Most beautiful 'e' search

javi2307's picture

Hi all,

I am embarking on a search for the most beautiful 'e' known to man. Lowercase is prefered although if you know if any uppercase 'E's that need to be accepted to the 'e' hall of fame please do let me know.

Feel free to post images, I'll like this forum to become an 'e' fest.

I may extend this forum to include other letters over a period of time, to create the ultimate aestheic typeface.

Many thanks


hrant's picture

> known to man

Or woman. Or the two together:

> the ultimate aestheic typeface

Although of course: "A typeface is a beautiful collection
of letters, not a collection of beautiful letters." (Tracy?)


javi2307's picture

you joker ;)

would like to see that work across them all :)
Thanks hhp

javi2307's picture

Bembo Extra Bold! Lovely

paul d hunt's picture

what is beauty...?


hrant's picture

> would like to see that work across them all

Yes, and I have: that's a scan from an address book - each letter has
that treatment! What's most impressive is that it's all done with one
couple. And it's underwater.


javi2307's picture

This is HHPs 'E',
for anyone viewing this post. >>

david h's picture

How do you hint that E?

dezcom's picture

That is definitely sub-pixel hinting :-)


Nick Shinn's picture

From the cover of Vogue, June 1940 "Fifty Bathing Suits" issue.

The full cover.

dezcom's picture

That is just fabulous Nick! Those old guys really knew how to compose a photo. Look at the progression of light to shadow with the limbs forming the E coming forward--just beautiful.


Nick Shinn's picture

They would have tried to do as much as possible with lighting, but airbrushing was used as well. The same is probably true of the nude couple.

Nick Shinn's picture

Let's hope Gunther von Hagen doesn't get any ideas from this thread.

javi2307's picture

OK OK well it looks like we are having a 'physical' type going on here then....heres mine...

Maybe it should come with a karate HIYAA!!

excuse the quality, my scanners knackered

javi2307's picture

...and here is a funny one from a font called TIPPLER... you can guess what 'z' s like!!!

franzheidl's picture

well ergh back to the original question… that depends a bit if you're after the 'e' that looks most 'e'-ish or just for the formally most beautiful ones. If the latter, for me – now hold your breath – the lc e of rotis (esp. sans) is a strong contender, no matter what you think of it in terms of a typeface as such, that has been discussed in full length, width, depth and then some. and yes, it certainly does fall over to the left.
but still a beaut! :-)

dtw's picture

To quote Shaggy, "Oh Carolina":
(Or, imagining he was a Yorkshireman, "Ee, Carolina")

Ever since I chose to block pop-ups, my toaster's stopped working.

Eric_West's picture

galliard ( ITC )

javi2307's picture

Thanks guys, I guess one of the intersting points brought up is whether the 'e' should be e-ish or not. To be honest I am not bothered whether it reads well. Since I have been getting some very good feedback I am going to be looking to build, the most aesthetical collage of letters from A - Z , whether these are FAT, serif, non-serif will not matter.
I understand that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I want to look at each letter individually and see where that takes us.

In light of this what do you guys think about these two? Avant Garde or Century Gothic?
Both very scuptural...

londontype's picture

Storm's Jannon Text Moderne

poms's picture

Corporate A

my first posting here – hi everyone

devisionbell's picture

mmm nice specimen raph, but who does this 'e' belong to?

can we look at g next javi? there is something about a well formed lc g imho. specifically a nice 'Geralde' or 'Transitional'


George Horton's picture

Bembo Book roman. One day all 'e's will be this way.

londontype's picture

can we look at g next javi? there is something about a well formed lc g imho.

I vote for lc "g" too. See this thread:

William Berkson's picture

I bet that's Raph's version of Centaur, drawn with his new magic curves.

It sure is purdy. But as Mario Feliciano said to me, 'You want beautiful words, not beautiful letters.' Beautiful letters are great, but the most important issue is how they look in combination with the other letters.

GrafikFRiTZe's picture


a beautiful single e from me.
never designed to fit into a word.

javi2307's picture

We'll def. have to look at g's next. Brilliant postings guys, Bembo Book and Ralphs post are both amazing and def. up there with the best. Beautifully balanced. I found the other thread linked by londontype very interesting.

Mario Feliciano quote is completely true, IF you want to use type as traditionally intended, but if you wanted to look at letters solely as aesthetical objects (prob wrong to do this) and use them individually then I think we can continue our quest.

With our findings, somewhere down the timeline (prob next year ;) I will be looking to create the ultimate alphabet in large letters probably produced in high quality materials and offer them as decorative elements through my site Thats if you guys don't mind me getting your opinions and getting the correct licencing through the TM owners etc.

A pipe dream but one that looks nice in me minds eye :)

Anyone got any better 'e's Ralphs Centaur is in the lead at the mo i feel.....

raph's picture

Thanks for the really nice feedback. The 'e' I posted is indeed from my digitization of the 60pt metal Centaur. However, getting trademark rights may not be easy - it's owned by Monotype imaging, and they've turned down my proposal to redo the outlines for them. Feel free to let them know how shortsighted they're being.

William Berkson's picture

Raph, I don't know the legal situation, but my hunch would be that for a nearly hundred old design, originally foundry type, there is no copy protection on the design itself, though there may be on the name 'Centaur.' My guess would be that if you call it 'Unicorn' you can publish it as you like yourself or sell it to a foundry as a better digitization of the Bruce Rogers original. After all there is also P22's Metropolitan, another digitization of essentially the same design (and I think different from the earlier version when Giampa owned Lanston?)

Did you draw that using your new curve drawing program, as I had assumed?

paul d hunt's picture

We went with the name "Metropolitan" for the very reasion you mentioned, William. I wanted to call it Firenze after the centaur in the Harry Potter chronicles, but I believe there's already a Zapf face by that name. Or i liked Chimera, but let me check... didn't find one, but there still may be a font by that name...

verdiinpink's picture

The most beautiful 'E' in the world, in my opinion of course, Trajan's 'E'... look at the perfect combination of classic width:height proportion, the bold upright skeleton carrying the weight of horizontal hands, the elegant serifs throughout the letter shape, and the space between them.... I don't know how to describe its down-to-earth beauty but it's my imagination of the perfect 'E'.

--- pinky kinky winky ---

javi2307's picture

mmm.. tasty!

Trajan is very elegant indeed. It carries history proudly on its serifs :)

J Weltin's picture

er, please delete this one

J Weltin's picture

some of my own es

dezcom's picture

I am loving that "bling" diamond studded and all:-)


javi2307's picture

Timd, I think your contributions both DEMAND respect :)
elvis is in the house everybody!!

stw's picture

goudy heavyface

Stefan Seifert's picture

Hello William,

> Beautiful letters are great, but the most important issue is how they look in combination with the other letters.

This remembers me of a phrase I read once in a book about Caslons faces.
That he was believed to not care about much about the single letters instead only looking
at the appearance of the entire text.
I believe this is (although I don’t think that Caslon worked this way) in part true
and in part untrue at the same time.
Because its the single letter that we design where we lay our hearts into
and if we do so I think in the most powerful characters things (letters) will join up
together in the most beautiful and natural way.
Otherwise it would be like saying: Oh yes I have a wonderful family.
Yes, my mother is alright, also my son maybe but whats most important of all
is how they stay together as a family. In part true as I said above.
But wouldn’t you prefer to say: I love may mother, she is the most tender
person in the world, I do love my beautiful son, he is the joy of my live,
I love may gorgeous daughter.. (and so on the way)..this is my beautiful family?
At least that is what I do with my letters.

As this ‘e’ for example


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