Is there a rationale for low-flying straight quotes?

blank's picture

Some fonts have straight quotes that hang flush from the cap height, others they straddle it, and on rare occasions they float below it. I can understand the rationale for the first two, but is there some reason for hanging the straight quotes noticeably low, as in Univers? Or it is just a stylistic decision?

kentlew's picture

Isn’t the rationale in Univers that the lining figures are designed slightly lower than full caps, and thus straight quotes align on figs?

Assuming one is using proper typographic quotation marks, then the straight quotes are most likely to be pressed into service for feet/minutes and inches/seconds directly following numerals.

oldnick's picture

Two possibilities occur to me: A) plausible, but less likely: the alignment is an attempt to more or less match the placement of guillemots; and B) more practical: lowering the quotes makes for fewer kerning pairs. Lowering the quotes eliminates the need to kern with round characters (“O”). An elegant solution or laziness? Hard to say…

blank's picture

Those are both some good rationales. Thanks.

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