f i diacritic ligatures

daverowland's picture


I've pretty much finished my new font Brag and it includes ligatures for fi with diacritics. I was hoping some non-English typophiles would be able to help me with the MyFonts posters by providing words/phrases which include these ligatures fí fî fï fì


Andreas Stötzner's picture

The f_í is really nice.

I revised the f_i’s set myself just recently and added f_itilde and f_ibreve.
I can’t say where there is use for these … unfortunately.

However, there’s plenty around here to dig in.

Chris Harvey's picture

Irish: fíon (wine)
Arpitan (Franco-Provençal): fîte (party). I’ve seen the Welsh word for ‘border’ spelled both ffîn on occasion instead of ffin.
Welsh: coffïau (coffees). Note that if you have an ffi ligature, you can make an ffï for Welsh.
Scottish Gaelic: fìon (wine)

nina's picture

fî (f-icircumflex) appears in French, for instance in past verb forms like fît, fîmes etc.

Maybe f_imacron should be considered too?

Andreas Stötzner's picture

Note that if you have an ffi ligature, you can make an ffï for Welsh.

Do you mean a different ffi-lig. for Welsh?
Why? How?

f_imacron should be considered too?

I believe so. It seems that it is used at least in the Latin transcription af Arabic:

Chris Harvey's picture

Do you mean a different ffi-lig. for Welsh? Why? How?

I mean an f_f_i-dieresis ligature.

If your typeface has the usual ligatures: f_i, f_l, f_f, f_f_i, f_f_l. Then you add f_i-dieresis etc., how would you handle Welsh f_f_i-dieresis, as in coffïau? It would either be

  1. f_f + i-dieresis
  2. f + f_i-dieresis
  3. f_f_i-dieresis
Chris Harvey's picture

I’m not sure what Polish does with f_ł, as in fłota (fleet).
And there are also combinations like Esperanto: f_ĵ (j-circumflex) like ĉefĵurnalisto (chief reporter). Or words like Chickasaw fí̱nha (be a show off - the i is supposed to have a combining low-macron and combining acute) which can require some OpenType gymnastics.

Florian Hardwig's picture

Ligatures are not the answer to everything. For most f+diacritic combinations, contextual alternates are the way to go.
See: http://typophile.com/node/40439

JanekZ's picture

"I’m not sure what Polish does with f_ł, as in fłota (fleet)."
fleet = flota (l, not lslash)
Any fł combinations (I suppose) are in transliterations from Russian, e. g. Aerofłot (Аэрофлот)

nina's picture

Awesome, I hadn't considered f/lslash combinations. Thanks for the heads-up.

William Berkson's picture

I'm with Florian here, and learned from the thread he links to. Sorry, but I think that Dave's examples are distracting. My Williams Caslon Text uses contextual alternatives to avoid crashes of f's and diacritics, as this PDF of its features shows.

nina's picture

Uh, but wouldn't you have to differ between usage in text and display fonts respectively? I'd expect that ligatures (as well as other things) may be allowed to be a bit special in a font like Brag that should be used large. Of course in a text font this sort of treatment would probably not be very helpful.
(BTW, I mostly agree on the CALT.)

hrant's picture

Indeed in a display font ligation offers an opportunity to show off; while in a text font sobriety can lead to better functionality. For example in Patria the "fl" ligature has no contact between the letters and the head serif of the "el" is chopped off (although I slanted the top, for looks); it's not exactly pretty, but in text it works better than the dumb traditional ligature.


Nick Shinn's picture

Right Nina.
In these days of multi-lingual fonts, ligatures are an affectation, impractical anywhere except display.
But even in the past, designers like Cooper (Cooper Black) and Zapf (Palatino) got it right, by designing "f"s that didn't collide with following ascenders, tittles, and accents.
However, if one is making an oldstyle undead, it's appropriate to include these archaic devices.

hrant's picture

FWIW, here are Patria's "fi" and "fl":

In Harrier (the slanted-Roman cousin) the x-height is
smaller (to harmonize with its Armenian master design,
Nour) so the tittle goes away:


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