accent glyph shapes in sans serif fonts

dglen's picture

New to type design. Question:

I rarely, if at all, use accented characters (I'm a typical American). I'm creating a san serif font and noted, on other sans serif fonts, accent glyphs such as used for grave and circumflex characters have a "wedge" shape. Of course, the circumflex is two wedges coming together at the apex.

Can accent glyphs be the same width at the bottom as they are at the apex? A grave character, for instance, would look like a hyphen at an angle instead of a wedge at an angle.

I haven't a clue. I want to go with the "hyphen at an angle" look if that's acceptable in accent glyph shapes.



cuttlefish's picture

Most often acute and grave accents are tapered at the lower end, but if an even stroke looks best with your design, go for it. There is precedent for those as well. As far as I can tell, the distinction is a matter of taste.

and's picture

If by ‘hyphen at an angle’ you mean a rotated hyphen, that would be quite unusual for a normal sans-serif grave accent. I assume you are referring to a shape with horizontal top and bottom lines of the same length (a parallelogram), in which case I agree with cuttlefish.

dglen's picture

Thanks for the reply. Attached is what I'm speaking to. I should have attached something the first time but, hey, I'm new to the forum. I'll learn.

Are these acceptable?



and's picture

The only problem I can see is that the shape makes the accents really tall and much taller than, e.g., the tildes.

Does the font include lowercase as well? (Accents are often steeper/taller on lowercase letters and flatter/lower on uppercase letters lest they take up too much space and require too much leading.)

Bendy's picture

BTW the acute and grave should not be mathematically centred over the glyphs. Check out Adam Twardoch's Diacritic Design Presentation

dglen's picture

Thanks to all for the tips. You can see I'm a complete newcomer to accents!

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