This is a Pylon

HaleyFiege's picture

A term for the area between letter bits in stencil type fonts?

http://thisisapylon.com/

writingdesigning's picture

Can't imagine that much of a widespread need, but well, why not?...

Wonder what made them come up with it?

Wesley.Bancroft's picture

I think that this is a great definition, all anatomies should be laid out in any profession. Also, this is a great example of the evolution of type over the years, and the progression of type as we know it.

Florian Hardwig's picture

A ‘bridge’? In German, it’s ‘Steg’.

writingdesigning's picture

I quite agree with you Wesley.

Just out of curiosity, what does it take for a new definition to become part of a typographic lexicon?

Is it enough if a lot of people just pick up a new word and use it, or is there a more formal process?

Wesley.Bancroft's picture

I think these guys decide the new typographic terminology.

New Type Terminology and Definitions Board of Directors

writingdesigning's picture

It's apparently been a while since that last extraordinary session ;)

blank's picture

Write an RFC.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

That would be "Nuestra Señora del Pilar" in Spanish.

BlueStreak's picture

"Sprue" would seem to be more appropriate to me.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

"Manka'ntok" in the dialect of my hometown.

Don McCahill's picture

> It’s apparently been a while since that last extraordinary session

Naw, its just that to be on that Board, you have to wear ugly 70s clothing.

crossgrove's picture

Since it's an artifact of stencil limitations, isn't it called a connector or bridge? Stencil fonts are just affectations, like rough typewriter fonts.

Alessandro Segalini's picture

No, not completely or only affectations, durability is a, or the quality of stencil type, that frequent relates to disasters.
"Connector" sounds good to me.
By the way "manka'ntok" (the made-up that comes from the dialect of my hometown) means "ne manca un pezzo," literally "a piece is missing."

Here is a group picture of the last New Type Terminology and Definitions Board of Directors, you can see the pylons at the back :

James Arboghast's picture

Outside of typographic context, in architecture and airplane construction for example, a "pylon" is a kind of projecting strut or stick-shaped structure used for mounting components like engines, equipment nacelles, pods, bridge sections, girders.

The only sense I can think of in which that applies to a lettering stencil is *projection* into letter and glyph forms. Other than that these so-called "pylons" don't have anything mounted on their ends.

Since it’s an artifact of stencil limitations, isn’t it called a connector or bridge?

On the stencil itself, I would call those parts "connectors" or "bridges", since they connect the surrounding material together and act as a kind of land bridge.

For the artwork---the lettering produced by a stencil---I call the blank areas "gaps". Just common sense really. Going on a "gapping spree" is the easiest way to turn an ordinary font into a textured font ;^)

j a m e s

dezcom's picture

"Here is a group picture of the last New Type Terminology and Definitions Board of Directors"

:-)

Good one, Alessandro!

ChrisL

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

A term for the area between letter bits in stencil type fonts

I hope I don't sound awfully naive, but isn't that space a gap rather than a structure? It's an absence, not a presence.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

This is a pylon. :-)

Alessandro Segalini's picture

The Board of Directors is apparently working on some secret experiments on the pylon :

BlueStreak's picture

You guys should stop kidding around. This is serious and we need to make sure we get it right. Type Terminologists of the future are counting on us.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Type Terminologists of the future
Them?

dezcom's picture

Uncanny resemblance:-)

ChrisL

Dan Gayle's picture

+1 all around

Could someone call an actual stencil maker and ask them what the shop word for the ol' gappy is?

Alessandro Segalini's picture

I just talked on the phone with the Head of the Board of Directors, he's evaluating the effect of temper on his pylon :


http://www.levinpesa.com/kuva/galleria/avanto_vaaka.jpg

dezcom's picture

I think his pylon is about to be frozen! :-)

ChrisL

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

We're all gonna get kicked out of here!

Either that, or a moderator who shall remain nameless will pop in here and tell us that we are all CRAZY! :-)

Miss Tiffany's picture

Moi? Yeah, you're all crazy. What was the original question again?

crossgrove's picture

I actually did contact a stencil maker. Bridge is what they call it. Connector is a logical second option. I don't think it's necessary to invent a new, separate term for the same thing in a digital stencil font. One thing maybe worth differentiating: real, functional bridges versus fake, digital ones.

