typesetting in Univers

uberkb's picture

I am typesetting business cards and have come across a small problem. A person's name is Illingworth, and they specifically requested an "I" with serifs so one can differentiate it from the double L that follows. How would you go about doing this?

  • I tried leaving it in Univers and just adjusting the kerning between the I and double L.
  • I reluctantly tried reducing the vertical height of the double L, but ran into problems with the lowercase i that follows (Illingworth)

Although the I is slightly thicker than a lowercase L, I certainly understand why this person would be annoyed, but I'm kind of at a loss. Here is how the kerning looks.

(Top = normal; bottom = kerned.)

Nick Shinn's picture

Use a character from a font with serifed I, such as Verdana. If the weight and height aren't quite right, adjust them with horizontal and vertical scaling.

Alternatively, choose a sans font which has some contrast between I and l, either with caps that clearly have a greater stem width, or one where ascenders are taller than cap height.

Michael Jarboe's picture

I would try simply raising the ascender line by just outlining the type and using the Direct Selection Tool to raise the two l's, i, t and h playing with different variations. It shouldn't be too difficult to arrive at a solution that differentiates the double l problem, although it will inherently be more subtle than that of a serif. Just look at some other sans that have more extreme ascender heights for comparison.

frankrolf's picture

I would just go and make the cap I a tiny bit smaller (basically what Nick said in his 2nd sentence, assuming you HAVE to use Univers.)
Nice example BTW! :)

uberkb's picture

Thanks for the feedback. I will try decreasing the cap height. Not sure why I didn't try that in the first place!

Florian Hardwig's picture

As the ‘I’ in Univers is a perfect rectangle, you don’t have to convert it to outlines – you can simply scale it vertically.

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