Sensitive vertical scaling?

Michael Gray's picture

Hello!

I'm working on a project that uses a lot of plus, minus and neutral signs as a key element of the text. The feedback's come back that the neutral and and minus sign aren't sufficiently distinct and I'm trying to find a typographically sensitive way to differentiate them more without committing a heinous crime against the font. Could I use a little vertical scaling on the neutral sign and still sleep at night? If so, how much might I get away with at small sizes (10.5pt Plantin)?

Normally I'd be loathed to meddle in this way (especially as the characters seem sufficiently distinct already to me eye), but I fear it might be a lesser evil in the long run! I have looked at different fonts for all three signs but that could be a can of worms scenario, and in any case I suspect the neutral and minus signs would still be considered too similar in other fonts. I've also tried drawing my own neutral sign, but that's not been very convincing so far!

Any thoughts much appreciated…

Thanks!

riccard0's picture

Neutral sign?

Michael Gray's picture

Sorry, I should have said tilde, which is serving as neutral in this text.

riccard0's picture

I wouldn't try something like scaling. I would substitute the sign(s) with ones from a specialized math/scientific font or, in any case, with one that offer a non-contrast monoline version of the non-diacritical tilde (a "generic sorts" version, so to speak). See, just for example, Garamond Premier: http://myfonts.us/td-QpS08i

Michael Gray's picture

Great ideas, thanks – I don't have non-diacritical one in my font but think I've found something that will satisfy in a maths font. Hope they go for it!

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