Note: Silkscreening is essentially a stencil technique; anything including thin threads or hair can act as bridges, so it's possible to make stencils that don't look like stencils. I've used long hairs as bridges on stencils for house numbers where the letters would be too ambiguous and unreadable with fat paper bridges. "Invisible bridge"..... Add it to the wiki. ;)

Alessandro Segalini's picture

The question was, I think, is there a real need for a pylon ?

writingdesigning's picture

Actually the question was who takes a call on things like these - whether it should be pylon or something else.

'Need to be more careful with questions like that in future :)

Florian Hardwig's picture

We’re all gonna get kicked out of here!
Okay, back to business! Taking the question to the next level: How do you call the complementary stencil parts which are sometimes used to fill the bridges in a second step?
Thomas Maier showed this fascinating picture in his presentation on stencils at this year’s ATypI:

dtw's picture

Floods?

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

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Moi? Yeah, you’re all crazy.

Nah, not you, Miss Tiff. I meant Yves... He did that in a couple of threads; it was pretty funny.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

I actually did contact a stencil maker. Bridge is what they call it. Connector is a logical second option. I don’t think it’s necessary to invent a new, separate term for the same thing in a digital stencil font.

Cool beans, Carl. Good to know.

Gus Winterbottom's picture

Ceci n'est pas un pipe, er, une pylône.

dezcom's picture

"I meant Yves... He did that in a couple of threads;"

I remember that, Ricardo. I think I was the culprit the last time, too :-)

ChrisL

Alessandro Segalini's picture

Where is that, Chris, I wanna read it :-)

dezcom's picture

Alessandro,

I have to figure out how to search for it. It was a bunch of bad puns as usual but I can't remember good key words!

ChrisL

Jack B. Nimblest Jr.'s picture

"I actually did contact a stencil maker. Bridge is what they call it."

Correctomundo...and it connects to an island. I'm not sure what, besides lack of research or need for publicity, would cause someone to invent a new name.

Cheers!

HaleyFiege's picture

Should we tell him?

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Haley, do you mean tell FWIS?

ebensorkin's picture

You are all Crazy!

Ah!! That felt great. This does seem like a pretty silly thread. But that's okay.

I think Pylon is a silly term to use. I think the plain spoken "gaps" is where it's at.

russellm's picture

It's a bridge.

Period.

You are welcome.

-=®=-

James Arboghast's picture

Depends on your point of view. It does look like a bridge, but it also looks like a gap.

This is largely a semantic debate, with no end.

Saying "period" adds no merit to "bridge".

It's a bridge!

It's a gap!

Bridge!

Gap!

Like it matters. I don't think it does.

Peace. Tolerance, etc. Why can't we have both?

j a m e s

James Arboghast's picture

Rationale for not calling it a bridge: a bridge has rails along the edges to help prevent people and vehicles from veering off the edge. How many stencil types have visible rails along the edges of their "bridges". Probably none.

"Gap" is a simpler analogy with the advantage of no rails and ease of spelling.

j a m e s

Dan Gayle's picture

It's a bridge from the negative side, and a gap from the positive side. (Or is that backwards?) Not negative as in "Oo, that's bad," but in the white-space sense.

On the actual stencil that is a physical object, calling it a bridge makes perfect sense. On the stenciled letter, it makes perfect sense to call it a gap.

However which way you cut it, it still smells like cheeze.

James Arboghast's picture

On the actual stencil that is a physical object, calling it a bridge makes perfect sense. On the stenciled letter, it makes perfect sense to call it a gap.

Yep-yep-yep. I distinguished the two different cases earlier.

Have some cheese everybody! Cheese smells nice ;^)

j a m e s

BlueStreak's picture

"Like it matters."

The extreme triviality of this whole "pylon" definition makes it an amusing discussion. It reminds me of Rich Hall back in the '80s when he created the term "sniglet"—creating silly words to describe unlabeled things. There was even a sniglet to describe the crust that builds on the rim of ketchup bottles. (Although true sniglets are newly created words and pylon, connector, bridge, gap are not.)

Let's see though, in twenty plus years of working with type I've needed a label for this thing how many times? None! Never! But then again this is a discussion that someone has plastered all over the internet about nothing—literally nothing. Seinfeld got famous with a TV comedy show about nothing. Maybe nothing is just funny by nature.

Everyone say CHEESE!

dezcom's picture

I believe Haley posted the thread as an amusing topic but their could be a gap in my thinking so we might wait and cross that bridge when we come to it--besides, pyling on is a 15 yard penalty.

ChrisL

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