The "n" case

Marcelo Soler's picture

One thing has been buzzing in my head, since I read an opinion in my previous log entry about some glyphs of a font I'm developing.

The sharp-smart designer Nina commented: ‘[...] the “n” even seems narrow compared to the “m” and the “u”, the “m” looking like it’s about 2 units short of being a perfect duplication of the “n”, and the “u” almost exactly equal in width to the “n”. Is that intentional?'

My first answer and her bright reply are in the blog, but it made me think about the “hum” question (it involved the “h”, too) in the “n” case, that is: how similar are these glyphs in their components compared to the “n”.

Well. I started to search for the way that different serif designs face the problem, and I noticed that criteria are quite uneven, but it is worth to attend to each one.

After all, it is not matter of size (though some says “size matters”) but of the overall look, and one must watch the typeface as a whole, regarding of its singular details.

The odd results of my experiment are showed below:

PS: Fonts used for testing purposes were Baskerville, Big Caslon, Book Antiqua, Calisto, Caslon Pro, Century, Century Schoolbook, Cochin, Garamond Pro, Hoefler, Lucida Bright, Minion, Palatino and Times New. The small arrows point the shifts (meaning red: wider and green: narrower).

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