Th ligature

cswingle's picture


I'm new to this forum so be gentle! I'm wondering what the general feeling is about the 'Th' ligature in body text. It seems that many of the Adobe OpenType fonts (WarnockPro, Jenson, etc.) have this ligature, and I'm not convinced it's easier to read.

Is this a "feature" for the sake of a feature, or are there appropriate (and inappropriate) place for this ligature?


Chris Swingley
University of Alaska Fairbanks

William Berkson's picture

Personally, I like it. I think it can get more even spacing for the Th - depending on the other features of the font. I was interested to hear at Typotechnica, though, that Adobe gets a lot of complaints about the default Th ligature.

cswingle's picture


I can imagine the complaints they get because I thought it was a defect at first (I'm using TeX, and sometimes the translation of formats results in things like this), but when InDesign did it too I realized it was the way the font was designed.

Thanks for your opinion. I've been keeping my eye out for it in print and haven't seen it yet, but it does seem almost a natural ligature given how much white space results around the T without it.


Chris Swingley
University of Alaska Fairbanks

Isaac's picture

I think it depends on the font and the spacing of it, but generally I don't mind it. When I read things set in Times New Roman and I come across Th without it, it bothers me. Just for instance. But not as much as not using the fi lig.

Miguel Sousa's picture

The recently updated Wikipedia logo uses a Th ligature. The typeface is Linux Libertine

Michel Boyer's picture

And it is in a liga standard ligature subtable:

JohnJamesSmith0's picture

Bringhurst doesn't like it. At first I had to double-take every time I came across it, but not anymore.

dezcom's picture

Bringhurst isn't God and can be taken with a grain of salt, even he says so.

J. Tillman's picture

I'm thinking that the near-future proliferation of advanced reading pads (like the iPad) will make the Th ligature an INDIVIDUAL READER option. Each reader will get to choose what ligatures he or she likes or doesn't like.

And the social network will make the total sum of the reader preferences available for all to see.

Some book designers, typesetters, and type designers might get their feelings hurt.

Joshua Langman's picture

There have been other threads about this, including an extensive (and still apparently active) discussion here:


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