eszett, its history, and current use?

ChrisL

twardoch's picture

> I am curious aboutthe “fz” form eszett, its history, and current use?

The current use of the form is such that if you see a sign like this, you know it's Berlin. These forms are rather peculiar to Berlin street signage and are still used in that context, but I'd be cautious in designing the glyphs as default in the situation.

A.

dan_reynolds's picture

Like Adam implies, if you want your typeface to be a "Berlin typeface" you could add it. Otherwise, it isn't a good idea.

oldnick's picture

Andreas,

Although the examples of German handwriting you referenced don't show the double-s form I posted, they do show the components of that form. And, yes, that form is similar to a script Thorn: the primary difference is that the stroke terminates inside the loop on the thorn, and outside the loop (turning it into a counter) with the double-s.

dezcom's picture

"...if you see a sign like this, you know it’s Berlin. "

Thank-you Adam and Dan, that is exactly what I wanted to know. Too bad though, it seems to me an appealing form just for visual reasons.
If I ever design a type for Berlin, I may reconsider though :-)

ChrisL

dan_reynolds's picture

If I ever design a type for Berlin, I may reconsider though :-)

…or a typeface for John F. Kennedy

dezcom's picture

"Ich bin fzer"?
:-)
ChrisL

andreas's picture

Ok, Nick you have a point, it seems this form was used too. But the longs + z form was or is more common.

To serve the reader and to enlighten the typographers heart, I suggest to use the longs + s form for "new" script fonts.

--astype.de--

paul d hunt's picture

very nice, andreas! that's exactly what i was looking for. seeing the script forms now makes the roman forms make so much more sense.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Related: Different ways to write an eszett (or double s) in Kurrent, in a beautiful handwritten cookbook.

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